22/12/2016 – Katlyn Rose dos Santos started taking her son Herbert to Fight for Peace in Rio in 2010.  Four years later she began training muay thai at the Academy herself and today her other children Ágatha, Daniel and Ester are all Fight for Peace members, training in judo and wrestling:

Today, Herbert is 15 years old. When he was younger he was hyperactive and wanted to fight with everyone. Being concerned with his behaviour, I took him to a psychologist who encouraged me to put him in a combat sports class, to channel his aggression in a positive way. I began to search for a place which offered combat sports and that’s how I found Fight for Peace.

Here at Fight for Peace they teach that training combat sports is not the same as having a fight with someone. I remember one time that the coach discovered that Herbert had been fighting on the street and didn’t allow him to train as a result. Today, Herbert has a very busy life, he studies and trains and so he doesn’t have time to get involved with other young people on the streets. The majority of Herbert’s childhood friends are now involved in crime.

In 2014, I began training muay thai at Fight for Peace. I won two medals and this November I won the Muay Thai League belt. All three of my children train here at Fight for Peace. I think it is really good because here they learn to have discipline. They love doing combat sports and when there is no training they are really sad. My eldest, Ágatha, who is 12, comes straight to the Academy from school and she brings her brothers and sisters with her.

My dream is to leave this community. I can’t get used to the gunfire and it is really difficult to bring up children here. When the children can’t go to school, they miss class and end up losing out. Sometimes we can’t even leave our home. I would like to live in a place where there is no gunfire, a calmer place where I can offer a better future for my children.