Thursday, September 15, 2011

Graciemag interview of Felipe “Zicro” Neto - Ivan Trindade

GMA member school Alliance Tallahassee is a safe place if you are looking for a top class Jiu-Jitsu training facility in Florida. Its leader, Felipe “Zicro” Neto lives the gentle art 24/7 and is restless in improving his teaching and management skills to bring more and more benefits to his students.
In this quick interview, Zicro, who started Jiu-Jitsu at 17 years old at the legendary Master Academy, in Rio de Janeiro, under Master Romero “Jacaré” Cavalcanti, talks about his views on Jiu-Jitsu and what and how the gentle art  can turn everyday people into more confident and successful persons.

Did Jiu-Jitsu change your life?

Felipe “Zicro” Neto: I think that not only Jiu-Jitsu, but also any well-oriented sport can change people’s lives. I’ve been into sports since I was a child, with judo at 6 years old. I encountered Jiu-Jitsu as a teenager, a time of our lives when we make the passage from family to broader social relations. That’s an especially dangerous phase because we can get in touch with new experiences, not always good ones. I cannot say that Jiu-Jitsu changed completely my life, but I can sure say that it strengthen my values, such as discipline, respect, honor, integrity and loyalty.

Is there a secret for owning a successful academy?

Zicro: That’s a question I hear often and a hard one to answer. To me, the most important quality a professor/owner of a Jiu-Jitsu academy must have is to like what he or she does, which is to help people to develop. To be a great teacher being a great champion is worthless if that is the only thing you developed during your career. You have to know how to communicate and organize, to deal with delicate situations, have creativity, leadership, be persistent, responsible and to know how to transmit your technical knowledge. Those are things you learn at school, so I consider vital to have a degree, preferably in Management or Physical Education.

What gives you more pleasure, to turn a white belt into a black belt champion or to turn a lonely and shy child into someone with great self-esteem?

Zicro: Competitions bring me a lot of satisfaction, but Jiu-Jitsu is the environment that I try to create in my academy, more family oriented. Other than athletes, teenagers, women and children develop themselves daily on our classes. To see a housewife learn to defend herself, an executive to vent his stress, an overweight person loose weight and a lonesome guy or girl not only learn Jiu-Jitsu but make a lot of friends is something priceless.
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