A Short History of Rising Sun Jiu-Jitsu.
Beginning at age 18, Rocco Parrillo trained extensively in Jiu-Jitsu for over 30 years. His dedication earned him much respect and recognition within the martial arts world. Now carrying the 5th degree black belt title of Shihan, he retired from the Providence Police Department. Shihan Rocco Parrillo reflected on the positive effect of martial arts on his life, and how it impacted the other martial artists he met over the years. In the early ‘80s, Shihan realized that the martial arts were primarily geared toward one group: adults. Though the physical techniques were designed for adults, the fundamentals were universal. Lessons such as respect, discipline, self confidence, and leadership could be essential tools if learned at an early age. Shihan, now a father himself, decided to take his love for children and passion for martial arts and combine the two in a new, fun direction: by starting his own school. Shihan Rocco Parrillo opened Rising Sun Academy in 1982, one of the first martial arts schools to focus on delivering martial arts to children.
In 2005 Shihan Parrillo began searching for someone to pass the school on to. Of the hundreds of students who attended Rising Sun, Shihan picked his most apt pupil to lead his school. Unfocused , sarcastic, and spoiled, Dean Watts began his training under Shihan at 11 years old. Shihan saw through Deans character and patiently worked with him for 8 years. Shihan was the positive role model Dean needed, and he quickly shaped Dean to become a respected leader within his class. In 2005 Dean became Shihan’s newest Black Belt, and also his most eager. By 2008 Dean (now a Sensei) was running most of the classes at Rising Sun Academy for Shihan Parrillo. A year later, Shihan’s health began to deteriorate, and Sensei Dean was personally chosen by Shihan Parrillo to carry on his legacy. Unfortunately, after a decade-long battle with cancer, Shihan Rocco Parrillo passed away on July 3, 2009.