This partnership came about through Nicole Ehler, program director at the Boys Ranch, whose family participates in the program at Waco BJJ. She said the instructors who work with her son have always exceeded her expectations.
“I feel blessed to be a part of their program and I really wanted the experience for our youth,” Ehler said. “The Ranch boys love things like this and my goal is and always will be to expose them to new and exciting things to promote their growth as young men. At Waco BJJ they teach Brazilian Jiu Jitsu but also life skills and lessons that are important stepping stones for our youth’s future.”
During class, youth learned life skills such as work ethic, respecting authority, the value in following rules, passion and dedication, and to never give up. The instructors also taught them to take pride in doing the right thing for yourself and those around you.
“We learned to respect others,” said James C., a Boys Ranch resident. “You need to show respect and build trusting relationships in a positive way to get ahead.”
Participants said they also learned to control their emotions and keep a level head through working with the instructors and each other. During classes, they practiced techniques and had the opportunity to spar with peers as well as the instructors. All the youth had a positive experience in the classes and were very impressed with their instructors.
“You learn how to defend yourself against people bigger than you,” said Boys Ranch resident Bernardo. “I really liked the instructors because they were nice and treated us really well.”
Cameron, another Boys Ranch resident, added, “We learned a lot about controlling your body, self defense and working yourself out of tight situations. Class was a lot of fun and the instructors were GREAT!”