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Adisa Banjoko has been one of the most sincere, committed and thoughtful voices in hip hop, chess, and martial arts for many years. With bold insight and a keen  eye for the deep connections that bind these three apparently distinct forms of culture, Banjoko  breaks new ground for people who want to understand the complexity and beauty of each.

– Joseph Schloss, Ph.D., author of Foundation: B-Boys, B-Girls and Hip-Hop Culture in New  York  

Adisa Banjoko has championed the overlapping themes between Hip-Hop, chess and  martial arts for many years. Even if you have a passion for only one of these things, you will  learn to look at their fusion in a new way. Hopefully this new way can help young people see one  another with a higher level of dignity and respect.

– Ryron Gracie, Head Instructor Gracie Jiu Jitsu Academy  

Adisa’s depth of knowledge, experience and wisdom across broad ranges of culture and humanity, from Hip Hop to philosophy to martial arts to health and wellbeing, is formidable. His ability to effectively interweave and synthesize these areas of expertise, and then offer these syntheses to the world in articulate, digestible and highly engaging content, is pretty unparalleled. As a youth service provider myself, I have long been a fan of the ground breaking work he has done with his seminal Hip Hop Chess Federation organization, which served as inspiration for aspects of my approaches to youth work. It has been an honor to have him help facilitate workshops for our nonprofit organization Rhythmic Mind, a 501c3 which uses Hip Hop as a vehicle for empowering “at-risk” youth. He has been an invaluable member of our team, and has had a tremendously positive impact on the youth he has served with us. And if you know what’s good for you, definitely don’t sleep on his Bishop Chronicles podcast either!

Jonah Scott, LMFT, Rhythmic Mind 501c3 Co-Founder/Executive Director

I’m always ready to listen to anything Adisa has to say!  Such deep and sincere curiosity about life combined with a great breadth of knowledge and interests.  The world needs more people like Adisa. When he spoke to my students at Stanford, he did a masterful job of bringing difficult philosophical material to a beginner audience and of making it engaging all along the way.

Greg Watkins, Program in Structured Liberal Education, Stanford University

Adisa first started working with my son when he was in high school and severely lacked motivation.  Getting to school and even getting out of bed had become a chore.   Adisa was able to become a mentor for my son and encouraged him to do things like Jiu-Jitsu together and taught him the history of martial arts.  Adisa also taught him Islamic studies and the history of hip-hop culture.  My son really enjoyed spending time with Adisa, as he was one of the few people to be able to get my son to do things on a regular basis.  The work Adisa did with my son was life-changing and we still keep in touch!   

Maria S.

Adisa’s ability to connect with a wide range of learners helped him connect with struggling students so that they could feel at ease at school. He helped them develop leadership and critical thinking skills. His natural charisma makes any situation more engaging and fun! 

Elaine Mokowitz, Teacher Librarian at John O’Connell High School 


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