"Hanging out with friends, beating the crap out of each other, there's nothing more fun than that. You got drama at home. You got school. You got homework. But when you're on the mat, nothing matters. You know, everyone has their own different way to cope with things, and I guess fighting's mine." --Justin HayesThis is a quote from an article I heard on National Public Radio a few days ago. It's about mixed martial arts as a therapy for returning vets with post-traumatic stress disorder. (Listen to it here.)
Just the other day, I wrestled a really cool vet who felt that jiu jitsu helped him get his life back on track since he returned from duty with PTSD. He described drunken fights, bouts with the police, and lack of physical self-control, all which he felt slipped away since he has been practicing jiu jitsu. Of course, he is not cured, and still has night terrors and other symptoms. One thing is for sure, there was no choking that man out.
"Was I at least close?" I asked him, after trying my new Shark Girl Surprise on him.
"On a regular dude, it would have worked. But me, I've taught waterboarding and I've been tortured. It wasn't gonna work on me."
Props to you, man, and to all vets trying to get their lives back together.