Previous thread here.
I trained at the Warwick University Jitsu club (which called itself 'samurai jiu jitsu') for about a month (went along to five sessions), and I personally wouldn't rate it.
Firstly, the teaching was terrible. Techniques were shown once, you were supposed to practice it for about a minute, then onto the next technique.
Secondly, the main focus of the class was breakfalling. Over and over again. Now, breakfalling is important, but shouldn't take up such a large proportion of class.
Thirdly, 'knife defence'. I'm no expert on that, but from what I remember, it was the classic x blocking etc. However, I may be remembering that incorrectly, as it was a few years ago now.
I never did any sparring, but then I was only there briefly. Other possibly minor thing that put me off was that they were extremely keen to get you teaching - clearly had expansionist aims, which makes an organisation prone to McDojoism. The two things in the classes favour were firstly that they all seemed quite friendly, so there was a welcoming atmosphere. Secondly, one of the higher belts had apparently performed well in a judo competition; that would seem to indicate some skill, at least on his part, though I'm not sure what the details of the competition were.
Further info from the site:
Originally Posted by What is Jitsu?
Originally Posted by Grading Conditions
The TJF have an internal 'judo rules' competition where they compete with other practitioners of the same style. I think the rules are a bit more restrictive than real judo competition, at least for lower grades. I watched a class and went to two classes and didn't see any randoori (although they do do it).
Originally Posted by slideyfoot
We did about 15 minutes of ne waza in one class.
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first post, long time lurker.
I trained with the foundation for two years in uni, before quitting and taking up Judo. Most of the important points have already been made here but there are a few things I would like to clear up:
-the style is essentially the bastard child of aikido and Judo with dubious roots. This of itself is not a problem, if it wasn't so anally retentive about being a "traditional" style.
-I would argue that it is not nearly as "wet" as the worst aikido has to offer, but it retains a number of its characteristics most notably an unhealthy fascination with wristlocks.
-although there are syllabus revisions going on all the time, some with the aim of introducing "aliveness" the style remains a broadly compliant one, something which still affects they way they practice "ground fighting"
-"ground fighting" especially for junior grades is very restrictive- no submissions for white, yellow and orange, strangles only for green and I forget where arm bars come into it. Useful teaching when it came, was too little too late. But luckily I started going to Judo.
-it is great for beginners (in that it teaches them something about body mechanics, and gets them over fear of physical contact even if they learn a lot of bad habits) but you are not a beginner, so I would leave it unless you need some drinking buddies.
-some people in the style can fight but this is an associatitive rather than a causal relationship. You may stumble across a dojo where the sensei may have an active interest in ground fighting (Kings College club in London for example, or you may have caught Rosi Sexton who now competes in MMA teaching in Manchester a few years ago) but don't count on it.
-Bullshido is rife, but there are some sensible teachers ie. they will teach you "knife defences" because they are on the syllabus but also tell you that they, never mind you, would happily give up their wallet to avoid tackling someone with a knife.
-there is a heavy emphasis on learning to teach and int he 80s and early 90s there was a massive drive to expand the organisation. Especially when it comes to university clubs, the ogransisation has expanded about as far as it can go. There are plenty of reasons to be concerned about this style, but I would argue that expansionism is no longer one of them. I learned more about how to teach, than I probably did about Jitsu- and this meant that after I was at Judo for a little while, I was pretty good at communcating some of the basics.
-The clubs in the UK are not McDojos- they are run for cost by instructors who teach out of the love of their art, or for the pleasure of stroking their egos.
Or as was more common, a little of both. I met some great instructors and senior grades, some of which are still my friends. I also met a hell of a lot of wankers. Cost is usually about 4$ or less per lesson, insurance about $40 for a year.
-The governing organisation was somewhat more suspect:
I was treasurer for my university club and found out that we had to pay £350 a year (about 700US$) to be affiliated to the Jitsu Foundation. We also had to pay for senior instructor visits; approximately to annually totalling about £500 (1000US$). Students must pay £14 for a course, which makes them eligible for grading, which costs a further £14.
-The Foundation has a commercial branch called "Studio 3" which is made up of the most senior members of the organisation and a few outside "specialists" who give courses on behaviour management/staff training for confronation etc. Some senior members of the organisation draw a wage. I was never convinced that this money came from the activities of Studio 3 rather from the Foundation itself (which as rumour has it, is in debt)
Last edited by flange; 12/17/2005 8:29am at .
Awesome info, thanks guys, you've helped me a lot. I'm still checking out the prices at the Judo schools, but I think I'll probably have to just play around with my budget a bit and find a way.
Try the Wellington Judo & Jujutsu Academy. Don't know about the Jujutsu, but the Judo was great when I visited them. Nothing like getting straight off the plane from UK and onto the mats to cure jet-lag. I don't think they were too expensive, and they also enjoyed the occasional pint after class if that is important to you.
Try to get sophist started on Jitsu, but only if you have a few hours spare........
Originally Posted by MavericZ
I don't post here often, but as I'm a 1st Dan in TJF Jitsu, I thought I should comment here about our style. Of the posts on here I would say that Cullion and Eyebeams are pretty much on the mark (I know cullion from www.planetjitsu.com). Flange appears to have had a negative experience, while some of his comments are on the mark, I think others are less well founded.
What TJF is NOT:
- A full on competitve style (we run the odd competition and produce the odd fighter, but frankly while they may have started with us, they all tend to cross train to the point that we are one of their subsidiary arts not their primary)
- koryu - we are "traditional" in the sense that much of our lower grade training is compliant, we teach standing locks and practise a comparatively large amount of falling. However our later training becomes increasingly resistive, we borrow techniques and training methods from whereever seems to have the best solution, if they fit they eventually get incorporated into the syllabus (as I mentioned as a style we have a lot of cross trainers, particularly judo but also bjj, boxing, sambo, muay thai etc. At the higher levels cross-training is definitely encouraged)
- McDojo - We have 1 full time and one part time administrator for about 3000 members, these are paid for by the proceeds from senior instructor visits and club affiliation (these are about £300 in each case but are generally footed by the club out of proceeds from mat fees). The administrators organise insurance, national and regional events, gradings, courses etc (ie they arrange the benefits of a large organisation, but are also its major cost). Instructors are generally not compensated beyond expenses, though as has been mentioned some of our senior instructors do external commercial work. Insurance costs £20 per year (don't know how much in New Zealand Dollars) Sessions generally about £3-5 for 2 hours. Courses and gradings cost £15. There shouldn't be an obligation to subscribe monthly or anything like that though you might get a better rate if you do.
- Bullshido - Or at least I hope not. We are NOT an elite fighting organisation though some of our senior instructors are very competent, but we don't claim to be - I think we are fairly honest about our abilities (though we run the occasional flashy ultra compliant demonstration at university freshers fairs to encourage people to give us a try - the horrors of marketting). We do still teach a few ineffective techniques due to our (recent) historical roots, but these are gradually being de-emphasised or weeded out completely; (one thing we do insist is that everyone learns certain techniques which may not be appropriate for them but which might work well for someone they later have to teach - eg bald people still need to know how to deal with a hair grab etc).
- A great ground grappling style - We have good clinch work, decent throwing and reasonable takedown defence but while we train ground fighting its all pretty basic and we are not great on the ground. There is a concerted effort to improve this using the knowledge of our instructors with judo, bjj and sambo experience, but realistically it will be years before this falls into place. If its primarily ground fighting you want, then save up and do BJJ.
- A free-movement striking style - we use a wide variety of strikes, but mostly from the clinch or to set up for locking or throwing techniques. Our striking in free movement is relatively weak (but you do Muay Thai so that shouldn't be a problem)
So that's what we are not, here's what we are:
-Primarily a self-defence style - as such we are more focussed on not losing a fight than on winning it, this means we lack some of the aggression and proactiveness needed if you want to compete (though this varies quite widely from dojo to dojo). However we do train fully resistively at the higher levels and we do run a few competitions.
- semi contact - we are full contact from the point of view of throwing, locking and ground fighting, but only touch to semi contact where striking is concerned (though use of pads and full contact is gradually increasing particularly at higher grades).
-a good starting place for beginners - We are a jack-of-all trades grappling style rather than a master of one area, with a relatively shallow learning curve to begin with. The good thing is that this means most people can start with us, the downside is that progression can be a little slow for some people's taste, particularly those with previous grappling experience. In time most TJF practitioners cross train in more focussed styles to play to their personal strengths
-compatible with full-contact arts - I don't think we teach too many bad habits if you later want to do something else (with the exception that some of our breakfalling gives away ippon in judo when something less safe might have avoided a score, but you'll soon get over that). We don't favour pressure points or chi, most of the techniques we teach are relatively practical and usable under pressure.
-supportive of cross training - your grade in other styles doesn't transfer to us (for safety and insurance reasons) but you are more than welcome to do them and we'll welcome any expertise you can bring to the table. BJJ, Sambo, Muay Thai, boxing and Judo are very compatible; tkd, karate and wing chun rather less so. Aikido ought to be compatible, but somehow isn't, most people seem to end up choosing either Jitsu or Aikido not both.
Finally the Wellington club. I know someone from our club trained there when in New Zealand and said it seemed well run. The Sensei is Simon Ogden who I have only seen in action a couple of times when he came over to the UK, but he seemed pretty good by the standards of our style (he's a second dan, but our style only goes up to third dan so that's pretty high). I suggest you go along talk to Simon about your previous MA experience and give the club a try, TJF is not the be all and end all, but I think its fairly solid. (but then I would :-) )
Sorry that was so long, I wanted to try to provide a balanced view.
Last edited by fluffy bunny; 12/19/2005 9:21pm at .
You guys are great, thankyou all for the info, and I got hold of Sophist who gave an excellent appraisal as well.
I'm heading home for a week or two around lunchtime today, but I'm gathering pricing info to work out how I can afford Judo or if possible, BJJ in the new year. Thanks again.
They call it Jitsu, but everything on the video was Aikido, with the exception of Ippon Seoinage (One-armed shoulder throw). Whatever it's called, it looked like good, organized techniques. A 10-second video can't tell you much, though. Good luck.
Tampa, FL, USA
Sick of hearing about you poor-ass students.
"How do I get something for nothing?"
Hi. As a poor student, there's no way I can afford to attend BJJ where I am, it's simply too expensive. However, my university has some sort of Ju Jitsu club, which would be more affordable, though everything's tough when you have as little $$ as I do
I doubt its just students who can't afford BJJ, or alternately, don't want to pay that much; its one of the more expensive martial arts. I'm in part time study, but the part time job I have is relatively well paid, so at a push, I could probably just about afford BJJ. However, I chose the cheaper option of judo at my university (50p per session as opposed to £8 a session).
Sick of hearing about you poor-ass students.
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