One of Vectors Many Success Stories
One of Vector's success stories is Nikari McKee, whom the Thrashers consider the poster boy for the Vector program. When he began jiu-jitsu training in January 2013, McKee was a depressed 18-year-old high-school sophomore with no interest in graduating.
"When Nikari first joined Vector, he would only show up every now and then, and not come back for a while," Chris says.
#"One day, we were holding a tournament at the school, and Nikari signed up the day of. I warned him that he hadn't trained and would get beaten but said he could go ahead. Sure enough, he ... got manhandled, and from then on he was here every day. It woke him up and motivated him."
#McKee's experience woke him up in his schoolwork as well. Rather than sleep in class as he once had, he started paying attention, moving to the front of Beth's math classroom, for example. The next year, the only thing that slowed his training on the mats was the amount of time he dedicated to catching up in school.
#"I was failing all my classes when I first came to Vector, but the Thrashers encouraged me to come to school and worked with me the whole year," McKee says. "I went from being held back in 10th grade to being able to skip 11th with all the help and encouragement they gave me."
#McKee is now the first male high-school graduate in his family's history. He has enrolled in Hinds Community College in Jackson and is working toward becoming a mentor for Vector Jiu-Jitsu. He hopes to help the Thrashers expand to other locations.
#"With just Nikari and his story alone, I could quit tomorrow and feel like I've accomplished something," Chris says. "Helping even that one student better himself makes it all worth it."
#Vector's motto is "Know Yourself, Better Yourself, and Help Others." The Thrashers believe that one of the keys to getting students to help themselves and others to excel—in martial arts and in school—is to instill honesty in regard to one's capabilities, limits and effort.