Steve Burgess knows a thing or two about fighting. After all, he holds black belts in karate, judo, and Brazilian jiu-jitsu.
His combat skills aren’t limited to fighting with his hands and feet, either. As a lieutenant-colonel in the Canadian army, he can probably also put a bullet in you from a half mile away…maybe more.
But Burgess believes that close-quarters combat is extremely important for soldiers to learn:
What we’ve seen is that 80 percent of the world population is in urban build-up areas, and it is forcing soldiers to go into the close quarter range.
In other words, as more and more people live closer together, soldiers will have more pressure on them to learn to fight an opponent who’s right up in their face. This means learning styles such as judo and Brazilian jiu-jitsu.
But that’s not all jiu-jitsu is good for, according to Lieutenant-Colonel Burgess. BJJ is also a good way to help soldiers feel like they’re part of a team again:
I had a student of mine who, after a belt promotion in jiu-jitsu, he came up to me afterwards and he said, “You don’t understand, I have PTSD.” He says, “I just wanted to let you know that this [BJJ] is the only thing that got me through. It made me feel a part of a team again. I felt like I was in control again.”
Burgess believes in leading by example, and partially for that reason, he will be in active competition again after 17 years on the sidelines. Burgess will be competing in the 2018 World Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Masters tournament in Las Vegas.
You can watch his touching and informative video below:
LCol Burgess says: “I have a black belt in Karate, a black belt in Judo and a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. I’ll do my talking in the ring. If someone thinks that they’re better than me or if they’re tougher than me, that’s fine and maybe they are. But then we can also prove it too.” #MyCAFStory
Posted by Canadian Armed Forces on Friday, April 6, 2018
EDITOR’S NOTE: The original version of this article said Steve Burgess was a Lieutenant. We apologize for the mistake.