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Jiu-Jitsu For Stroke Recovery?

March 28, 2013

GJJ Student Shares His Story

Dear Gracie Family,

My name is Bob Haag, and I want to share with you my very positive encounter with Gracie jiu-jitsu, through Chis Bailey's CTC in Scottsdale, AZ. I just passed my 60th birthday. I suffered a stroke in April, just under a year ago. My left side was completely paralyzed, and I am now working to recover whatever abilities I can. While my wife, Ruth, daughter Rachel, and I live in Sandusky, Ohio, we vacationed in Scottsdale for 2 months to escape winter snow and ice. I saw Chris's CTC in a Scottsdale plaza. I was looking through the window like a little boy, wondering if those people inside would ever consider taking me on as a student. Ruth said that we should go in and ask, and we met Chris. Chris listened to my story and said, "Let's give it a try." I attended Gracie Combatives classes twice weekly. While I had previously always been a good student and a coachable athelete, I was dismayed to discover that the stroke had left me with a learning disability.

I would watch and listen to Chris attentively. Then, when I laid on the mat, my mind would be empty. I could not recall the steps of the move. Due to Chris's implementation of the Gracie philosophy, my training partners and Chris all helped me, by talking me through the moves one at a time. Once my body had gone through the motions, I found that I could retain the lesson. To build on this, Ruth and I subscribed to the online Gracie University program. Each day before class, we would watch the lesson on my iPad. With the silent video running, Ruth and I would go through the day's lesson, and I was prepared for Chris's class. As I shared with Chris and the class, the stroke also left me with a sort of mental fog, and this fog always lifted for an hour following my participation in one of Chris's classes. I can't tell you how much help Chris offered me for free. Felling that he would have turned down our money, we waited until we left to send him a check. Now that we are home in Sandusky, we have purchased the Gracie Combatives DVDs videos and a 4'x8' mat, and each day begins with a lesson from Rener and Ryron. Ruth and I have been executing the Reflex Development Drill for Lesson One for the past week. We have also watched the initial Women Empowered videos, and have found additional tips for our Trap and Roll escapes. We always get up in base, or I pay the price of repeating the movement 3 times.

In short, we are so grateful to Chris Bailey and the Gracie family, for the positive effect upon our lives and stroke recovery.

Best regards,
Bob and Ruth Haag
Sandusky, Ohio