Although jiu jitsu may look like a form of human origami, it’s a martial art that begets grit, determination and confidence. That’s why Winters High School alumni Jamieson Romney seeks to teach this combat style to a town that’s unafraid of a challenge. With its origins rooted in Japan, jiu jitsu eventually made its way to Brazil. From there, it transformed into the renowned, close-combat martial art Romney describes as a chess match with bodies comprised of counters and submissions. “Jiu jitsu can be translated to the ‘gentle art.’ It came from Japan and then went to Brazil where it was modified,” Romney said explaining jiu jitsu’s origins. “It’s submission grappling. There are no strikes allowed, nor punches or kicks. It uses joint locks and chokes to make people tap out.” Romney’s a martial artist with 20 years of experience – 14 of which are in jiu jitsu. To him, it’s a lifestyle. One that promotes a healthy existence and instills a comfortability in confrontation. “It’s good for character building, building people skills and there’s a lot of comradery as well,” Romney said explaining the non-physical benefits of jiu jitsu. “You don’t perceive confrontation the same way when you simulate it every week. Plus, you get your issues worked out on the mat. You feel good, relaxed and get endorphins. It’s not high-impact, but it’s aggressive and a good outlet for a release and feeling more peaceful after class.” Benefits abound, reasons for indulging in jiu jitsu – and martial arts in general – are as unique as every individual. It’s because of these life-bolstering benefits Romney has received over the years that he wants to reciprocate and share them with the town. “I want to grow the class in size and create a fun and safe environment for people to learn so they don’t have to go out of town,” said Romney. “There’s a saying called ‘share the art.’ Being from Winters, it’s nice being able to bring something back to the hometown community.” Romney’s vision has come to fruition in the form of ‘Community Spirit Martial Arts.’ It’s located at 305 First St. in the Studio Collective. Youth classes will be every Monday and Wednesday. He’ll have two sessions for children ages six and up, and adult classes from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. The start date for Romney’s classes is Aug 1. While the implementation of more martial art techniques is in the future for Romney’s classes, for now, the foundation will be in jiu jitsu. People can sign up for classes by emailing Romney directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or by stopping by the studio on Monday or Wednesday between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. His is currently working to get the website communityspiritmartialarts.com up soon.