By Mo Morris, Royal Marines Mental Health and Resilience Lead
I remember when I stopped doing jiu-jitsu because I wanted to focus on playing rugby. I wanted to start training again, but as the days ticked past I found myself making excuses as to why I could not do jiu-jitsu – I had a game coming up, or I was too busy. When I look back at it, I did not want to feel embarrassed and be beaten by people when I thought I was better than them. It’s crazy really, considering I had been taught resilience and had a strong mindset due to a career in the Royal Marines.
I spent around eight years off the mats and although I loved playing rugby, deep down I missed the feeling of training jiu-jitsu, there is nothing quite like it. The problem was that I had spent so long out, I felt I could not go back. That was until REORG came into my life and gave me the boost I needed to break the seal and train again.
I remember the first session back and it felt like the first day at school, but I loved it. I was excited and wanted to train again, the jiu-jitsu bug was back. I quickly re-kindled my passion for the sport and was soon training four or five times a week. When a job change took me to London, REORG introduced me to Elevate Martial Arts, a Roger Gracie academy and the London base for REORG.
I had the most unbelievable experience with the club, instructors and members. They really helped me kick on and the support they gave me at a time when I really needed it will not be forgotten, culminating in getting my blue belt from the great man himself - Roger Gracie. If Carlsberg did belt promotions… Interestingly the first person I called was Sam to tell him, after all he supported my transition back into the sport. His reaction was amazing, genuinely happy for me, as if he had been promoted himself.
I have witnessed first-hand the power that REORG has to bring positive change in people’s lives. It gives a sense of purpose, the ability to be present in the moment and feel part of something bigger than you. These are all the things I stand for in my personal quest to support mental health, which is why I love the REORG concept. In their own words, it allows people to give themselves permission to perform no matter the adversity you may be facing. They have genuinely saved lives and I cannot wait to support the charity’s vision in the future.