Derek Ruffin and Mindy Ashby have been consulting with E3 Sports Facility since the planning stages. Our mission is to provide free jiu-jitsu memberships to kids who have experienced bullying, anxiety, depression, and thoughts of suicide. Jiu-jitsu saved our daughter Claire’s life by building her confidence and self-esteem, helping her to grow stronger, improved thought processes, and providing a safe place where she built relationships with authentic people who cared about her.
Derek Ruffin, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt, knows a thing or two about self-defense. Derek comes from a background of law enforcement. His accomplishments include Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Black Belt and National Competitor, 3rd Degree Tae Kwon Do Black Belt, Professional MMA fighter, National Law Enforcement Training Center ACCT Trainer. A professional heavyweight who made his debut in 2007, Derek Ruffin has already had his share of top-tier opponents such as the UFC’s Jeremy Horn and former UFC’s Patrick Smith. With over 15 years of law enforcement experience, Derek is also a former tactical officer under KCPD SWAT and has taught defensive tactics to law enforcement officers nationwide. It is through these life experiences that have given Derek an understanding and balance between traditional martial arts, martial arts as a sport and practical real-life self-defense.
Despite his competitive nature, Derek’s true passion is working with and mentoring youth. Derek launched and created the KCPD P.A.L Boxing Center for kids as well as developing many other youth programs. Derek offers high-level self-defense, firearms, and emergency medical response training to civilians, law enforcement personnel, and first responders through his company Blue TIER Training Solutions. Derek recently opened Ground ZERO Brazilian Jui-Jitsu & Self-Defense in Waldo, MO.
Mindy Ashby Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Purple Belt
Mindy’s Jiu-Jitsu journey began in September of 2013. She is an avid competitor and fierce promoter of women. She has always been active in sports and naturally has a competitive spirit. Her motto is “play to win”, but most importantly she plays to have fun.
Mindy adopted the Jiu-Jitsu lifestyle from day one of her training and she quickly learned that you win or you learn, but you do not lose. Not long after attaining her blue belt, she began instructing kids. This is where she found a new level of appreciation for Jiu-Jitsu. As a mother of a teenage daughter Mindy greatly treasures discipline, self-defense, and fitness. Through Jiu-Jitsu, she is able to touch the lives of many children. She focuses on behavior and life skills while teaching techniques. She also encourages parents to get involved in their child’s learning – it’s a great bonding experience.
Mindy looks forward to extending her teachings to more women and children, to empower them to protect and defend themselves with confidence. She founded Athena’s Armor INC – Specializing in Women’s Empowerment to build self-esteem through self-defense and self-love. Athena’s Armor will be hosting regular events for women at E3 Sports Facility. Check our schedule and Facebook page to learn more.