“Anyone can do it, big or small. Jujitsu is designed for a smaller person to defeat a stronger person”If sending your kids to learn to wrestle people to the ground sounds like an accident waiting to happen, think again. Born in Japan and developed in Brazil during the early 20th century, jujitsu is as much about self-defense as it is about the ability to take down an opponent. Chet Quint, an American who has lived in Beijing since 2005, runs Black Tiger Academy, a martial arts school in the CBD that specializes in Gracie Jiu-Jitsu (or Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu) and Muay Thai (Thai Boxing). After 2,500 hours on the mat and a year of full-time training in Brazil under Gracie Jiu-Jitsu master Rilion Gracie, Quint earned a coveted black belt. He now holds black belts across a total of five different martial arts. Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, as opposed to other forms of jujitsu, is largely about self-defense. Quint says that most street fights inevitably end up on the floor and it is here that Gracie Jiu-Jitsu reigns supreme. In this form of martial art, the moves center on grappling techniques such as chokeholds, submission positions and joint locks, almost all of which are performed on the ground. Quint started his martial arts training at the age of 13 and at 17 became a taekwondo teacher. Quint now teaches jujitsu to kids in classes that focus on learning dedication, focus and most importantly, self-defense. “Anyone can do it, big or small,” says Quint. “Jujitsu is designed for a smaller person to defeat a stronger person.” Once you see his Little Dragons class for kids aged 4-6, or his Jujitsu Juniors for kids 7 and up, you understand what he means. Even the smallest kids are given the chance to grapple with the bigger ones, using everything they’ve learnt to subdue and escape their opponent. The aim of these sessions is not to hurt, but rather to escape from their
opponent when they are forced to the ground. exercises like crawling like a bear and slithering like a snake. Stretches follow, and Quint keeps a keen eye on his class to make sure everything from breathing to posture is correct. The first jujitsu black belt to open a Gracie Jiu-Jitsu school in China, Quint loves what he does and this is reflected in the way his students pick up on his enthusiasm. Most members of Quint’s Jujitsu Juniors class are repeat students. An average class has more than 20 students and Quint, along with a teaching assistant, makes sure each student receives personalized coaching. As in all sports, they key to success is practice, practice, practice, “It’s not the art itself, it’s the perseverance,” says Quint. After warming up, the kids learn their new moves for the week. Everyone gets the chance to try out grappling techniques with a partner, and each child gets some pointers from either Quint or his teaching assistant. For the older kids aged 14 and up, Black Tiger holds Gracie Jiu-Jitsu and Muay Thai classes. Here students can train with other teenagers as well as try their moves against adults in a safe environment. Imogen Kandel Black Tiger Academy – Teen classes ages 14 and up
Muay Thai: Mon-Fri (7-8.30pm, 8.30-9.30pm), Sat (10-11am, 1-2.30pm, 2.30-4.30pm, 4-5pm). Jujitsu: Mon (6-7pm), Sat (12.30-2.30pm), Mon, Wed, Fri (7.30-8.30pm, 8.30-9.30pm). Prices start from RMB 1,600 for two months. 8 Langjiayuan, Jianguo Lu, Chaoyang District (8656 7818) http://blacktigerclub.com Black Tiger Academy – Jujitsu Juniors, ages 7 and up
Classes start from Apr 11. ISB Gym #4, Sat (4-5pm). Jianwai Soho Bldg 9, Rm 906, Sun (9-10am). Nine classes for RMB 550.
www.sportsbj.com/martial_arts/index_Jiujitsu.htm Black Tiger Academy – Little Dragons, ages 4-6
Classes start from Sat, Apr 11 (3.15-4pm). ISB Gym #4. RMB 500 for nine classes. All children must be accompanied by an adult.