Teacher Spotlight: Help Desk Coordinator Joe Vitucci

Help Desk Coordinator Joe Vitucci stands in his ready pose for aikido. Its philosophy is one cut one mind.

Courtesy of Joe Vitucci

Help Desk Coordinator Joe Vitucci stands in his ready pose for aikido. Its philosophy is “one cut one mind.”

Watching his two sons become masters of the art of aikido was simple enough for Help Desk Coordinator Joe Vitucci. Being asked to take part in the Japanese martial art was a different story.

“I’m kind of an old man. I can’t do that,” Vitucci said. After seven years, though, Vitucci was practicing the art with a black belt.

According to Vitucci, aikido is a martial art, but not a fighting style. Rather, it is a movement in reaction to something else. “Nothing happens until someone moves,” Vitucci said. It is a form of defense.

The movement is what initiates the “physicality of it” which is what he enjoys the most. “The best part is not throwing people, but being thrown,” Vitucci said. “It’s fun.”

“My favorite maneuver is doing a move with the least amount of effort with the attacker not knowing what happened.” Quick moves like these leave the opponent confused and dazed, according to Vitucci.

Vitucci does not only like aikido for its physicality, but also for the mental preparation it has given him.

“It teaches you to be calm in stressful situations.” As for the physical aspect, Vitucci is reassured in “knowing it’s there and not having to use it” in real life situations.

“My greatest achievement was when my two sons got their black belts, not when I got mine,” Vitucci said.

Vitucci also began to study the art of kenjutsu. Kenjutsu is the Japanese art of the sword. Vitucci practiced this art using a bokken, a wooden sword.

Vitucci has been practicing aikido for ten years and kenjutsu for five, but was forced to stop after a back injury. “I would like to go back, providing the doctors allow me to,” he said. Until then, Vitucci will be working on his second hobby: refurbishing old audio equipment.

“The best part about [aikido] is that this is an art you can make your own,” Vitucci said. “Everyone has their own specific style.”

Lauren Glase is the News Editor for The Patriot and jcpatriot.com.