In the press and on social media, it’s common to hear about injuries and tragedies that big names in the industry suffer. Today, however, I’d like to devote some virtual ink to Derrick Bonet, a man unknown to most, but no less devoted to jiu-jitsu.
Bonet was a blue belt who trained at Gracie Bradenton, one of the schools in the same network I train with. He was tragically killed on Valentine’s Day in a motorcycle accident when he was cut off by another car. Bonet was on his way to class and sadly was only a couple hundred feet from his destination.
It’s never easy when a community like ours loses one of its own. Bonet’s love of jiu-jitsu was only eclipsed by the love he had for his children, six-year-old Sophia and four-year-old Derrick Jr. He was a great father, patient training partner, and kind person.
“No matter what was going on in Derrick’s life, he always made it to class,” said Gracie Bradenton owner Sonny Parlin. “I have no doubt he would have made it to black belt.”
Parlin plans to award Bonet his black belt posthumously to honor his memory and dedication. A GoFundMe has been created to benefit his two children. Even if you can’t make a donation, please consider sharing this fundraising link with your network to help get the word out.