The stuttering community is many things; innovative, welcoming, and supportive to name a few. In this community there are many people who are impacting lives daily, changing the mindsets of so many who stutter, and inspiring those who want to learn more. Recently, we were inspired by Jeff Nelson, a man who is breaking down stuttering barriers through the art of Jiu–Jitsu on his platform “Fluent Rolls”.
Jiu-Jitsu is a form of martial arts that combines combat, discipline, and skill.
Who is Jeff Nelson?
Jeff Nelson is a New England native. Growing up, his stutter dominated many aspects of his life. He was bullied through many years of schooling, which ultimately led him to close himself off to many people and things around him. He remembers his childhood confidence as practically nonexistent. That is until he found Jiu-Jitsu.
When Jeff hit his mid 20’s he found his passion. As a college rugby player, he was always active. Yet he never felt truly connected to any sports that he played. Since he was always interested in martial arts, he decided to try Jiu-Jitsu, and he never looked back.
“It was the island of misfit toys that I was always looking for. It brought together people from all income levels, races, and religions.”
Jiu–Jitsu became his sanctuary. Jeff’s life started to revolve around the sport. He began competing all over the world, traveling to Iceland, the Dominican Republic, and Brazil. With each trip, he found new opportunities, meeting new people, and gaining new experiences.
Although he was hesitant at first, he started coaching children, and it soon became a life-changing experience. Jeff connected with each child, realizing that he could truly impact their lives for the better. From that idea, Fluent rolls was born.
What is Fluent Rolls?
Fluent rolls is a community. The platform is meant to help kids and teens with stutters gain confidence through the practice of Jiu-Jitsu.
Jeff wanted to combine the avenue he found of self-improvement with his own childhood experience to create a place for kids who are going through what he went through. He aims to show that anyone can build confidence.
What are the future plans for this community?
Jeff has big plans for the fluent rolls community. He dreams of one day opening his own school where he can combine his passion for Jiu-Jitsu to help his community. He imagines holding an annual open mat for people who stutter to participate in and where all proceeds can be donated to a prominent stuttering organization. His selfless demeanor even dreams of creating his own nonprofit, and building a network of Fluent Rolls affiliated schools all over the country.
“Find something to define yourself by that’s not your stutter.”
His advice is powerful and true. Without his stutter he wouldn’t have met the amazing people he did, travel to the unique places he went, or be the person that he is. While his stutter has certainly impacted his life, Jeff Nelson is much more than a person who stutters. He is an advocate, an inspiration, and a big dreamer. We feel fortunate to share his story and cannot wait to see the progression of the Fluent Rolls community.