If you do jiu-jitsu, if you follow jiu-jitsu, if you’ve heard of jiu-jitsu, you’ve seen Mike Calimbas’ work. Not only is he the official photographer at Fight to Win Pro, but he’s also the guy who regularly snaps some of the coolest photos at major IBJJF tournaments like Worlds.
Calimbas is from Houston, and while he was lucky to avoid any major damage due to Hurricane Harvey, he’s been devastated to see the damage done and the lives changed by the storm. So he’s using his position in the BJJ community to set up a silent auction to raise funds for those who need it, and the response that he’s gotten already has been overwhelming.
Here are the details, per Calimbas’ post on Facebook:
I am putting together a charity auction to help members of our community that were severely impacted by Hurricane Harvey.
GOAL – Work together with brands and individuals to put together packages for bid, then raise funds together with the community – who would get valuable items, services or knowledge in return.
MISSION – Donate 100% of proceeds directly to victims of the storm – focusing on folks/families who were severely impacted the most – including those with no insurance or have suffered multiple total loss flooding tragedies within the past few years.
WHO – Anybody who is willing to donate their time (e.g. BJJ Professors with private lessons), knowledge (other types of lessons/expertise), services (e.g. plumbing, fencing, spa, cryo, massage, etc.), or products (BJJ brands, etc. etc.) can all be part of the effort. Likewise, any media that would be willing to help get the word out would be an asset as well.
WHEN – My current timeline has me reaching out to collect donations through the weekend. The goal would be to begin marketing the auction beginning of next week and run it on a platform TBD by the end of the same week.
WHERE – Nationwide! As long as someone bids on your item, you can help from a million miles away!
Immediate thanks to Inverted Gear, Moya Brand, Fight To Win Promotions, Gameness Fightwear, Pure Romance, about 50+ BJJ Instructors/Schools, and all the other brands/individuals that have volunteered to help right away!
If you also want to be a part of this, please let me know. I’m already compiling contributions through the various threads I’ve started today. If you think it would help, please share through your own networks as well.
At press time, over a hundred black belts and more than a dozen large and small brands had committed donations to the cause. Due to the size and scale of the auction, Calimbas has also reached out for help with running the event, and while people have stepped up to the plate to help coordinate the auction and design ads for it, you should still keep an eye out on Calimbas’ Facebook page if you believe you have skills that could make his job in this a bit easier.
If you have anything at all that you could contribute to the auction, whether it’s private lessons (if you’re a qualified instructor), gear or supplies (if you help run a company), or whatever else you believe could attract bidders, contact Mike Calimbas and let him know as soon as possible. The jiu-jitsu community has already raised more than $7,000 through Fight to Win’s fundraiser, and there’s no telling what we’ll be able to do with the help of one of our most universally beloved photographers.
The Jiu-Jitsu Times will update everyone once all the donations are in to let you know what’s up for auction.