Martial Arts Inspiring Story - Robert Ingram - Gracie Barra

By Created: July, 2017 - Modified: November, 2019

My name is Robert Ingram and I was born with a cleft lip/Palate. Due to the extensive amount of surgeries that I had to go through as a child, I was left with several scars on my face. Children would constantly pick on, fight and tease me for the way I looked throughout my time in school. That is until one day during the 6th grade.

I was attending gym class when a group of kids started to tease me. It was nothing new, but I wanted to stand up for myself. They called me names and shoved me around, and I started to shove back. Next thing I knew, we were standing outside of the gym, and a group of six boys had me surrounded in a circle.

They quickly jumped me and began to beat me for 5 minutes. The only reason I remember it lasting that long was the bells that ring for classes were 5 minutes apart. The beating consisted of being stabbed with pencils, kicked to the face and items, such as books, being thrown at me.

The worst part about this particular beating was the fact that two teachers watched the entire thing and did nothing about it. I assume that they were waiting on the resource officer to arrive, which he did after the beating was over. Once it was done, a friend of mine, who was running late to his gym class, saw me and picked me up. He dusted me off and helped me to the principal's office. While we were walking,

I began classes a few weeks later, and haven't stopped since. Currently, I have been training for 18 years and have been a full-time instructor for 12 of those years, beginning with karate and the moving on to boxing/kickboxing. Now I spend all my time on the mat learning and teaching Jiu-Jitsu.

I love being an instructor and hope that the information I provide kids that I teach will keep them from the same experience I had.

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Robert Ingram
Gracie Barra Jacksonville
Jacksonville FL 32246