Bruce Carr, PhD
"In my capacity as Site Coordinator for Afterschool Centers on Education (ACE), Rodriguez Elementary School, Austin ISD. I have found Mr. Britton Wells' After-School Jujitsu Academy (Samurai School) to be highly relevant and well in line with the goals and focus of our Health Education enrichment classes for the ACE program.
The classes are free to our students and are conducted by high ranking instructors that teach Brazilian style Jujitsu. Our students are challenged both mentally and physically.
... Many of our students would not be able to pay for these classes so it provides them with an experience that they normally would not have accesses to.
I have found that our students are highly engaged and enjoy Samurai School. The program instructors are professional and have a good report with the students."
" … I admit to being skeptical about bringing a martial art like Jiu-Jitsu to students with complex emotional needs and behavior concerns. While I was an instructor at Rodriguez Elementary, I was incredibly impressed with two Samurai School coaches who demonstrated their training, emphasis on ethics and self-discipline, and talent for translating those values into accessible language - all while providing an activity that was motivating for elementary age students ...
… I had high expectations when I brought Jiu-Jitsu to my students at Linder. Coach Tiago’s class was a huge success, becoming one of the most popular and effective classes for our students. The class has been particularly helpful for students who have challenges related to aggression and self-control, conflict resolution, social anxiety, and body awareness. I have seen concrete improvements among my students in the following areas, both through direct observation and conversations with students and parents:
Shy students have developed confidence about their physical abilities, which translated into improved social skills and self-esteem.
Students had to learn how to work closely with each other to spar safely, and respect each other’s limits, building trust in new relationships.
Students who were consistently getting into conflicts improved their relationships over time and stopped using physical violence to solve their disagreements.
Students who were unenthusiastic about exercise were engaged by Jiu-Jitsu, felt more in control of their bodies and improved their fitness level over time.
For one girl in particular, whose family was going through several difficult situations one after another, Jiu-Jitsu was particularly transformative. As her mother later told me, this student went from refusing to go to school on some days to excitement about going to school because she knew Jiu-Jitsu was at the end of the day. Both her teachers and her parents remarked that her self-confidence, social skills, and academic engagement improved dramatically over the course of the year.
Samurai School has the right intentions (to provide underserved students with the transformative opportunity to practice martial arts), the right infrastructure (coaches, training, curriculum), and evidence of prior success as discussed above. I cannot recommend them more highly ... "
" Samurai School has been an Austin Independent School District vendor for many years and since I have been at J. Houston Elementary School we have happily worked together to bring the sport of Jiu Jitsu to the ACE Afterschool students.
Samurai School has been able to partner with several out of school programs throughout the district to provide training to students in high-risk areas, free of charge; in return, these students learn empowerment and discipline and gain self-confidence. I've seen the benefit that Jiu Jitsu can bring to students in need first hand, and it's amazing to see the transformation of the individual.
One particular student who attended our Jit Jitsu class last year was reluctant to begin classes; she was extremely shy and only spoke to her cousin. This young girl actually cried her first day attending Jiu Jitsu and refused to participate in the first few sessions; however, she gained the trust of the coach and slowly began to learn the routines. Within a month, this young girl's confidence blossomed, as she was excited to attend Jiu Jitsu and made several new friends, even outside her class."