One of the great joys of martial arts is the sense of fraternity that it brings. Regardless of style or discipline, we are all forged in the same fires and when those kindred spirits meet you will find us discussing ideas, tactics, and even infamous matches at length. So it is for the last few months that the Ju Jitsu instructor at Lionel and the lead trainer at Eilean Siar Muay Thai have been swapping notes and building bridges.
In mid March, a contingent of Muay Thai practitioners visited Sporsnis to deliver an outstanding seminar on striking techniques, and on the 11th April, the senior students of Lionel Ishin Ryu Ju Jitsu returned the favour by travelling to Stornoway to give a four-hour course on submission tactics and techniques. For those who do not know, Muay Thai is a hardcore striking discipline, focussing on delivering a whirlwind of punches and kicks, whereas Ju Jitsu aims to take an opponent’s strength and weight and use it to achieve a lock, choke or throw.
The seminar was excellent, and was opened with a light warm up followed by body co-ordination exercises. The techniques began with street-applicable defences and quick getaways, which allowed introduction of the concept of joints as levers. After this everyone moved into breakfalls – the art of being able to hit the floor without being injured. This was great fun for the Ishin Ryu students and a real eye-opener for the Muay Thai practitioners who found that they were able to perform rolls over larger opponents without being hurt.
The combination of techniques progressed well, and the class moved on to basic throws. This was enjoyed by all, especially the ladies who found that they were able to move around their male counterparts, who were often twice their weight, with minimal strength, and take them to the ground for a submission.
As the afternoon came to a close, everyone finished the technical element of the seminar with a number of ground submissions before engaging in some light sparring where all the students were able to put into practice what they had learned. There were some great match ups with all of the Muay Thai students taking their opponent to the ground in under thirty seconds.
Too quickly our time was over, but everyone involved had great fun, and both schools look forward to seeing their new friends again very soon.
Ishin Ryu is run every Monday and Wednesday, 7-9pm, at Sporsnis, by Sensei Martin Adil-Smith
Muay Thai is run every Monday and Wednesday, 6-8pm at Fitness Studio, Cabar Hotel, by Norrie Mackenzie.
Many thanks to Muriel Mackenzie for permission to use her photographs.