JIGS is the first European Go School located in a small university town in the heart of Europe, Jena. With founders and teachers Youngsam Kim (currently the №1 player in Europe) and Manja Marz 4-dan, the school offers beginner friendly environment and balanced schedules.
On their website done by Stephen Hu 5-dan, you can find much more information, such as their programs with very detailed explanations and answers to all questions that you might have!
Currently there are three types of students:
Line I of JIGS aims to strengthen the Go skills of European children to finally compete with Asian professionals. This aim should be achieved step-wise after several years. After five years, Line I should consist of 40 students in the age of 8 to 20 years.
Line II of JIGS aims to strengthen Go players in general. There is no age limit. Each Go player can choose to join the International Go School on a daily basis or for a longer time period up to months. On average we envision 6 to 10 Go students of any age.
Line III of JIGS aims to spread Go among European children combined with a lot of fun. The bootcamp will be organized four times a year, usually during holiday for one week each. Each bootcamp will consist of 15 students with an age ranging from 8 to 20 years.
Interview with Youngsam Kim 8-dan
Q: When was the JIGS idea born?
A: I was dreaming to live in Europe long time ago. Because I love Europe so much ^^ Blackie and Dia (BIBA) and Inseong Hwang (Yunguseng Dojang) are doing a lot for Europe Go in their own way. I wanted to do something for Europe Go in my way. Afterwards Manja Marz and I decided to open Go School in Germany.
Q: It must have been very hard to make this happen, was it? What are your future expectations?
A: Yes it was a very hard decision, because of many problems. Language problem, VISA problem, school in Germany probates, financial problems, and so on. However, Manja and I still went for this. First year will be very difficult for us (JIGS), but we keep trying to find sponsors. Our future expectations is to have many students and many people to get to know about JIGS.
Q: What is the most common opinion around parents about letting their kids study in such academy?
A: Parents have different reasons why they send their kids here. We think they can see that beside having the chance of being a Go professional in the future, they can have also a plan B in life, because they go to German Schools. Especially, because the best mathematics school of Germany is located in Jena. Another reason is surely that the kids can follow their dreams while parents still have the feeling to be close to them, they have daily contact and in emergency case they can visit each other within one day only.
Q: Nowadays, there are many other games to attract kids, do you think Go has bright future in Europe?
A: In fact, there are a lot of video games and smartphone games are very attractive to kids nowadays. However, Go is intelligent Board Game and as you know it’s proven in Asia. In Europe, it’s proven as well, but it’s not well known yet. However, I think Go has bright future if a lot of parents get to know about Go. So I think many Go players have to work all together to spread Go in their counties.Follow me in social media: