Almost two years ago, 10-year-old Gaven Robertson decided to try and find a form of self-defense after a case of bullying on the way home from school. Along the way, he discovered self-confidence and a natural talent for Brazilian jiu-jitsu (BJJ).

 For those who may not be active in the martial arts world, BJJ may not be the first martial art that comes to mind. Some may think of karate, taekwondo, or even kickboxing. However, for ten-year-old Gaven, BJJ seemed to be the only path.

Gaven’s father Travis said the young yellow-belts’ journey started after a particularly harsh case of bullying.

“We noticed he had been bullied at school. One day, he came home from school and he actually had a bloody face from an incident that happened on a bus. We decided he needed to get some self-confidence and we wanted something that would (bring that) and we ended up at Brazillian jui-jitsu.”

Travis said Gaven had thought of other martial arts but took to BJJ due to the lack of punches and kicks.

“We tried out kickboxing and Muay Thai but he took naturally to jui-jitsu and he felt more comfortable doing that,” said Travis. “He wanted something where he was able to defend himself but at the same time not actually have to hurt somebody if he had to. Something that would be able to take care of himself and protect himself. He now pretty much lives by the motto of the dojo of respect, responsibility, and discipline. He shows that here and outside.”

Now, almost two years later, Gaven has gained self-confidence, self-respect, and more than his fair share of medals from competitions. Thanks to his natural talent and dedication to learning, Gaven is the proud owner of 19 medals and is continuing to grow in the martial art.

“He’s moved past it being something giving him self-confidence into something he can actually help other kids with now. He’s helping teach younger kids in the class how to behave in the class and how to actually learn the art of jui-jitsu as well, which is just progressing him further,” said Travis.

Gaven will be competing again in September, but for now he continues to train at the Airdrie Martial Arts Center, where he also helps train white-belts



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