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  • Writer's pictureConor Heun

Jiu Jitsu is Essential

Training Jiu Jitsu is essential for maintaining the mental health and physical wellbeing of countless individuals in Colorado. Many people begin training jiu jitsu when seeking healthy alternatives to drugs and alcohol. When an individual enters recovery one of the first things they are told of is the importance of finding new friends and activities to fill the void created when one stops abusing drugs and alcohol. Jiu Jitsu then becomes the bridge that allows an individual to transcend their past and move beyond their addictions and limitations to become a better version of themselves. For many on this journey, being unable to train can be a death sentence.

As individuals work to create healthy routines and leave behind self-destructive habits and behaviors, Jiu Jitsu becomes the foundation of their recovery. Training becomes the reason to stay out of the bar, the reason to go to bed early, the reason to get up each morning, and our daily practice becomes a constant reminder that our only competition is with who we were the day before.

On this path to self-improvement, the Jiu Jitsu gym becomes our church, providing us with a place of fellowship and the type of strong focused community that scientists and scholars agree is so essential when building a healthy lifestyle. In this effort, Jiu Jitsu becomes our prescription for dealing with the stresses of life. Our daily practice provides relief for our social anxiety, depression and sleep disorders that so often derail the best laid plans for transformation. 

When people are struggling to rid their lives of alcohol, drugs, or other unhealthy habits they need a replacement for those vices and Jiu Jitsu becomes just what the doctor ordered. For many, the daily practice of Jiu Jitsu becomes a spiritual experience, transporting us directly into the now as we seek the flow state or place of conscious awareness where we are able to live truly in the present moment.

On the mats, for a short time each day, we are no longer worried about our mortgage payments, our failing businesses, our relationships crumbling under the pressures of stay at home orders, and our sense of loneliness compounded by government mandated isolation. We as a people are facing unprecedented challenges as racism, divisiveness, police brutality, and economic and collapse threaten to tear apart the very fabric of our society. Now more than ever, we need to be surrounded by our brothers and sisters as we join in fellowship, striving together towards the universal goal of self improvement.

The Jiu Jitsu gym is our refuge, an oasis and a place of sanctuary where we go to commune with our fellow man and release our festering frustrations through the practice of consensual violence. On the mats, not even the color of your belt matters for we all bleed red. It is here, in our place of worship, where we come together, struggling against one another, fighting for our breath in an effort to be better today than we were yesterday that we realize we are far more alike than we are different. 

The bonds forged on these mats while engaged in combat, strengthen our human connections as we see so clearly that we all have the same basic needs and the desire to be better today than we were yesterday. This common struggle is perhaps the most sacred thing we have.

The Constitution of The United States of America provides explicit protection for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness and the current Fifth Amended Public Health Order 20-28, prohibiting indoor training without social distancing, is in direct opposition to the right to life liberty and the pursuit of happiness afforded us all as citizens of the United States of America.

I, Conor Heun, first degree black belt under Eddie Bravo and owner of 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu Denver, created this petition demanding an immediate amendment to the Public Heath Order 20-28 allowing consenting adults the freedom to practice the art of Jiu Jitsu indoors, in private businesses, without any government oversight as to class sizes and social distancing requirements as guaranteed in the constitution of the United States of America.

Please add your signature if you agree that Jiu Jitsu is essential and our right to practice is protected.

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