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How Jiu-jitsu Can Aid Trauma Victims

Updated: Jun 19, 2023

Trauma can have a profound and lasting impact on a person's life, affecting their mental, emotional, and physical well-being. While there are various therapeutic approaches available to help trauma victims heal, one unexpected avenue for recovery has emerged: Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ). This martial art form, known for its focus on leverage and technique rather than brute strength, offers unique benefits that can support trauma survivors on their journey to healing. In this blog post, we will explore how BJJ can empower trauma victims and facilitate their path towards resilience and recovery.

Restoring a Sense of Control

Traumatic experiences often leave survivors feeling powerless and vulnerable. BJJ provides an opportunity for trauma victims to reclaim a sense of control over their bodies and surroundings. Through disciplined training and mastering techniques, practitioners gradually regain confidence in their physical abilities. This newfound empowerment transcends the mat, allowing survivors to rebuild trust in their own decision-making and regain control over their lives.

Building Resilience and Self-Esteem

BJJ is a challenging discipline that requires dedication, persistence, and resilience. Engaging in regular training sessions gradually cultivates these qualities within trauma victims. As survivors navigate through the trials and tribulations of the sport, they build resilience by learning to persevere in the face of adversity. Over time, these small victories on the mat translate into increased self-esteem, providing a solid foundation for healing and personal growth.

Encouraging Mindfulness and Emotional Regulation

Trauma can leave individuals feeling disconnected from their bodies and overwhelmed by intense emotions. BJJ offers a physical outlet for these emotions, allowing practitioners to channel their energy and aggression in a controlled and disciplined manner. The practice demands focus, concentration, and mindfulness, enabling trauma victims to be present in the moment and reconnect with their bodies. Through consistent training, individuals learn to regulate their emotions, finding a sense of balance and stability within themselves.

Fostering Trust and Connection

Trauma often disrupts a person's ability to trust and form meaningful connections with others. In BJJ, practitioners engage in partner-based training, necessitating trust and cooperation with training partners. This collaborative environment provides trauma survivors with a unique opportunity to rebuild their capacity for trust in a safe and controlled setting. As bonds form on the mat, individuals begin to rediscover the joys of connection, promoting healing and the development of healthy relationships outside the gym.

Offering a Supportive Community

The BJJ community is renowned for its inclusivity, supportiveness, and camaraderie. Trauma victims often experience feelings of isolation and alienation, but within this martial art community, they find acceptance and a sense of belonging. The shared pursuit of growth, resilience, and mastery fosters a supportive network that understands the challenges faced by trauma survivors. The BJJ community can serve as a vital support system, offering encouragement, empathy, and a safe space for individuals to share their experiences.


Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu may not be the first therapeutic avenue that comes to mind when considering treatment options for trauma victims. However, its unique blend of physical discipline, mental fortitude, and supportive community can be immensely beneficial in the healing process. By reclaiming control, building resilience, cultivating mindfulness, fostering trust, and finding solace in a supportive community, trauma victims can unlock their inner strength and embark on a journey towards healing and recovery. BJJ offers a path for trauma survivors to not only reclaim their lives but also discover newfound confidence, resilience, and a sense of purpose.

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