Posted On:9/30/2009 6:38am
Style: jiu jitsu
I've been a member of this club for three years after a ten year break from martial arts (unless you consider rugby a MA). I was quickly brought back up to speed, and I was allowed to keep my old grade. We train nihon ju jitsu, with our main focus being self defense.
I don't know which ryu we're taught, but our lead instructor (kyoshi Bjarne Christensen, hachidan) has mentioned using Kawaishi judo as the base of our throwing techniques (he favours this because of the increased number of throws compared to kodokan), and I suspect much of what we're doing is Kawaishi stuff, but I don't know. As for lineage, I can't say, as I've heard no claims. I do know the hachidan was presenteed by soke Richard Morris from the UK.
The jiu jitsu being taught is mostly standing, probably 90% or so. Ground work is in the form of defenses against strangle attacks on a lying tori, and locking practice on a lying uke, either fully compliant during katame-waza or with some resistance after being thrown during jigo-waza. Most of techniques are short and to the point, in the form of atemi, throw, lock or just atemi, lock.
There are 6 kyu grades and 10 dan grades. Belt testing consists of a curriculum of throws, locks and chokes, where a number of techniques in each category must be presented in theoretical form on a compliant partner, as well as a preset number of attacks of varying sorts (strikes, kicks, bear hugs, hair-pulls, lapel holds, wrist holds, knife and stick attacks, strangling attempts). In the end there's a multiple attacker session (randori) where the attacks are not prearranged. Testing for brown belt requires 24 locks (arm, wrist, leg and finger), 16 throws (leg, hip, shoulder, and sacrifice), and 61 different attacks. You are free to select your defense to a given attack from the entire range of techniques that you know, and everyone get to learn several techniques for each attack, so there's something to work from.
Training is Tuesdays and Thursdays, 7:30-9pm for adults, 6pm-7pm for children. Visitors are generally welcome.
Anyway, the grades:
We do mostly compliant drills, though some resistance from uke is to be expected and it is encouraged to increase resistance as confidence in toris technique rises. Locks are expected to hurt, and atemi to the body and limbs makes light to semi-hard contact.
Part of our curriculum is randori, where there's a steady stream of random attacks from multiple ukes. This is included in grading tests as well. I got a nice punch on the nose in my last test, so we're probably not training this enough. With higher rank comes more aliveness, if you're up for it.
We have a range of jo, hanbo, bo and shorter sticks, as well as wooden knives and pistols used in daily training. We have a couple of sharp knives used for tests from 3. kyu and up. There's supposed to be a bunch of tonfa as well, they may be under construction still. For some reason, we have a shinai lying around as well. Punching bag is available for after-training bag work.
Gym size: 6
We have our own dojo with a dedicated area with mats, some 50' by 30'. Changing fascilities are pretty cramped, but it works well enough. The entrance room, also serving as our lounge, is pretty small, three tables and a bar, and offers a window into the dojo.
Instructor/Student ratio: 7
We have a hachidan sensei, who shows up regularly at training, but not every time. He is currently getting rid of some injuries (not training-related), so he is not on the mat these days. Daily training has 10-20 students being instructed by two nidan sensei. Two ikkyu (myself being one) help out as assistant instructors.
We're a small group of people. Most of the newer folks seem to head out pretty quickly after training, but we do hang out in the lounge and talk. We have monthly club evening where training is cut short, and we encourage people to stay around and get to know each other better. We have more or less regular social gatherings outside of training, usually in the club house. There may be a perceived clique of the older bunch, though I didn't have any trouble getting into the group when I started there three years ago. Drama is kept on the low as far as I can tell.
Striking instruction: 4
As part of our curriculum, we learn kyosho - striking points. As for actual instruction on how to strike, I recall training it a couple of times over the last three years. I should take that up with our sensei, as it would make sense for us to actively train this. We use strikes and kicks for atemi, and of course when we train defenses against strikes and kicks, but it's not really trained separately.
Grappling instruction: 3
We do train arm, shoulder, wrist, leg and neck locks as well as strangles and throws, applying all both to standing and lying opponents, but to call it actualy grappling instruction? No. We haven't done any ne waza randori while I've been training. I have on occation trained a bit of judo-style randori, but I'm not sure that qualifies either. I'll want to discuss this with my sensei as well - grappling might increase the aliveness score as well, I guess.
We're supposedly training self defense, so when weapons are involved, usually only uke has one - I've trained techniques against stick, hanbo, knife and pistol. All is preset. We have had some instruction from our hachidan in techniques using the hanbo for defense, and he's supposedly going to teach us some tonfa stuff when he gets out of his injuries.
Posted On:9/30/2009 10:25am
an honest and good review with explanations for the ratings.
Posted On:10/01/2009 1:45am
Thanks. I figured in the end, honesty is the best kind of advertisement ;)
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