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Veteran Jiu-Jitsu Programs

A Much Needed Opportunity for Military Veterans and First Responders

Article by Connie McFall Clark

Photography by Sarah Brooke Lyons

Originally published in Boerne Lifestyle

A Veteran Jiu-Jitsu program coached by Barret Adams, a former flight paramedic, hosts a class free of charge to military, first responders and members of the community at Grind House on Sundays at 2:00 p.m. Anyone ages 13 and up are invited. This program is part of a non-profit organization that promotes the art of Jiu-Jitsu to promote the physical, mental and emotional health for body, mind and spirit wellness.

The class begins and ends with a Sharing Circle where all are encouraged to comment on whatever’s on their minds. Adams then goes through teaching techniques or refresher exercises before the men break off into live rounds as partner practice. This assists the men in determining their body fitness. One round is five minutes so the techniques are taught to use your moves more efficiently to conserve stamina. The practice teaches the brain to record muscle memory and uses the movements mindfully rather than incorporating the “fight or flight” mentality.

Jiu-Jitsu is described as ground fighting and uses grappling techniques as a means of self-defense education. There are five belts available in the practice, with the Black Belt taking close to ten years to achieve. The practice provides excellent training for careers in law enforcement, military, EMS and fire-fighting.

The Veteran Jiu-Jitsu groups partners with Warriors Heart in Bandera, which is a treatment center for first responders and military veterans. Warriors Heart provides private treatment to adult men and women eighteen and older who are seeking inpatient treatment for chemical dependency, alcohol abuse, and co-occurring psychological disorders relating to PTSD or the psychological effects of Mild Traumatic Brain Injury. The drug rehab programs treat the whole person using evidence-based and alternative treatments. At Warriors Heart they pride themselves for highly individualized care and specialized treatment that heals the body, mind, and spirit. It offers five different treatment programs: residential treatment, day treatment, outpatient, sober living program, and a detox center. warriorsheart.com

Jiu-Jitsu is a family of Japanese martial arts and a system of close combat (unarmed or with a minor weapon) that can be used in a defensive or offensive manner. The technique originated in Japan and then was refined in Brazil. The Brazilian technique is what Adams teaches in his classes. This form of martial arts uses few or no weapons at all. Japanese Jiu-Jitsu is more like Judo where the techniques relied on strength. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu was developed for a smaller, weaker opponent and uses technique over power and strength. The term Jiu-Jitsu has the meaning of "yielding-art" with its core philosophy to manipulate the opponent's force against himself rather than confronting it with one's own force.

Adams coaches at multiple locations in the San Antonio area. When asked what his takeaway from the practice is, he replied, “Jiu-Jitsu gave me the tools to implement the goals of becoming a whole person, collaborating between body, mind and spirit.” Barret Adams NRP, CCP-C - Owner/Avitus Training

Grind House Training Facility in Boerne offers different levels of fitness classes, programs, personal training and boot camps to guide you through your fitness journey. Whether you’re just starting your fitness journey, an amateur or professional athlete, or someone looking to become a pro fighter, Grind House has the equipment, programming, and experience to help you.  grindhousetraining.com

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