Air Force Veteran Finds Jiu-Jitsu

Kenny Kim’s next installment of Mat Made highlights the triumphant story of Air Force veteran Dan Bierne who used Jiu-Jitsu to treat PTSD and Neural cognitive disorder.

For this episode, Kim visits Charleston, South Carolina, and stops into Malchy Friedman’s Black Label Martial Arts for some training. While there, he explores the history of Charleston while enjoying the local foods. They stop at Acme Lowcountry Kitchen for shrimp and grits, and this is where Kenny first meets Bierne.

On the mats, Bierne shares a bit of his history before inviting Kenny back to his farm and really sharing his life. 

“I might have a bad anxiety night, not sleep, be distant from my wife, or be distant from anybody else. Then I go to jiu-jitsu and it’s all gone.”

Bierne’s story highlights the all-too-common story of military veterans struggling after their service. However, jiu-jitsu is also becoming a common story for treating these ailments, as shown by the WeDefy Foundation, which sponsors jiu-jitsu training for disabled veterans and victims of military sexual assault. Their work has shown firsthand that jiu-jitsu is an effective form of treatment, and coincides well with most veterans’ needs.

Psychology Today has also explored the effectiveness of jiu-jitsu as a form of treatment for all sorts of mental health issues. 

The bio for May Made’s newest episode states, “Kenny visits Charleston to teach and train at Black Label Martial Arts. While he is there, his longtime friend, Kirt, takes him on a history tour downtown and to eat some incredible shrimp and grits at Acme Lowcountry Kitchen. 

But the real reason Kenny is in Charleston is to hear the incredible redemption story of 23 year US Air Force Veteran Dan Bierne who has found a new community and purpose in life through Jiu-Jitsu.”

The entire episode can be found at the link below.


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