TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Grappling with loss, dozens gathered on the open mat at Daiymo Brazilian Jiu Jitsu on the northwest side Wednesday.
The training session, one of three, dedicated to fallen deputy US Marshal Chase White, who was a member of the gym for about two years.
″He was like a little kid here, always amazing to see him," said Brenda Soto, White’s jiu jitsu coach. Soto said White always attended the training sessions bright and early, at 6 a.m.
“He was always very respectful, he’d say yes ma’am and try what I show him," said Soto.
The sparring Wednesday night may have appeared to be the same as any other evening, but Soto said the session was a sad, but special one, for everyone in the room.
“Even though some of the guys tonight didn’t train, half of the people that are here, one time or another, trained with him in the morning," said Soto.
With donations collected at the session, owner Manuel Flores said all proceeds from participants taking the classes to honor White will be given to his family.
Flores said he plans to hand this photo of the group to White’s loved ones at the public viewing for the Marshal Thursday.
“He said, if you look for me, you can find me at home with my family, you could find me at work or you could find me at jiu jitsu," said Flores. "He was always here in the six a.m. classes and his presence will be missed, he created such a beautiful atmosphere.”
There are two more classes dedicated to White this week. If you attend any of these classes, they’ll donate the proceeds towards White’s family:
- Friday, December 7 at 6 PM Daimyo Twin Peaks
- Saturday, December 8 at 10 AM Daimyo HQ - Ina Road.