QUEST of LIONS – Heart of N’Djamena by Danjerr Presson
Danjerr is a mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter and a KOA Brazilian Jiu Jitsu blue belt under Professor Kelly Grissom. Danjeer (pronounced Danger) has been practicing MMA for over 4 years and has competed in several grappling tournaments with Big Brothers competition team in Northern Virginia. Danjerr selflessly led the path to introducing MMA in N’Djamena, Tchad an exotic country in Central Africa.
During his tenure in Tchad, Danjerr established a small but motivated team, which he used helped young athletes and martial artists in N’Djamena transition to MMA by teaching them how to control and submit an opponent using Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.Danjerr intended to accomplish several things in N’Djamena including planting the seeds for the evolution ofmartial arts in Tchad; thereby, helping Chadians develop confidence in their abilities, and eventually contributing to helping capable athletes earn their way to the international stage of the world’s fastest growing sport. An assortment of capable coaches for Wrestling, Judo, Boxing, Taekwondo and others who have pledged their support for LionHeart movement to expand their athletes abilities and represent the Tchadian people. Since Danjerr’s departure from Tchad, Coach Amby Valent a French amateur MMA fighter has led training sessions and continued to develop dedicated students who train and often hangout with each other. In time, the LionHeart Initiative working with volunteer fighters and coaches willing to visit Tchad and share their skills, will undoubtedly develop local MMA fighters and create opportunities to learn and compete, as it has done in Senegal since 2013.
This project contributed to LionHeart vision to lift deserving and talented athletes from poverty by driving a long-term development of MMA in Africa with the aim of creating local and international opportunities for young athletes to excel in the world’s fastest growing sport and mainstream entertainment. A unique strength of the LionHeart
Initiative is its ability to motivate volunteers and connect experienced martial artists with talented athletes in Africa. Over the years, the MMA for Africa movement, which grew out of the LionHeart Initiative, has led to dozens of volunteer instructors worldwide traveling to Africa and offering free seminars in MMA or underlying grappling and striking arts. In return, these foreign visitors are afforded a life-changing experience in training with local martial artists and being exposed to the rich culture and traditions of African communities.
While continuing short-term projects led by foreign volunteers to grow MMA and underlying martial arts (thereafter cited as MMA) in Africa, but recognizing its limitations, the LionHeart Initiative will also fund long-term MMA travelers to live and train in African communities. Concurrently, LionHeart will promote and support pan-African exchanges for African MMA fighters to travel to neighboring countries to share their skills, which represents a cost effective and sustainable long-term concept of operation. Additionally, LionHeart will help organize competitive circuits and collaborate with local promoters to hold MMA events, which will serve promote the sport locally, motivate aspiring pro-fighters, and alter the local martial arts landscape.