I witnessed an incredible event at Champion's Creed MMA in Calgary yesterday. It was a stunning reminder of the power of a caring connection—one of the values we build at our gym.
It was the first day of the new semester for our kids' Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu program. One new student in the Youth Club (Ages 9-14) class was incredibly nervous. He was literally frozen with fear. He was so nervous his nose started bleeding even though he was just standing there. It was very hard to see this child struggling while all the other kids were having fun, and obviously, his parents were struggling as well, seeing their child in this difficult situation.
Well, up stepped one of our Black Belts—Dan Buchwald. Dan was doing his own training in an advanced class in another part of the gym, but without any hesitation, he left that class to try and help this child. Dan began by talking to him and encouraging him. He then brought the child over to the advanced class area and worked with him one-on-one for a bit, trying to calm him down and make him comfortable. After a bit, Dan asked the child to watch him roll and to "let him know if he (Dan) was doing okay in rolling."
All these things made a huge difference, and it was clear the child had calmed down a lot. At this point, Coach Sheila came over to talk to the child and to let him know that "anytime you want to join in, please feel welcome".
Shortly after, the child found the courage to come onto the mats in his class. Sheila partnered him up with one of the more senior students, PJ, who is the son of Coach Pat Mitchell. Even at such a young age, it is clear that PJ is a leader. PJ started training with the new student, being a great partner and making the child feel that he was a part of the group. All of a sudden, it was like all the fears had been forgotten.
I was able to witness this whole process. These events took place over about a 30-minute time frame. To see so many people step up and go out of their way to give that extra effort, to help another, was so impressive.
I am so proud and thankful for all the great leaders we have at Champion's Creed MMA—so impressed by the positive impacts they are having on others' lives.
For this new student, if he had been given up on, if no one had taken the interest and time to build a caring connection, yesterday's experience would have most likely ended very negatively. But in the end, it turned out very well, and it's an experience that will most probably have a positive effect on this child for the rest of his life.3 years ago
“Cardio that's actually fun.” -Mitch Wicklund