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“Adopt a Cop BJJ” offers free martial arts training for local Law Enforcement

Rudo Jiu-Jitsu studio is strengthening the bodies and minds of men and women in blue at no cost thanks to nonprofit group.
Published: Mar. 25, 2021 at 2:14 PM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - Blood, sweat, and fighting fun unites all walks of life at Rudo Jiu-Jitsu Studio in Toledo.

“We have state troopers, we have TPD members, we have corrections officers, we have chefs, we have garbage men, children, veterans... everybody just comes together,” says Head Instructor Jay Willman. “When you step on the mat it doesn’t matter what you do, you all serve one purpose. You want to get better.”

Men and women in law enforcement are embracing Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Headmaster Jay Willman is working with the nationwide organization “Adopt a Cop BJJ,” to offer his gym free to police personnel. Adopt a Cop BJJ is a nonprofit, donation-based program that allows active-duty patrolling police officers around the country to train at any Adopt a Cop BJJ affiliated academy. The group will pay 100% of the officer’s membership until they reach the rank of Blue belt. Blue belt is the second-ranked belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and on average it takes around 12 to 18 months to obtain.

“It’s so important for these guys to keep training like this,” says Willman. “They get so much training in the academy but after that, they don’t use it, they don’t have the repetition they should have.”

Police officers in attendance say pins, pulls, and perseverance on the mat floor strengthens their physical ability.

“It’s a workout,” says Ohio State Trooper Nick Palmer. “I’m 32 years old, I won’t lie to you... I wake up and feel rough sometimes, but the guys are all really careful we all take care of each other because if you break your toys you won’t have anything to play with.”

Trooper Nick Palmer with the Bowling Green Highway Post says training through martial arts is also an outlet to decrease stress and improve mental health for those serving and protecting the streets.

“I just started doing this two months ago, I feel more comfortable in those situations than I have in my entire 8-year career,” says Palmer. “It increases your self-confidence because you know more to protect yourself and those you are interacting with, and it’s just safer for both of you, to be honest.”

Rudu Jiu-Jitsu offers free service Fridays once a month welcoming any service member or veteran a chance to try out a class at no cost.

“If I can help somebody go home, law enforcement or otherwise, and they make it home safe because of something they learned here, then I did my job,” says Head Instructor Jay Willman.

To sponsor a police officer or make a donation to “Adopt A Cop BJJ” you can do so on their website.

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