Safe Mats Series:
Conversations on Ethics and Safety in Jiu-Jitsu

#Read | #Watch | #Learn | #Improve

Welcome to 'Safe Mats: Conversations on Ethics and Safety in Jiu-Jitsu, a groundbreaking HubCast series brought to you by Gracie Barra. As pioneers in the Jiu-Jitsu community, we are committed to fostering a culture of ethics, safety, and responsible conduct within the global landscape of this esteemed martial art.

Join us on an enlightening journey where we delve deep into the heart of Jiu-Jitsu, exploring pivotal conversations on ethical practices, safety protocols, and the profound impact of responsible conduct both on and off the mat. Our mission is to cultivate a space where practitioners, instructors, and enthusiasts alike can engage in thought-provoking dialogues, gaining invaluable insights, and championing a vision of Jiu-Jitsu that transcends mere physical prowess.

Through riveting discussions with industry experts, seasoned practitioners, and influential figures, 'Safe Mats' aims to ignite a movement—a movement dedicated to elevating the standards of ethics and safety, not only within our GB Schools but throughout the global Jiu-Jitsu community.
Join us as we embark on this transformative journey, empowering individuals to embrace ethical principles, ensuring safe training environments, and shaping a future where Jiu-Jitsu stands not just as a sport, but as a beacon of honor, integrity, and respect.

Safe Mats: Conversations on Ethics and Safety in Jiu-Jitsu

Episode 1 - Empowering Healing: Jiu-Jitsu's Impact Beyond the Mat
Join us in this compelling episode as we sit down with Ashleigh Varela, a former member of the U.S. Marine Corps, seasoned school counselor, and Jiu-Jitsu enthusiast. 
Throughout our conversation, we explore how Jiu-Jitsu became more than just a martial art for Ashleigh. It became a tool for growth, offering not only physical training but also a supportive community that helped her personally and influenced her approach to counseling individuals, particularly youth and adults facing trauma.
We discuss Ashleigh's work and how Jiu-Jitsu can empower individuals, especially those who have experienced trauma, offering insights into the unique therapeutic benefits Jiu-Jitsu can provide in healing and personal growth.

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Safe Mats: Conversations on Ethics and Safety in Jiu-Jitsu

Episode 2 - Enhancing Childhood Development Through Jiu-Jitsu
Join us as we explore the impact of Jiu-Jitsu on childhood development.
On the heels of the well-received updated GBK course in ICP 2024, we continue the discussion on how sport supports a developing child. With the aim of enlightening Jiu-Jitsu instructors without a background in psychology, this episode promises to uncover valuable insights from expert guest Jack Hinosa, CEO of Child Development Resources of Ventura County, Inc.
Jack emphasizes the vital importance of adult influence on child development, outlining the many reasons why a supportive environment is essential to ensure the optimal development of children. In order to help families reach their goals, he discusses the organization's "Yes Commitment" to meet their needs where they need it most. This connects with the GB school owner and instructor’s mission to support a child’s mind, body, and spirit to help nurture the family unit.

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Safe Mats: Conversations on Ethics and Safety in Jiu-Jitsu

Episode 3 - A Warrior's Path: Jiu-Jitsu as a Trauma Healing Tool
Join us in this compelling episode as we sit down with Anna Pirkle, an author of “Healing Trauma through Jiu-Jitsu,” a licensed therapist specializing in recovery from trauma, anxiety, and addiction disorders, working primarily with teens, and Jiu-Jitsu enthusiast with Gracie University.
Anna emphasizes the importance of trauma-informed approaches. We discuss emphasizing a shift from asking, "What's wrong with you?" to "What happened to you?"
Anna shares personal motivations behind exploring Jiu-Jitsu as a trauma healing tool and defines trauma as addressing complex trauma within the context of Jiu-Jitsu. She discusses how sometimes trauma memories of often subconscious and that they can be unknowingly triggered. In these moments, instructors have an opportunity to help the students in their healing process.
Watch and enjoy this captivating conversation about how we can uniquely support our students who have experienced trauma and how doing so can profoundly impact the forward trajectory of their lives.

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Safe Mats: Conversations on Ethics and Safety in Jiu-Jitsu

Episode 4 -  Ethics in Combat Sports
In this HubCast episode on Ethics in Combat Sports, we explore the impact of foundational principles on ethical sports management
Robert “Bob” Schneider is a well-known authority in the area of Sports Management and the author of many works, including the book Ethics of Sport and Athletics: Theory, Issues, and Application. His work in the field of sports management has advanced sports management at universities and sports-based organizations throughout the world.
We explore topics such as the importance of ethics in sports, addressing the risks of the lack of regulation in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and discussing ethical considerations in combat sports governance. This engaging conversation is essential listening for Jiu-Jitsu Instructors seeking to promote ethical development in their schools and in the community as a whole.
Bob reflects on the opinion that strong leadership with a good culture often does more to maintain a safe and ethical environment than adding rules, regulations, policies, and laws. However, the risk when written policies are not in place, then the lack of policy can be blamed when an incident occurs.
This engaging conversation is essential listening for Jiu-Jitsu Instructors seeking to promote ethical development in their students. Tune in and enjoy!

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Safe Mats: Conversations on Ethics and Safety in Jiu-Jitsu

Episode 5 -  Building Safety: The Role of Safeguarding in Our School Communities
Join us in this final episode as we sit down with Gretchen Zoeller, a 3rd-degree GB black belt under Victor Estima, past school owner, educator, and specialist in Safeguarding schools. Her many years of experience with Gracie Barra and her professional experience make her a unique asset to our team and a great way to close out this series on Safety and Ethics.
Gretchen shares her journey as one of the first female black belts in Jiu-Jitsu in Europe, offering insights into the challenges and triumphs of navigating a male-dominated sport over the past 20+ years of training.
We explore the evolution of Jiu-Jitsu and the community's strides towards safety and inclusivity. Gretchen shares her experiences with troubled youth and how Jiu-Jitsu has helped her work with these children.
With expertise in safeguarding, Gretchen sheds light on creating safe spaces and essential tips for school owners to prioritize, especially for young and vulnerable adult practitioners.
Gain valuable insights from Gretchen on fostering a secure and inclusive environment in educational and martial arts settings.

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ICP 2024 HubCast Series 

Get ready to explore the GB universe like never before. In our six exclusive episodes, we will dive deep into some of the brightest minds of the Gracie Barra team and explore crucial information about the ICP 2024.