In a meeting of the martial arts, Japanese Jujutsu would show up in a subtle blue slate tux. It would be classic but fresh, a look right off the cover of the newest Gentleman’s Quarterly. This discipline would move with an economy of motion, every effort both simple and purposeful – a certifiable James Bond.
Every characteristic, elegant, efficient, and methodical also a reflection of Saratoga based Jujutsu Sensei and third degree black belt JP Mamaril.
Japanese Jujutsu is very much a martial art in the strictest interpretation of its definition. It is a widely respected and recognized code of techniques and practices that has been passed down since the Samurai of Japan’s feudal era.
Unlike many other schools of martial arts, Jujutsu doesn’t rely strictly on one’s force, but the redirection or leverage of your opponent’s force. In practice, it relies heavily on wrist and joint control, throws, and leverage on pressure points. The art also possesses an element of swordplay and showmanship. In combat and philosophy, jujutsu is simple and effective.
“Jujutsu is control,” said JP. Physical control is the easiest to master and perhaps the most immediately visible form, but it is taught for more than that, for the expression of control in all aspects of a student’s life, he added.
Jujutsu is not taught exclusively for the ring or for the cage. It is taught as a supplement to life. It is an expression of art.
As kids we all have these dreams of being a great karate master, but then life tends to get in the way, said JP. It all circled back to this dream for the Saratoga Sensei when he was presented his first black belt in Japan from the highest ranking Jujutsu practitioner in the world. “This is real, this isn’t a movie,” he reflected.
In 2010 listening to a speech from another one of the heads of Jujutsu, JP was instructed that he and his fellow students were the future of their art. When he was singled out as having the quality of movement desired of every student of Jujutsu, JP realized that it was his responsibility to carry on the art.
As a Sensei, JP adheres to the art’s charter, the Budo Kensho. This code contains six main principles for the application of jujutsu.
Be a role model
Contribute to the arts
It is through these six principles that JP models his actions, both in his budo and his free time. JP enjoys taking the time to participate in active relaxation, like meditation in addition to singing or listening to music. Music and teaching are my two real passions, and figuring out new ways to teach, to visualize, and to express the martial arts through music is my inspiration, he said.
As an instructor, JP teaches martial art the way he believes they are meant to be taught. There is a real simplicity of environment, as in all things jujitsu. It’s the little things that say [my budo] is different, he said. There are no trophies in windows and it is really a family environment.
“We do value accomplishment,” JP said, “but it is more.” Of course competition is still a major element and if you end up the baddest dude on the block then so be it, but it’s still about grace of movement and control.
Part of a Whole
Jujutsu is a worldwide phenomenon and to JP, strengthening this connection is a major focus of his plans. There are top instructors throughout Japan, the United States, Canada, and Belgium, and JP wants to include these perspectives into his own teachings.
I want my students to see where I came from and what I learned, so they can incorporate that knowledge into their own growth, he said. JP aims to do this not only by bringing other Sensei’s into his budo as special guests, but by taking international trips to connect students deeply with the art.
The bottom line for JP is to show up. I am giving students an opportunity to learn, he said. All they need to do is show up physically and mentally, and whether or not they take the art is up to them. Come check out Saratoga Budo or find them on Facebook to begin your martial arts training.
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