Members of Zuma Ultimate Martial Arts in Victoria are mourning the loss of a 19-year-old fighter.
Danny Schupbach, a Reynolds Secondary School graduate, passed away after being hit while he was on his motorcycle.
“We all loved him for sure, it has been like a really big loss for us, this week it’s been hard for sure,” said professional mixed martial artist Sarah Kaufman.
“I personally I feel it, and coming here you can feel it in the gym, everyone is affected by it here,” said Zuma member Russ McCumber.
Danny started training at the school when he was six.
“I served as Danny’s first coach in jiu-jitsu and MMA and wrestling and grappling, he started when he was six,” said Kaufman.
“He did so many other activities. He could only do one class a week, but it was such an important thing for his dad.”
The father-son duo always came to the gym together, and when they weren’t there Danny was either in the pool playing water polo, hitting the mountain bike trails or trying out some other sport or hobby — as long as he was challenged.
“He was doing rock climbing and a bunch of other crazy sports, it sounds like he was all around a great athlete,” said McCumber.
“He was definitely the young guy in the gym who was always down to go against whoever it was…. and he always had a good sense of humor on him.”
It was that kind and fun-loving attitude many remember, on the mat and off.
“I don’t remember a day when Danny would walk in the gym, where either the first time I saw him or last thing we would do before he left the gym is he would make some stupid face, he was just funny,” said Kaufman.
“He would make a face, I would make a face for years… he would walk up to me and tap my shoulder and I would look the wrong way and know it was him…. I feel like everyone had something like that with Danny, like a little quirk or action that would make you smile.”
“A funny bright, great all around guy that’s the best way to describe him,” said McCumber.
A vigil organized by grads will be held for the beloved young man at Reynolds Secondary, Sunday at 7 p.m.
A service for friends and family will be held Monday at 2 p.m. at the Sequoia Centre in McCall Gardens.