Here you see Miguel engaged in a Jiu-Jitsu class where students find a welcoming environment to learn new skills, have fun, and make friends. Bel Air differs from other martial arts academies because it offers dedicated Jiu-Jitsu martial arts training to kids from 5 to 15 years old who are on the autism spectrum, have ADHD, or anything in between. Many of our students did not find engaging extra-curricular physical activity prior to training with us. Due to their neurological differences, neurodivergent kids can have a very hard time attending typical martial arts academies. The environment can be overwhelming and most coaches are not trained to teach a child who can be highly anxious, distracted, withdrawn, emotional or defiant.

That’s why I founded Bel Air Jiu-Jitsu in 2018. Since that time our coaches have trained more than 100 children and teens at our partner academies, Supreme Jiu-Jitsu and Top Level MMA. But I envisioned a dedicated space for Bel Air where our students can call their own and have access to more classes and activities. A place where they feel safe, included, and understood—free from judgment. A place where parents can also train no matter their level. A place that advocates neurodiversity, mental health, and a more inclusive community.

In October 2021, I found the perfect spot at 2657 N Clybourn ave, Chicago. After months of renovation, the gym is almost ready. The main thing missing is equipment, and that is where we hope you can help. Your donation will go towards funding the following equipment:

  • Training floor and wall mats: $8,468
  • Boxing racks and 5 heavy bags: $3,316
  • Training equipment (Thai pads, focus mitts, kicking shields, jump ropes, and more): $2,900
  • Flat TV to project visual instructions for kids who need more support: $1,750
  • 40 Jiu-Jitsu youth uniforms: $2,800
  • 100 Boxing gloves for kids and their parents: $2,500

Learn more about the Bel Air neurodiverse youth program and our positive impact here

With gratitude for your support,

Alex and the Bel Air Team

Rendering of our brand new Bel Air gym