Archive for January, 2011

London Ju Jitsu Martial Arts Tip Of The Week: Throw hard, lock soft.

January 27, 2011

Often in martial arts we train in pairs. The Uke attacks and allows Tori to practice a move. The Uke gets to practice their attacks and in some cases their breakfalls. Tori gets to practice their defences. If you are Tori it makes no sense to put a lock on so hard that the Uke is injured. Hurting someone when they are letting you practice or demonstrate does not prove that you’re good at your technique! For the uke there is very little he or she can do to strengthen their joints, so there is no benefit to the training for them if you as Tori snap on a lock with too much force. Keep doing it and you’ll run out of training partners! With time of course you will become skilful enough to apply the lock to the point of a “tap out” quickly without injuring your training partner. Up until then be careful and remember it will be Uke’s turn to be Tori next!

The opposite is true when applying a throw or a takedown. Once the Uke has become proficient at their breakfalls, you should aim to throw as well and as hard as you can. This will improve your technique but it will also allow the Uke to practice their breakfalls. Similarly once your training partner has become proficient at blocking; your attacks should be on target and with your best technique. This will let you practice your strike and let Tori practice their block and counter properly.

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London Ju Jitsu Martial Arts Tip Of The Week:You’re only as good as your last session.

January 18, 2011

Monday 10th of January was the first training session of 2011 for our club. It had been almost a month since the last one before the Christmas break. It was great to be back but as always I was struck by how rusty we’d become in a few short weeks! Of course a few pounds had gone on over Christmas and New Year and a little fitness had been lost through lack of training.  The main things that deteriorate however are fluidity and timing.

When I was training for 1st Dan back in ‘92/ ’93, my good friend and training partner Kevin Harte coined the phrase “you’re only as good as your last session”. This was in part describing how you must keep working hard or you’ll regress and in part to say that if you haven’t trained for some time it’s impossible to know how good you are. If you got your black belt in a martial art several years ago and haven’t trained since you may well be shocked if you do take it up again. Just look at how the touch and timing of a profession footballer deteriorates after a few weeks without a competitive game and they train almost every day!

Of course I believe it’s good to give your mind and body a short rest from training every now and then. If you’re serious about progressing in your martial art however you must be consistent. I think even if your work or home life make attending training difficult, it’s better to set aside at least one day a week that is sacrosanct rather than cramming a few sessions one week and then not going for two. Your mind and body need to find a rhythm in order for progression to be made. If your body knows that Wednesday night is training night for example, it will be prepared and you’ll be mentally prepared. If you keep leaving big gaps between sessions you’re not only getting rusty but in fact going backwards. So make that your resolution for this year. Pick a day or days and tell your boss, your friends and your partner that that night is reserved for training. This time next year you’ll see the results!