Sakura Ryu Jujitsu - Brisbane
I have been training here for over two years and now, on the verge of my sankyu grading, am taking a moment to reflect on the club (as much for my own benefit than for anyone willing/bothered to read this).
Training is run three times per week (Mon, Wed, Fri) with an additional conditioning session on Sundays. Classes typically run for 2-2.5hrs (from 7pm) with no breaks (no not even drinks breaks, it is your responsibility to present at training hydrated and ready to work hard). Each class is different with around 4-5 different skills groups worked on after a roughly 30-40min warm-up, which are broken up by bag work, sparring and fitness drills.
Specialised and/or one on one training is available by arrangement and is compulsory for specific training regimes (e.g. pre-dan gradings, mma tournament preparation etc.).
Sakura Ryu jujitsu is a Gendai Jujitsu derived from the system as handed down by Mikonosuke Kawaishi (and thus incorporates some pre-war Kodokan in the syllabus). It incorporates striking, trapping, takedowns and throws, grappling, joint locks and weapons defense. General classes are geared more towards self-defense, with specialist competition instruction available.
Stand-up = 5/6. Light contact continuous sparring, no contact to the head but medium contact to the legs and body with no protective gear.
Takedowns & Throws = 3/4. Compliant partner drills, although single attacks are thrown as close to real as possible with high frequency repetition.
Grappling = 8. Low kyu grades (white to orange belt) work purely for positional dominance, yonkyu (green belt) and above is a fight for survival. Full range of submissions available, though no ground and pound, pure grappling.
7. We train in heavy gi's (i.e. Judo/BJJ) which are available from the club. Light gi's (i.e. Karate) are available but not recommended as they don't last long under our training conditions. Full range of (somewhat worn) equipment available from heavy bags, mits, thai pads, kick shields, round shields, horizontal bungy harnesses, tantos, batons etc. plus fully equipped weights centre and fully matted dojo.
8. Purpose built dojo has a matted floor area of roughly 25m x 10m (just under 3000sqft), plus a weights centre plus adjoining grassed areas for some old school fitness fun.
8. Head instructor runs every training session, is accessible and is quick to provide hands-on direction. Class is often split into smaller groups each being run by Dan level instructor, with the head instructor overseeing.
9. Club motto is "Go Hard or Go Home", with little to no tolerance for being too compliant, too lethargic, lack of intent in attacks and lack of aggression in defences. Fairly high attrition rate due to the high demands/standards. Training plans are designed to push your limits and completing each training session is an accomplishment in its own right. Very supportive atmosphere though, provided you are prepared to try your hardest and "never give up". Definitely attracts Jujutsukas with a bit of an S&M streak who like to see how hard they can throw/be thrown. No egos though, good throws are usually immediately commended. Then reciprocated (provided you're sufficiently proficient in Ukemi - we have a strict no hurting the whitebelts policy). Pretty close-nit group but very open to anyone prepared to have a go.
8-9. During my time at the club three members have competed at national level, limited rules mma tournaments. The two shodans won convincingly (submission and TKO [punches]) while the third lost via decision (four month white belt).
3. Main weapons defense is against a baton and a metal tanto. Single attacks are (built-up to) full force and full speed with high frequency repetition and from a variety of preset angles.
About the only thing missing (for me) from the syllabus is a focus on infighting but this is not where the strength of the style lies. Generally a very well rounded style with strong fundamentals, good instruction and a great place to train.