March has been an outstanding month for Ishin Ryu’s most northerly Ju Jitsu Club, as we prepare for a summer camp run by BJJ champion Joao Santos, and the student’s next grading at the end of July. Hopefully William Donner will be ready to move up to white belt, whilst the other students will attempt to reach the dizzying heights of yellow.
We have been joined by a new student – Jasmine – who has really enjoyed her lessons. During her first lesson she learned the art of the Breakfall – falling without getting hurt – and the basics of punching. Over the next few weeks we will get her into kicks, knees and throws. Her enthusiasm is infectious and she has already become something of a mascot for the older students. Well done Jasmine – keep up the good work.
A number of the senior students have been helping Jasmine train, and a special mention must be made of Charlie Gilroy who demonstrates not only great patience, but also a wonderful way of explaining a technique.
At the beginning of the month, students from both Lionel and Stornoway Ju Jitsu Clubs came together for a charity Strike-A-Thon, to raise money for Sporsnis – the community owned sports centre in Ness. It was a fantastic evening, with students bringing friends and family along to give maximum effort. I’m proud to report that our session raised several hundred pounds for this worthy cause; a lot of fun was had by all.
During the month of March, the whole Lionel class have really turned up the heat, and their talents are really shining through as they throw themselves into the techniques. Lewis O’Connor has been practicing his Major Outer Reap into Reclining Arm Bar, and Eilidh Ferguson’s Hip Throw is becoming fearsome.
Kathy Matheson has been working hard at her groundwork and strangles, William Donner is becoming a natural at defences to a kick by-way-of sweeps
For the senior students, we have been blending strikes and throws together in tactical combinations. A special must be made of Eilidh Ferguson who has suddenly switched on, moving from simple one-two combination into five-six devastating counters… which was a surprise for her instructor, who found himself spending more time being thrown through the air than he was standing on the mat! An excellent effort Eilidh – keep it up!
Additionally, the senior grades have really been getting to grips with their Bo work. This is a six foot staff, used peasant farmers during Japan’s feudal era, and it has been wonderful to see how the students have really got the grips with this. Indeed, their progress has been so rapid that they now know the entirety of their first kata – a set of twenty steps that, when put together, make a stylised form of combat-dance known as an embu. Inquiries have been made, and it is possible that the people of Ness will see a full demonstration at the Gala Day, later this year.
Finally, all of the students have been putting maximum effort in our regular session of The Pyramid – this is where the students run to the strike pads and knock out a set of kicks, punches and then knees before running back to the line, and then back for more of each strike. Two months they began at tens, and have slowly been building up. They are now at fifteens and I anticipate that they will soon be reaching twenties, in this cardio-endurance challenge. Well done everybody.
April will be no less busy than March. In addition to polishing our grappling and striking, the students will be refining their weapon techniques, in preparation for their grading in July. Those wishing to pass to yellow belt are training hard with their straight batons, and those who are working towards white are getting to grips with their kubatons. An outstanding month by all of the students on the mat – keep up the good work!
Until next month,