19.9 C
Byron Shire
May 25, 2022

The Challenge of MMA – fighting men’s depression

Latest News

Comment – National Party encumbrance a problem for Liberals in NSW too

There is no shortage of NSW Liberal MPs out in the media warning they could be next to fall in the push from independent candidates that saw a massive shake up of politics in Australia last weekend. 

Other News

Easy equation

In terms of the economy. Billions of dollars spent on armaments and the supporting structures, at the expense, the...

Give up your fire

Mandy Nolan’s article (4 May) suggesting (among other things) we try to avoid heating to reduce emissions is sensible.  A...

The floods are leaving people homeless and families split

There was a housing crisis on the Northern Rivers, then we had the floods of 2022 and the issue has left increasing numbers of people homeless and struggling to find alternative accommodation.

A gold star campaign and a result full of hope

It’s not surprising that Mandy Nolan got so many primary votes at Saturday’s election for the seat of Richmond – her campaign has been relentless and her volunteers all stellar.

The protest vote

Uncanny that in this federal election, in Richmond as elsewhere, the freedom/protest vote parties just about all preference the...

Will Morrison’s gas-led recovery delete the IPCC’s belief we need climate action now?

Most Australians know the news, or have had firsthand experiences themselves, of two years of floods, fires, coastal erosion, and storms, both here and overseas. In fact Australia has warmed on average by 1.44 ± 0.24 °C since national records began in 1910.

Ben Pietzsch and Anthony Williams prepare to work it out by working out at the Extreme MMA gym in Byron Bay. Photo Eve Jeffery.

Anthony Williams suffered from depression and anxiety for ten long years. He had sought help in many different areas and had been on and off a medication rollercoaster trying to find the best answer to his illness, and what is often a misunderstood condition.

Anthony finally found something that was for him, better than any of the drugs. He discovered Mixed Martial Arts and decided to train with a professional academy where he could learn what it takes to train for a real Mixed Martial Arts fight.

In July, Anthony approached Ben Pietzsch from Extreme MMA in Byron and asked if the gym would sponsor him in a Mixed Martial Arts Challenge supporting and showcasing the fight against men’s depression and anxiety.

The plan was for Anthony to reach a peak level in 12 weeks and get into the MMA cage to show that he could ‘punch men’s depression on the face’, and show other men suffering from similar issues that it is so important to get involved with martial arts or a group of like-minded men that you can open up to.

Ben says that in what appears to be a tough environment, openness and mateship is found amongst training partners.

‘In what would seem to be a place where you need to be tough, often a martial arts academy is where men learn their limits and feel more comfortable with their weaknesses,’ says Ben. ‘There is no hiding, and because of this it helps to promote openness.

‘Men learn while doing the martial arts that vulnerability, fear and weakness are things we all experience in some form, and in this group men can feel more comfortable about sharing what’s on their minds.’

Ben says being tough might be closer to a gruelling 12-hour-per-week training regimen than staying at home and not talking through your thoughts and issues. ‘Men everywhere may suffer depression at one point in their lives and it’s important to show all men out there that it’s easier in the long run to talk and to work through your issues than to keep quiet.

‘Money issues, family and spousal issues, and generally just being a “man” can be hard work. We men need to pull together, have a good chat, and if you’re into the martial arts, get up a good sweat and let those natural endorphins loose.’

Extreme MMA are in the process of putting together a foundation for men’s depression using martial arts as a platform for recovery. Anthony wants to help as many men as he can and will be using his Facebook page and a soon-to-be-launched website that will encourage men to open up and chat to him personally or through social media.

‘Extreme Mixed Martial Arts want to encourage everyone to live a healthy lifestyle with a good training regime, good food choices, and doing the right things for your mental health, like being a part of a club or association where you feel comfortable talking and sharing with those around you,’ says Ben.

Anthony can be contacted on his Facebook page or through Extreme MMA Byron Bay 6685 7001.

~ Photos Eve Jeffery

Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Up to five times the average rainfall during 2022 in some areas says BOM

The formal record of the extreme rainfall and flooding was released today by the Bureau of Meteorology with some areas of south-east Queensland and north-east New South Wales having five times their monthly average of rain. 

Recognising 50 years of police service

When John 'Jack' Keough moved to Byron Bay police station in 1982 there was still a station sheep that kept the grass down and goats still roamed Cape Byron. Sargent Keough began his career in policing in 1972 when he walked into the Redfern Academy to join the police force. 

The postal vote that never arrived

At 91, there are many things that you can no longer do, but one of the things you still can do is have your voice heard in an election – but not for at least one Byron Shire resident.

Vale big Jez, Mullum troubadour

The Mullumbimby community lost one of the founding fathers of its counter culture last Thursday, when Graham Chambers, better known as Jerry De Munga, passed away at his home with the love and care of wife Chrissy, family and close friends.