BJJ star Craig Jones visits Ukraine, cautions fans that he’s not spending their tax payer money

The news of a Russian missile going off near BJJ coach Craig Jones’ hotel in Kyiv has sparked a flurry of reactions from fans worldwide. With the conflict between Russia and Ukraine intensifying, many questioned Jones’ decision to hold a seminar in the midst of the war.

Ever since Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, the country has been embroiled in a fierce battle to defend its sovereignty. The capital city of Kyiv has borne the brunt of the conflict, enduring numerous attacks and bombings.

In a recent incident, Kyiv was targeted by a missile, with Craig Jones narrowly escaping the impact. Jones, who was in Ukraine to conduct a seminar and train young jiu-jitsu athletes, took to Instagram to share his close encounter with the bomb.

Posting videos of the aftermath, including a demolished building and a piece of the rocket, Jones revealed the harrowing proximity of the explosion to his hotel, merely five blocks away.

Fans on Instagram expressed a mix of amazement and concern at Jones’ presence in Kyiv amid the ongoing war. Some questioned the rationale behind his decision, with one fan bluntly asking, “Why would you go to a war zone for a seminar?”

According to abc news australia, Jones managed to raise quite a bit of money to help.

“I’m trying to use my profile for something good — combat sports is massive for Eastern Europeans and BJJ is really popular in Ukraine,” Jones told the ABC.

“It means a lot to the country.”

“We raised around US$11,000 nd that money went to individuals on the frontline. These [people] have to buy their own ammunition to protect their country and I wanted to do what would help,” he said.

“It was the most people I’ve ever had come to a seminar.”

“BJJ is massive in Ukraine, it’s trained in the military and the police force so I knew coming [to Ukraine] could help people.”

“I met people that have started training BJJ after losing limbs in the war.”

Instagram fans were more curious about Jones’ footage in between semiinars, firing different weapons ranging from RPGs to Assault rifles. Plenty of American commenters were concerned Jones was having fun on their dime. It got so bad he actually published a video response clarifying that he was having fun with deprecated weapons from the SSRI era (roughly 30 years old).