Healing Through Jiu-Jitsu

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#Me too. I typed this in my Facebook status to join the other brave survivors in my newsfeed. I stared at it for a few minutes but ended up deleting it. I’m not sure why I deleted it. I’m not embarrassed. I’m not scared. I just hope I can make a difference in other ways.

I want to make an impact by teaching women’s only Brazilian jiu-jitsu classes, and by giving private lessons to survivors and women who don’t feel comfortable in a class. I think a lot more women would try BJJ if they weren’t intimidated by going into a gym or training with men, especially if they’re sexual assault survivors. This sport has such an empowering community, where your teammates and friends will encourage and inspire you. Being part of this amazing community is how I’ve healed.

I’ve been training since 2011. BJJ helped me to rebuild myself, to feel physically and mentally strong and centered. Training regularly makes me confident that I can protect myself. I’ve seen articles and videos of other women healing through jiu-jitsu. I saw several jiujiteras post #metoo this morning. I see how it positively impacts people’s lives and I’m not the only person who has used it to help heal. I want more people to discover that for themselves.

There are many ways people heal and become empowered after being sexually assaulted. For me, it’s been jiu-jitsu. I see so many gyms starting to offer women’s only classes, self-defense workshops, and open mats. Take advantage of these opportunities and encourage your loved ones to do the same.

I’m writing this anonymously. I have kids and I’m not ready to have a conversation with them yet about my own past trauma. My husband and I have always had open and honest
conversations with them, since they were very young, about their bodies and protecting them. They have been practicing Brazilian jiu-jitsu for many years in order to give them tools for self-defense. I hope more parents consider jiu-jitsu for their kids, as it offers many awesome benefits, such as confidence, focus, discipline, respect, and self-defense.

I didn’t post #metoo on social media this morning, but I think it’s awesome that so many
courageous people are coming forward to raise awareness.

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