Jujitsu seminar raises money for friend in need


After a new move was instructed, students paired up and sparred with one another.

Fighting, family and community brought people together from across the state to train in jujitsu and support a member of the Tough as Nails CrossFit gym on Sunday Sept. 4. Tough as Nails hosted a jujitsu seminar in the wrestling room to raise money for Oviedo resident Sara Cook’s back surgeries.  Sara Cook and her husband Anthony cook are both members of Tough as Nails; and this program used the wrestling room because it had more room for a large amount of people.

This jujitsu training session was $50 per person all funds went toward helping Cook pay for her spinal surgery.  The two hour session consisted of learning new maneuvers, and practicing them on partners.

The collection of people in the gym did not all come from Tough as Nails, as many of them were from out of the area who heard about the event through word of mouth and social media.

“One day if I’m ever in that situation, I know that these people will come to help me because they’ve already done it,” co-owner Eric Abreu said.

Abreu was promoted to black belt, the highest honor in Brazilian jujitsu, during the seminar.  Abreu taught at the seminar along with co-owner Elwil Avecedo and UFC fighter Jim Alers.

“In the sport of jujitsu, even though its all over the world its actually small, and everyone knows everybody in a way,” Alers said, “It’s awesome to see people from all over come together, and people who don’t train with us every day come.”

Alers came from Miami to help with the non-profit event.  After the seminar, donations were accepted, and a GoFundMe account was opened for this family.  Tough as Nails will continue to support the community through fundraisers like this and toy drives during the holidays.

“Martial arts has given us so much that whenever we can we try to give something back,” Alers said.