Thread: Your thoughts on "Jitsu"
12/24/2005 5:39am, #21
- Join Date
- Jun 2005
- Dunedin, New Zealand
It probably would be worth checking this place out. The instructor (Simon Ogden) has done a couple of seminars at our club in Dunedin in the past. From the look of things the club seems to be a bit of a mix of standing and ground grappling; probably not quite as good in each specific area as their Judo and BJJ counterparts, but you do get both in one place. I don't think they do any striking, but i know that Simon Ogden has some boxing experience (has been in the ring, but i have no idea at what level) and possibly some Muay Thai too, so i imagine that would be an advantage.
As far as i can tell the instructor is good, and classes should have lots of aliveness, with some 'selfdefencey' stuff thrown in as well (knives, bottles etc). No idea what proportion of an average class is spent on what though. Would be interested to hear what an average class is like.
Hope this helps
12/24/2005 6:39am, #22
Less knives and bottles, more grappling.More human than human is our motto.
3/02/2006 5:07am, #23
My experience of TJF/Shorinji Kan JJ was not great I have to say. I did it for about nine months at university. In addition to what's already been said, the gradings stand out in my memory as particularly silly, although perhaps I'm just bitter because I was one of the few people to fail their first grading. This was basically for not throwing "correct" punches as uke, despite the fact that a. we had never been taught any kind of punch at that point and b. the grader's problem seemed to be that i wasn't throwing massively unrealistic telegraphed haymaker punches, which as has been noted are necessary for a lot of their techniques to work. I was offered teh chance to redeem myself by what they charmingly called a "rape attack"; I had to lie on the ground with my arms and legs crossed, adn then two higher grades pinned me down, after which I was supposed to try to escape. Surprising to say I didn't manage this. What I found particularly galling was that he passed his two four year-old nephews for the same grade at the same grading, which was perhaps the surest sign of bullshido I saw there.
At my next grading I passed, but found myself confronted with more silliness such as at one point defending against someone who had clearly been taught some reasonable punching, throwing simple jabs and crosses at me. Nothing we had been taught worked against this and I got punched in the face several times - which is all part of the fun except of course that we weren't using gloves or mouthguards. Luckily all I got was a bloody nose. One of my friends was bawled at for responding to this guy with some punches and kicks, which seemed sensible given that tryting to hip throw someone using their jab for momentum is ridiculous. I pretty much stopped going after that.
At the next grading, which I didn;t go to but heard about from friends, several beginners were hurt - there were reports of several lost teeth, unsurprisingly, while one person was taken away on a back stretcher to hospital - I'm not sure how serious it turned out to be, but they were temporarily banned from the university student union after that.
I think the basic problem with their gradings was that everyone was screamed at to be as vicious as possible as uke (albeit with terrible striking skills), and people who were used to compliant drills suddenly found themselves being repeatedly whacked at by hyped-up students who totally ignored the little taps or verbal statements ("eyes", "groin" etc) that were supposed to represent "weakener" strikes and freeze the opponent (more realism), because they were afraid of failing if they didn't go at it full whack. While full whack is great, sending bare-fisted hyped-up people to whack beginners who aren't allowed to hit back but only use five throws of extremely limited effectiveness, and without anyone using any kind of protective gear, is a pretty crappy idea in my opinion.
There were some good points - our instructor was a really nice guy and really dedicated (gave us extra free classes in the run up to gradings for instnace, all on his own time), some dan guy came to show us some BJJ stuff he'd learned in the states (this was maybe nine years ago) once, there was a fair bit of judo sparring, and the social aspect was good; it seemed de rigeur for the senior grades to get drunk after every session. That didn't do too much for their fitness levels though, and a lot the higher dans seemed to very overweight (I spotted the fat third dan who failed me in the bar afterwards chain-smoking and drinking pints while pumping a fruit machine full of coins). Some other stupid stuff they did involved weapon drills that included chains (Double Dragon anyone?) and, apparently, live blades at senior grades which led to several rumoured nasty accidents (including a knife through a hand and an instructor who lost a pint of blood from a shoulder wound), although these might have been the senior grades trying to inflate their mystique. I can confirm that they did indeed use the old x-block knife defence. All in all I rue the day I went to their try-out session rather than the university kickboxing club I'd been considering.
3/02/2006 6:03am, #24
Similarly to pachanga I trained with these guys in my last year of university. Everything above is more or less on the button, except that when I was there in 2004/2005 there was often groundfighting in the sessions, however we were never really taught any techniques apart from submissions, so it was generally of extremely low quality. This was generally the only alive training there was. Though the people were all friendly and helpful all I really got from it was decent breakfalling and basic knowledge of a couple of throws. The time would have been much better spent in Judo or BJJ.
Also, depending on who you learn under, you might be exposed to rather too much pseudo-traditional hierarchy obsession and shouting. I was yelled at to do techniques as hard and fast as possible on a compliant uke at the grading, and managed to injure someone's leg. Similarly I was, in my last ever lesson with them, ordered to do push ups for looking at a girl who had broken her wrist when an instructor was talking. It was this kind of **** as much as any of the unrealistic techniques that drove me away.
3/02/2006 9:21am, #25
"Also, depending on who you learn under, you might be exposed to rather too much pseudo-traditional hierarchy obsession and shouting. I was yelled at to do techniques as hard and fast as possible on a compliant uke at the grading, and managed to injure someone's leg. Similarly I was, in my last ever lesson with them, ordered to do push ups for looking at a girl who had broken her wrist when an instructor was talking. It was this kind of **** as much as any of the unrealistic techniques that drove me away."
Ah yes I forgot about that sort of thing. Our teacher rarely pulled it but whenever a senior dan or replacement teacher showed up, it was run around, line up, bark responses, do push ups for punishment time. i always thought that if I wanted to be treated like I was in the army, I'd join the actual army and get paid for it. However, I imagine TJF is far from alone amongst martial arts on that count.
Last edited by pachanga; 3/02/2006 9:41am at .
3/02/2006 10:56am, #26
Students should spend less money on poetry books and marajuana. Then they could afford to train.
3/02/2006 12:08pm, #27
Turning off any sense of humour for a moment...
Only foolish students, or those who lack access to a computer, spend large amounts of money on poetry books. Unless your entire course is focused on post-1920 or so, the majority of canon poets are on the internet in some form, particularly Project Gutenberg and similar sites. Back when I was an undergraduate, almost the whole of my reading list for 'Arthurian Literature and its Legacy' was on the Rochester Camelot Project. Then there is the campus library, although they vary widely in quality (interlibrary loans is another, somewhat more strenuous, option).
The main problem in the UK (though as far as I understand it, the US is considerably more expensive), as I'm sure you're aware, is spiralling student debt due to ever increasing tuition fees.
3/02/2006 12:45pm, #28
- Join Date
- Dec 2005
panchanga and PSB are pretty much on the mark regarding the gradings. Before going off on a rant, in fairness I should point out that I failed my green belt grading. However, I think I've seen enough of the mentality and practices of TJF to pass judgement; flame me if you don't.
As for general accusations, I assert that the gradings are elaborate, and unnecessarily damaging and demanding theatre. This is not to say that they are not difficult- they are, but for very strange reasons. Not least of these (as noted) is not being how to attack, while there exists within the Foundation the idea of "attacking properly"
normally this is standard aikido fare albeit with a lot more vim; ie you give them your balance. The idea is that since we are learning to defend from the asshole on the street, you shouldn't teach people how to attack since we will be dealing with uneducated attacks. I know, I know.
There is a culture of subservience, and a tendency to shout at people like they are in a strange mixture of kindergarten and a boot camp.
In the foundation's defence I should point out that they've raised the requirements for training with "sharps" and I believe are phasing out metal chains and have removed some of the more "hardcore" ukemi from the syllabus. The stabbing incident(s) do have a seed of truth in them; I believe my ex instructor cut someone pretty badly (although this is hearsay and form before my time).
3/02/2006 1:20pm, #29
Word of caution, University mats tend to be the filthiest, rotten things you would ever want to touch. Nobody ever seems to want to clean them. Rolling in the mud would be a better alternative.:google:
Number of bottles of beer downed by me and my girlfriend within a half hour while playing the Channel 7 "how many times will they say 'snow' game" during the "Blizzard of '06": 3.5 each.
3/02/2006 2:42pm, #30Originally Posted by Darkpaladin