The first ever Third Coast Grappling Championship had a strong showing, with an exciting main event between Keenan Cornelius and Aaron “Tex” Johnson and more than half the matches ending in submission.
Although the event itself was impressive, though, its success ran deeper than the number of tickets sold and the level of talent on display. Promoter Ryan McGuire, a combat veteran himself, was able to use the earnings from the event to donate $1,000 to the We Defy Foundation. The nonprofit seeks to help veterans “coping with military-connected disabilities” through the benefits of Brazilian jiu-jitsu.
“The changes I have seen from BJJ myself have been staggering,” McGuire told the Jiu-Jitsu Times. “I was over 300 lbs and dealing with alcohol and drug issues. After BJJ and two years, I’m 100 lbs lighter and functioning better than ever. Jiu-jitsu changes lives and We Defy changes veterans’ lives.”
McGuire says he hopes to raise even more for We Defy in subsequent events, so keep an eye out for the next Third Coast Grappling tournament!