Self-Defense Turns into Championships

Abington High School Freshman wins another North American Grappling Association (NAGA) Championship Belt

Abington Freshman Helvecio Junior with two of his North American Grappling Association Championship belts. 2019.

Helvicio Junior, personal photo

Abington Freshman Helvecio Junior with two of his North American Grappling Association Championship belts. 2019.

Michael Van Luling, Contributor

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Helvecio Rodrigues Bonfim Junior, a freshman at Abington High School, was born in Minas Brazil and moved to a big town called Lisboa in Portugal when he was only a one year old child. Like many students, Junior has siblings. He is the youngest of three kids; he has an older brother and sister. He also plays sports like many kids his age. Back in Portugal, he played soccer, football, and rugby, beginning at age four.

Pullquote Photo

I want to fight my entire life and teach people how to fight, I also want to teach people self-defense”

— Helvecio Junior

Something noteworthy about Junior is that he is a professional Mixed Martial Arts fighter (MMA) and since age fourteen he has been a competitive Jujitsu fighter. It was his Godfather who was a Black Belt that led Junior to the sport of fighting.

Junior was about eight years old when there was a school situation; he got bullied by a kid that was much bigger than him. One day he got beaten up and tossed around badly. He ended up breaking two teeth and a few bones. He knew he needed to do something about it.

He talked to his Dad, Mom, and Godfather about the situation and how it was getting worse and worse. Junior’s Godfather didn’t want this to happen, so he taught Junior everything he knew in a week’s time so Junior could defend himself.  After that, the bully didn’t bother Junior anymore.

Junior started to fight more and more. When he was 14 years old, he competed in his first competition. Since then Junior has won the France Nationals; Portuguese Nationals; Spain Nationals; and is a three-time New England champion.

In 2018 as a freshman, Junior came to Abington High. “School [in Portugal] wasn’t much different than school here,” Junior said. “It is just a different language.”

Junior hopes to pursue fighting as a profession. Currently, he trains at South Shore Sports Fight and is coached by talented fighters. Some of his coaches are Bill Mahoney, Manny Bermudez (an AHS graduate), Anthony Cote, and Junior’s cousin Edwardo Bonfim. “I want to fight my entire life and teach people how to fight, I also want to teach people self-defense,” he said. 

 

 

 

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