East LA nonprofit making jiu-jitsu classes accessible to community kids at no charge, small fee

Eric Resendiz Image
Wednesday, July 12, 2023
East LA nonprofit offers jiu-jitsu classes to community kids for free
The nonprofit East LA Jiu-Jitsu is offering classes for a small fee or for free to make them accessible to kids in the community.

EAST LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- The nonprofit East LA Jiu-Jitsu has made it a goal to make classes accessible to young ones from the area. Some of the kids are from underserved communities and are the most at risk. The nonprofit made the classes accessible by offering them at a low cost or for free. Some of the students said not only did they learn different moves, but character, too.

"Something I learned is to not let my ego interfere with the challenges that I have to face. Even outside of here. Just because I am trained in this doesn't mean can conquer the whole world," said student Daniel Cano. "I might be able to talk to someone nice just to like deescalate any situation."

"They treat me like an equal. It is cause in school, no one treats me like an equal," said student Stacy Larco. "Where here I feel like nice at home like with my friends who do treat me like an equal."

Ron Mukai started the nonprofit over a year ago. He is a product of East Los Angeles and is giving back to his community. Mukai said he started training in jiu-jitsu 14 years ago. He has won silver medals and competed at the Sport Jiu-Jistsu International Federation. He said it's a team effort to help his students grow because their families are also involved.

"I see more family support than in other areas more affluent populations. These parents are here day in day out," Mukai said.

The nonprofit collaborated with a local middle school to offer jiu-jitsu classes to students and to make it a part of the curriculum. Mukai also teaches in Fullerton. While he does teach classes to adults, his focus will always be on the little ones, the next generation of tomorrow.

"My goal is take these kids to the moon. We can represent them on the highest nationally, internationally. East L.A. will be a force to be reckoned with," said Mukai.

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