Last week, JJT reported on Bellator fighter and BJJ black belt Dillon Danis offering to pay for a bullied teen’s BJJ class. The boy, a student at Bluford Drew Jemison STEM Academy West in Baltimore, was viciously mocked and punched by a ring of other students on video in a school bathroom. Today Danis posted an update to his Instagram, featuring a picture of the bullied student in a fresh new gi and white belt. Based on his gi, the student appears to be taking classes at Form Jiu-Jitsu also located in Baltimore.
“This is one of the most meaningful things i’ve done in my life thus far and plan on doing it more and more to create something that will last for generations to come. From being on the receiving side of bullying and Jiu-Jitsu saving my life, I’m now in a position where I have a platform that can help others down the same path. This path has brought me everything in my life and giving back to others is a feeling I cannot put into words. I am so proud of this young man for taking me up on my offer and getting into the dojo. Showing up is half the battle and that applies to everything in this life. We’re all in this together, let’s go champ!”
Typically a divisive and controversial character in the grappling and MMA communities, this act of compassion is distinctly off-brand for Danis. Citing his own history with bullying, Danis expressed a desire to leave a genuinely positive impact on the world through BJJ. Though I admire what a great deed this is, I still hope Danis gives us little gems like this.