Chelsie-Marie Stansfield, 3rd Dan (Sandan)
At what club do you train?
I train at Harold Hill on Mondays and also at Basildon on Wednesdays.
When did you start training?
I started training when I was 10, so a good 12 years ago now.
Why did you choose Ju Jitsu over other martial arts?
My younger sibling had started, which eventually got me hooked and an added dose of old fashioned sibling rivalry helped. But in my eyes, ju-jitsu is self-defence and that’s all I wanted to learn.
Did you do other sports/martial arts before Ju Jitsu?
From the age of 5 I used to do Irish Dancing till eventually Ju-jitsu started to take over and become more important. Although my feet still occasionally start to tap away to any Riverdance music!!!!
Tell us about your first Ju Jitsu class.
I am going to guess that I was nervous, as I was going from doing such a girly hobby (dancing) in to what I thought was a manly and brutal fighting scene. Which I must say it isn’t ladies!!!! I do remember that myself and Sensie Ian did have a competition in doing the splits and I’m delighted to say I won, not that I could do them now!!
When did you think about getting your Black Belt?
To be honest, when Sensie Ian told me to, haha!!
Was it difficult to attain?
It was to an extent but when once you get yourself in that routine of training pretty much every night you start to realise that you’ve been preparing yourself for this from the first time you stepped on to the mat. Passion and hard work will always help to pull you through, even when your body is fighting against you. Another big help… Rule 5!!!
What does a “black Belt” mean to you?
A beginning to a journey that will never truly end.
Ever had to use Ju Jitsu for real?
I’ve used a couple of locks here and there, mainly against bullies but nothing I would call serious. To be fair, if chocolate doesn’t solve the issue then we have a problem!!!
Do you enter martial arts competitions?
I do! I enjoy them and I am not going to lie, I love to win. I have competed in many countries over the past few years and it has really opened my eyes and my filled my passport, which is never a bad thing.
Has Ju Jitsu changed your life in any positive or negative way?
I suppose it has been nothing but positive for me, it’s become a way of life for me and I feel proud to say that I am part of Wakarishin. Knowing that I can pass on what I have learnt and I still have my own goals to strive for makes me happy. Although my Sensie did become my stepdad so make of thatwhat you will!!
What do you see as the advantages of Ju Jitsu?
For me there are too many advantages to note down, maybe you should jump on the mat and tell me yourself…
How much time does your training require?
As much as I give it! And as there is a Dojo at home I suppose that’s 100% of the time.
If you could advise a beginner on one thing about Ju Jitsu what would it be?
Have fun!! And if you’re scared or nervous talk to us… What the worst that we could do.