How Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Helped Maia Holmes Escape 12 Year Long Abusive Relationship

How Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Helped Maia Holmes Escape 12 Year Long Abusive Relationship



Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is a great tool to overcome bullying and grow into self confidence. Over the years there were countless cases of people who were helped by the gentle art. The last in line is Maia Holmes. Maia Holmes hit rock bottom about 3.5 years ago – she was in the 12th year of an abusive relationship.

“I was in a real hostile relationship and I was looking for ways to integrate back in to the world. He was really controlling and I sold jiu-jitsu to him by saying that I needed to be able to defend myself but the real reason was I wanted to get out of the house. – she Told Star

“I have always been interested in martial arts but I completely fell in love with jiu-jitsu when I started. I’d done other martial arts but jiu-jitsu was totally different.”

“When I first started it caused a lot of problems because he got quite jealous of it but I refused to give it up,” she added.

“The longer I did it for, the more confidence it gave me and after a year-and-a-half of doing it, it gave me the confidence to get out of the relationship, which I’d been in for 12 years.”

Very soon she started competing.

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With the last tournament of the year done and just over 13 months of competing, I’ve somehow managed to acquire 23 golds, 3 silvers and 2 bronze medals. I don’t see metal when I look at these…. I see the hours on the mats, the tears from when I tried to train through injuries, the horrific weight cuts, the adrenaline and nausea, as well as all the amazing people I’ve met through competing and my overwhelmingly supportive teammates and coaches. I’m hoping next year will be even better but to be honest this’ll be a damn hard year to beat… ❤️ #bjjcompetitor #supportwomensbjj #girlsingis #bjjgirls #nogi #gi #jiujitsu #jiujitsulifestyle #sheffield #wrestling #submission #grappling #training #fitfam #graciebarra #mma #fighter #sheffieldmma #martialarts #fightlikeagirl #ukwomensbjj #bjj #newaza #judo #judoka #paulinhobjj

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“I’d been isolated from the outside world for so long that I think the nature of jiu-jitsu – because it’s such close contact – really helped. You literally rub against each other and you’ve got to have a degree of trust with your training partners,” Maia added.

“I wouldn’t grapple with someone I didn’t trust because you could easily break your arm. I think it’s just the nature of how dangerous it is as well and how close contact it is. You end up forming such close bonds with people for that reason.”

Maia said the sport had quite literally changed her life and added: “Where antidepressants and counselling had failed jiu-jitsu had succeeded. The mats became my therapy – they helped heal me and they have me confidence to reclaim my life.”

“When I have to have time off now if I’m injured it affects me mentally because it’s such an outlet for me. You have to be fully in the moment when you’re grappling. It doesn’t matter where you are in your life, you have to concentrate on the grappling because if you don’t you’ll get hurt.”

Her coach Paul Cole said:

“Maia’s development has been amazing. She has gone from doing nothing to winning the European Championships within two years.

“Her story just shows the power of sport.”