Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Domestic Violence


Domestic Abuse here in the UK is rising with 1 in every 4 women experiencing domestic abuse. It has always been a common assumption that the majority of domestic abuse victims were of the females population. This could not be further from the truth. The ‘Living Without Abuse’ website reported that 1 in 6 men will also experience domestic abuse in their lifetime.

Each and every experience is different. Abuse is abuse, but the severity of one case to another is never the same. There are those that manage to break free and others who never made it. On average, two women a week in the UK are murdered as a result of domestic violence and 30 men a year are murdered.

In domestic violence cases there is a victim and an abuser.

If asked to imagine the traits of a victim the characteristics would often include that of a weak and submissive individual. If asked to imagine the traits of an abuser, traits such as dominant and selfish would be familiar.

The probability of these traits being present is probably very high. That said, it is also just as common for a victim to be dominant and selfish, and an abuser weak and submissive. Not every victim or abuser is the same. There are no defined symptoms of a victim or abuser, they are males and females of all different shapes, sizes and backgrounds.

It’s an impossible task to identify a to why an abuser becomes an abuser, or why a victim becomes a victim.

Just as the upbringing and experiences of these individuals may have had an impact, they may have also made no contribution at all. If either party was witness to domestic violence during their childhood years, it could be considered as normal behavior to them.

If believed that harm may come to any minors involved it is easy to understand why a victim would choose to stay in these circumstances and endure the abuse. There is always so much to take into consideration, it is never as simple as it seems. There are the behavioral, psychological, cultural, financial issues and aspects to be considered and so much more.

The UK is aware of domestic violence. There is help out there. Assistance to rebuild lives, remove them from these toxic situations is available.

It would be wrong to assume that ‘normal’ life would be able to resume immediately. It can take many years. What is classified as a ‘normal’ life to a victim or abuser may not hold any resemblance to normality as the general population knows it as.

How can a victim move on?

The chances of forgetting the experience are slim. Feelings of worthlessness, low self – esteem, no confidence are all too familiar for a victim. The road of feeling content, accepted and more importantly safe can seem so far out of reach. Their abuser is usually someone they once respected. It is a challenge to overcome the violation of that trust.

How can an abuser move on?

Abusers usually lack discipline, they like to make demands but resist any form of personally being controlled. They are dominant dictators and have no form of self-control.

How can Brazilian Jiu Jitsu help?

Placing a victim and abuser in a physical contact setting is a situation that should never happen. Their paths should never cross or risked being crossed, whether they have agreed to continue to work together or not.

This is a program for the individual to be able to confidently engage in without threat. The issues that occur, pre, during and post domestic violence are not easy to overcome. The coping strategies Brazilian Jiu Jitsu presents can help on the journey of support to helping end to the psychological issues domestic violence presents.

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu can help both the victims and abusers.

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is a physical contact sport. The fundamental principles focus on self-defence. This is an important process in which a victim can learn the necessary tools and apply them for self-protection.

Although it may be of little sense to advise a victim to partake in a contact sport, but in the case of domestic violence, the effects aren’t temporary. Victims suffer both physical and emotional trauma. In most cases, in time broken bones and bruises will heal but the emotional side effects are long-lasting. If a victim is able to learn how to defend, it can assist in the recovery process. Being able to handle oneself can offer a surge of confidence and help to overcome such feelings of helplessness and boost their self-worth.

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu offers an abuser the opportunity to redeem themselves. They will be disciplined, controlled and will learn how to respect the fellow students. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu can help to control anger issues with a view to ending abusive behaviour.

Again, it may seem wrong to arm an abuser with the techniques that a martial art can provide, but the physical aspects of BJJ is just a small proportion of the benefits that BJJ can deliver. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu can offer a coping mechanism and the mat is a place where anger can be expressed in a constructive way. The problem solving and communication skills it provides are every day life skills.

To re-develop someone with a learned abusive behavioral problem it must be understood that it will take time to transform these habits and attitudes they have had for a lifetime.

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