In case you missed it, the heartwarming story of a courageous 6-year-old boy who saved his younger sister from a charging dog has swept the world.
Bridger Walker, a boy from Wyoming, USA, recently made headlines when he stepped in to save his younger sister from a dog attack. With his quick thinking and bravery, Bridger protected his sibling by standing in the dog’s way, offering himself up to get bit in her stead.
When asked by his father, Robert Walker, why he did what he did, Bridger later said: “If someone had to die, I thought it should be me.”
The boy suffered lacerations on his face and hand, and needed over 90 stitches before being sent home. Bridger’s aunt Nikki says he’s in good spirits now and is on his way to a full recovery.
Where did this bravery come from?
Bridger trains in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) with his father Robert at Black Label BJJ Cheyenne Academy. The young boy is currently a fourth stripe white belt.
Recently, Bridger competed in his first-ever BJJ tournament. Even though he wasn’t able to medal, placing 4th overall, his father wondered if his BJJ training may have instilled a warrior spirit in Bridger that helped him rise to the occasion and be a hero to his sister.
“I was reflecting this last weekend about Bridger’s first Jiu-Jitsu tournament. He was so disappointed he came in 4th place and didn’t get a medal. We did our best to assure him that how he placed didn’t matter because we knew he did his best. So when he selflessly saved his sister this week, I’m not sure how much was his couple years of training and how much was his little warrior heart and the indescribable love he has for his sister. Regardless, he has earned the title as the undisputed champion in our home,” Robert wrote in a comment.
Bridger’s family later wrote a statement to the media to describe the events. Part of that statement reads:
“Bridger rarely strays far from his little sister, often to the irritation of her much less social nature. Bridger is gregarious, always learning, so full of love, and an absolute joy to have in our lives. Our home and our hearts would feel empty without him.
“Over the last two years, Bridger, his father, and his older brother have taken on the great challenge of training in Brazilian jiu-jitsu at their local academy. Bridger has always been one of the youngest and smallest in the class. The size difference has given him the opportunity to confront larger and more experienced opponents regularly. Even though he is often short on attention, Bridger has grown in maturity and ability. We can honestly say that his closest friends train with him at Black Label Jiu-Jitsu.”
You can read the full statement here.
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Doctors later called Bridger the “bravest patient” they ever had.
Bridger’s aunt took to Instagram to also share details of what happened.
“My nephew is a hero who saved his little sister from an attacking dog. He, himself, took on the attack so that the dog wouldn’t get his sister. He later said, “If someone was going to die, I thought it should be me.” He got home from the hospital last night. I know it’s a long shot, but I’m reaching out to the Avengers and other heroes so that they can learn about this latest addition to their ranks.”
She went on to tag a handful of superheroes, Marvel’s Avengers actors, and many have responded.
Chris Evans, who plays Captain America in the films, was so moved by Bridger’s courageousness, he sent the young boy a special message and an authentic Captain America shield. Other celebrities who have responded include Mark Ruffalo, Tom Holland, Hugh Jackman, and Zachary Levi.
“You’re a hero. What you did was so brave, so selfless. Your sister is so lucky to have you as her big brother. Your parents must be so proud of you,” Evans said in a video conversation.
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Mark Ruffalo, the actor best known as The Hulk, wrote Bridger a message.
“Dear Bridger, I just read about what happened to you, and I wanted to reach out to say this… People who put the well beings of others in front of themselves are the most heroic and thoughtful people I know. I truly respect and admire your courage and your heart. Real courage isn’t dominating people or fighting against people or walking around like a tough guy. Real courage is knowing what is right to do, and doing it even when it might end up hurting you somehow. You are more of a man than many, many I have seen or known. With Admiration… Mark Ruffalo (Bruce Banner/Hulk/Professor)”
Needless to say, the skills and lessons Bridger learned on the mats prepared him well for the exact moment he needed to protect his sister. This once again proves that martial arts is an incredible avenue for instilling courage and bravery in kids, and teaches them how to face their fears.
If you’ve been looking for an activity for your child that will not only keep him/her fit but also teach him/her valuable life lessons, BJJ is your answer. You could even start your martial arts journeys together like Bridger and his father! To experience the gentle art firsthand, sing up for a complimentary trial class today!
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