Stefano Mancini è national technical director of Word Ju-Jitsu Federation Italy TM, let's speak with him about this School.
1) Sensei, first of all a personal question, how did you come to Ju-Jitsu?
After a very hard experience in competitive rowing at the time of Abbagnale, I felt the need to try to begin martial arts, karate first and ju-jitsu later, reaching an Italian title too in 1982.
The turning point came in the 80's when I met Soke Robert Clark during an updating course of Ju-Jitsu at Liverpool, staying impressed by the innovative method of his technical skill and energy of his teaching.
2) Was it difficult to move from agonism to something completely different?
Not for me, if you like something and you are really interested to it, you put yourself into question gladly. Competitive sport gives you a great physical shape, but I don't think that it is the competition, the comparison with another to enhance your technical knowledge but rather the constant effort to become better for ourselves and not to overwhelm somebody else.
With Ju-Jitsu I've found a way to grown both the technique and the mental form.
3) When did you decide to establish your Italian School?
Soke Clark's teachings and his example have developed in me the need to transmit the great technique gained through years.
It was very natural to become a teacher while continuing to be a student.
4) In your opinion, which is the distinctive element of Ju Jitsu?
Martial arts are based on a philosophy of living, on simple rules, such as friendship and mutual respect, which trace a line that can be followed in everyday life too.
They teach you the fairer conduct and a right way of thinking, they help you to face your failures and mistakes and eventually they allow you to face life's difficulty with balance.
5) Don't you think that Ju-Jitsu might develop aggression?
Aggressiveness, especially in children, is a natural component that is channeled gradually with the practice of Ju-Jitsu and controlled in its positive part, represented by the energy and the control of force.
The same is true for young people too, with training you don't feel any longer the need to demonstrate how much you are strong, furthermore those who know how to defend themselves are quiter, more confident, less bully and eventually they risk less because they have to demonstrate nothing.
6) There are many children who play this sport?
Fortunately yes, parents take their children happily, and also they often sign up.
In children Ju-Jitsu stimulates reflexes and improves the coordination of movements.
Exercises follow a specific training program for children created by the international federation.
7) Which are the main benefits for the adults?
Adults are very interested in self-defense, in maintaining physical fitness and mental reflexes, all qualities found in the practice of Ju-Jitsu..
Moreover, as a complete martial art, the syllabus includes the use of Japanese weapons (nunchaku, tonfa, sai, kama, naginata, katana, jo, bo) in the form of "kata" and practical implementation of self-defense techniques.
The training for the most experienced tends to make become weapons as an extension of the body and "kata" is played all on skill.