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  • Writer's pictureThe Good Shepherd Project

Inspiring stories from our Jiu Jitsu 2023 Graduation

This article was written by Rogerio Muneron, one of our Brazilian team members.

On the first of December, the Bom Pastor Project's Jiu-Jitsu belt graduation ceremony took place. The event, held at the Professor João de Arruda Pinto State School, brought together 32 graduates, their parents and carers. Thanks to the generosity of several people, we were able to donate “obis” (belts used to signify rank) to all the students who have progressed, giving them new colours and levels.

A group of children display their new belts and certificates proudly!
Some of the excited graduates!

The factory responsible for making the Obis showed solidarity with the Project's students by offering a significant discount from R$80.00 to R$30.00 each. Master Marcos Paulo, a Jiu-Jitsu instructor, also received financial support from his police brigade, meaning several belts were given out at no cost. We also hope that a meaningful partnership was established with them for future support. Even the venue was kindly provided by the school's management at no cost to the project.

We were also glad to have the presence of speaker and coach Múcio Morais, whose talk focused on family values and respect.

several of the children from the Safe House also graduated in the JiuJitsu
Safe House Jiu-Jitsu graduates

During the event, we witnessed several moving stories, one of which was that of student Daniel Alves Martins, a 13-year-old teenager. His journey is truly inspiring: his mother, who faces mental health challenges, longed to see him take part in the Jiu-Jitsu Project. However, she couldn't afford to buy Daniel a Kimono (the clothing required), and the Project was out of stock at the time. He would only be able to join when the Kimono became available.

One afternoon, this mum was chatting to Karla, the workshop coordinator, at the Project's gate. At that very moment, a car drove past and the person in it approached Karla, handing her the kimono she had promised the project a long time ago. Daniel's mother was deeply moved, feeling as if a miracle had happened, allowing her son to finally join the Jiu-Jitsu workshop.

Today, Daniel stands out as one of the best students in his class. At his graduation ceremony, his family attended, showing resilience in the face of family challenges arising from his mother's psychiatric complications. This shows how Jiu-Jitsu has become an important element in their lives, offering not only martial art skills, but also strength and unity to face adversity.


The event was a real success, the Jiu-Jitsu has not only transformed their behaviour at home, but also made them role models at school. To finish on a high note, at the end of the event, everyone enjoyed a meal provided by the project.

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