As the devastating bushfires in Australia continue to rage on, members of the martial arts community are banding together to help those affected by the disaster blazing through the country. Over the weekend, Unity standout and Aussie native Levi Jones-Leary announced a twelve-hour roll-a-thon to raise money for the cause, and now, even more of Australia’s top jiu-jitsu athletes are rallying together to raise money for communities in need.
Hope Douglass, Jeremy Skinner, Mikael Yahaya, Ari Tabak, Lachlan Warne, and Ben Hodgkinson will all be teaching at a charity seminar on January 12 at Absolute MMA St. Kilda in Melbourne, Australia — the same academy where 2019 ADCC medalists Craig Jones and Lachlan Giles hail from.
The seminar requires a $50 minimum donation, and the gi and no-gi components will run concurrently; Douglass, Tabak, and Yahaya will run the gi seminar, while Skinner, Warne, and Hodgkinson will be instructing the no-gi portion. The money raised will go to the Bendigo Bank fundraising effort that sees 100 percent of all donated funds going toward communities affected by the recent bushfires.
The fires have predominantly affected the eastern portion of the country, with New South Wales receiving the majority of the damage, though many other areas of the country have also been impacted. Over 20 people and 500 million animals have perished during this bushfire season, with countless communities seeing their homes and livelihoods destroyed.