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By Lee Tucker, armed response officer and former firefighter   Back in 2018 PTSD hit me really hard. I spent 15 years in the Fire Service and have now served 12 years with the police. It’s not so much the individual scenes you have to witness on duty that get to you, it is the relentlessness nature of the trauma.   As a firefighter you see a level of human devastation that nobody should have to witness. In the police it is worse, not so much for what you see, as what you have to do. Police officers deal with...

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By former Army mechanic Nikki Maxwell   I served in the Royal Electrical Mechanical Engineers attached to the Second Royal Tank Regiment of the British Army. As an armoured vehicle mechanic I learnt to fix pretty much anything you can think of, from Challenger 2 main battle tanks to motorbikes, cars and trucks.   I served all over the world and like everyone sadly I lost friends and knew people who sustained terrible injuries. I wasn’t injured in combat, but back home on leave. I was riding a bike when I was hit by a car head on, and lost...

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By Daniel Strauss, black belt under Roger Gracie   Training has been a constant part of my life since I was a teenager and I am really not sure where I’d be without it. When I began training jiu-jitsu 15 years ago there were not so many clubs around as there are now. So quite quickly I progressed to the point where I was able to start teaching.   As a skinny kid with a blue belt around my waist, this was quite a challenge for me, and it often meant having to grapple with bigger stronger people who came...

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By former Royal Marines Commando Mike Bates   There are very few pursuits that expose you in the way that jiu-jitsu does. Often in everyday life people hold a lot of themselves back. But when you’re on the mat, you can’t hide, we see the real you.   As a Royal Marines Commando I learnt a mindset that set me in good stead for the dedication it takes to progress in jiu-jitsu. The Commando qualities that we demand in theCorps are: courage; determination; leadership; unselfishness; and cheerfulness in the face of adversity.   These values serve you well when you...

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By Alan Shebaro, former US Special Forces soldier and 4th degree black belt   As a teacher it is great to have challenges and I’ve certainly had my fair share. I was the first US Special Forces soldier to get a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt and I trained Navy SEALs and other elite troops in martial arts. We took techniques from different martial arts styles and adapted them to suit soldiers in the field. The focus is on weapon retention, with close-quarters combat skills either as a vital last resort, or using adapted techniques to subdue a detainee.   Then...

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