Borehamwood Thursday Ju Jitsu Club
Monthly Report, February 2014

At the start of this monthly report, I would like to congratulate Taylor McGinnity from the Infant Class and Tharan Nimaraj from the Junior Class who have been awarded “Student of the Month” for February.  This award is given to students who show hard work, enthusiasm and Ishin Ryu determination and it is fair to say that both students deserve this award.

Taylor McGinnity being awarded his trophy

Taylor McGinnity being awarded his trophy

A packed class!

A packed class!

In November 2013, Ishin Ryu organized a Family Fun Day where parents could participate in their child’s Ju Jitsu lesson.  This was a great day all in aid of raising money for our chosen charity “Scotty’s Little Soldiers.” Before we started these events, we mentioned in a letter that the student raising the most amount of money for our charity would be rewarded for all their hard work.
I would like to congratulate Taylor Mcginnity from the Infant Class, who raised the most money and was awarded a trophy with his name and the event engraved in it. Taylor has had a fantastic month especially being awarded the Student of the Month as well.!!

With the gradings scheduled to commence in March, this month was dedicated to continuous training in preparation of this challenging event.  I was concerned about the impact of students losing a week’s training if they were away during the school half term holiday, but this was unfounded as attendance was strong and we had been working continuously hard to perfect these techniques in other lessons.

The infants and junior grades were split into two groups, novice grades to one end of the dojo to learn their basics, and the senior grades to the other end.
For the young novice grades they would be working on Side Four Quarters and their side control. For the higher infant grades we worked on the Major Outer Reap, Chest Hold and Reclining Leg Throw, also known to the children as “love the leg!”

The infant grades worked hard this month and we also incorporated some agility training for the higher infant grades. I would place a number of rings onto the floor, with one partner one side and the other at the opposite end, one at a time they would step into the rings working their way to their partner, performing a technique, then returning to the start position to do a burpee, this continued until they reached five burpees. This was good fun and good agility training, as well as working up a good sweat!

I would also like to welcome along to the Infant Class, Cara Dobkin and Georgie Sloshberg, who’ve joined us this month and are both really enjoying themselves.

The Junior Class, being a big size, were split into two groups – novice grades to one end of the dojo and the higher grades to the other, thus enabling the novice grades to learn all the basics whilst the higher grades were pushed a little harder.

The junior novice grades worked on side control, Side Four Quarters, Shoulder Hold and Scarf Hold,  mixed up with other little basics they need like dojo etiquette. The higher grades of the class worked on the Shoulder Throw, Figure of Four Arm Lock and Reclining Leg. Some students inevitably found some of the techniques a little difficult at times but with a little patience and a lot of practice, soon grasped the idea. I constantly asked them questions about the techniques. With the infant and junior gradings not far away, I was pleased that all students were proficient in their techniques. Well done guys, keep up the good work!!

For the Adult Class, I would like to welcome back Joshua King, who has been away with a little injury and has now returned to continue his training. The senior grades of the class set themselves to one side to work on their syllabus techniques ready for their Sho Dan Ho grading in May. Constant repetition is needed so their techniques become set in muscle memory.

The remaining grades of the class have been working on their syllabus.  Christele Annis has got a lot better at her ground work techniques – I advised her not to move on with any other techniques until she learns one section at a time.

Justin Slagel, moving from white to yellow belt, has realized how inflexible he is when doing some of these techniques. It’s quite amusing to see some of the faces that he pulls when his body starts to be manipulated in certain ways!!! Keep going Justin – as time progresses you’ll get a little bit more flexible and learn to relax with these techniques being applied to you.

At the end of the month, I decided to do a little bit of blind-folded grappling.  This left a lot of eyebrows being raised with students wondering what my intentions were!! After we had finished the lesson, the students were pleasantly surprised how well they could relax and not rely on their eyes to work around their partners.

We also incorporated a little bit of standing randori, one partner being blindfolded and the other partner not.  Mike Tuohy spoke to me after the class and said that he performed one of his best throwing techniques whilst being blindfolded.  I put this down to him being so much more relaxed and not having to think about the technique.

Well done guys – a fantastic month!  You are all working really hard leading up to those ever challenging gradings…

Infant grades getting some agility training

Infant grades getting some agility training

Nice face by Justin Slagel

Nice face by Justin Slagel

Adults working on their casualty drags

Adults working on their casualty drags

Kaajal Hirji and Christele Annis working on side four quarters

Kaajal Hirji and Christele Annis working on side four quarters

Sempai Ruth Rogers and Mike Tuohy engaging in blind-folded grappling…

Sempai Ruth Rogers and Mike Tuohy engaging in blind-folded grappling…