Bay Area ‘GRAPPLE-ATHON’ to promote inclusivity, raise money for human rights is kicking the off at FOUR Elements Fitness January 14th, Saturday 8am-10am
Beginning at Four Elements Fitness near Oakland’s Lake Merritt, each gym will host two hours of non-stop grappling, with players tagging in and out to keep it going, until passing the baton to the next gym. A celebratory event – also open to the public – will be held at CTRL-SHFT Collective on Oakland’s 34th St., an art space dedicated to inclusivity.
This is an opportunity for experienced Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu grapplers and newcomers alike. Tickets are just $15, allowing experienced players to practice at as many participating gyms as they like throughout the weekend; newcomers will find doors open to all and instructors willing to teach them the fundamentals of the sport. Prizes, such as private lessons with world champions will be raffled off to participating grapplers. Funds from ticket sales will be donated to the local ACLU.
“After a very divisive election we wanted to jump to action and do something with the resources that we have and the people that we know. This is a platform to harness the power of the jiu-jitsu community and use it in a way that goes beyond the walls of the gym,” added Shawn Tamaribuchi-Keiser, co-organizer.
“We are coming together on a community level and putting our differences aside to work on something that we all really care about, which is training jiu-jitsu and bettering ourselves. We encourage everyone to visit our website and visit your local participating BJJ gym to check it out.” – Vonique Stricklen, co-organizer.
The Bay Area GRAPPLE-ATHON was created by the Rolling for the People team started by Bay Area martial artists Shawn Tamaribuchi-Keiser, Vonique Stricklen, Melissa Wyman and Dion Burns, responding to what they saw as the need to mend a divided nation and isolated communities exposed during the presidential elections. The team now consists of a growing group of grapplers training out of different gyms across the Bay Area and beyond. Putting political affiliations aside, the mission of this team is to recognize the rights and contributions of people of different ethnicities, religions, gender identity and sexual orientation both on and off the mat.
Participating gyms and open mat schedules can be found at www.rollingforthepeople.com