The martial arts ju-jutsu not only plays an important role in Stefan Jacobs’ life, the whole family is involved. Stefan Jacobs met his wife Berit in 2004 – while doing sports, but on a different terrain. “At that time I moved from Neumünster to Norderstedt and signed up for a fitness studio. Back then, Stefan was an equipment trainer at Sportlife in Garstedt. Then it sparked, ”says the general practitioner who works regularly as a tournament doctor at Ju-Jutsu competitions. Their first child, daughter Jule, was born in 2007 during the Hamburg Open in Norderstedt. Today the 14-year-old is youth world champion. She won the gold medal at the U16 World Cup in Abu Dhabi. In the final she needed 39 seconds to defeat her opponent.
From high-performance gymnastics to self-defense
Stefan Jacobs discovered his passion for martial arts and self-defense at the age of 14, before that he was active as a competitive gymnast and athlete. “During gymnastics, however, I was told at the time that I was not flexible enough,” said Jacobs, who then ignored parallel bars and horizontal bars and devoted himself entirely to judo and – initially only incidentally – ju-jutsu at TuRa Harksheide.
“In 1988 we founded the Kodokan association with 13 people. We had our first training times in the gymnastics room at the Garstedt secondary school, ”says Stefan Jacobs, whose greatest success in 1987 was the German runner-up championship. Stefan Jacobs is even more successful as a trainer. He has had the Trainer A license since 1992, and under his direction the Kodokan athletes have won eight world championships and eight gold at European championships.
Active in the Kodokan Norderstedt talent shed
The ambition that Stefan Jacobs has as a trainer rubbed off on his children Hannes (12) and Jule. Hannes won bronze at the German U14 school championships, “When my children fight, I’m excited. But the risk of injury in Ju-Jutsu is not nearly as great as in other sports, for example in football, ”says Berit Jacobs. Sometimes an arm is twisted, other times the neck is tense. “Some even shout extra loud during the competition. But that’s actually a sign that it’s not that bad, ”says the doctor with a smile.
Corona was and is a great challenge for the Jacobs family, as for many others. Stefan Jacobs stayed at home and looked after his offspring during the school closings in home lessons. “It’s not easy, especially because every child learns differently. Some find it easy, others just don’t get along with it. If there is no one there to help, children can fall off the back, ”says Berit Jacobs, who runs her own practice in Norderstedt.
Corona not without consequences for family and sport
Another consequence of the corona pandemic and the associated restrictions: At the beginning of the year, Stefan Jacobs ended his work as national coach for Switzerland. He is now concentrating on club training and also teaches twice a week the Schleswig-Holstein squad athletes from the Heidberg high school in Hamburg, which his two children also attend.
For the coming year, Stefan, Berit, Jule and Hannes Jacobs – like most other people, would like to see a little more normality and less or, ideally, no more Corona. And all four – each in his or her role – naturally want to reap successes. A European championship is scheduled for the end of March next year. Kodokan is already planning to host the North German Championships on January 29th. If the pandemic allows it, it would be the first official competition in the new training hall on the parade ground.
By Anne Pamperin