Jiu-Jitsu changes modern society. Terere Kids Project
Nico Ball has recently left her life of teacher in order to train mixed martial arts full-time in Brazil. Originally from Pennsylvania, she attended George Mason University in Virginia and received her Master’s degree studying the impact of martial arts-based social projects. Now she is living the fighter’s life and pursuing her dream to become a pro mixed martial artist.
Additionally, Nico has found a way to continue her interest in creating social changes by helping in organization of the “Terere Kids Project”. It is a nonprofit project for children who live in poverty in the favela of Brazil. It was founded in 2012 by the World Champion Fernando Terere da Silva. The main idea of the project is to use the “soft technique of art” in order to avoid criminal life.
Fernando Terere is an equally inspiring and tragic figure in the world of martial arts. Terere’s fighting style was incredibly creative but his career was interrupted in the early 2000s. Terere’s world started crumbling after he was arrested supposedly for shouting abuse towards an air stewardess. So then Terere fell into a massive depression with drug-taking that led to dependence. In a few years he returned to the mat. He is alive and confident and he is the owner of a BJJ black belt.
“I had no idea who is Terere. I met my friend who looked for Fernando Terere and wanted to train with him. He told me that Terere is a great guy and I have to look at his training. In the end, I found him. I just fell in love with his trainings, so we began to train and work together,” –Nico Ball says.
“I think this is exactly that case when a social project really works. It is focused on the development of many people. It should be noted that Terere devotes himself to this project. He has free trainings for various children from the Cantagalo community, his motherland.”
“We are working on a social project.A lot of sportsmen have been released from the community of Cantagalo with our help. Brazilian Jiu-jitsu plays a great role in Cantagalo and it is popular among different social groups. A lot of children visit the Academy every day after school and spend here nearly 4 hours. And all of this is free for children! Jiu-jitsu is what they need. Now, more than ever, it is important for kids to have a safe place and strong mentors to keep them off the streets and away from the ever-present drug trade”.