Thursday 27 March 2014

Grapplethon for Dana Moore, March 2014 at Optimus BJJ, Laguna Niguel, CA, USA

Event Report #8, by Monta Wiley, from the Optimus BJJ GrappleThon Supporting Dana Moore

Over the past year Southern California has been a hot spot showcasing great unity in the BJJ Community. March 22 2014 proved to be no exception as a group of grappling martial artists gathered together in Laguna Niguel, California for another monumental Grapplethon charity event, showing their support for 24 year old BJJ blue belt Dana Moore (who recently sustained a spinal injury that left him paralyzed from the rib-cage down).

Hosted at Grant Collin’s Optimus Brazilian Jiu-jitsu academy, the event brought together over 60 grapplers throughout Southern California from Atos JJ, Checkmat, Ribiero Jiu-jitsu, Clark Gracie Jiu-jitsu and Tinguinha BJJ, amongst other top jiu-jitsu teams.

From start to finish Team Dana Moore didn’t hold anything back! This fun-filled extravaganza included over 3 hours of nonstop training, a 300 Roll Challenge, and almost every participant walking away with a raffle gift. Most importantly, it exposed the camaraderie that exists in the Southern California BJJ community.

After generating $2,505 from on-the-day donations, it’s safe to say 'Grapplethon: Team Dana Moore' was a remarkable success. The dynamic presentation and atmosphere displayed on the mats at Optimus BJJ exhibited characteristics of kindness and unification amongst grapplers, showing their support for someone in need. In a fascinating twist, we also learned from Dana’s story of perseverance to aid in our journey through life.

Here were some of the closing remarks from people who were a part of the event

Michael Cabrea (Event Participant): I had a fantastic time today! It was great supporting someone in our community! Thanks everyone for the roll. And of course thanks Dana for being such an inspiration!

Grant Collins (Owner/Instructor of Optimus BJJ): Hey guys that was awesome! It was so great having so many talented fighters in one house for a good cause. In fact it was so much fun I wanna do it every month! I want to give big gratitude to everybody who came out to support Dana Moore!

Dave Gieselman (Event Participant): The best part about this event was the sense of unconditional love and support, no questions asked, in that room.

Lynn Fillwber Moore (Dana’s Mother/ Event Spectator): What an amazing BJJ family... We are so touched and honored... THANK YOU Brettimus Weekley, Monta Wiley, Professor Grant Collins, my amazing family Alicia Moore, Lizzie Moore; Pat & Julia Fillweber Foy, Karen and Chris Sabin & munchkins, Steve Pollmann &, Samuel, Megan Foy & Travis, Frank & VeVa Thing, Lindsy Eyler & Cruz, and our awesome friends, Jefe & Caroline Weekley, April Weekley, Brooke & Dave Jakovich, Barry Draskovich, Marilyn Reeves. AND all of the raffle sponsors and donations!!! Just amazing!

Brett Weekley (Event Co-Host): I would like to say thank you to everyone for attending the Grapplethon yesterday. It is amazing to see the BJJ community come together to support a friend. Thanks again Grant Collins for opening your doors and being a gracious host for the event. I'd also like to thank Monta Wiley for organizing everything and letting me help him out. It was an honor being a part of the event and I appreciate all of your hard work and diligence in coordinating everything. A huge thank you.

Monta Wiley (Event Coordinator): Not gonna lie a little bit in tears right now (good ones btw) after this event for various reasons. I just say thanks everyone and Dana Moore you are without a doubt the real champ in the BJJ world and life.

Dana Moore (Event Recipient): Thank you so much to everyone who came out and supported me today! Made a lot of new friends today and it was great to see the familiar faces! I hope everyone had a great time and is injury free! A huge thank you to Monta Wiley, Brettimus Weekley, and Grant Collins! Can't thank you three enough!

Let just hope this Grapplethon tradition continues making a positive difference in people lives, always aiming for the same goal showing we simply we care.

Photos courtesy of Technically Sound/EsSuyFe Photography

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