February at the Stornoway Ju Jitsu Club has continued the pace set in January. We have a new start in April Munro, who joins us from a karate background, and has instantly taken to both the throws and submissions of our style.
At the beginning of the month we continued exploring the use of strikes to close the distance into the clinch, culminating in The Pyramid. This is where the students run to the strike pads and knock out twenty kicks, punches and then knees before running back to the line, and then back for nineteen of each strike, then eighteen and so on. It has been amazing to everyone putting the combinations together and try to go faster and faster. Jason showed great spirit during this session, pushing on harder and harder.
In the middle of the month I went to Ostend, Belgium, for a seminar with Joao Santos who is not only a great personal friend, but also a staunch supporter of our organisation. Joao is a six times European champion, and twice Pan-American champion, in the art of Brazilian Ju Jitsu. Whilst embracing much of the philosophy of its Japanese counterpart, it is both culturally and technically completely different and there was much to learn. Massive thanks goes to Joao for his technical knowledge, William for being so patient with me, and Antonio for hosting an awesome weekend. Also thanks to Gregg and Dave who were great training partners.
Additionally, it was great to catch up with old friends. This is perhaps one of the greatest aspects of the martial arts community; that we share an innate sense of fraternity and, without any ego or posturing, will spend countless hours reminiscing and swapping stories.
Hopefully, we will bring Joao to The Isle of Lewis at the end of June for an extended BJJ camp, with sessions being both in the morning and evening for those who wish to explore the wider martial art universe.
The last lesson of February was a focus on throws and gaining a submission from the ground. We began with revising our Basic Hip and Major Outer Reap throws, and then began to put combinations together, demonstrating how to block an attack and then, using the striking combinations, to close the distance into a throw and then gain a submission. All of the students performed exceptionally well, and there was even time to introduce my personal favourite; the lightening fast Body Drop.
Kirsty showed real talent at the throws, dunking larger opponents at will during sparring, and Caitlin was awesome at hunting for the arm bar. Equally, John and Steve were able to bring all the principles together in some gripping bouts.
March is going to be a busy month for the club. On the 4th March we will be hosting a Strike-A-Thon to raise money for Spornis, our community run sport centre. The centre will be running “24hrs of Sport” in order to raise much needed funds and the club will be doing our part from 7-9pm. This is a session that is open to everyone, and will see parents and siblings (no younger than 9years old please) square off against the students on shields and pads, and we will take everyone through the basics of striking – punches, kicks and knees.
There will be no sparring, no throws, chokes, or submissions – rather everyone will just be getting a sweat on and hopefully learning a little something about how their body works. Students will be in their dogis, but everyone else needs no specialist equipment, other than either tracksuit trousers or shorts, and a light top. Do bring a big bottle of water.
Please come along and support this very worthwhile cause.
Until next month,