As martial artists we have the unique capacity to share invaluable skills with those less fortunate than ourselves. Our work in Rwanda does just this and gives self-confidence and courage to vulnerable populations who are easy targets of violence and oppression.

Even just basic training in the martial arts has been proven to have a dramatic impact on vulnerable people’s ability to stand up for themselves against abuse.

stanford-logoRead the Stanford University study that outlines what happened to potential rape victims in Kenya when they received basic self-defense training.

Kigali Justice Taekwondo Sister School

In the spring of 2016 MAJ’s Funder, Master Dean Siminoff, and, MAJ BOD Director, Stacy DeVries, traveled to Rwanda to meet with representatives of various organizations who work with vulnerable populations to discuss the possibility of establishing martial arts training programs within their networks.

After confirming that there was a desire and a need for martial arts training, specifically around empowerment training for women, connections were made with individuals who were ready to start schools. Our of this our first “sister school” was established.

50+ kids and adults learn TKD each week.

Poor Woman’s Development Network

A Rwandan non-profit organization requested to have MAJ provide “empowerment training, counseling and self-defense” to over 3000 women and 600 youth in one particular district of the capital city of Kigali.

Stacy DeVries had a chance to teach a one-day self-defense workshop while she was there in the spring of 2016 and is going back and teach them additional workshops.

Rwanda Taekwondo Federation

A solid relationship with the Rwandan Taekwondo Federation (RTF) led to discussions about implementing a justice-based curriculum that would be available to their TKD schools. This relationship also led to MAJ’s exclusive sponsorship of the Rwandan Genocide Memorial Tournament. This was an amazing opportunity to get involved in something that aligned with our vision as an organization and had a huge impact for both their martial arts community and ours.

Nearly 300 participants and spectators came to commemorate a horrific time in their history. Special guests included the President of the Olympic Games and President of the Rwanda National Federation. There to speak on behalf of Martial Arts for Justice was National champion, Zura Mushambokazi. The day consisted of competitions between Kenya, Uganda, and Rwanda, followed by a moment of silence in respect and memory for those who were lost and suffered during that time.

Articles covering the memorial tournament

Articles related to our justice work

Related MAJ Blogs

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