Stopping youth gun violence through a free jiu-jitsu program

PHILADELPHIA -- New Jersey native Jeffrey Whittingham has a vision to address youth gun violence through the laws and principles of martial arts.

According to Philadelphia police statistics, more than 170 children were direct victims of gun violence in 2020.

Whittingham hopes to do his part to change this harsh reality by providing teens with an alternative outlet.

That outlet is a free jiu-jitsu program.

The owner of Gracie Academy donated the space and, with some help from instructors, Whittingham began to lead the program called 'Growth, Love, Success.'

The mission is to break the generational curse when it comes to martial arts in the urban community and teaching the ancient art to help smaller fighters overpower their opponent as an alternative to gun violence.

Whittingham, who is currently training for professional bouts, is a product of jiu-jitsu helping guide his life on a new path.

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