We start with a 15 minute warm-up, often with running, push-ups, sit-ups, squats and partner games, to get your muscles and joints ready to train. We demonstrate all exercises so you know what to expect.
You will then be introduced to break-falling, which are techniques used to stay safe when falling or being thrown. Current students will demonstrate their break-falling kata, and you will have the opportunity to watch them before one of the instructors or assistants will teach newcomers and novices the basics. Do not worry, we begin from a squatting position or kneeling height -we will not throw you just yet!
You will then join the rest of the class to learn new techniques. Our techniques focus on throws, arm locks, and releases from a grab. The instructor will demonstrate the technique at a regular speed, before breaking the technique down and explaining the movements behind it. Then, you will have the opportunity to try it yourself! We usually don’t use throws on newcomers, unless if you feel especially confident.
We mostly train with a partner or in groups so you will work with senior students or newcomers. We take turns testing them on a partner, then having your partner perform them on you. Training partners are swapped regularly during the session so just grab a jitsuka (Jitsu student) and get training! It is a great opportunity to get some tips and tricks from the most senior students or learn together with another novice.
Feel free to ask questions or get help by calling out ‘Sensei!’ (the official title for our instructors). The instructor is always present and involved with practice, and are there to offer help if you get stuck with any difficulties. Safety is always our first concern so if you feel uncomfortable or unsafe with a technique, flag the Sensei down and let him or your partner know.
We usually round off the session with some pressure exercises or self-defence scenarios, attempted with each person’s skills and pace kept in mind. This is an opportunity to show what you have learnt during the session! The scenarios will most likely include facing off against several opponents (one-by-one!) grabbing your wrists or striking at you; you must defending yourself, with the techniques you have learnt or know already.
Finally, we have a cool down period with emphasis on slow methodical stretching to conclude the session.
After changing and packing away the mats, we often go to a local pub for some (soft) drinks, which gives you the opportunity to chat, ask questions and (if you haven’t already) get to know us!