Lion Heart Initiative - Africa

Quantico, Virginia

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I am the director and founder of the Lion Heart Initiative, an non-profit organization based in Northern Virginia, which aims to grow mixed martial arts (MMA) in West Africa by introducing Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ), Muay Thai, and full-spectrum MMA to the region; at the same time, creating opportunities for visiting martial artists to indulge in indigenous traditional wrestling, an ancient form of MMA in its own right.

By documenting these fascinating events with skilled filmmakers, and producing captivating BJJ/MMA themed short films, we have garnered considerable notice and interest from the BJJ and MMA communities on the internet.

In November 2013, we produced “Rollin’ in Dakar” a movie by Genghis Con Films documenting an American team introducing BJJ to Senegal. A team of five BJJ guys traveled to West Africa where they taught, trained, and competed with local martial artists, while living in the local community. Rollin’ in Dakar” features BJJ seminars, exhibitions, as well as a sensational BJJ and traditional wrestling mixed tournament held on a public beach.

We will begin production for our next project in early 2015, a documentary titled “Dawn of Lions” filmed by Isaac Kesington, known as Genghis Con, the MMA film maverick virtuoso responsible for several star-studded documentary series available on YouTube. “Dawn of Lions” will feature a team of top-level BJJ instructors and competitors, a Muay Thai trainer, and at least one prominent MMA fighter aligned with a major promotion company.

The team will travel back to Senegal, where they will live in the local community, give seminars in their respective disciplines, hold exhibitions, and cross-train in traditional wrestling, as well as hold a few friendly matches with local wrestlers.

Please visit our project’s Kickstarter page below:

External Links

  • Lion Heart Initiative Website - A non-profit endeavor to develop mixed martial arts (MMA) in West Africa by introducing Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ), Muay Thai, and MMA, to build upon existing disciplines, and create opportunities for underprivileged athletes in international competive MMA
  • Lion Heart on Facebook -


  1. Jess