Today, I just came across a story that I found to be very inspirational, to say the least.
If you follow martial arts, especially MMA (mixed martial arts), you are no stranger to BJJ (Brazilian or Gracie Jiu Jitsu).
Considered Grandmaster Carlson Gracie’s best student, Ricardo Liborio has proven to the grappling world to be an absolute BJJ legend.
Among numerous titles and accomplishments in competition, Ricardo was also the first BJJ heavyweight world champion.
After moving from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to the United States, Ricardo joined forces with Dan Lambert, Marcelo and Conan Silveiro to form the ATT (American Top Team) in Florida and their fighters have been leaving their mark in both the MMA and grappling arena.
Now that might be impressive and all, but what I really think is cool is the following:
Inspired by his 4-year-old daughter, Bella’s blindness, Ricardo Liborio is holding a summer martial arts camp for blind kids in Coconut Creek in Broward County, Florida.
Ricardo and his team of instructors are teaching 15 kids from the age of 6 to 12. Some kids were born blind, others unfortunately lost their sight later on, like Bella Liborio due a genetic disorder.
Guys, we all have our challenges learning new martial arts moves, maybe even old ones. How about learning new moves you can’t see, because …..you can’t see?
The kids at the summer camp, which is organized by the non-profit organization Lighthouse, have to rely on touch and commands they hear from their instructor.
And because they can’t see the position, their instructor will place them in the position and simply explain how the move actually works.
Once they feel how the move works, they can imitate it and with their instructor’s aid, they can try doing the movement by themselves.
A number of Ricardo Liborio’s blind students have continued their training to win national grappling championships and to actually become instructors themselves.
But what seems to be at least as important to Master Ricardo Liborio is the difference he is making by helping the kids live happy and fulfilled lives.
Check out the amazing person Ricardo is in this video: