Martial arts used to heal Wounded Warriors
By CARLOS ARIAS | The Orange County Register | Published: September 13, 2013
Ron Scolesdang said he has seen how some of the disabled fighters at Team Oyama MMA and Fitness in Irvine, Calif., have been able to use their training in mixed martial arts, jiu-jitsu and Muay Thai as a positive outlet.
Scolesdang, an MMA and Muay Thai instructor, said Team Oyama has a number of disabled fighters, including amputees, who compete in grappling tournaments.
“We have guys here that are from the military or aren’t from the military that are disabled and yet they still have found an outlet at our gym through mixed martial arts to help them through life,” Scolesdang said.
Scolesdang said Iraq war veteran Isaac Arroyo was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder when he came to Team Oyama MMA and Fitness looking for a way to focus his energy.
“He was looking for a program that would help rehabilitate him,” Scolesdang said of Arroyo. “He wasn’t doing so well. He was having nightmares and flashbacks from all the things he went through during his service. He was just trying to find something to keep him sane. He was going through a lot.”
Scolesdang and Arroyo decided to try to help other veterans struggling to return to civilian life, so they contacted the Wounded Warrior Project to talk about bringing some veterans to the gym and giving them some training and instruction in MMA. That’s how they put together the Wounded Warriors seminar, led by highly respected MMA coach Colin Oyama and Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt Giva Santana, on Thursday at Team Oyama MMA and Fitness.
There will be 18-20 veterans at the event. Some suffer from PTSD and others are disabled or have other injuries.
“They are people that are just looking to better their lives,” Scolesdang said. They are in a tough rut. They’ve been hurt in combat or whatever and they are just looking for an outlet to get back on their feet again.
“(Oyama and Santana) will give them some motivational speeches and some technical training on some things they can use. Afterwards we’re going to offer them a chance to train at our gym. We just want to say thank you for everything they’ve done for us.”
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The Bellator 99 prelims stream live on Spike.com on Friday at 4 p.m. ...
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