Rener Gracie About a Student Who Passed Away: “I Wish I Would Have Done a Better Job”

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Rener Gracie:

“It is with a heavy heart that we announce the passing of our long-time jiu-jitsu brother, Donnie Puliselich. Over 20 years ago, when I was just a teenager, Donnie was the strong 20-something year-old super dedicated student who could tap me with one hand, and I always wanted to be as good as him (something I wish I would have told him but never did).”

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“Most people quit Jiu-Jitsu when their bodies begin to age, but Donnie didn’t, he simply kept modifying his approach and his definition of victory in order to keep enjoying his time on the mat. I always admired him for that, and I hope I can do the same.”

“Donnie battled with depression, something we weren’t aware of because it was never evident when he was on the mat. Unfortunately, he lost the battle last week. For me personally, this serves as an incredibly sad reminder of the many faces of depression, and that we never know what people are going through.”

“As I’m sure everyone has felt who has lost a loved one to depression, I wish I would have done a better job to let Donnie know that he could have come to me for help. To all my students, just because jiu-jitsu is the main reason we come together everyday, doesn’t mean that it’s the only reason. If you every need anything, me, Ryron, and the rest of our instructors are here for you.”

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For those who knew Donnie, the funeral is Tuesday 1/23 at 11:30am at Green Hills Memorial (27501 S Western Ave, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275).

It is with a heavy heart that we announce the passing of our long-time jiu-jitsu brother, Donnie Puliselich. Over 20…

Posted by Rener Gracie on Thursday, January 18, 2018