Redemption Gym: Part II

Editor’s note: This is the second in a two-part series about Redemption gym.


Family — one word that speaks volumes of character, integrity and loyalty in any childhood relationship — at Redemption gym is a bond that is an integral part of the training process.

In any healthy organization, culture is born from leadership. At Redemption character, integrity and loyalty are exemplified by the gym’s two instructors, Isaac Kolesar and George Grossman. Both are accomplished Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioners and both won gold this month at the U.S. Open BJJ tournament held in San Jose, Calif.

While visiting the gym it became clear that leadership and mentoring — by both Kolesar and Grossman — is the foundation on which Redemption is built. However, what is leadership without those willing to follow?

Unlike the kid in elementary school who refuses to get out of the four square box – because he thinks he’s still in play — every student at Redemption has bought into the program and culture. Both Kolesar and Grossman combine instruction with practicality.

They provide each student the opportunity to learn technique and implement that technique immediately during the designated roll time. In short, the students believe and rely on both men to lead them forward in their BJJ goals. As Bill Cosby would say, “The proof is in the pudding.”

In addition to Kolesar and Grossman, Redemption standouts Scott Deans and Jonathan Smith participated in the U.S. Open BJJ tournament. Both men had a strong showing with Smith placing third in his division and Deans fighting hard in all of his matches. Above all else it was the praise of coach Kolesar that rang loudest.

“(It was an) awesome trip! Although Scott did not place this year he was never in danger of submission and had two close sub attempts! Well done Scotty! Jon took third, George took first (also took first as a white belt last year). Congrats gents and a well-fought tournament! Scott competes again in North Carolina this week! Good luck Scotty!”   

It’s easy to speak words but harder to walk the path they create. At Redemption, instructor and student earnestly commit to both and, more importantly, it’s expected. The bonds that bind them together go beyond the measure of winning, but form based on respect, love and a commitment to push one another to the next level.  

Just like in any family, including Uncle Charlie who just has to have is way, they have their ups and downs. The difference is, at the end of the day, family sticks together, looks out for one another and will always defend you. The Redemption family is clearly one that has all of these attributes and more, they have each other.

If you would like more information about Redemption Gym’s schedule or training opportunities please check out

Scott Levesque writes a weekly column for the Clarion on mixed martial arts. He will cover MMA at the local, state and national levels. His handle on Twitter is @scottlevesque.


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