January has been an outstanding month the Lionel Ju Jitsu Club, as we burnt off all the mince pies from the Christmas break. The coveted Student of the Month award goes to Eilidh Ferguson, who fought off stiff competition from both Charlie Gilroy and Lewis O’Connor. Eilidh has had an outstanding month in every regard. Her throws and submissions have been developing well, but the area that has seen the biggest improvement is in her strikes. Her kicking ability is becoming ever faster and stronger, and her punches are coming hard and heavy. It is this combination that saw Eilidh destroy the solid steel bracket that holds up Big Bertha (our resident punch bag), and rip it from the wall! There is a reason we call Eilidh “Little Miss Right Hook”!
We began the year focussing on ranged strikes, and progressed to using three-and-four combinations to close the distance with a flurry of knees and elbows, getting ready for the clinch and then throw. In particular, Charlie has been really developing both her kicks and punches. Also of note are Lewis’ knee strikes – he managed to wind and drop his instructor with a switching knee combination… through six inch pads. Ouch!
The last half of the month focussed exclusively on throws, ground work and submissions and particularly when an opponent is struggling and resisting. This has seen the students learning to put all their weight on a single spot, and then hunting down a lock or choke by staying low and keeping their partner immobilised. In particular, Kathy Matheson has really developed her ability to pin her opponent, and she is able to wrap them whilst she seeks an Arm Entanglement. Similarly, Lewis has been practising both his Scarfhold and Reverse Scarfhold, and both are becoming highly polished.
In the Senior Class, we have been looking at advancing our sword work, and getting ever more technical with the groundwork combinations. This month we have been focussing on Passing the Guard by way breaking an ankle lock, and then transitioning to the Full Mount, before Gaining the Back and getting a submission by way of Rear Naked Choke. This is an incredibly complex combination which is often seen at the top flight of competition, and Morgan Macsween has really got grips with this, dominating his partners as he gets his hooks in early to invert the spine.
February is going to be a big month for the club as we continue to mix practical self-defence with a few weapon techniques. At the end of the month I will be away to Ostend, Belgium, where I will be privileged to attend Brazilian Ju Jitsu seminar run by the legendary Joao Santos. Joao is a six time European BJJ champion, and a two times Pan American champion. We have been friends for many years, and this is going to be a great opportunity to catch up, and go over some transition work. No doubt there will be much that we can learn, and all the students are looking forward to discovering a BJJ technique that can be incorporated in to our game.
Until next month,