Dereham & Thetford Ju Jitsu Club
Students receive highest pass rate for PE GSCE Exam, March 2015

Nesta demonstrating a Hip Throw

Nesta demonstrating a Hip Throw

For the first time since I have been teaching teenagers at the Thetford & Dereham Dojo, two students that are taking GCSE PE exams, asked if they could do Ju Jitsu as part of their practical assessment, and naturally, I jumped at the chance to give them the opportunity to show their Ju Jitsu knowledge & skills. I was given a list of what the students would have to demonstrate in front of their PE teacher during a normal training session.

Nesta demonstrating defence against rear strangle into a Shoulder Hold.

Nesta demonstrating defence against rear strangle into a Shoulder Hold.

I was given eight weeks to make sure that Nesta James from Dereham dojo and Jack Owen from the Thetford dojo, were well prepared for it. Luckily due to the grade that they both were many of the techniques they had done already for their green belt grading back in November.

The practical exam was based on the knowledge and skill that was expected from a student who has no previous experience of Ju Jitsu at the beginning of the course, working with a club coach (level 2) over a three to four month period, two hours per week. Students who already have experience in Ju Jitsu would be expected to perform the techniques at a skill level and demonstrate the knowledge, appropriate to their grade.

Punches left and right & stepping punches
Kicks – front, side, scissor
Breakfalls – side, front, rolling & back
Breaking front strangles
Breaking back strangles
Blocks preformed in a kata including, inside forearm block, rising block, downward inside forearm block and outside block
Hip throw with crossover arm lock
Body drop
Defence against kicks to the head
Leg throw with lock
Escapes from hair grabs.

They were also expected to know the demonstrate the following:

  • Mat etiquette
  • Knowledge of the rules, regulations, health & safety issues, dress code
  • Attitudes and behaviour associated with successful performance in Ju Jitsu
  • Basic principles of warm up sand cool down appropriate to Ju Jitsu
  • Fitness requirements appropriate exercises and how fitness levels affect performance
  • How to observe and analyse their own and others fitness levels
  • Strategies and tactics that result in successful self defence
James won’t try to grab Nesta hair next time

James won’t try to grab Nesta hair next time

Jack working through his fitness tests

Jack working through his fitness tests

Jack demonstrating a front kick

Jack demonstrating a front kick

After eight weeks of getting them both ready, the day finally arrived. The last time I felt this nervous, I had to do a lesson in front of my instructor Soke Kevin Pell for my black belt grading. Nesta & Owen were both anxious on the nights that they did their exam at their clubs.

It was great to see all the other teenagers turn up to support them at their clubs for what was going to be a very nerve racking lesson for them. We started with the traditional line up with the dojo Kun; it was then straight into the warm up followed by breakfall drills.

Next was the fitness test for their next belt, so as Nesta and Owen were both going for blue they had to do 30 repetitions per exercise, which included press ups, sit ups, leg raises & burpees, again to a very high standard.

They both had to demonstrate each technique that was required in front of the class and their PE teacher. On a few of them they did the techniques on me to show what it would be like doing it on an adult.

It was a very intense class, as all the techniques had to be performed at the highest level if they wanted to score the maximum of 10 points. Once all the required technique’s has been demonstrated, we finished the class with standing up grabbling & fitness tests.

To score a maximum of 10, they had to reach the following assessment criteria:

“Performs all the techniques at an outstanding level, in both demonstration and in response to attack. Demonstrate excellent knowledge of rules, regulations, warm up and fitness requirements, health and safety consideration. Uses observation and analysis to improve performance and the principles of effective self-defence.”

I was very proud to see how much passion and hard work they had put into their lessons and the exam.
They both showed a very high level of Ju Jitsu skills and fitness levels. I have taught them both for well over six years, and they did exactly what was asked of them in the assessment criteria to score the maximum of 10.

They had to wait a week before they found out what score they had achieved. I was so happy when they both came to their next lesson and told me that they had scored the maximum of 10 points.
Congratulation to Nesta James and Jack Owen for achieving the best results that could be achieved in this practical performance for the PE GSCE exam

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