Women’s self-defence event in Richmond fundraising for transition house

Jiu jitsu can help build confidence and empower people to handle themselves in unsafe situations.

That’s according to Daniel Silveira, who co-owns Gracie Barra’s new Richmond franchise in the north of the city, along with Eduardo Murakami.

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Now, said Silveira, it’s something that can also help the community.

Gracie Barra is a franchise that specializes in Brazilian jiu jitsu, with locations around the world, and runs a women’s empowerment program and a children’s anti-bullying program.

Silveira was inspired by these programs to reach out to the Richmond community with a fundraiser for Nova Transition House, which provides temporary housing for women and children who face violence or are at risk of violence.

“I’ve seen the impact of (those programs) over the years,” said Silveira. “And I’ve always been very touched and amazed by that and feel very strongly about it.

“So I was thinking, why don’t we reach out and help the community? And the Nova Transition House is something that spoke to me — I grew up with a single mom as well and (experienced) bullying and all that stuff when I was a little kid.”

The fundraiser — a women’s self-defence seminar — will take place on Sunday, Sept. 29 at 9 a.m. at Gracie Barra Central Richmond, 21 – 12200 Vulcan Way.

Admission is by donation in the form of either cash or personal and practical items that are needed by Nova House. 

While you wouldn’t ordinarily connect a transition house with martial arts, it is in line with what Silveria feels the practice of jiu jitsu can offer; a type of support service for the community.

He explained that support services are made up of different puzzle pieces, ranging from laws and policing, to transitions houses or anti-bullying programs in schools.

“I think we also, each one of us, needs to learn how to defend ourselves and to have that confidence that you can handle yourself in any situation. I think that’s ultimately how we tackle the issues of violence and abuse and bullying,” said Silveira.

This is the first fundraiser that the Richmond location will host, and Silveira hopes they can continue to hold events like it in the future.

The fundraising seminar is open to women of all ages and skill levels. Anyone uncomfortable with physical contact can inform the instructors ahead of the class.

Interested participants are asked to register and secure their spot by phoning 604-781-4117.

For more information, as well as a list of items to donate, visit www.bit.ly/2kVNrua.

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