Who am I and what is Full Circle?
I’m Alessandro Ashanti, founder of Full Circle Warrior Arts and Full Circle Jujitsu. I use the term “founder” very loosely as I only think of myself as someone who is carrying on the work of several of my teachers. Full Circle was born in the aftermath of politics and has served as a safe haven for myself and my students. Some would call it an eclectic approach, however I’ve never set out to borrow techniques from various styles and then slap them together according to choice. I call this the Dim Sum approach to martial arts (one from column A two from column B). Rather my core ideology is to find where technique and approach is consistent to the core concepts of Full Circle. In all my years I have always remained a student as well as a teacher. I’ve developed an improbably compatible resume of styles through serious study with some incredible teachers. I’ve always strived to learn what my teacher is trying to teach and to limit to the best of my ability what my natural inclination would be while practicing.
Training since 1980 in the martial arts I’ve also earned a 3rd Dan in Zujitsu under it’s founder Soke Chaka Zulu. An 8th Dan with the World Sansei Goju Organization under Hanshi Manny Saavedra, my philsophical mentor for the last 25 years. A 3rd Degree Black Belt in Sanuces-Ryu Jujutsu with Hanshi Anton Muhammad A 5th dan in Jujutsu with the American Jujitsu Association. I have also studied various other styles of martial arts, most notably Capoeria Angola with Mestre Terry Baruti.
Since 2004 I have been in pursuit of “mastery” of the Filipino Martial Arts. I currently hold the rank of Pangalawang Guro Serrada Eskrima under Guro Khalid Khan. Many months after moving to Phoenix, AZ I was fortunate enough to meet Guro Michael J. Butz and began studying Kada Anan Eskrima under him. From Guro Khan to Guro Butz, I transitioned from stick theory to blade theory.
While I currently train under the banner of Full Circle, Full Circle was actually the name of my first dojo. It was a term coined by my teaching partner and senior, “VW”. For me, it has become somewhat of an octuple-entendre. It holds many meanings. In the practical martial arts sense, Full Circle refers to maintaining 360-degree awareness around you at all times. In the philosophical sense, Full Circle means always returning to our beginnings with new knowledge learned on the circular path of life.