Archive for September, 2010

London Ju Jitsu Martial Arts Tip Of The Week: Don’t fall for the “Poker Face”

September 29, 2010

When engaging in submission fighting whether in class, a competition or even a cage fight it’s important to trust your technique. I often see beginners apply decent techniques in good positions only to see the position given up if the opponent hasn’t tapped out in a couple of seconds. With chokes and strangles as an example the technique may be good even if it’s not perfect and it may be a long time before your opponent feels the need to tap out or lose consciousness. Beginners often give up these winning positions, especially if the opponent shows what some of my senior students have christened the “poker
face”. Remember your opponent may look as though they are not hurting, but if they aren’t hurting you and you are applying a choke or lock on them then it may well be a bluff! The other mistake beginners often make is the “all or nothing” mistake. This is when they apply a choke or strangle with all their might for a few seconds and then relax when tired and begin again. Remember when you relax you release the pressure and allow your opponent another breath! It’s better to be steady, keeping the technique on for a sustained period without tiring yourself and starving your opponent of oxygen. If you remember these things you may well get a few higher grade scalps in the Dojo than you’re getting now and we all know how good that feels! The retribution will come in the next class of course but it’s worth it!

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London Ju Jitsu Martial Arts Tip Of The Week: Learn From The Expert

September 25, 2010

As the title if this article suggests I am a Ju Jitsu teacher. I sometimes get asked in class why I don’t spend more time teaching how to punch and kick. The answer to that is simple. I am not an expert at punching and kicking myself. I studied Shotokan Karate for two years and have done some boxing and kick boxing which mean that I’m not awful at punching and kicking. I know enough to teach the basics. After all it’s difficult to learn how to defend a kick for example if the attack isn’t realistic. If a student really wants to learn how to punch and kick properly in order to compliment their Ju Jitsu however, I recommend that they go to learn one of the arts that specialise in those skills. If they want to learn weapons then they should go to a school that specialises in weapons. It is a misconception to believe that because a teacher is good at one martial art, they can pick up the nuances of another in a few lessons and then teach it. I’ve been studying Ju Jitsu for over 27 years now and I’m still learning! All martial arts have their weaknesses so it’s good to plug those weaknesses with a complementary art. The one caveat to that I would suggest is to become reasonably proficient at one before you adopt another. It’s difficult enough to train your body to move in a certain way when learning your first martial art. It’s obviously much more difficult to learn two from scratch at the same time. That aside however I think it is more than worthwhile soaking up all the knowledge you can. In short, by learning from the expert you’ll ensure you’ll become the best martial artist you can be.

London Ju Jitsu Martial Arts Tip Of The Week: The “uke” should not be passive.

September 13, 2010

In Japanese martial arts the attacker is often called the uke. During training it is often apparent that the uke sees him or herself as a passive part of the technique, almost like a living rag doll for demonstrating on! This should not be the case. One of the best martial arts instructors I know, Sensei Quentin Ball (Daito Ryu Aiki JuJutsu), said that if you don’t put as much effort into the attacks as to the defences then you are only training for fifty perecent of what is for most of us limited training time. When you are the uke therefore you should ensure that you attack to the best of your ability. Use the correct technique. When using weapons, for example knives or swords, ensure the point of contact is with the blade and not the hilt! If you are not sure of the correct technique for an attack then make it your business to find out what it should be. If atemi strikes are used, react to them as you would if the defender (often called tori) had hit you hard. If you are thrown then ensure your breakfall is executed to the best of your ability and that you are thinking about defence as soon as you hit the floor. Whatever you do, don’t just go limp once you’ve made the attack and let things happen to you! You’ll be more aware, more focused and you may get up to 50 percent more training time than you do now!

London Ju Jitsu Martial Arts Tip Of The Week: Don’t try to be fast!

September 7, 2010

This is one of the biggest problems I face when trying to teach students. They try to be fast instead of concentrating on good technique. When you are learning a technique it is important to start slowly and ensure that the technique is good. Take your time, repeat the technique again and again making sure it’s correct and more importantly that it works! Every technique takes a sequence of movements in order to execute it correctly. If you are trying to speed it up often you will miss one of the parts of the sequence so it will not work. The other problem when you’re trying to be fast is that you are tense and so your muscles are not moving freely. This has the opposite effect! So am I saying that speed doesn’t count? Absolutely not! Real speed comes with fluidity and perfect execution however. The only way to achieve this speed is to spend time getting your technique right and repeating it again and again. The more effortless the execution is the faster and more effective it will be.