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By John Mizerak –
Mighty Oaks Foundation was recognized for the work we do with military service members and law enforcement officers by Thomas Cronin from Carlson Gracie Brazilian JiuJitsu Temecula and Murrieta in California.

Founder Chad Robichaux was thrilled to be recognized as he thanked Tom for the award, “It is amazing to think how many lives have been positively impacted by us locking arms together.”

Many of you many know that Mighty Oaks Founder Chad Robichaux shares a passion for martial arts as a 3rd Degree Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Black Belt, former Pro MMA Champion and at one time a USMC Martial Arts Instructor.
Chad has successfully leveraged his background and passion for martial arts to reach our Warriors through a shared experience of training in hand-to-hand combat.  Over the years, Chad has partnered with Tom and other Carlson Gracie instructors, as well as professional MMA Fighters to host free martial arts seminars on bases and even teach as a guest instructor at Marine Corps Martial Arts Program (MCMAP) Instructor Courses.  Frequently after teaching, Chad and Tom will take a spot on the mat and let the Marines for two lines and take their shot to grapple with Chad and Tom, one after the other for about 30 minutes. Despite the zealful youth, athleticism, ferocity and the spirt of the Warriors, Chad and Tom remain undefeated.  This is all in good fun, however, Chad takes every opportunity he can rally the Warriors and share a very important message about being combat ready and resilient war-fighters who can take on any battle they may come across.  Chad shares his personal story with the Warriors and strong lessons on resiliency and strength by being Mentally, Physically and Spiritually ready for the battles ahead.  The events end with a Q & A forum, in which Chad gives away books produced by Mighty Oaks and information or ways Mighty Oaks can serve them before or after deployments.
Tom started training in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in 2007 and has always been a student directly under Carlson Gracie Jr. and quickly became a strong international competitor winning numerous World and National Championships. He teaches kids & adult classes and competes as much as possible. Tom’s favorite aspect of the school is watching students improve and overcome personal obstacles during their time on the mat.  Tom is a Black Belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and also a Brown Belt in Judo. He believes that being well rounded is essential in martial arts, he trains in self-defense, standing techniques and ground work.
Chad likes to remind us that, “as martial artists and human beings, we have to have balanced lives and fight just as hard off the mats as we do on… throughout the challenges of life.
Master Renzo Gracie captured it best when he said;
“ People often see fighting as an ugly thing, as something that denigrates the human being. In reality, you see fighting in everything… Everything’s fighting. Doesn’t matter what it is. You wake up in the morning, to get out of bed, and it’s a fight, believe it. So, fighting is actually the best thing a man can have in his soul.” 
Ultimately, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu focuses on the manipulation of joint locks and chokeholds to allow smaller individuals to render larger opponents in submission or unconsciousness. A remarkable aspect of the discipline is that it does not necessitate the use of striking another while severely limiting an opponent’s ability to strike as well. This has many benefits as the person initiating a punch or a kick can easily end up with a broken bone themselves. On another note, when using Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu to control and gain a dominant position on an attacker, the use of strikes is certainly available, but not necessary. This is why Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is the ideal martial art for smaller individuals, young people and women who seek to equalize matters in a confrontation in order to defend themselves.