The Need To Rethink & Recharge, But The Work Must Go On
The last 16+ months have been a trying time. With more than 600 thousand Americans dead from the Covid-19 pandemic, three million dead around the world, and hosts of other challenges raging – its “OK” to take a step back to rethink and recharge.
That is why Grappling with Issues has been less active and vocal in some ways since first launching in 2020. At the start of the social movements that surged throughout the country, many voices felt galvanized to push for a greater good, for a just cause. The push back that came from so many loud and powerful voices was swift.
Even in the martial arts space there seemed to be a rise in ideals directly opposed to the rationalization of justice for all. Blue Lives Matter banners were hung in gyms, law enforcement training programs were launched under the justification that officers just need more BJJ to do their job better, completely ignoring the systemic racism built within the very idea of law enforcement. As voices pointed out the issues running rampant within the martial arts community, the loud majority pushed back at even the idea of those issues existing.
Instead of spending more time and energy “debating” with those voices that are clearly wrong, Grappling with Issues remained silent, retooling, and thinking of ways to have an impact while raising awareness on the need for social justice in martial arts. There is a space for this industry to recognize the needs of the communities where martial arts are practiced.
Throughout the remainder of 2021, that commitment to social justice work will continue to shine through in everything that we do. From offering content on important matters, to raising funds to support organizations that serve in-need communities, GWI is committed to the cause that was recognized in 2020. To date more than 50 individuals have supported GWI through the purchasing of products that they wear in their home gyms around the country. That support is amazing to see, and we hope to find more ways to raise money and awareness where it is needed the most.
Thank you for the support we have seen so far and thank you to all that will support Grappling with Issues in the future. Your voices are heard and needed in martial arts today and tomorrow.