Team Tarhe: Changing Lives and Building MMA’s Future
Danny Plyler has ADHD and dyslexia, which is a particularly challenging combination when it comes to learning. Despite this duo of complexities he has managed to achieve what only one percent of the people with that combination do – graduate college. Not only has he received his diploma, but he obtained his master’s degree as well. Needless to say Danny’s work ethic shines through along with his dedication to bettering himself.
Danny was also a Marine, an MMA fighter, and has been a martial arts instructor for many years. All of those combined with his education could make for a pretty large salary somewhere. Instead of job seeking, Plyler decided to apply his knowledge and desire to teach to something more fulfilling.
The Tarhe Sports and Learning Center is a 501c3 non-profit that works with “at risk” and underprivileged children in rural and inner-city communities. They provide what is described as a positive atmosphere for athletics and education away from the troubles that face them in the community. No child is turned away for financial reasons and may stay as long as they meet the Tarhe standards. Team Tarhe offers tutoring programs, mentoring, amateur Mixed Martial Arts, Kempo, health and wellness programs, and dietary classes for the community.
The team attempts to raise money to pay tournament fees, so every child can participate no matter what their socioeconomic status. This limits them on the number of events they can participate in general. Hard economic times and working with communities with limited resources are a daily challenge to fulfilling their goal.
“A little while ago, Tarhe was given a gift by a local business”, Danny said. “The owner of the Falmouth, Kentucky Snappy Tomato Pizza heard that we did not have the money to pay the fees for Team Tarhe’s kids to enter the Ultimate Grappling Tournament in Georgetown. Snappy Tomato stepped up and provided the money to pay the entry fees for everyone that was going to participate”.
Team Tarhe walked away with 1- Gold, 1- Silver and 2- Bronze medals in the tournament. Not everyone that participated placed, but Plyler believes that every one of those young men gained valuable competition experience that they would not have been able to get elsewhere.
“My dream is to be the “Pop Warner” of the MMA”, Plyler said. “The program helps to enhance the lives of children that would normally never get the opportunity to step into a gym let alone get to compete. It benefits all children in the community that have the desire to train and learn MMA. Even those with developmental and physical disabilities. The only thing holding me back from expanding to other locations is funding.”
Tarhe Sports and Learning Center, Po box 314 Falmouth, KY 41040
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