Lachlan Giles Pays For A Year’s Tuition To Support A Black Belt’s Academy Across The World

Image Source: Kitt Canaria for Jiu-Jitsu Times

Elite Australian grappler Lachlan Giles has been cementing his reputation as the “people’s hero” for quite some time, and now, he’s committed a good deed that will help a jiu-jitsu gym in California during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Fellow black belt Dan Lukehart, who organized the Pineapple Invitational and recently made BJJ news for his efforts to acquire personal protective equipment for medical staff in need, shared a bit of heartwarming news yesterday by announcing what many of us have also known for a while now:

Lachlan is a good person. That is all.

Posted by Dan Lukehart on Tuesday, May 5, 2020

What had prompted the post started with Lukehart’s announcement that he would be suspending all active memberships at his academy, Brea Jiu-Jitsu, which is located in California. However, students would be able to continue making payments or donations of other amounts via the academy’s PayPal, Breajiujitsu@gmail.com.

It was then that Lukehart got a surprise from Down Under. Giles contacted Lukehart and said that he wanted to give the academy $1,000, or about a year’s membership for Brea Jiu-Jitsu.

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The donation was a surprise to Lukehart given the extent of his relationship with Giles. “Lachlan and I have known each other for a few years, before he got famous. I’ve cornered his wife (and maybe him, I can’t even remember) at a few tournaments, but he’s not somebody that I know exceptionally well. I consider us friends and colleagues, but the fact that he just went completely out of his way to do this really shows what kind of a person he is deep down,” he told the Jiu-Jitsu Times.

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While the financial boost is a big help to Lukehart’s business in this tough time, he says that the emotional impact has perhaps been even more powerful. “It makes me feel supported, there’s no question about that. My daily mood went from being impacted by losing four, five, six students one day to, at the other end of the spectrum, having people like Lachlan. There’s this yin and yang between the two extremes.”

Lukehart doesn’t fault his students who can’t afford to pay their memberships right now, but acknowledges that the emotional struggle brought upon his academy by the pandemic has been eased by Giles’ good deed. “Not every student can pay. It’s heartbreaking but understandable. But what Lachlan did goes beyond the financial. I have a lot of students who are paying, but they don’t want the Zoom classes that we offer, they just want to roll. It’s disheartening to only see a few students in the Zoom classes. And with everything going on, there’s this feeling of impending doom, but at the other end, you have Lachlan. Actions like this show you how much you’re appreciated in people’s lives.”

For what it’s worth, the admiration and respect is clearly mutual. A few days ago, Giles himself shared a post on social media detailing how Lukehart had helped shape him into the competitor he is today:

View this post on Instagram

Until brown belt most of my game came from learning within the club, of which I learned a lot. My first exposure to studying international competitors actually came from watching a purple belt do breakdowns on YouTube. That purple belt was Dan Lukehart, (or Trumpet Dan, which was his YouTube handle), and he was breaking down all of the GOAT Roger Gracie’s game. Watching his breakdowns and keen eye for detail, I learned two important things: That studying high level competitors can significantly improve and expand your game, and that you can learn from anyone, I would rather learn from a good coach with a keen eye for detail than from a high level competitor that is not aware of the nuance of their game. This exposure to using video analysis as a tool may have had the single greatest impact on my BJJ out of anything I can think of. It expanded my game greatly and all of the future influences posts I will make would probably not have been the case if it were not for watching Dan’s videos and copying his approach. On a side note, Dan does some great things for the community, he has recently been collecting masks to distribute to medical staff during the pandemic, and regularly provides accommodation for elite competitors who are unable to afford the costs of international competition. He runs an academy in Brea (Brea Jiu Jitsu) and still produces great content such as the collar sleeve Anthology. I copied his video analysis methods but I used Anthology first 🤣you can find that here http://collarsleeve.com/

A post shared by Lachlan Giles (@lachlan_giles) on

In a time when everyone is scared and angry, it’s refreshing to know that there’s still good to be found inside our own community.

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