Veterans are finding a new way to adjust to civilian life after their service. They’re attending jiu-jitsu classes. Shield Systems is giving veterans discounts on classes through a scholarship. Recipients of the scholarship can go to an unlimited number of classes for $1,000 a year. Normal membership costs $125 a month, which includes unlimited number of fitness classes.
The gym is owned by veterans and its goal is to help other veterans get back on their feet.
“I am very fortunate I found this. It fits everything I need,” said Tyler Farrington, one of three scholarship recipients. Farrington said he needed a place to expel his energy. Jiu-jitsu was his answer.
“You can get anxiety going to dinner, going to large crowds or anything like that through experiences and what not. It helps a lot alleviating that,” said Farrington.
The anxiety came after Farrington served. He was in the marine corp for four years and spent 14 months in Iraq. He says these classes are perfect for him as a veteran.
“You are just surrounded by so many like minded people who share the same experiences,” said Farrington.
This was something that was hard to find before.
“Nobody is around you. nobody understands you. They don’t understand why you are the way you are,” said Farrington.
Ben Harrison knows this feeling well. He is the owner of this gym and he is also a veteran. He said these classes can be the healthiest environment for veterans adjusting after they serve.
“Absolutely life changing. Anyone who has trained for any length of time will tell you the same,” said Harrison.
The gym is looking for more sponsors.
“Our program is not a handout. It is honoring someone’s service,” said Harrison.
“We are helping each other out. we are a big family,” said Farrington.
Shield Systems currently has three business sponsors. If you are interested in helping pay for a veteran’s classes, a donation form is posted below. Even if you are not a recipient of the scholarship, the gym gives all veterans a 10 percent discount on their membership.