Before starting any lesson, we like to give the floor a quick clean before placing mats down so no dirt gets on. With everything set up and the children ready to go at the side of the mat – I Bowed students on, Matthew Blackaller started line up, Dojo Kun (Training oath) was called in Japanese and then in English, bowing ceremony and then questions were asked about various things in the dojo.
This was followed by a quick game as a warm up, breakfalls followed, repeated a few times to get right, pointed out all the little things that were slightly wrong so they can try and get them right. Quick water break then into more warmups, class spread evenly around the mat and went through various exercises to get the joints moving. A quick recap of grading techniques in the centre of the mat before sending them away to practice.
Junior lesson followed using the same format as the infant class questions asked but made progressively harder with belt colour. This lesson I was keen to find out who could tie their own belt so I tested them. We had a few higher belt students that struggled with their belts so were sent away to practice whilst everyone was having a game (Those that were struggling were sent home with a sheet to practice for next week’s gradings).
Next, we worked on the line-up, repeated a few times as their Kiai was not loud enough and wanted more out of them. With a few repetitions this was achieved. Water break and then same as infants, recap about grading techniques. Sent away to practice in their pairs. I moved around to access their progression. Finished lesson off with multiple rounds of grappling.
Throughout this lesson it was noted that hands on hips and crossing arms was becoming more frequent so to teach them not to do this, five burpees was given each time. Young Kimberly Simmonds repeated this many times and by the end of the lesson was more observant of her actions. Discipline and etiquette are good in martial arts and can only improve you…
Time for teenagers, same start but performed a check on the uniform, cleanliness, rips and if they were ironed. (A few got burpees for Gi’s not ironed properly) The line-up, warm-up, a little fart-legging (running at high temp for a bit, jogging for a bit and then repeating) Breakfalls then syllabus, before they started syllabus, fitness test for their belt as a warm-up. After syllabus went into stand-up grappling, random fitness with a big emphasis on moving fast (sense of urgency) During the end of the class line-up, I went into thorough detail about badges on their uniform and reminded them all the importance of knowing what you are a part of.
Grading week, the infant students arrived about 3.50pm, greeted them and tied their belts. I ensured that all had water and got them lined up on the side of the mat. Sat them all in front of me for a little pep talk about their performances and what I expected from them. With that out of the way, I got the highest belt to line the class up. Say rets (Line-up) was called and the students ran into place accordingly. Dojo Kun (Training oath) was spoken — Japanese and English. I stood to the back of the class and watched over; Fantastic effort, clear, precise and nice and loud. Questions were asked next about all things Ishin Ryu. Straight into warm-up where they stood in the line-up, random breakfalls were next and straight into a fitness test, 20 of each consisting of press-ups, sit-ups, leg raises & burpees. Time for a water break and then into techniques that they will be tested on.
Due to the whole class, not kiai when a command was said, burpees were giving and immediately changed their focus. This added up to the end of the class to lots extra… After techniques were demonstrated we moved straight into stand-up grappling with multiple changes. The last test that I like to implement is continuous burpees to my count. I will ask students to sit down when I think that they have worked hard enough for their belt. The starting point was 20 burpees, with increments of five the next highest belt would sit down. This would go all the way to fifty for the highest. There were a few students that continued to the end regardless of belt colour a fantastic effort by all. One of the best Infant/Junior gradings I have taken.
With the junior class, there was only a slight exception and that was all to tie their belts (White/Black belt and above) Last week I handed out letters to a few of the higher belts that still couldn’t tie their belt to go home and practice. If they didn’t practice when they come to be tested that they would fail that part of the grading and would not receive their new belt until that section was completed. Thankfully they all practiced and all successfully passed… FANTASTIC EFFORT BY ALL…
The teenagers, after line-up and breakfalls had fitness, over and unders and then straight into syllabus as their gradings are fast approaching in December. I partnered up with Linnden Turner and went over his blue belt at a fast pace and covered all techniques. Near the end of the class, I got them all to partnered up to do bag work, fitness, and stand-up grappling. If they were too slow on the response, then extra fitness was giving to keep that spark going… Great lesson
The following week was games and presentations. Most of the lesson was games and a small portion at the end of the class for presentations, unfortunately year six juniors were away this week on a school trip so was repeated the week after.
The last couple of lessons time was taken up by practicing a new technique called body drop. Both classes started learning this with the teenagers revising their syllabus for gradings. Not long now guys – it will all be worth it, in the end…
Looking forward to seeing you all in December when we start winding down for Christmas. The last lesson of the year will be Wednesday 21st December… See you soon
I If you are interested and curious to what Ishin Ryu Jiu Jitsu is all about, please do hesitate to visit our website below, alternatively you can ring our headquarters on 01953 483795 where you can speak directly to our chief instructor Kevin Pell Sensei.
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Del Shannon Sensei & Kevin Pell Hanshi