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Fighting For Faith - BJJ 100 Man Kumite for Charity
On Sunday October 24, John Brown, a BJJ purple belt from Geelong, Australia, will roll for 100 3-minute rounds to raise money for the parents' room of the children's ward of Geelong Hospital in memory of his daughter Faith.
On the 4th of April 2000, John and his wife Petra welcomed the arrival of little Faith Abigail, but not all was well. The resuscitation team had to be called within a minute of her birth, and Petra recalls that although Faith "had a face that resembled her sister Ebony's" and "She had dark hair, weighed an acceptable 5 and a half pounds and was very small, petite and pretty", she suffered from an unfortunate plethora of problems. She had no sucking reflex, had irregular breathing and heartbeat, and could not see nor cry. It was found that she was suffering continual seizure activity which interfered with her most basic bodily functions, which doctors attributed to an "undiagnosed genetic disorder on a metabolic level".
At the age of 5 months, Faith suffered from bronchiolitis, which, to the agonising realisation of John and Petra, would prove terminal to an infant so vulnerable. At 9 months of age, Faith died in her father John's arms.
Shortly after Faith's birth, John began his Brazilian Jiu Jitsu training. John says "I found a release. A place where I could push myself physically and feel leaving mentally drained enough to sleep". 10 years, the achievement of his purple belt, multiple state, national and Pan Pacific titles (and a Mundials appearance) later, he will grapple for 100 3-minute rounds at Cherubin Jiu Jitsu Academy in South Geelong to raise money for the parents' room of the children's ward of Geelong Hospital.
Since early August, John has been training for this event, which karatekas call the "100 man kumite", but is hitherto unknown in the grappling world. Under the watchful eye of his coach, black belt Dan Cherubin, his regime has included daily grappling, cardio, and some Muay Thai as well. As of late September, John is handling "30+ rounds comfortably", and besides recovering from a knee sprain which occurred two weeks ago (though barely breaking stride in training), his main problem is finding enough contiguous time and partners to push him to his current limit - one of the better problems to have in training for such a challenge.
John said of the parents' room that he and Petra "practically lived (there) for weeks at a time. And the staff there were amazing. They supported or gave space depending on what we wanted. I can even remember one nurse doing her rounds on the ward with my jiu jitsu belt around her head as she sewed my stripes on for me. We shared most of our everyday life with them each day at some point or another".
Why a BJJ fundraiser? John says that in the form of his training, "My daughter Faith had given me a gift - a purpose and a motivation. A way to get up and deal with each day. It's my turn to give back in her name".
"So now I figure if we can raise enough money to get a few things for the parents room on the ward, it might just make that little bit of difference in someone else's story. A place for them to retreat to and spend some time on their own without actually having to leave their child. Because let's face it - a seriously injured or sick child is about as bad a nightmare as any parent can have"
Fighting for Faith is sponsored by:
* Barwon Health Foundation
* Cherubin Jiu Jitsu Academy
* Top Tier Muay Thai
* Geelong CrossFit
See John's blog and event details at http://fighting-for-faith.blogspot.com/
Contact John at firstname.lastname@example.org for donation and sponsorship details.
Thanks to Bullshido member Gzk for the write up.
Last edited by PizDoff; 9/29/2010 10:07am at .