By Gustavo Dantas

If you happened to have been training for a while, then there is a very good chance that you have either heard from your training partner, your instructor, or one of the people in your class saying: ‘’Jiu-Jitsu is my therapy.’’

Have you also ever been in a situation when you were contemplating about whether you should go to your Jiu-Jitsu class or just stay at home due to some personal and/or professional issue that was bothering you, and for some reason, you ended up going to your session? You then had a good time and even told yourself: “I’m glad I came for today!”

If you have ever experienced this in the past, then you know how Jiu-Jitsu is good for the body, mind and soul, and we all should embrace the jiu-jitsu therapy. 🙂

The word therapy as described by Google means; ‘’Treatment intended to relieve or heal a disorder,’’ and jiu-jitsu can most definitely help you with that.

If you are having a bad day or going through a hard time and you go practice jiu-jitsu, then there will be a good chance of your anxiety and worry level being reduced, even if temporarily. Jiu-Jitsu helps bring some level of calmness into your system and if you remain committed to it, you will see long term improvements and progress in your physical and mental health.

Jiu-Jitsu is a very effective therapy and over the years it has literally saved the lives of thousands of people like it did for 17 year old Abrey Veneziani.

Abrey is a Jiu-Jitsu white belt from the social project “Pedra 90”, led by 5th degree Black Belt Fernando “Fepa” Lopez in São Paulo, Brazil. Pedra 90 is one of the social projects that Live Jiu-Jitsu supports.

 

 

She was raised by her grandmother because her mother lived quite far away. However, she lost that relationship when she lost her grandmother at the age of 12.

Abrey took this loss so badly that less than two months later she fell into a huge depression. She lost her appetite, stopped eating, and lost nearly forty pounds. However, with good therapy and medication she was able to start getting her life back. But, there was another issue that was troubling her.

She said: “I was always feeling angry because of my grandmother’s death and I started to hang out with the wrong people. I started to drink alcohol and use drugs. I wasn’t respecting my aunt at all (Who she moved in with after her grandmas’ death) and my life spiraled out of control. They were about to kick me out of the house when I was from 15. Then I found Jiu-Jitsu.”

Jiu-Jitsu was a perfect way to escape the pain she had been feeling. However, it wasn’t that easy for her to join. One of Abrey’s friends, who trained at “Pedra 90″, made it her personal mission to invite her to go and she repeatedly said no.

However, one night Abrey had a terrible dream and her grandma was telling her in this dream to be careful with her associations and whom she was hanging out with. ‘’You need to stop hanging out with these people, it’s going to get you killed!”          Her grandmother’s voice boomed.

The very next day she contacted her friend who had been trying to invite her for a jiu-jitsu session for over a year and a half and this platform provided her the opportunity to get back in touch with herself.

With consistent jiu-jitsu sessions, Abrey started to quickly discover that Jiu Jitsu was her therapy by saying:

“Jiu-jitsu saved my life from Depression and drugs and for the first time I found a sense of belonging. It sure feels like home. The support from my teammates was also out of this world, and this helped me get better faster. I was also lucky to meet my boyfriend who just happens to understand the importance of my jiu-Jitsu goals. My goal is to compete in tournaments, become a teacher and use jiu-Jitsu as therapy for people the same way it did for me.”

Live Jiu-Jitsu helps the social projects like “Pedra 90” to buy new mats, gis and/or registration costs, etc. People like Abrey can go into an environment not only with the opportunity to be around positive associations but also be backed by full support in a safe place where she can grow not only physically but mentally.

Jiu-jitsu is a therapeutic exercise and it is something to incorporate in your lifestyle. Next time you might be having a rough day, and you don’t feel like training, I would like you to try the following;

Imagine a box, and inside the box you’re going to place all the negative thoughts and concerns you have at that moment. Then close the lid on all negative thoughts that you just unloaded and tell yourself:

“The box is on the shelf, after Jiu-Jitsu I will pick back up and deal with it.”

While your worries will still be there when you are done with your training, jiu-jitsu will have helped you enter a better state of mind to deal with whatever situation life throws at you.

Of course the thought might float through your mind during training so you just have to be self-aware and say: “After class I will deal with it.”

The impact of jiu-jitsu improving the physical and mental state of practitioners can’t be overemphasized. Keep up the good training and if for some reason you haven’t been training in a while and miss your jiu-jitsu class, I hope this can be a little push for you to get back in and sign up with your school again. 🙂

If you would like to support us by buying our merchandise and/or donating to our nonprofit organization LIVE JIU-JITSU, visit the website www.livejiu-jitsu.org. Your donations will be used in supporting of social projects in Brazil and the U.S.A.