Today marks a milestone in my professional Jiu Jitsu career, I got to teach my very first Trauma-Informed seminar! The seminar was roughly 2 hours and consisted of a therapeutic approach to training, but what made this incredible is that the people I was teaching to had a reference of trauma that was related to all the techniques.
Many times I believe we take our safety for granted, we learn these moves but always assume “it would never happen in “real life” to ME.” This group of students have seen the reverse of this, they have experienced some level of trauma and now were looking to either minimize the chance of recurrence or express themselves through the power of Jiu-Jitsu. The first 10 minutes allowed me to get an idea of the group I was working with, it allowed me to hear partial history and try to understand where they were coming from (Side note: to those who shared, if you’re reading this Thank You!). Once we did that, we got right to work, I started with a simple (but not easy) tactic of asserting yourself. This drill seemed to really help the group out, I was amazed at the immediate shift of energy and focus once they practiced that idea. After that, we took a deep look into common beginner situations that fit the needs of the group, and let me tell you that these people took to Jiu Jitsu like a fish to water! We did nothing dramatic, everything was broken down to real world situations, the drill time helped them develop confidence and conviction in the ideas! I was blown away.
The reason I’m making this blog post though is not because of the seminar, but rather the after affect it had on everyone. I was able to have some small conversations and the overall consensus was that these women felt empowered, that is all I care about. To someone that had not experienced what they have experienced, the powerlessness, being victimized(again, I don’t know their stories but trauma usually involves those mentioned feelings), we can take something like a martial art and just see it as a hobby, or fitness regiment. To these people, it showed them that powerlessness isn’t a constant state but rather a moment in their life, one that doesn’t need to be repeated.
If just ONE of those students took something away that allows them to see the world and their life differently then I did my job right. It’s not “Just Jiu Jitsu”, that 2 hour training wasn’t JUST moves. It was the exploration of themselves, it was the opportunity to channel the negative past experiences and bring them to the surface..and just as quickly rip them apart. I am truly thankful to be able to help these people and other like them, I’m living proof that it’s not just Jiu Jitsu but a chance at a different outlook on life. Thank you sincerely for the ability to work with you all!