This report is the first of a series on 316 BJJ, a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu gym based in Rockwall. This story looks at how Scott “Country” Paille, a professor at the gym, uses his knowledge and skills in martial arts to help veterans who suffer from PTSD.
Scott “Country” Paille is a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioner based in Rockwall who has now dedicated himself to helping others find the confidence to handle whatever life throws at them. As a U.S. military veteran who served in special operations, he has also made it a mission to help former military service members with PTSD cope with their daily struggles.
In addition to his service in the military, Paille is a recently retired police officer of the Commerce Police Department.
Sure, there is chaos that goes on during a typical jiu-jitsu sparring session, commonly referred to as a “roll,” but Paille said veterans gain a sense of newfound camaraderie from taking classes because of the environment he and others at the gym have adopted.
“Veterans think of this like their unit,” Paille said. “They feel safe around here.”
The art of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, after all, is the art of disabling someone through chokes and submissions designed to break limbs. The sport has grown in popularity in recent years due to the mainstream acceptance of mixed martial arts and organizations like the UFC.
But to Paille and the members of the 316 BJJ gym, the fight to better oneself is more important than being able to fight like people on television. Rather than adopting an ego-driven attitude, Paille said the gym fosters a family atmosphere where people of all ages can come to improve themselves.
And for those members who suffer from PTSD, the gym has become a second home away from home.
“There are some guys, because of PTSD, they won’t go hang around with anyone but people at the gym,” Paille said.
The ability to trust one another in situations in which a lack of control can lead to serious injury, Paille said is an important balancing act that instructors must pay special attention to.
Though he’s all for hard training sessions and rolls, Paille is against a culture of hazing and bullying that occurs in many gyms. That careful balance, he said, is what lets veterans like himself feel comfortable.
“If you ever make a veteran with PTSD feel uncomfortable or make their PTSD flare up to the point where they don’t feel safe, they’re not going to come back,” he said.
Paille told the Royse City Herald-Banner that he personally knows the struggles that a veteran with PTSD goes through.
The difficult situations that one might find themselves in a jiu-jitsu match, helps veterans who can regain their confidence by learning how to get out of these positions.
“If I ask these guys in this gym how many of them have left the gym with tears in their eyes at home, almost everyone in this place would raise their hands,” Paille said.
“There are a lot of similarities with how hard life is and jiu-jitsu,” he continued. “There’s times you wonder why are you doing this, at the same time, you show back up to do it again if you have the right community. Because of that you come to love it.”
Despite the sometimes violent nature of the sport, Paille said his gym approaches the sport with love and caring.
The “316” in the gym’s name comes from John 3:16 in the bible. And though the gym is faith-based, Paille said his organization is not religious at heart.
Rather than focus on dogmatic beliefs that may alienate people, Paille said he wants to focus on making people feel comfortable and accepted through his belief in Christ.
“We want to be an example to people in the community,” Paille said.