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Beyond the sport: Local martial arts gym raises money for children of late SAFD paramedic

After the passing of Samuel Hudson, the gym where he used to practice Jiu Jitsu stepped up to help his family.

SAN ANTONIO — A minute of silence was held on Saturday for a San Antonio paramedic and Jiu Jitsu student who died last month from heart failure.

Samuel Hudson was bike riding with coworkers from the firehouse when his heart gave out. He passed a few days later at the hospital on March 15.

On Saturday, the gym where he practiced martial arts held a fundraiser in honor of Hudson and his family. Coaches and students from several academies participated in the event.

"It's so beautiful when the community comes together," said Denise Nogueira, owner of Brazilian Top Team Texas.

Nogueira said funds raised are going towards a trust fund for Hudson's two children. The gym owners also gifted his children with a lifetime membership to the gym and presented a plaque to a group of firefighters in attendance.

"That's the least you can do for a loyal friend," said Diego Nogueira, the other owner of Brazilian Top Team Texas. 

Hudson's family was also there in a show of support.

"It's been really rough [since his death]," said Thomas Hudson, his father. 

However, the family is grateful for the support they have received since Hudson's death. His father didn't realize how many people loved and cared about his son.

"It's been a huge revelation for us. We knew Sam was involved in Jiu Jitsu and he loved it, but we didn't know how many people he came into contact with," said his father.

To continue his legacy, the gym plans to hold a fundraiser annually in Sam's memory. Proceeds from this year's event will go towards the Hudson family but next year will go to families in need, said Nogueira.

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