Cyprus is famous for its picturesque beaches, which, like warm waters, attract tourists here.
People here live at a calm pace, in a warm and friendly environment. This is the perfect place to buy your dream property by the sea and raise your children.
The standard of living in Cyprus is quite high – a developed real estate market, a high level of service, quality food and delicious Cypriot cuisine.
Also in Cyprus is one of the best European schools of traditional Jiu-Jitsu, whose students have repeatedly become champions of Cyprus and winners of international competitions.
Multiple champions of Cyprus, representatives of the school of martial arts of the world champion in Jiu-Jitsu Alexander Kretov adequately represent Cyprus at the world championships regarding the young martial arts of Jiu-Jitsu and regularly take prizes in major international tournaments.
This school trains the youngest athlete in Cyprus, who at the age of 17 became the world champion in traditional Jiu-Jitsu according to Fight: Dimitris Tsamurlidis is the owner of gold and silver medals won by him at international, European, Brazilian and Middle Eastern tournaments.
But let’s see – what is Jiu-Jitsu?
Jiu-Jitsu originated in medieval Japan, during the Sengoku period – during the feudal wars.
In the 16th century, military tactics Hisamori Takenouchi combined the various martial arts that were used in close combat in situations where weapons proved to be ineffective.
The main principle of Jiu-Jitsu is “not to go into direct confrontation in order to win,” that is, not to resist, but to give in to the enemy’s onslaught, directing his actions in such a way that he is trapped in himself, and to draw the enemy’s strength against himself.
Initially, this was the art of warriors. Jiu-Jitsu developed among the samurai who fought in an endless series of local conflicts, and his goal was to neutralize an armed enemy without using weapons. Combining shock and throwing techniques, the warriors who practiced Jiu-Jitsu used a whole arsenal of pain and asphyxiation techniques, which made it possible to neutralize the enemy, regardless of size and availability of armor.
Over time, this martial art has become widespread in a milder form.
The times of feudal Japan remained in the distant past, but Jiu-Jitsu is practiced today. Now there are 2 directions of this type of martial arts – traditional Japanese and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
These two directions are similar to each other in the conduct of painful and suffocating techniques and the ability to control the enemy in the stalls (on the ground). But there are differences. Followers of the Japanese tradition combine strokes and throws, painful techniques and strangulation, creases and impact on pain points, and representatives of the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) pay attention to the struggle on the ground, on the ground.
Founded at the beginning of the last century in Brazil, the BJJ gained fame in the early 1990s, largely thanks to the efforts of the family of the legendary Gracie – the great masters of this sport.
As you know, behind every great fighter there are years of training, hard work, unbending will and a great trainer who transmitted knowledge, skills. And we have such a coach in Cyprus.
The world champion in Jiu-Jitsu Alexander Kretov teaches this kind of martial arts and self-defense of school children and juniors, girls and adult athletes. He teaches to form a persistent, courageous character and improve the best human qualities.
More recently, the Cypriot school of Alexander Kretov took part in one of the most prestigious international tournaments – the Jiu Jitsu Challenge Championship, which was held in Abu Dhabi. The guys returned to Cyprus as winners and all the hopes and efforts of the coach came true: 11 prize winners from 13 team members, 7 gold medals, 1 silver and 3 bronzes. The results are fair, won in honest fights and achieved thanks to the coordinated work of the general tandem: coach, parents, athlete. Achieve such excellent results dream of the largest countries in the world! For our small island, this is an unprecedented triumph: At the last Cyprus Championship 2019, the guys won 4 gold medals, 3 silver and 2 bronze in the Fight section and 4 gold, 3 silver according to Ne Vaza.
How did the Cypriot juniors and children achieve such high results in prestigious competitions?
Today, Sensei Alexander Kretov, a unique martial artist, 2005 world champion and 6th dan winner in traditional Jiu-Jitsu, will answer this and other questions.
– Hello, Sensei! Tell me, what do you think is the key factor to achieve success in competitions and take prizes?
“First of all, this is dedication during classes, goal setting and a clear understanding of the goal – what do you want from the competition. Well, of course, this is a competent approach to preparing an athlete for competitions. But the most important thing is motivation. You have to answer yourself how important this is for you.”
– Most of your students are still quite young, but despite this they have already managed to reach certain heights in their sports career. How did you do it? Is there a difference in adult education and children’s education?
“In the case of young children, the main thing is not to force children, but to interest them. An adult can be forced, but in the case of a child, this does not work. Well, of course, this is a joint work of parents, a coach and a child. Parents help me and can convey the importance of preparation to the child, as was the case with Abu Dhabi. We prepared for a month and a half – daily training, balanced nutrition and regimen. Then there was almost a 100% result.”
– Tell us a little about yourself. How did you start playing sports, who was your teacher? How did you come to Jiu-Jits?
“I started playing sports from the age of 9, then in the post-Soviet space martial arts were just beginning to appear and the first schools were opening. We trained in the basement. My first coach was Viktor Kulinich, he was the champion of the Soviet Union in full contact karate. I trained with him for a long time. In 1996, after serving in the army, I met Evgeny Anatolyevich Radishevsky – he is the founder and president of the Bushinkan International Center for Martial Arts, where I started working. And so began my career in Jiu-Jitsu. Then my teachers were Ian Eric Carsen from Sweden, Brian Chick from England and Yasumoto-Sensei from Japan.”
– Why did you decide to move to Cyprus?
“Why Cyprus? This is a long story, but I will say this – a good climate has become a key factor.”
– What can you say about Jiu-Jitsu in Cyprus? Does our island have any future in this particular sport?
“There are quite serious, good athletes in Cyprus, but, unfortunately, it is now very difficult to cooperate with other halls, to find some common points of contact. Maybe this is due to the island mentality, but we are working on it. I myself am interested in the appearance of some serious competitors with whom we could fight at approximately the same level, then we will be able to continue to adequately represent Cyprus and our school at international competitions.”
– What is the main thing in Jiu-Jitsu?
“Thanks to Jiu-Jitsu, which I have been doing for many years, I realized that this is not just another style, it is a lifestyle. This is art, this is science and everything that I use on the tatami, I try to apply in life. Thanks to Jiu-Jits, I got out of many situations correctly, correctly, with minimal losses for myself.”
– What are your plans for the future and when can we expect the next triumph of Cypriot athletes?
“I have plans to open a large, full-fledged school where both children and their parents could study. Make one single center based specifically on Jiu-Jitsu. Regarding the triumph … We will have the World Cup in Bucharest on September 13-15, there will be children and adults, then we will prepare for November 23 in Ireland – the first European Championship for children. We will try to make every effort to adequately represent our country and win prizes.”
– And finally, why is Jiu-Jitsu so popular these days and what can you recommend to those who are curious who want to try this?
“First of all, do not be lazy or put off. As some say: “I’ll start from Monday ..”. This is for lazy people. Do not put off until later. Get up, go, do it. Maybe the time has come to learn something new about yourself. Thanks to daily training, thanks to tatami partners, you will know yourself much better. Why is Jiu-Jitsu spreading so fast? First of all, this is a competent approach of marketers. Correctly arranged the conditions for participation in competitions, starting from children 4 years old and ending with adults who are over 70 years old. Competent, modern approach to sports. Now the BJJ is developing very fast across the planet and, although I myself am based on the traditional Jiu-Jitsu, I understand that I must keep up with the times and teach Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.”