FOREST, Va. – Jiujitsu is a sport that requires a lot of technique and skill. And it’s a hobby Josh Drablos picked up and hoped to explore some more at Freedom Jiu Jitsu in Forest.
Drablos died in a plane crash in Hawaii two weeks ago. He was 27 years old.
On Thursday, in his honor, the academy held an open mat fundraiser.
“We wanted to take some time to remember him by doing something we all had in common,” Rob Hurd, co-owner, said.
Two years ago, Drablos went to Freedom to train before he was called to his Navy duties.
In a short time, he left an impression on the owners, Kelly and Rob Hurd.
“Good speed, good technique. He picked up very well. Very quickly,” Hurd said.
“We just want to emphasize the fact that we are family. We want everybody to come together that we are that fact,” Kelly Stewart-Hurd, co-owner, said.
For $10, members from other jiujitsu academies in West Virginia and Kentucky traveled to take part.
The money raised was matched by the academy and will go to Drablos' family.
“Just by honoring his life we hope that they could appreciate that we’re feeling that as well. We just want them to know we’re saddened as well."
And though the last picture with Drablos was two taken two years, it's one they will cherish.
“We’re going to be maybe even framing that picture and putting it up on the wall for his memory," Kelly Stewart-Hurd said.