Local legend Tarik Bilgic has been raising a substantial amount of money for charity in recent months through a series of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu seminars. The seminars have been a great success, raising over £17,000.
Adam Phillips invited Tarik to come talk to us and here is what Adam and Tarik chatted about. Full Video at the end.
Tarik Bilgic, has managed to raise over £17,000 for families affected by the recent earthquake in Turkey through a series of seminars held across the south of England. Tarik, who is also the head coach of Urso Jiu Jitsu in Basingstoke, organized the seminars with a minimum donation of £10 per participant, with numerous clubs contributing.
The events were held in Basingstoke, Andover, Salisbury, Southampton, and Gosport. Initially, Bilgic aimed to raise £5,000, but he surpassed the goal due to the generosity of contributors. All funds raised will be donated to the Turkish Red Crescent and The Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) charities and organizations.
For those who don’t know, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is a martial art sport that combines wrestling, judo, and grappling. “It’s pretty much about positions, transitions, and submissions,” Tarik explains.
The idea for the seminars came about after Tarik heard about the devastating earthquake that hit southern Turkey and Syria earlier this year. “My family come from Turkey, or at least best part of half of my family come from Turkey. My dad being Turkish of origin, I’ve still got a lot of relatives over there now, a lot of friends and family,” Tarik explains. “Thankfully, my family weren’t affected directly by the earthquakes. However, there are people in this town, in Andover, that have been directly affected and sadly lost families and friends due to the earthquake.”
Tarik initially planned to go back to Turkey to help, Tarik had once seen the devastation as a child in Turkey but his wife suggested he think about how he could use his skills in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu to raise money instead. Tarik told Adam “It took me back to a time when I was younger, when I’d actually seen one of their earlier earthquakes. It when I was in Turkey, there was an earthquake back when I was a lot younger and I’d seen it on the news and so that kind of struck a huge nerve.
“We felt felt helpless just watching the news. And of course, now coming back, it almost brought back those earlier situations where you kind of go, oh, I was helpless then, but now I can do something about it. My wife actually talked me into not getting on a plane and going back to Turkey to go and help.
“Yeah, I wanted to get stuck in, try and just do anything. But she said, look, have a think about this. What is it you can do? And of course, we share this lovely art called Brazilian jiu jitsu.”
The seminars started small, with just a few participants, but soon the BJJ community in the UK got involved and the events snowballed. “Before I even realised it, it was just unravelling and everybody was getting involved,” Tarik says. “This is by no means just my efforts at all. In fact, far from it. I’ve done very little compared to everybody else that has really genuinely contributed and donated. That, for me, is what blows me away. Me, myself, I’m privileged. I’ve been able to do what I love with good people. As a result of that, we’re able to help families that are in dire need right now.”
All money raised will go to the Turkish Red Crescent and The Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) charities and organisations. For more information visit his fundraising page at justgiving.com.