Whats Occurring At "Men Don't Talk"

Gracie Barra Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Academy, Hastings,

Raises Awareness of Mental Issues and Promotes

"Reaching Out" For Help.

Saturday 9th March, 2019.


Was no "ordinary" day....

It was an "extra-ordinary" day.

A day where ordinary people do "Extra" ordinary things.

Gracie Barra Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Academy, Hastings.....
Where people learn the amazing Martial Art of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Jitsu under the expertise of Professor Paul Bridges and his team of top UK Black Belts led from the front by the amazing Professor Ali Bayley, the schools program director, and 1 of only 12 women to be awarded a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Jitsu black belt in the UK.

Gracie Barra Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Academy, Hastings.....
Where both instructors and students come together as family, to support, to enable and to nurture everyone's growth - Physically, Mentally and "Emotionally".

Gracie Barra Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Academy, Hastings.....
The team, the family that genuinely care about others.

I was contacted by Ali and was kindly asked if Gracie Barra Hastings could conduct a fund raising event on behalf of Men Don't Talk, and that 5 of the leading UK Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Black belts would be teaching and all proceeds would go towards the Men Don't Talk initiate, and of course I agreed.

On the day of the super seminar, I visited the event as I believe one of the Men Don't Talk volunteers should always be on hand where possible to put "a face" to the work we do, as I believe there are too many "clinical faceless charity organisations out there already" and that's not the way the Men Don't Talk team roll.

Upon entering the beautiful academy, I was instantly hit by the friendly vibe of the place. Men, women and youths of all ages were mingling, launching and joking with each other.

The academy had a friendly vibe, was non aggressive, but still held a level of discipline. The discipline came from the students themselves, a great example that "self discipline" beats "others disciplining" us anytime, a testament, not only to the students themselves, but also to the instructors for developing the "self mastery" culture within the academy.


Both instructors and attendees got themselves on the mat, and Professor Paul and Professor Ali opened the seminar by introducing what the seminar was for and its intention - "raising awareness of mental well being issues" and "reaching out" if you have a problem.


Then I was asked, to tell the attendees what the Men Don't Talk initiative does....


From my days of teaching combat arts I am familiar with the environment, I am comfortable talking to large crowds......but I was over whelmed with the 50 eager people supporting the Men Don't Talk in front of me.....truly over whelmed.



I could talk about the amazing level of tuition the Gracie Barra, Hastings academy has to offer,


I could rant on about how the instructors and students alike all work with each other to make the Gracie Barra Hastings academy like no other,

I could talk about the truly generous donation of £1000  through the attendees and the raffle (of which the local school of                organised and run by Buckswood school), which will pay towards 20 counselling session for vulnerable men.

I could talk about how I truly feel Gracie Barra instructors and Students welcomed me like family, and that I will be joining them on the mat in the near future,

I could talk about how that day, is etched in my mind, where reaching out, opening up, getting out of the "psychological arm bar" and mental well being was promoted by the most beautifullest people (with some amazing cauliflowered ears) I have ever seen. 

I could talk about how everyone has moments that they are vulnerable,

But I'm guessing, I don't need to, as you get the drift.

I want to thank firstly Marky Straughan for connecting the Men Don't Talk project with Gracie Barra Hastings, without this, this event probably would not of happened....thank you mate x

I want to thank Paul Bridges, Ali Bayley for not only organising and conducting the seminar, but also for their hospitality towards myself and my family on the day.


A special thanks goes out to the Black belt team teaching the seminar......a warm, friendly relaxed, yet highly informative environment that all levels could follow....


And last but not least,


A very special thanks to all that attended, all the donated, and all that will continue to promote "talking" and "reaching out" in challenging times.

One Team,
One Family....OSU.


Jay x