BJJ Is The Antidote To Bullying
Bullying is universal from childhood to high school, university all the way to the work force. We are told that because we are different that we should be ashamed. You are not cool, you don’t fit in, you can’t play with us. You get isolated.
Bullying can come from 1 person or a group of people but the message is that you are different and that is bad. Sexism, racism, homophobia and straight up social snobbery due to socio economic status- you are poor so you don’t matter.
Bullying can take many forms from verbal abuse, name calling, social shaming and even physical abuse. Being the social creature that we are, humans crave acceptance by our peers and often care more about what other people think of us than our own understanding and opinion of self. Ultimately if someone tells you something enough you start to believe it. That’s where bullying can have very damaging effects on people’s self esteem at any age.
The heart of BJJ is trust. While training can build your fitness, strength and self defence skills it builds strong bonds between training partners for 2 key reasons.
Though the physical nature of BJJ can sometimes be rough and tumble, when you tap to let them know you have given up or tell your partner to stop when they are choking you or hyper extending your elbow- they will stop.
In return it is expected you do the same. This trust is the foundational understanding between team mates that allows BJJ to be so physically demanding yet safe enough to practice into old age.
The nature of BJJ means you are up close and personal with another person. You may or may not know them but you will squash, push, throw and sweat together. The intimate nature of this practice results in a physical exchange that forces people to overcome any intimacy hang ups they may have and literally brings everyone on the mat together.
BJJ is a universal community. If you own a BJJ Kimono and a belt you can go anywhere in the world and train regardless of language. BJJ is a unique language of movement, controlled violence and trust. If show up to training, you will be included. No matter your sex, age, race or religion. If everyone trained BJJ bullying would all but die out.
On the mat you are judged by how hard you work, how quickly you learn and how well you treat others. Skill and technique is prized above all. It takes many years and a lot of humility to show up day after day to achieve great technique. The humbling process of training BJJ is the antidote to Bullying.