Deus Partners with Disciple Dojo

Posted: Aug 23 2015

JM Smith of Disciple Dojo (#ArtOfTheDojo) and Deus Fight have been working together on a recent project. JM Smith is an artist, minister, and BJJ purple belt (Renzo Gracie Charlotte). Disciple Dojo is his teaching, equipping, and artistic ministry. JM’s artwork focuses primarily on the martial arts, and specifically on the grappling arts. In addition to doing original collectors art cards for Topps’ UFC Bloodlines and MLB Canvas Museum trading card sets, JM focuses on doing original charity fundraiser portraits of various fighters, instructors, icons, and legends the martial arts community in order to help raise money for various charities and causes, as well as to support the ongoing ministry of Disciple Dojo.

Deus is honored to be working with such an amazing individual. We are looking forward to more collaborations and projects in the future.

Here's a little something from JM about our latest project, thanks brother!

A few years ago, just before he left for his second trip to the Congo, I had the pleasure of meeting Justin. I was honored to meet him…and even more honored when he recognized my artwork and said he was a fan! Since then, I have supported him and the work of Fight For the Forgotten as much as I’ve been able and it’s been a pure joy to see the passion, dedication, and infectious love he has—not just for his Pygmy family, but for the MMA community as well. When the opportunity came to design this gi for Deus, I was 1000% on board and have enjoyed every minute of it. I wanted to design a gi that not only reflected Justin’s love for the DRC (thus the red, yellow and blue of that nation’s flag became the overall color scheme of the design), but also one that communicated his heart for the Pygmy villagers whom he loves so much and who he promised to not let the world forget. Thus, the liner on the inside of the gi is an overhead view of one of the actual villages in the jungle where Justin lived, worked, and loved these beautiful people—where he was simply known as “Efeosa” (“The one who loves us”). And I overlaid an image of Justin’s and one of the villagers’ hands grasping one another, as a symbol of the cooperative approach FFTF takes in empowering, rather than simply giving charity to, the Pygmies so that they can enjoy the dignity and self-worth that is the right of all people created in God’s image. Lastly, if you look closely you will see dozens of names within image. These are the names of Justin’s Pygmy family and friends, including little Andibo who Justin buried with his own hands. I wanted to make sure that in some small way, they are NEVER “forgotten.” Thank you Deus Fight Co. and Fight For the Forgotten for allowing me to be part of this amazing project. As an artist, a grappler, and a fellow Disciple of our Lord, I am truly honored.

- JM Smith

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