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JOEY BOZIK, Founding member

Joey Bozik joined the army in 2000 and was stationed at Fort Bragg NC with the 82nd airborne. After 6 years of service he was severely injured by an IED while operating in Iraq. He lost both of his legs and his right arm below...

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Travis Larson, President

Travis Larson started training Jiu Jitsu in 2014, earned his blue belt under former board member, Professor Gina Franssen in 2016 and currently trains under Professor Manuel Flores in Tucson, AZ. Travis has been a consistent supporter of the Foundation since its inception.

Travis has built a career in Software Development and managing remote teams and has worked for Northrop Grumman since 1999. He brings a background of strong project & budget  management, process improvement and remote & distributed team leadership skills to the board. Travis has experienced firsthand the mental health benefits of training in Jiu Jitsu. The camaraderie, support and accountability in the Jiu Jitsu community were critical to his recovery from a hemorrhagic stroke in late 2015. His wife and three children are also active Jiu Jitsu students.

 
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PROFESSOR ALAN SHEBARO, VICE PRESIDENT

Professor Shebaro earned his Black Belt from Carlos Machado in 2004 and is currently ranked as a 3rd degree Black Belt under Professor Chris Haueter. He was 1 of only 4 Black Belts in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in the U.S. Army...

 
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Dr. Megan Michael, Director of development

In 2016, after her second child turned six months old, Dr. Megan Michael started training Jiu Jitsu under Professor Gina Franssen in Minneapolis. Dr. Michael has been an avid supporter of the Foundation since listening to Professor Shebaro’s personal journey at a super fight competition in her hometown. Having a great deal of respect for veterans and their struggles, she was motivated to make changes in their lives beyond what she could accomplish in her own clinic. In 2017, Dr. Michael volunteered to help increase fundraising revenue. In April 2019, she hosted the inaugural We Defy Foundation Dallas Gala, which raised more than $80,000 to support veteran scholarships through the Foundation. The money raised at the inaugural Gala put more than 30 disabled combat veterans on the Jiu Jitsu mat, and the awareness created through social media was immeasurable. 


Dr. Michael has practiced as a board certified chiropractor and acupuncturist for the past 13 years. She focuses on treating athletes, both professional and amateur, and active individuals of all ages. Beyond healthcare, her passions include traveling with her husband and four children, riding horses and showing dogs. Dr. Michael’s team is nationally recognized as top competitors in the American Kennel Club. Team Michael has owned multiple #1 nationally ranked Cane Corsos and Xoloitzcuintlis, multiple top ranked Doberman Pinschers, has won over 20 Best in Shows, multiple AKC National Championship breed wins and 3 Westminster Kennel Club breed wins. She lives with two amazing champion Dobermans, both of whom are trained medical alert dogs. Dr. Michael’s seven and three year old daughters actively train Jiu Jitsu.