The question many individuals, business owners, policymakers, and law enforcement personnel think about is, at what point if any does an individual previously involved in the justice system change their life. The answer to this question has the ability to shape legislation on the federal, state, and local level including but not limited to sentencing guidelines, employment policy, and housing policy. We all have defining moments in our lives. In these moments many individuals that have been involved with the justice system find themselves at the crossroad of should I proceed down this road or change my life. The immediate second question upon deciding to change is how do I change.

For David Branch, his crossroad was when he found himself yet again in a detention facility. David told himself that this was his last stay on the “inside”. He believed there had to be more to life than what he’d been experienced. Upon his release, he fully committed himself to his craft of Jiu Jitsu. With the mentorship of Renzo Gracie, his craft became his bridge to freedom. Since crossing his personal bridge David has made strides in Jiu Jitsu earning his black belt leading up to him competing on a professional level in the Professional Fighters League earning 2 belts before returning to the UFC. David didn’t just pave a way for himself he reached back blazing a path or others to follow in the way of his very own Jiu Jitsu school named David Branch Jiu Jitsu. In his passion he found freedom and he has been sharing what saved him with others.

In order for others that may be at the crossroads of change, two things need to happen in order for positive results to be attainable and shared. Opportunity must be present in the form of education, employment, work, or a mentor such as Renzo Gracie which saw something in David Branch. Secondly, upon crossing the said bridge and securely stabilizing oneself in the new phase of life it’s imperative to give back in the form of wise words, inspiration, and a helping hand. If we do this we can create and nurture outlets to freedom.

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