Fighting Back: BJJ therapy for PTSD

In August, I offered a combat veteran suffering with PTSD a free lifetime membership to Hurricane Jiu Jitsu. The results have been nothing short of miraculous. Here is his story:

"I served in the Army for five years as a 19D Cavalry Scout (Recon).  I spent a year in South Korea and then was stationed in Fort Drum New York with the 10th Mountain Division.  While in the 10th Mountain Division, I was deployed to South Baghdad for 15 months.  In 2010 I was screened by a team of 10 different doctors and diagnosed with PTSD, severe anxiety, severe depression, and insomnia.  After my diagnoses I was prescribed medication and pushed along like most of us are.

In late August, I saw John’s offer to take on a veteran suffering from PTSD, and began training at Hurricane.  I could never anticipate the amazing affect it would have on me both physically and mentally. The hardest part was walking through the front door. I didn’t really know anyone who trained there, which was incredibly intimidating.  My anxiety was through the roof on my first day. I would be lying if I told you that I almost didn’t show for the intro class. 

In the beginning, there was a heavy amount of anxiety that I had to deal with, but over time, it is has become almost non-existent when I’m training. Even on my first day, every person I met encouraged me to keep pushing. The team seemed invested in my constant improvement.  That is something that is true to this day. I never would have thought that Brazilian jiu jitsu would have helped me as much as it has. I feel better. I sleep better. I eat better. My endurance has increased which helped increase my confidence. The intimidation in beginning is gone and now I look forward to going to class anytime I can. I don’t get up in the morning depressed because I know at the end of the day, I am part of something.

Not only does John want me and all of his students to progressively get better at jiu-jitsu, but his students are constantly pushing to improve eachother. The first two weeks can be challenging, but John told me it would be. This has been an amazing experience from day one until right now. I encourage anyone who has even the slightest interest in BJJ to try it.  I still have a long way to go when it comes to jiu jitsu, but I’ve made a lot of friends that are more than willing to help me along the way."

If you know someone who is suffering with PTSD, please share this post.