Jiu Jitsu: It Has Saved My Life ~ Stevie's BJJ Story
Many practitioners have found great benefits from practicing martial arts such as BJJ. You’ll be amazed at how someone that went through such trauma still has the will to help others. By the end of this Brazilian jiu jitsu article you will become inspired, motivated and understand how you can use BJJ to improve the lives of others as well. Please welcome Stevie Singh to the Submission Shark community.
Submission Shark Community | Instagram: @stevie_singh82
Name: Stevie Singh
Belt Colour: Purple
Professor: Xande and Saulo Ribeiro, Michael Cusi
How Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Saved Stevie Singh's Life
This is a perfect example of the positive impact Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu can have on someone struggling. Stevie shares some personal experiences from his past. He is an inspiration to others that may have gone through similar abuse and heartaches.
Stevie’s passion to never give up on helping others is a great lesson to be learned. His love for this martial art and ambition for improving his community is outstanding. Let me know if you can relate to his experiences as a BJJ practitioner in the comments below. I’d love to see your thoughts on this important story.
How long have you been training BJJ for?
Started in 2006 training BJJ and then stopped for a few years after my daughter was born, around 2013/2014 due to lots of personal reasons.
Where do you train BJJ out of?
North Park BJJ, but spent most of my early years with Saulo and Xande Ribeiro
Do you prefer training in the BJJ gi or no-gi?
Love grappling so both are just as fun
Have your instructors helped you in other aspects of life other than martial arts?
Yes, Saulo and Xande helped me build confidence and willpower, my current instructor has been supportive in my personal life, and with my financial issues by helping me out covering my fees.
What are some lessons you learned from jiu-jitsu that apply to everyday life?
Self-respect, confidence, work ethic, respect for others, a healthy lifestyle, and how to communicate and listen.
How often do you train?
6-7 days a week some days twice
What made you want to start BJJ?
I was unhealthy, lacked confidence and self-esteem, that started from early childhood trauma and being abused sexually from 10-12 years old, that robbed me of my confidence and strength.
Do you plan on training your whole life?
Yes, opening a non-profit community jiu jitsu gym, with after school programs, mentoring, food assistance, tutoring and more. Child sponsor programs.
What’s it about jiu jitsu that makes it so addicting?
Community, competition, physicality.
What has jiu jitsu done for your physical health?
I went from smoking, drinking, and an unhealthy diet, to a clean lifestyle, weight loss, and better conditioning.
Has jiu jitsu benefited your mental health?
It has saved my life, I was close to suicide and my coach had me start teaching Lower belts weekly and it brought me back and gave me purpose. My 9-year-old daughter is the other reason, so yes jiu jitsu saved my life and does daily.
If you could restart your jiu-jitsu journey, would you do anything differently?
I would have started younger and would have not taken time off, almost all my old partners are black belts and I am still stuck at purple, which is fine by me, but it does hurt sometimes.
What’s your advice for someone that’s never tried jiu-jitsu before but is interested in trying it?
Study the history, what impact it has on and off the mat in fighters' lives, and to learn self-defence.
Do you have any aspirations in jiu-jitsu?
My own gym, more comps, use jiu jitsu to give back to others and provide the opportunity to find kids and adults who would benefit physically and mentally from training BJJ.
What’s your favourite BJJ move?
If you didn’t discover jiu-jitsu, where do you think you’d be now?
Dead, no joke or really unhealthy and feeling crappy
Would you like to see the sport of BJJ become more mainstream?
Yes, I want to see jiu jitsu in the olympics.
Have any of your jiu jitsu training partners pushed you to reach your full potential?
Everyday and a few especially those who have kept me training brought me back from time away, and when I am mentally struggling check in with me.
When you were first starting, what was the most difficult concept of jiu-jitsu that you had trouble getting?
Complex moves, I learn slowly, also just preparing my body because it wasn’t healthy and it was weak.
If you could roll with any practitioner, dead or alive, who would it be?
Terere or currently Leandro Lo
If you had to describe Jiu-Jitsu to someone that's never heard of it before in under 5 words, what would those words be?
Yoga fighting and wrestling.
What has been the most memorable moment you've had on the mats so far?
Getting my last belt from Saulo and I got to train for a few weeks, with Saulo, Xande, Royler, and Leticia Ribeiro.
What makes you want to inspire and motivate others?
The impact BJJ has made on my life, mentally and physically.
Was there a difficult moment in your life where jiu-jitsu helped you get through it? If so, please explain.
Yes, first it was self-respect and confidence and then recently mental health and suicidal thoughts.
What inspired you to support your community with your volunteer work in outreach programs?
My upbringing, my dad and mom were addicts. I was raised by family, went to 10 different schools, saw and experienced a lot of pain, travelled to really poor countries and saw the impact of poverty.
After my daughter was born I just wanted to help and serve anyone and everyone. I have ran homeless non-profit showers and food programs, started a clean water non-profit that provides filters globally to those impacted by dirty water, and currently serve for a free food truck and shower program in San Diego.
Do you have any advice for someone that wants to begin their own charitable cause but doesn't know where to start?
Research. Volunteer with organizations that align with your vision and hit the ground helping.
As someone that has overcome depression and anxiety through the help of Brazilian jiu-jitsu, what advice would you have for someone that is afraid of stepping onto the mats due to their negative thoughts?
Start slow, find the right gym, they are not all the same, build community and friendships on the mat and be present and don’t be judgmental of your own progress.
Do you believe this martial art can help create a common understanding and respect among people from all walks of life?
Yes, and I am going to show that through my programs in the future.
What would you like to say to everyone that has supported you on your journey?
I am truly blessed for jiu jitsu and the community for giving me a passion, goals, a healthy life, and for saving my life by being caring brothers and sisters on and off the mat, I thank you from the bottom of my heart now I want to pay it back.
When the journey is over, how would you like to be remembered?
He had nothing left to give because he gave it all away.
I have lost three friends to suicide, almost lost my mom last year to a drug/suicide attempt, I survived a suicide attempt when I was young from being abused and couldn’t take the pain, my dad stopped talking to me years ago because of his shame and addiction and recently we reconnected for a few days after years only to end with more heartache as he told me my choice of religion was wrong and he would be seen around me or he would rip my turban off my head because I am Sikh.
I have had 38 years of a rough life and jiu jitsu and community and therapy have saved me.
Submission Shark BJJ Articles:
I hope you enjoyed this jiu jitsu interview with Stevie Singh. Feel free to leave a comment below and share your thoughts on how BJJ has helped you with your mental health.
If you enjoyed this story, you’ll love these jiu jitsu stories from Max Barnhart and Jebidiah Osborn as they both found benefits from BJJ to help them with their traumatic experiences. If you are looking to get inspired by another practitioner that is working with his community to help at-risk youth, check out Raul Chavez’s BJJ story and how he started Project X Guard.
Searching for other types of jiu jitsu articles? Browse the school of sharks for more insightful and entertaining content about martial arts. Submission Shark shares educational content on various aspects of Brazilian jiu-jitsu including philosophy, athletic performance, recovery, injury prevention, and other ways to optimize your lifestyle as a martial artist. Shop for premium no-gi BJJ gear or a brand new jiu jitsu gi. Check out the jiu jitsu gear reviews section to help you make a better decision.
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