JUJITSU FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
- What is the class etiquette?
- What is the schedule for classes?
- How much does it cost?
- Will I get hurt?
- Is Jujitsu violent?
- What benefits can I expect from Jujitsu?
- What do I wear?
- How long does it take to get a Black Belt?
- What is Kumi-Uchi Goshin Jujitsu?
- How does belt grading work?
- Is the club affiliated with any organizations?
- I've never done martial arts before, what can I expect?
- I've had martial arts experience, how will I be treated?
- Can you recommend any training books or videos?
- Further Information
1. What is the class etiquette?
It may seem intimidating to enter a new place with a different kind of etiquette. We follow a few simple guidelines out of respect for the dojo, or place of learning. If you cannot remember all the rules, try to follow a senior student’s lead, and just remember the basic idea of reverent open-mindedness.
If you don’t have a judo or jujitsu uniform (or Gi), that’s fine - just come dressed in t-shirt & jogging bottoms or shorts. Bring a water bottle to stay hydrated. You may also bring a notebook to take notes during class. If you decide to attend regularly, you will be asked to acquire a Gi (Jujitsu workout uniform). We can recommend places for you to purchase a Gi, but you may get one wherever you prefer.
Addressing the Instructor and Other students
The instructor in the class is called the Sensei, which means “one who has gone before.” During class, you should address the instructor as Sensei, Sir. When outside of class, addressing your instructors on a first name basis is preferred. Other students who are currently teaching you are generally addressed as Sir or Ma’am (as appropriate). This is done simply to show respect for each other. Students who are NOT currently teaching you are generally addressed on a first name basis.
The bow, or rei, is the Jujitsu salute. It is done when you begin working out with a partner, and when you stop working out with that partner. It shows respect for each other, and is an indication that you will start (or stop) practicing with each other. The bow is simply done by standing erect with feet together and hands on the front of the thighs. Then, while looking at your partner, a bow is made by bending forward and sliding the hands down the thighs to the knees for about one second, then standing straight again.
Entering/Leaving the Mat
The bow is used when entering or leaving the mat and the dojo. This signifies two things: First, it lets others know that you are coming on the mat to practice with them. Second, it signifies that you are leaving the worries of your life behind you during class. While you practice, you will do your best to focus on the class and forget about the outside world. Then when class is done and you bow as you leave, you may again address the rest of your life.
Students should get permission from the instructor before entering the mat once class has begun. During class, students should get permission from the instructor before leaving the mat. These are safety rules to let the instructor know who is on the mat and that no one is injured.
Beginning and ending the class
At the beginning of class the kyu grades (brown and below) will kneel facing f the instructors in grade order left to right. Including junior grades
when signalled rei, the students bow to the instructor and the instructors return this respect. The class also ends with this procedure.
- Horseplay is neither accepted nor respected on the jujitsu mat
- Sportsmanship is king on the mat and safety is law
Sitting on the mat is done in a certain way for the purpose of safety. Seiza (say-zah), the first and preferred way for ceremonies and show of attentiveness, is on the knees with your buttocks resting on your feet. In the aspect of safety, if someone were to fall on someone sitting in this manner, the person falling would slide off and the person sitting would not get hurt. Anza, the second way of sitting, is crossed legged. Unless you have an injury that prevents sitting in Seiza or Anza, any other way of sitting or reclining on the mat is considered highly impolite, inconsiderate, and extremely unsafe unless in the execution of an art.
In jujitsu the usual way when to show submission is, in place of saying anything which takes a considerable amount of time, he either taps the mat, himself, or his partner at least twice in rapid succession. It is easier and faster by far, as well as being safer. If you are in a position that prevents you from tapping with your hands, you may tap with your feet or say “Mate” (mät-e) or “Stop”.
See also ETIQUETTE AND RULES for a summary of the above.
- No student should engage in Randori without the instructor’s supervision or that of the senior students.
- The student should never use any techniques not previously explained by an instructor. Complicated techniques, without previous experience or training, can lead to serious injury.
- Fingernails and toenails should always be clipped short to prevent scratching or harming others. Jewellery must also be removed - it can get snagged or caught and potentially hurt yourself or your partner. The gi must be free of pins and other hard or sharp objects which might be hazardous.
- Students should maintain the highest degree of personal cleanliness. Jujitsu is a body contact art.
- Students must be punctual at all scheduled meetings.
- Students must obey the instructions of their seniors and their instructors.
- Students should always be courteous and helpful to each other.
- Report all injuries to the Sensei
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2. What is the schedule for classes?
By having an AMA licence you are eligible to attend both Kings Lynn and Wisbech Jujitsu classes. The schedules are:
Mondays: arrive 8pm for
Juniors, 8:15 pm - 9:15 pm
Family and seniors, 8:15 – 9:45
Friday: arrive 6:45 for
Juniors, 7:00 – 8:00
Family and seniors, 7:00 – 9:00
Classes offering a blended combination of Jujitsu and kobudo (the study of Japanese weapons), and other self-defence related techniques.
See our LOCATIONS page for more info.
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3. How much does it cost?
Juniors £4.00 per session
Students and senior citizens £5.50 per session
Adults £7.00 per session
An annual AMA Licence will be required. This is inexpensive and can be applied for through the club.
Grading and seminars vary and you will be informed as they approach.
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4. Will I get hurt?
As with any physical activity, there is always the possibility of injury. However, safety is a vital concern and always comes first when studying Jujitsu. The curriculum is set up so that students start with simple, easy, and safe techniques, and move on to more complicated ones as their skills and fitness increase. One of the first things you will learn to do is how to fall safely. Everything is done slowly and carefully in the beginning. Then, as your skill progresses, the speed of technique will increase. In addition, we work around any disabilities, or injuries to prevent further injury. Along these lines, everyone MUST inform their instructor and workout partner of any injuries, disabilities, or other physical challenges. One of the principal goals of Jujitsu is to maintain your personal safety; so all necessary steps are taken to protect the physical well being of every student in class
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5. Is Jujitsu violent?
Jujitsu literally means the “Gentle Art”. The primary goal of Jujitsu is the perfection of character, not to learn to beat up someone. In our system of Jujitsu you will learn how to resolve conflict through alternative, non-violent means. If you are attacked and unable to avoid a fight, you will learn a range of techniques to deal with that attack, from stopping the attack without anyone being hurt, to subduing the attacker with painful joint locks that may or may not cause injury, to more aggressive techniques that can cause serious injury if you have no other alternatives.
In class you will be learning self defence techniques, but more importantly you will learn self confidence, self control, and respect and caring for others so that violence is not needed. With Jujitsu, as with other martial arts, your knowledge of self defence will give you a great deal of self confidence when confronted with a potentially violent situation. This confidence can free your mind and your ego so that you think clearly about how to peacefully resolve the situation. Consequently, learning Jujitsu or other methods of self defence will make you LESS likely to become involved in fights or violent situations.
Jujitsu will not make you invincible, some martial arts claim they do, take it from me they don’t. If you are the sort of person who has avoided dark alleys, and a sensibly so, continue to do so. No matter how proficient you are in martial arts if someone has a knife and wants your money give it to them, there is no price to put on your life. But, if someone is threatening your life learning jujitsu may give you a fighting chance of survival.
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6. What benefits can I expect from Jujitsu?
The potential benefits of Jujitsu are many, and they will vary from person to person. The following is a list of some benefits you can receive from your Jujitsu practice:
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- Greater self confidence
- Greater self control
- Caring and respect for others
- Increased fitness
- Increased agility
- How to relax in stressful situations
- Self defence skills
- How to overcome your fears
- Increased Awareness
- Increased Focus
- Restorative techniques
- Increased Mental and Physical Tenacity
- And much more
7. What do I wear?
In Jujitsu we wear a Gi, which is a strong, loose uniform that we use to practice in. For your first few classes, just wear jogging bottoms and a t-shirt. Once you decide to attend regularly we will ask you to acquire a Gi, and we can tell you where to buy them. A Gi will typically cost £20, and it will last several years. We typically do not wear anything on our feet, though martial arts shoes and/or socks are acceptable if for medical reasons.
Women should wear a sports bra and t-shirt under their Gi. Men may want to wear a groin guard.
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8. How long does it take to get a Black Belt?
There is no set time period to earn your Black Belt, and we do not have any contracts or guarantees for earning a black belt - either you earn it, or you don’t. The length of time it takes to progress from rank to rank will vary a lot depending upon your personal skill level and how often you practice. A Black Belt can be earned in as little as 3 years or it can take as long as 10 or more years. The average length of time is usually 4-5 years with consistent practice. The amount of time it takes does not matter. You are not in a race and no one will be keeping track of how long it takes you to earn a higher rank. One of the goals of the various coloured-belt tests is to prepare you for your Shodan (first Black Belt) test. Generally, you will test for Shodan when your Sensei is confident you are ready and you are able to demonstrate successfully the proficiency required for that rank.
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9. What is Kumi-Uchi Goshin Jujitsu?
Kumi uchi goshin jujitsu is an effective system of self-defence which incorporates physical and mental training within a philosophy of ethical and moral development. The system includes defences against knife, sword, club, gun, bayonet, and empty hand. It uses the ancient principles of philosophical and moral training while retaining the best arts of self-defence and physical restoration. This synthesis of ancient and modern elements combined to form a complete system of Jujitsu that we practice today
Jujitsu literally translates to “Gentle Art”. This ancient martial art is believed to have originated with the Samurai who used Jujitsu when confronted with combat situations where they were unable to employ their weapons. Jujitsu uses the principles of leverage and blending with an opponent’s energy to defend one’s self. Typically done with throws, joint locks, chokes, and grappling. It is called gentle art because it relies upon the application of leverage on weak points rather than hard strikes and blocks. It is called a close-in art because you must be close enough to your opponent to grab him/her to use Jujitsu techniques.
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10. How does belt grading work?
You will be given a list of requirements to complete for each belt. When both you and your instructor feel that you are ready, you will test for your next belt. There are no scheduled belt tests – they just happen when people are ready. Most techniques involve one person (the Tori) performing a technique on another person (the Uke). For your test, you must ask someone of equivalent or higher rank to be your Uke for your test. It is typically considered an honour to be chosen as an Uke for a test. During the test, the Sensei will ask you to perform a technique that is on your requirements list. You will tell the Uke what he/she must do, and then demonstrate the technique. The Sensei will go through everything on your requirements list and may ask you questions about the techniques. The Sensei will grade your test and inform you about whether or not you have passed. If you pass, you will soon be given your new belt. If you fail, you will continue to practice your techniques, especially ones you may have had trouble with during the test. When you and your instructor again believe that you are ready, you will take the test again.
See BELT GRADING ORDER for more info.
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11. Is the club affiliated with any organisations?
Yes. The Jujitsu Club is a member of the (AMA) Amateur Martial Association. The AMA is a non-profit, organisation representing Jujitsu, Judo and other martial arts schools across the UK, and the world. We are also affiliated to the world council of jujitsu organisation (WCJJO)
The AMA test and certify Jujitsu Black Belt ranks. High standards of skill, knowledge, proficiency and ethical conduct are required for a nationally recognized AMA Jujitsu Black Belt rank. As a member of the Kumi Uchi Goshin Jujitsu Club, you will also be asked to join the AMA. With this membership you may attend any of their national or region conventions, and your black belt will be certified by the organization. This means that your belt will be recognized in any other AMA school.
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12. I've never done martial arts before, what can I expect?
If you don't have a Judo or Jujitsu uniform (gi), that's fine - just come dressed in T-shirt & jogging bottoms or shorts. Bring a water bottle to stay hydrated. You may also bring a notebook to take notes during class. We have an introductory program where someone from our Kokua (welcome) Team will introduce you to our school, our etiquette, and work with you on basic rolls, falls, and a few hand techniques. When you are comfortable, you will join the main class with the rest of the students. If you decide to attend regularly, you will need to purchase a gi uniform that we can provide for you for a modest charge.
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13. I've had martial arts experience, how will I be treated?
People who have had previous martial arts experience typically adjust to our system rapidly. Someone from our Kokua Team will talk with you to discuss your training experience, your desired personal outcomes and help integrate you into our regular class. Unless you have come from another Jujitsu Dojo, you will start out as a White Belt, learning our system from the beginning. Progress in rank will occur as you demonstrate increasing proficiency in the arts. Those who already achieved a ranking with another system will be graded to that level after assessment.
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14. Can you recommend any training books or videos?
This is a question that all martial arts instructors get asked over and over again. We decided that we would make an entire page on our site just to answer this question! Please follow the link below to see our recommendations.
Jujitsu and Martial Arts Reference Matertials Page
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15. Further information
The links below contain some useful information about Kumi-Uchi Goshin Jujitsu and Jujitsu in general.
Japanese Words and Phrases
Belt Grading Order
White Belt Syllabus
Yellow Belt Syllabus
Orange Belt Syllabus
Green Belt Syllabus
Blue Belt Syllabus
Purple Belt Syllabus
Brown Belt Syllabus
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