Those who practice martial arts know it’s a way of life and San Clemente’s Adam Watts, Daniel Finnochi and Joe Calvitta of Finish Strong Mixed Martial Arts Studio understand that and see the discipline learned on the mat carrying over into all aspects of life for their students.
“A while back we decided to use our depth of experience and our location to help out some local low-income and at-risk kids,” said Watts, Brown Belt and North American National No-Gi Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Champion. “We have children training with us now from Mission Hospital’s Obesity Awareness Program, a local group dedicated to providing easy access to social services in town called the San Clemente Collaborative and even a few kids sent to us by local law enforcement.”
Seeing those amazing transformations got Watts and his partners thinking they were really on to something here and so decided to open the non-profit, Fighters for the World, and plan to grow it with affiliate gyms all across the country. Through this program they are providing full scholarships to local kids in need to the tune of $150 a month. Each.
“Today we’ve got 33 kids participating and with our expansion we’ll have room for more,” added Watts. “We’re opening up a computer lab and we’ll have tutors available twice a week after school to help get their homework finished before they can train.”
The new space is set to open March 1st and will have five computers provided through the Edison Grant. Camp Pendleton is also on board with soldiers donating their time at the gym helping out with the large number of kids.
For more information visit either of their websites at www.finishstrongmma.com or www.fightersfortheworld.org or call 949-218-5222. You can also stop by the studio in the Los Molinos district at 152 Calle De Los Molinos. They welcome visitors and are there all day, almost every day.