After disbanding at the end of last year, the Keene State College Brazilian Jujitsu (BBJ) Club is starting fresh with new student and staff leadership.
The Brazilian Jujitsu club was first started in 2008 and remained a club for two years before disbanding last year.
Current club President Shane Merritt started the club back up this year after it was disbanded at the end of last year due to inconsistent leadership and interest.
Brazilian Jujitsu is a fighting technique and a defense system that teaches how to use technique to beat an attacker that might be bigger than you. Its core is based on leverage, joint-locking, and grappling. It is also known as a form of ground fighting.
Merritt says the club has already grown in its first year. “Last year the club only had 10 members and this year it has grown to 22 members,” Merritt said.
Merritt describes the club as a place for self-exploration. “Brazilian Jujitsu is more of a club where you learn about yourself and your limits, what you can do if you push yourself,” Merritt said. The club is not only looking to grow in size this year, but is trying to start actual competitions between schools.
“Towards the middle of next semester I am hoping we can start to compete in competitions and compete against other schools,” Merritt said. “I know at least a couple of schools in Massachusetts who have Brazilian Jujitsu clubs.
Kim L’Heureux, club treasurer, says she joined the club get and stay involved in the school community, and that’s why she thinks clubs are so important at Keene.
“The importance of clubs and sports is just getting involved with the community in which we live in,” L’Heureux said. “Being a part of a club allows you to meet many different people. It allows a person to branch out in other aspects of their life whether it be physical, mental, or emotional.”
Merritt said he got involved due to past wrestling experience. “I wrestled in high school and wanted to do a martial art to stay in shape, and once I started I fell in love with it,” Merritt said.
“The club is open to everyone no matter what gender, size, strength, or physical ability,” L’Heureux said. L’Heureux said that is why the Brazilian Jujitsu club is so appealing to people this year.
Merritt said that he wanted to do things differently this year. “When I started the club back up, I wanted to do it right,” Merritt said. “I wanted to be an actual club, I wanted to be a part of the community.”
The Brazilian Jujitsu Club meets Monday-Thursday from 7:30-9:30 p.m. in the multipurpose room in the Spaulding Gymnasium.
Jake Plourde can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org