By DeJanay Booth
Fight To The Finish
As a young boy, David Ferreira from North Carolina State University loved wrestling. Trying out for different sports in middle school, Fererria wanted to play for a team. But when his parents moved him to a private school, that ended quickly.
Ferreira was unsuccessful in attempting to start a team because parents worried about the safety of their children. Talking with his assistant principal, he developed a new passion.
“I know a place that does Brazilian jiu-jitsu,” the principal said.
Brazilian jiu-jitsu has a similar format to wrestling, Ferreira said. However, the goal of the sport is for the opponent to surrender under a chokehold or arm lock rather than simply pinning him/her down.
During the interview, Ferreira’s body relaxed and the topic of Brazilian jiu-jitsu appeared to be something he enjoy discussing.
“It’s a great sport,” he said. “It helps with concentration. I’ve seen a lot of [people] start jiu-jitsu and have more confidence.”
Perfecting his skills, Ferreira went on to college and had the desire to train. But a team was non-existent and the cost to was steep. Little did he know that by putting the word out on Facebook, nearly 45 students would express interest in the sport.
Most of the people had little to no experience. Ferreira and his new team trained and practiced. He and a few friends taught the newcomers for months.
“I didn’t intend to start a club team,” he smiled during an interview.
But After months of training, the idea of forming a club eventually emerged. Ferreira believed that the team could take it to the next level.
Suddenly, he hit a road block when attempting to train at gyms meant paying a high price. Ferreira reached out to others schools and learned about their clubs. He and the team competed as a way to make it official and gain connections.
“We all knew each other’s style and wanted to expand out,” he said.
But competing alone did not make it official. For a semester, Ferreira and another teammate went through applications and interviews, waiting for approvals. It is a combat sport, catching the school’s attention because of liability. However, it paid off and the club made its official debut.
The proudest moment came when the team competed in a tournament and took the top eight titles at the advance level. The team was successful compared to other schools that had trainers and space, since they did not have professional trainers and struggled with space.
“This was something [my friends and I] brought onto ourselves and we were able to compete and beat out other teams,” Ferreira said.
At a club fair at his school, teammates competed against each other in front of students. Nearly 100 people became interested and signed up to join for the following semester.
Coming to Cadet Initial Entry Training (CIET) this summer, Ferreira said learning Brazilian jiu-jitsu helped build tranquility and poise under pressure.
“Instead of panicking, you have to collect yourself and figure out the best situation to get out of there,” he said.
In the Fall 2015, Fererria will enter his junior year and hopes that the club will continue to grow even after graduating.