Fighter Series: Anderson Serna
Anderson Serna is a Jiu Jitsu practitioner under the Guardian Project. The Guardian Gym organization provides training and gear at zero cost to their youth students. Their free scholarships introduce students to mentorship, fitness, community, and a better life path.
Despite being deaf and having motor coordination issues, Anderson works hard at Guardian Gym Peru every day that he is there. The instructors and students there say he is always smiling, laughing, and elevating the overall atmosphere of the gym.
Unfortunately, Anderson dealt with a severe case of bullying - to the point where he didn’t want to leave his house for school or Jiu Jitsu. Salvatore Sanguinetti, founder of Guardia Gym Peru, wanted to make sure that Anderson knew he was cared for and had support. He had a talk with his students who also went to Anderson’s school, basically telling them to stand up for Anderson if they see him being picked on because through Jiu jitsu, he is their brother in one big family.
The kids did just that.
After experiencing this and having his friends stick up for him, Anderson started showing up to Jiu Jitsu again, each time with a smile on his face and positivity to light up the gym.
The benefits of Jiu Jitsu have carried over into other parts of Anderson’s life. Before starting, he constantly felt discouraged. After training, he now has a lot more self-confidence and feels more resilient, thanks to his Jiu Jitsu skills.
When Anderson first showed up to the gym, his motor coordination skills barely allowed him to stand on his own. Doctors said that he would be handicapped for the rest of his life, but Anderson did not let this stop him. Through Jiu Jitsu, he has improved his health to the point where he can now run and play soccer - something the doctors never thought he would be able to do.
We would like to give a special thank you to Guardian Gym for making this Fighter Series possible and providing the opportunity for underprivileged youth to train Jiu Jitsu. Visit the links below to learn more about the Guardian Project and ways that you can help them.