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Martial Arts Inspiring Story - David Robarge II - Grappling Mastery

By Created: July, 2017 - Modified: November, 2023

I'm a 35-year-old deaf/hard-of-hearing individual whom can honestly say lived a pretty hard life. Ever since I was 5 years old is when it all began.

It was the day the doctor told me I was losing my hearing. At the age of 5, your verbal skills aren't even fully developed yet. So naturally, I had to go to speech and hearing classes on top of my regular classes all through grade school. I was the target of bullies all through school, from grade 1 to grade 12. It just wouldn't stop. When I was 15 and starting high school, I ended up with sub-dermal hematoma and had to have brain surgery to correct it. I recovered fully from the surgery after a few years of therapy.

Jumping ahead to 2011, I was mistaken for another individual that had done somebody wrong. Next thing I know I have three people surrounding me looking do me some harm. I tried explaining to the individual that they got the wrong person. Evidently they were drunk cause I could smell it on their breath. After arguing for a few moments trying to explain to them that it wasn't me, luckily a friend of mine showed up and pulled me out of the situation. There is no telling what would have happened if he didn't yank me out of that tight spot.

I was also car jacked by a couple individuals sitting at a red light. They just ran up to my car and pulled me out of the car, threw me to the ground, and took off with my car. My car was later found in a field with everything stripped from it. Even the car battery. Everything I had was in there, including my wallet.

I have experienced situations like this all my life. It mostly happened by someone close to me. Either a friend or someone I'm dating. So naturally I fell into a depression that I never thought I would recover from. I lost almost all my hope in humanity. Society made me feel low and used.

Then one day in 2014, a week before thanksgiving I ended up having a hard fall from a roof and breaking my hip. I didn't know it was broken at first, and ended up walking on it for 8 days before I went to the doctor to have it checked. I ended up having surgery on Thanksgiving day of 2014. I missed out on that which was a bummer. I had to have a medal rod implanted into my right leg. It runs up the main bone in my thigh and screws into the hip now that allows you to move your leg. I was looking at not being able to do any sports or anything physical again.

However, I knew I was a fighter. After everything I been through in my life already, I couldn't let this stop me. I had to figure out a way to make me physical again. I was already looking at 3 months just for the bone to heal. My leg however, was swollen for a lot long than that.

Once day out of the blue, an Individual by the name of Brian Ruscio friend requested me on Facebook. I didn't know who this person was, so naturally I looked at his profile. I found out that he is the founder/owner/operator of Grappling Mastery where he teaches Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Muay Thai with Mike Sgroi, Ladies Self Defense, and Zumba with Deetra.

So I thought to myself that it's worth checking out. I ended up going to the dojo to check it out. When I walked in there, he was having his morning Jiu Jitsu class. He greeted me with the upmost respect. Told me everything I needed to know. He even invited me to stay for the class and try it out. This was only 3 months after my hip implant surgery, but he showed me moves that I can do that would be easy on the hip.

After attending the class, I went home and thought about it. Brian offers 30 days free for everyone to come try it out before they commit. I wasn't sure if I would be able to do this cause of my hip. I didn't want to commit to something I can't do. I couldn't even do a hip adduction exercise of more than 40 pounds at the time. I decided to go ahead and try it out for 30 days and see what kind of results I get.

That was 9 months ago, and I'm a proud member of the Grappling Mastery team. I can do everything with my hip and gained full functionality of my hip. And the strength it formed was phenomenal. When I first started, my hip adduction was only 40 pounds. To this day, it is now at 210 pounds and growing outstanding strength.

Joining the Grappling Mastery team has opened a whole new world for me. I have met some of the best people I could ever have of met. These teammates became friends who became family. We are a family at Grappling Mastery as we always look out for each other.

Just this past Christmas, we had a former member fall into some problems where they couldn't afford a tree or presents for the family. Brian Ruscio and the Grappling Mastery family came together and donated a tree and almost $500 to the family in need to go towards a better Christmas.

I have regained my confidence after so long, and it's all thanks to Brian Ruscio and every single member of the Grappling Mastery family. To this day I still train full time. I also volunteer helping Brian teach the kids anti-bullying classes. These people have taught me that not all people are bad, and that I'm not alone.

Grappling Mastery gave me a second chance at life. A life where you can be great even if you're deaf and have a hip implant. They gave me my fire back. I no longer live in fear or sadness. I'm finally at peace and completely happy again and it's all thanks to the Grappling Mastery Team.

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David Robarge II
Grappling Mastery
Mount Dora FL 32757