We Defy Foundation (WDF) is a volunteer run 501(c)(3) non profit that sponsors approved disabled combat veterans in Jiu Jitsu training for one year to provide community and therapy for their service connected disabilities. Eligible veterans apply via our website when we have our application window open. Eligibility requirements include deployment to a combat zone, an honorable discharge on a DD214, an 80% disability rating from the VA, and being new to Jiu Jitsu or a current white belt. WDF also has a waiver for veterans who have experienced military sexual trauma or experienced extenuating circumstances that may limit eligibilty. We provide the athlete with two gis, or pay the gym for two uniforms up to a certain cost as laid out in our services agreement if the gym requires a particular uniform. For no gi only programs we provide two sets of no gi grappling gear. 

Veterans who are chosen for the We Defy Foundation Jiu Jitsu scholarship are paired with a certified We Defy Foundation Training Facility. These businesses are private Jiu Jitsu schools in the communities near where our veteran athletes live. Generally these programs are well established (operating for at least a year) and have a Jiu Jitsu black belt on the instructor staff. We vet each partner gym individually to include a review of the training staff, understand how they support veteran integration, and assess their ability to teach and train someone with disabilities, among other things. In general we focus on bringing on gyms in areas where we do not have a strong presence, or where we are aware of a veteran in need who is eligible for our program. If you have several gyms that are interested in partnering with our program we ask that each facility applies individually for our review. 

We Defy does not sign long term contracts and pays Training Facilities on a month to month basis. We Defy also does not put a credit card or debit card on file with the Training Facility. To receive payment, Training Facilities bill us by emailing an invoice to at the end of the service month. We then pay the gym, preferably through electronic means, including PayPal or Venmo, for the tuition. Some gyms will also train our selected athletes for free indefinitely, or allow them to train for free until the scholarship can start, but these are rarer occurrences and that is not our expectation.

Although not a formal requirement, we do expect gyms to help support our cause by participating in our larger fundraising pushes when they are able to do so (usually around Memorial Day and Veterans Day). Our partner gyms have helped raise tens of thousands of dollars in these efforts enabling WDF to fund more veteran scholarships.

WDF also has volunteer ambassador opportunities. Volunteer Ambassadors serve We Defy Foundation in a number of capacities and are located throughout the world. They are outreach focused and play an integral role in We Defy Foundation operations. Typical duties may include fundraising, mentoring our scholarship recipients, attracting veterans eligible for the scholarship program, developing partnership leads, or accomplishing administrative tasks. They are a diverse group with all kinds of backgrounds, including completely civilian, and are the backbone of our organization. Ambassador candidates must commit to organizing or participating in two events per year and sign an annual agreement stating their intent to do so. The application is provided by an Ambassador Manager, who interviews and evaluates ambassador applicants.

If your program meets the criteria above, you are able to accomodate our billing processes, and you are interested in having your program reviewed as a potential WDF Training Facility please click on the application link here.

After we receive your submission you can expect one of our volunteer Training Facilities Evaluators to reach out concerning an interview. We appreciate your patience with that process as we have a number of gyms showing interest at the current time.

Please email if you have any questions or require assistance.