Arsenal Jiu-Jitsu Academy In Yakima: empowering young minds - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Arsenal Jiu-Jitsu Academy In Yakima: empowering young minds

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YAKIMA, WA - A Yakima native is giving back to his community through a non-profit organization that gets kids of all ages and backgrounds to learn the martial art of jiu-jitsu.

Arsenal Jiu-jitsu Academy is empowering young minds.

"As a martial artist, it's our job to be able to pass our knowledge and be a positive influence to the upcoming generations," said Gonzalo Garcia, coach at Arsenal Jiu-jitsu Academy.

Garcia was a high school wrestler and fought in the regional MMA circuit before turning to jiu-jitsu.

"I didn't pick up martial arts quickly, but I was a hard worker," Garcia admitted. "I've always just drilled and drilled and drilled and trained."

His obsession blossomed into creating Arsenal Jiu-jitsu.

As one of the main coaches, Garcia and the organization is dedicated to making the sport accessible to any family.

"I can honestly say that martial arts kept me from being involved in gangs," Garcia said.

More than two dozen kids take Arsenal classes that are offered twice a week, and they compete in local and national tournaments.

"With jiu-jitsu I have learned a lot of patience and controlling what I do, watching submissions and stuff like that," said Cade Robertson, a 13-year-old student at the academy.

Cade and his 14-year-old brother Hunter have only been doing jiu-jitsu for two years, but both of them already have a stack of tournament medals.

"It's not everything if you get your butt kicked," Hunter said. "You're not really feeling like you're always on top. There's always somebody that's going to get you down. The hardest part would be keeping your head up."

Arsenal charges $50 per student a month, but Garcia and other board members realize not every family can afford that, so they offer reduced rates for families in need.

Arsenal Jiu-jitsu Academy holds classes every Tuesday and Thursday at 5:00 p.m. at Gardner Hall on 46th and Chestnut Avenues. The organization also accepts donations on their website: