Every Month we pick a Student from the Academy as ‘Student of the Month’ and asked them a few questions of how has Gracie Jiu-Jitsu benefited them in their life mentally and physically as well as what impact has it made in their lifestyle so far. Many of our students come from a variety of different backgrounds and each with a different goal but ultimately, to learn the number one most important thing, SELF-DEFENSE, as most fights will most likely end up on the ground willingly or unwillingly.
The student for this month is our Irish brother, Desmond! Read our interview with him below to get to know him better. Enjoy the read!
Name: Des Fitzgerald
Belt Rank: White Belt (3rd Stripe)
Years of Training: 1 Year
Other Martial Arts Experience: Boxing
1. INTRODUCE YOURSELF.
Originally from Ireland, I have been living in Singapore for the last 18 months. I would consider myself friendly, easy going and always looking for the next challenge!
2. HOW AND WHY DID YOU START JIU-JITSU?
I had dabbled in a few different martial arts over the years but they didn’t really captivate me, and I never continued with them.
I had always known about Jiu-Jitsu, and its focus on controlling an opponent, manipulation of joints and choking. This idea of self defense really appealed to me over some of the more conventional striking arts, as the movements generally seem more technical and the overall art feels more reliable.
I made an effort to start something new when I moved to Singapore, so this was my choice!
3. WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT GRACIE JIU-JITSU?
I really enjoy the structured learning environment. Gracie Combatives® really gives an excellent base from which to further develop your skills, and you drill the techniques so much that they really do stay with you.
I also like the emphasis on street fighting defense which obviously makes it more applicable to real-life scenarios, as well as it also being easily transferable to a more sporting competitive environment.
One of the best features of Jiu-Jitsu has to be ‘rolling’ where you can train to a relatively high intensity with a minimal chance of injury, and is also a great workout!
4. WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE TECHNIQUE?
Can I have 3?
Triangle Choke, Elevator Sweep & Leg Hook Takedown!
5. WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO SOMEONE WHO’S STARTING OUT JIU-JITSU?
Stick with it for at least a few weeks to see if it’s for you, and try to enjoy it for the self-development. It can seem complex in the beginning but once you start to understand the principals behind the movements it will make more sense, and new techniques will become easier to learn.
Concentrate on building a good base, and don’t concentrate too much on rank as it will improve automatically.
6. HOW HAS GRACIE JIU-JITSU BENEFITED YOU?
It definitely has given me that satisfied feeling of progressing with a new skill, meeting new and interesting people as well as the underlying philosophies of calmness and composure which will be reflected in your day to day life.
7. FAVOURITE QUOTE/PHILOSOPHY?
“You will never regret the things you did, only the things you didn’t do.”
And of course…
“Keep it playful!”
10. FINALLY, I WANT TO SAY?
Big thanks to Danial for his help and support throughout the training, you are a great instructor with a natural ability to teach.
Thanks to everyone else for their support. Rolling with all of you is a lot of fun!
Really great to see those progressing well through Combatives ,and those now onto Master Cycle. Great job!