Red Mountain Colorado Student Competes in Jiu Jitsu Tournament
Greeley, CO: This fall,16-year-old Red Mountain Colorado student Jake took to the mat and competed in a local Jiu Jitsu tournament. The tournament included participants of all levels and weight classes, and was Jake’s first time competing in this sport.
“I’ve mostly done football, baseball, and a little track,” Jake said. Before enrolling at Red Mountain Colorado, a mindfulness-based, community-integrated residential treatment center for male identifying and non-binary adolescents, Jake was interested in Mixed Martial Arts, but had never trained before. In April 2021 he began taking Jiu Jitsu classes at the local academy as part of his RMC schedule. He quickly discovered a passion for the martial art.
“When I first started, I was horrible,” Jake said. But he didn’t give up. Jake, an accomplished athlete, knew that he had to keep trying if he wanted to grow his skills. “After that first class, I knew I wanted to improve,” Jake said. “So, I started going to Jiu Jitsu almost every day.”
For nearly six months, he trained and eventually decided to compete. His instructor encouraged him and coached him on staying calm during his match despite the odds against him. “The other guy was very strong,” Jake said. “He was out-muscling me in every single aspect.”
Though Jake lost the match, he was not discouraged. “You either win or you learn,” Jake said. “You learn how to correct what you did wrong. It’s about what’s next; how not to make the same mistakes I did before.”
Jake believes that much of what he learns in Jiu Jitsu can be applied to other parts of life.
“We have conversations after grappling,” Jake said. “There are a lot of metaphors for life. Every single person has their advantages and disadvantages.”
Despite his recent defeat, Jake wakes up early to attend 6am classes in addition to classes in the evenings; he, along with several other RMC students and clinical director Dr. Bennett Edgerly, are committed to their training.
“There’s a big sense of relief to go out there and grapple,” Jake said.
He described how Jiu Jitsu has helped him with self-esteem, interpersonal skills, and boundaries.
“It builds a lot of trust in yourself and others.”
Jake’s love of Jiu Jitsu is felt by the entire RMC community. He is actively working to improve his skills and hopes to compete again in the future.
Red Mountain Colorado is a Community-Integrated Residential Treatment Center that provides an ideal setting for adolescent males and nonbinary individuals, who would benefit from a mindfulness-based residential treatment program. Red Mountain Colorado is located in the Colorado Front Range, and helps teens with co-occurring disorders heal by working with the mind, body, and spirit using various forms of meditation, mindfulness, yoga, martial arts, life skills education, and evidence-based therapies including CBT, DBT, EMDR, and Brainspotting.