Driven By Faith: The Story of DeuS Fight Co.

Created for athletes instilled with faith and a passion for their sport practice Deus Fight Co. is the new fitness brand making its presence felt in the Mixed Martial Arts, BJJ, and Activewear market. High quality products, promoting a positive message, and community service outreach Deus is doing it all. The company’s current status has made a meaningful impact that not supports fighter’s athletic endeavors but also a devoted charity work off the mat.  Reflecting on his own journey owner Geoffery Van Haeren’s life experience is the inspiration behind the creation of Deus Fight Co. and the positive movement it represents.

We here BJJ Legends got the opportunity to talk with Van Haeren as he touches on the company’s origin, mission, community contributions, and future goals. So who is DeuS Fight Co.? Let’s find out!


Everyone has an origin which fuels their ambition for starting a company. What inspired you to start Deus Fight Co?

Geoff : As people of Faith my wife and I did a lot of work through our church and the special needs community. Two of our six kids are special needs. We found that a lot of folks we were interacting with in the BJJ community were also people of Faith. So, one day my wife and I were talking as we soon envisioned having a brand as a way to connect people doing the time on the mat with the much needed work off the mat. Effectively combining our passion for BJJ and an active lifestyle with Faith to do something no one had ever done before. 

How was the overall process in turning this dream into a reality?

Geoff: It has been a wild ride. On the one hand, we had to fight through numerous business issues (like copyright and trademark infringement), on the other, tons of supporters have been there cheering us on daily. We’ve gotten hate emails and hope mails. It’s been and continues to be a bit crazy. For us, though, it’s all about doing the work and getting the real message out there. The world is a difficult place. It’s a daily fight for everyone and some have it much worse than others. If we really have conviction about something, than we must act. As BJJ practitioners we are often told by our professors to try things even when we know we are at risk of being tapped. Tapping really is learning. That lesson needs to apply to all life. We have to get out there and risk failure; do for others even when we aren’t sure; even when we fail at first. 


What do you feel separates Deus from the rest of the fight brands out there? 

Geoff: The BJJ community is very particular about the quality of products brands produce. So we understand that we need to do the work on delivering that, too, just like any other brand. We also do other sports equipment, like gloves and bags. We even have some active wear. We like to think of ourselves as different, though. We have a mission. We want to spread the good news and make ourselves known through our service to others. That’s where our social work and causes come in. Moreover, we want inspire and encourage others to do the same.  


Deus message of positivity has already gained a lot attention in the community. How do you feel this philosophy transfers into life as a Brazilian Jiu-jitsu practitioner?

Geoff: There are many parallels between the Jiu Jitsu journey and journey someone goes through during their walk of Faith. The lessons, commitment, pain, failures, successes, etc… So it just all kind of came together. The BJJ community is close knit and practitioners have always been supportive of each other. So, people with that type of commitment off the mat are an unstoppable force. 


What type of products does your company specialize in serving to the community? 

Geoff: One thing I have learned is the work off the mat is sometimes getting others involved in BJJ. In other words, BJJ is not only celebrating the work, but it in and of itself is the work. Examples best explain this, we are doing work with Recreation church in Baltimore using BJJ. We’ve set up a free BJJ kids program in an area where the support and lessons of BJJ are making a real difference in the lives of children and their community. Same thing in Brazil, we are supporting Terere’s work in the Favelas using BJJ. The list goes on.

Any other services you offer within the BJJ community? 

Geoff: We do sponsor a few select athletes. This is something we are looking to expand and better formalize in 2016. We support a lot of different tournament events like TapCancerOut and the Good Fight. 

When it comes to sponsoring fighters what type of athletes do you want representing your brand?

Geoff: We want fighters who our doing the work on and off the mat. Take Brian Freeman for example, he is a paraplegic grappler who travels from gym to gym spreading a message of perseverance and hope. Is he the double gold world elite grappler? No. What is he? He is a man who has fought through incredible odds, he’s humble, a single parent, and he’s a positive force in the Jiu Jitsu community. He works with and inspires other adaptive warriors like himself, too. He is truly amazing. God has shown me so much through him, he is my hero. That’s who we want representing our Brand.

Your company is also involved in various charity groups outside of the mat. What draws you each cause and what role do you play in assisting with the cause? 

Geoff: It is difficult to explain as each cause is a little different. Each has its own unique story. In the case of the Might Oaks Warrior Program, for example, I got an introduction to Chad Robichaux from my good friend Kris Shaw. In the case of the Baltimore Kids Project, the pastor at the church rolled (BJJ), saw what we were doing, and just decided to call me. There is definitely something much bigger than us going on here. Humbly, I feel like we are just the instrument.

An instrument of being a company that’s selfless to various charity works? 

Geoff:  You have to walk the talk. You cannot make claims and then do nothing. There is an old falsehood, do as I say and not as I do. Every parent knows that is just not the case. Kids model the behavior of their parents. We, too, must model our Faith for others. If we aren’t willing to do what it takes, who will? One of my favorite quotes is this, “God doesn’t require us to succeed; he only requires that you try.” -Mother Teresa



Finally looking onward what are some of future goals Deus Co aspires to achieve whether it be for the company or continuing to doing a service to the world?

Geoff: Well we definitely want to live out the standards we are setting as a brand. So that, no doubt, will continue to be a key element of our brand and will keep us busy. We are still a small brand, so for now our goal is to just make our mark on Jiu Jitsu and be a positive force in the community. 


Any other final thoughts before we close this interview?

Geoff: Just that I really appreciate you taking the time to do this interview. Ironically we met through a Grapplethon cause. So, that is a reminder to me that doing the work not only makes a difference, but that those seeds will grow and produce fruit. And for those who don’t know about us, yet, I would just encourage them to at least check out our inspirational messages on social media. No matter what brand someone likes, there’s plenty to do inside and outside of the BJJ and broader fight community and we can all make a real difference. Sometimes all you need is a voice of encouragement.


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