Martial arts school helps students, parents deal with grief

January 8, 2015

Martial arts school helps its students deal with the death of two classmates.

The ways in which martial arts training can benefit a student’s life are limitless. From instilling a higher sense of self-confidence knowing that you can adequately defend yourself in the event of a confrontation, to achieving inner peace and clarity of thought in any situation, learning various disciplines, like judo, taekwondo and Muay Thai, comes with plenty of advantages.

However, martial arts can also be helpful in effectively dealing with grief after a traumatic event occurs.

Martial arts help high school students deal with death of classmates
The Philadelphia Enquirer reported on the death of two students from Burlington County, New Jersey, in the span of four days. As grief counselors and school administrators scrambled to ensure the well-being of those who may have been immediately affected by the incident, a local nearby martial arts studio also offered assistance.

The JBM Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Academy in Edgewater Park, New Jersey, is where both students who passed away trained in martial arts. The school opened its doors to try and help as many people as they could cope with the loss of their friends.

“We want to be the people that they can talk to,” Brian McPherson, owner of JBM Academy, told the Burlington County Times. “A lot of people want to talk about this issue, and a lot of people, kids, are having problems. And maybe now we can get them some help.”

According to the report, McPherson began instructing parents of the children in attendance on signs of depression that they should be mindful of and on the lookout for. He also offered words of advice for the students who knew the two boys who had passed away and trained with them in jiujitsu.

“You cannot blame yourself for what happened,” McPherson said to those in attendance. “You’ve got to live for them.”

Ultimately, the martial arts school owner wanted to create an open dialogue and allow people to express any emotions they may have felt from the tragedy. What transpired at the JBM Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Academy could be categorized as community service outreach.

However, the reality is that it was one person looking to make a difference in the lives of as many people as possible and help them deal with the many struggles of life. These are just additional examples of the value of martial arts and how it is more than just being able to win a fight.