Dave James, 5th Dan (Godan)
At what club do you train?
Chelmsford & South Woodham Ferrers
When did you start training?
Why did you choose Ju Jitsu over other martial arts?
My parents were friends with the Sensei at the time who suggested I give it a go.
Did you do other sports/martial arts before Ju Jitsu?
Not really, before Ju Jitsu I wouldn't say I was very sporty.
Tell us about your first Ju Jitsu class.
Because I was young I wasn't at all daunted. I just wanted to get on the mat and give it a go. A feeling I still get today!
When did you think about getting your Black Belt?
I think everyone who steps on the mat and really enjoys it wants that Black Belt from day one. Its very addictive.
Was it difficult to attain?
Very, but that's what gives such a feeling of pride when you wear it.
What does a "black belt" mean to you?
To me it is a symbol of the work and dedication that person has put into attaining it.
Ever had to use Ju Jitsu for real?
Do you enter martial arts competitions?
Yes. I think practicing Ju Jitsu under pressure is an important part of training, plus the adrenaline buzz is great!!
Has Ju Jitsu changed your life in any positive or negative way?
Only positive. It has given me great self confidence. Not just being able to look after myself but in meeting new people and making new friends.
What do you see as the advantages of Ju Jitsu?
The thing that sets Ju Jitsu apart from a lot of other martial arts is its diversity, we train in everything from basic punches to ground fighting and of course the throws and locks that Ju Jitsu is known for.
How much time does your training require?
I try to train twice a week, plus when I can, I help to teach the juniors.
If you could advise a beginner on one thing about Ju Jitsu what would it be?
Just give it a try. Every person on the mat has been in exactly the same position (Including the Sensei!) Everyone will be keen to welcome you and give you as much help as possible.