Steve Hunt, 3rd Dan (Sandan)
At what club do you train?
Basildon and Harold Hill
When did you start training?
Why did you choose Ju Jitsu over other martial arts?
I was looking for a martial art for my son to give him confidence, to learn an art and to be able to protect himself. A friend told me about Ju Jitsu and after finding a local club my son joined and after watching and being impressed with the range of skills taught I promptly joined soon after that. (I also thought if my boy gets good at this he might try and beat me up!!!)
Did you do other sports/martial arts before Ju Jitsu?
I did Judo in my younger days and later in life to keep fit and try and lose weight I joined a gym (which I found boring).
Tell us about your first Ju Jitsu class.
It was at the Basildon sports centre and I remember doing a warm up with the rest of the class which I thought was easy and I could keep up with them until I nearly passed out!! After I recovered I started to learn the white belt syllabus which I thought was difficult at the time. Anyway next week I was back there and as they say that was a few years ago and one black belt later....
When did you think about getting your Black Belt?
I never set out on a mission to get a black Belt, I challenged myself to get as far as I could as every belt above the one I was doing always looked so complicated. It wasn't until I got my Brown belt that I realised I had a good chance of getting the Black belt.
Was it difficult to attain?
Yes, but anything this prestigious shouldn't be easy.
What does a “black Belt” mean to you?
Pride, commitment and strong mental attitude. It also means I have a strong family as my wife and boy have had to put up with me committing a year just to the black belt.
Ever had to use Ju Jitsu for real?
Thankfully No, it makes you more aware not to put yourself in difficult situations.
Do you enter martial arts competitions?
No, Doing gradings is stressful enough.
Has Ju Jitsu changed your life in any positive or negative way?
Positive, It has given me a stronger mental attitude for life and when life does become stressful a good training session can put it all back into perspective.
What do you see as the advantages of Ju Jitsu?
Fitness, the chance to learn a martial art and therefore a good self defence, positive mental attitude, a good challenge, chance to meet and make good friends.
How much time does your training require?
I try to train 2 or 3 times a week, depending on how much I can get away with the wife! Coming close to the Black Belt grading I trained nearly every night.
If you could advise a beginner on one thing about Ju Jitsu what would it be?
Take each belt as a small step and it becomes easy and don't think I'll never be able to do what the higher grades are doing because you will be surprised when you get there and when your Sensei tells you to take it at your own pace and not try and keep up, listen, otherwise you will be almost passing out like me!