Elena Zhuravleva: “Develop and Improve the Best Qualities”. LUDUS SCHOOL
Jiu-jitsu is one of the ancient forms of Japanese wrestling, based on the principle of “soft” and “pliable” techniques of movement. It was developed based on the principles of using an enemy’s energy against him, which is preferable to direct confrontation. The history of this martial art stretches back to ancient times. Back in the 9th century, Akayama Siroboi, the court physician of the Japanese emperor, during his visits to China, studied their national techniques of fighting, known as Wushu. Then, having collected all of the methods of fighting shown to him, he created his own system, with his own unique principles and methods. Thus, the first school based upon the study of Jiu-Jitsu was born.
Now, new, modern Jiu-Jitsu centres are created on the basis of classical principles, but adapt according to the goals of each particular school. For example, some are aimed at enhancing sports performance, while others serve to develop modern methods of self-defence or to enhance specialized tasks (for police training, etc.).Two years ago, in Limassol, Cyprus, a professional Jiu-Jitsu school was opened. It does not have any age restrictions and is open to anyone who wants to learn this ancient martial art. We met with its founder, Elena Zhuravleva, and talked about goals and objectives, as well as plans for the future.
What do you think about the fact that love moves the world?
This is a very beautiful idea, of course, but it seems to me that the world of every individual is driven by something of his/her own. I would be happy if love moved all of the processes in the world. Then, everything would be quite different.
You once said: «I only care about today and tomorrow». How do you see your future in 10 years?
What a good question, but it is very difficult. We live at such an active pace in the modern world. It is extremely difficult to predict its future. I have a master plan and a common vision, but it’s very private (smiles).
Thank you for this interview. It has been very nice to talk to you.
Thank you for your time and insight.
How did you come up with the idea of creating such a club?
The idea belongs to my husband, who started studying this kind of martial art several years ago. It is known that Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a sport that develops children’s confidence, endurance and discipline, and helps adults not only to keep themselves in shape, be healthy and active, but also helps to develop strength, flexibility and coordination and teaches communication and balance in everything from nutrition to lifestyle. So, our school, Ludus, appeared and recently turned two-years-old. There are around 40 similar schools around the world, not only in Russia and Cyprus, but also in Iran, Kazakhstan and the Baltic States. This is a kind of club alliance, created by the Brazilians.
Who in your school is engaged in the training of students?
At the source of the creation of our school is the sensei Dada Faria; a person well-known in the world as a master of Jiu-Jitsu. He has earned many international awards and titles. He is our mentor. Training sessions for students are run with the Brazilian coach Ginaldo Gomes, a multiple world champion and owner of the black belt. He has extensive experience in the education and training of children. In Russia, he was awarded the title “Best Coach in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu” among children’s schools. He has participated in more than 150 competitions around the world. Now, he is 38-years-old and has decided to devote himself to the education of his students.
Tell us about your goals for this period of time?
We have already performed at competitions in Moscow, including the Open Championship “Gymnasium Cup”. The pupils of our school took 2nd and 3rd places. The student who took second place was my son. In addition, we participated in the Pan American Championship in Florida. Our school is also the first association of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in Cyprus and it is called “San Dimitris”. It is included in the world alliance of this martial art. Now, we are talking about Jiu-Jitsu being introduced into Olympic sports. If this happens, we will arrive at a completely different level.
What are your plans for the future?
Now, we are preparing for the World Cup in Abu Dhabi, which will be held in April, and in May, we again have to participate in the Gymnasium Cup in Moscow. We, of course, plan to expand and now we are thinking about creating an extended day school. We are also going to bring in a trainer for the game “Go” — a very interesting, strategic Chinese game that perfectly develops thinking.
What do you offer besides Jiu-Jitsu at school?
We have classes for capoeira, a Brazilian martial art, which combines elements of dance and acrobatics using the rhythms of Brazilian music. We also do yoga classes. Recently, in our club, there was a new exclusive program called “Les Mills Grit” — a 30-minute training session that accelerates metabolism so that, within 9 hours after classes, the body continues to burn fat. For one such training, up to 600 calories are lost. All classes in the school are divided according to age and time, for the convenience of parents. I, as a mother, can add, from my own experience, that, in comparison with other sports, this is the least traumatic sport, especially for young children. This kind of sport develops not only dexterity, but also thinking. So, if you want your children to develop and improve their best qualities, bring them to us.
Michali Zavou 79, A. Athanasios, Limassol, +357 25727878