MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) – Recent Middleton High School graduate Jeremiah Huff spent a summer putting his skills as a top athlete to the test, training hard in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
“I definitely think this is something you hop into, and it is definitely going to teach you something,” Huff said.
It is something the football player and wrestler has in common with his school resource officer, Kenneth Chung.
“Given his background in athletics, and his interest in wrestling, I invited him to join our team at Gracie Barra and to learn submission grappling,” Chung said.
Chung opened a gym, Gracie Barra, last year, to help bring Brazilian jiu-jitsu to Madison. As a former member of a professional mixed martial arts team, he is no stranger to the art.
“When I joined Middleton Police Department, I decided to train in jiu-jitsu again because I knew it was the most effective system to help me be safe on the job and to give me the competency to ensure the person I am dealing with is also safe, if I have to go hands on,” he said.
The two worlds collided after Huff intervened in a fight going on at school last year. Chung said he had to arrest Huff, but he was just going through a temporary hard spot. Seeing his potential, the two developed a relationship. Chung ultimately sponsored Huff to train at his gym.
“Him being our school officer, me and him kind of got into a close relationship, especially when he started to talk to me about jiu-jitsu and the opportunities there,” Huff said.
Chung said he does his best to invest in the students, even providing a self-defense class for a health class at the school. He said, even though it has only been about six months, Huff has done exceptionally well at training.
“If you look at the way he trains, the way he competes, or rolls, he looks like he has been training for a couple of years,” Chung said.
All the time training, further prepared Huff for a career as a first responder as he begins the Milwaukee Fire Cadet program this month.
“This has definitely taught me dedication, focus, hard work, I think it is going to apply very well. They might not go hand in hand, together in what I will be doing, but the lessons are still there,” Huff said.
Huff said he hopes to continue his training in Milwaukee, and Chung said they hope to help enroll him in a fight next year.
“It is a craft you can build over time, and you see that progression,” Chung said.
Chung said he feels training in jiu-jitsu should be required of all law enforcement officers in order to make them more competent in use of force situations. He said he hopes to expand this type of outreach to more students as well in the future.
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