All of our lives have been impacted by the COVID pandemic that swept the world in 2020. Our day to day routines of going to work, school, the gym, and meeting up with friends and family were put on hold or altered. Like the BJJ academies where we train, we also had to go into hibernation mode to ration our resources and reassess our situation since there were no classes, tournaments or reason for many in the BJJ community to purchase Jiu Jitsu apparel.
While we weren't able to launch new products, we were able to spend time reassessing CARBYNE and the changes in the BJJ community and the world in general. We adjusted our plans and have been working on developing new ideas, products, and figuring out how we can help support the BJJ academies during these difficult times. We decided to create The REVIVAL INITIATIVE to help academies generate revenue with zero financial risk and help build team unity and spirit when they need it the most.
The REVIVAL INITIATIVE is committed to partnering with Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and martial arts academies to help them reopen their doors and bring Jiu Jitsu back to their students and communities. We will collaborate with academies to design, sell, manufacture, and ship NOGI grappling kits to raise funds for the academies and build team unity at no cost to the academy owners. The academies will receive 50% of the revenue, which is the majority of the profits from each sale to aid in the academy’s operations including rent, payroll and utilities.
Our program is scheduled to run from August through the end of October and we may resume the program during Q1 of 2021. Our initial partners were all academies that were within our network of friends. All of the academy owners have dedicated their lives to The Gentle Art and are committed to their academies and students. They have all dealt with school closures, loss of students, and restrictions while still having to pay rent and other operating experiences over the past few months. While our program won't solve all of their issues, it will help provide additional resources they can use to pay the rent, cover enhanced cleaning costs, commit to a marketing campaign to rebuild their student bases and pay their staff.
The four academies that are part of the first wave are Espiritu Jiu Jitsu, Montgomery Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Pinelands Brazilian Jiu JItsu and REAKT Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
Espiritu Jiu Jitsu - Jeremy Espiritu balanced his work, training, coaching, family and long commutes in Los Angeles traffic for nearly a decade to earn his Black Belt in BJJ from Shawn Williams. In 2018, Jeremy and his wife Mey opened up Espiritu Jiu-Jitsu in their hometown of Port Hueneme, California. They have made a great team with Mey managing the academy operations while working full-time as a nurse and Jeremy teaching all of the classes. Within a year and a half of opening, they built a strong community of members that trained, competed, and became family to each other. In order to grow the academy further, Jeremy left his full-time job and moved to a larger space to accommodate all of his new kids and adult students.
Montgomery Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu - Montgomery Brazilian Jiu JItsu was founded in 2017 by Tom DeBlass Black Belt Miguel Benitez. The opening of the academy was a culmination of many years of hard work, saving, training and sacrifice for Miguel. Prior to opening his academy, he would work long shifts with New Jersey Transit and get home in the afternoon to spend time with his family before making the one-hour drive to Ocean County BJJ to train with Tom DeBlass’s team. His central New Jersey based school quickly grew to over 100 students and he outgrew its original location and moved to a larger facility in late 2019. He has maintained his job at New Jersey Transit and regularly works 15-hour work days to support his family and students.
Pinelands Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu - Garret Lavaggi has spent a lifetime on the mats, starting as a 6-year old in his local wrestling program in Berkeley Township, NJ and then as a 3-year varsity starter on 2 State Championship teams at Central Regional High School. After high school, Garret pursued a career in law enforcement and transitioned from wrestling to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu under Tom DeBlass at Ocean County Jiu-Jitsu. He committed to his career as a Police Officer while also coaching BJJ and high school wrestling and earning his Black Belt in BJJ. Opening Pinelands BJJ in 2018 is a culmination of hard work, dedication and sacrifice as he continues to train, build up his academy and teach both the kids and adults at Pinelands BJJ.
REAKT Brazilian Jiu Jitsu - In 2017, Lance Thompson and Keith Miner opened REAKT BJJ and brought the first high-level, state of the art Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Wrestling, Muay Thai and Fitness Center to DuBois, Pennsylvania. Lance earned his Black Belt from Warren Stout while continuing to serve as a Police Officer. Keith overcame the loss of his right hand in an accident to become a professional MMA fighter and Black Belt in BJJ under Allen Mohler. They have used their extensive experience to create a fun, engaging, and exciting training environment for both children and adults to improve their lives.
All of their rashguards and shorts are available for sale from August 3rd to August 16th. You can view The REVIVAL INITIATIVE Collection by clicking here.
If you are an academy owner interested in learning more about The REVIVAL INITIATIVE and how it can help you academy, click here for more information.