Jiu Jitsu is a Japanese martial art. It was created by the Samurai of feudal Japan to allow them to fight without weapons. Translating into English as gentle or yielding art, it is primarily a defensive art based on the principle of using an opponent’s attacks and movement against them. The system is also one of the broadest based. Whereas many martial arts focus on a particular set of techniques such as striking or grappling, Jiu Jitsu combines striking, locking and grappling techniques into a coherent and flexible system suitable for a wide variety of situations.
For me this flexibility is one of the most appealing aspects of the art. When faced with a potentially violent situation, the range of techniques available to a jitsuka (a student of Jiu Jitsu) is such that they can choose to simply execute simple release from a grab through to a compliance technique or restraint through to a technique that could cause significant pain, unconsciousness or more permanent injury. Whilst not matching a more specialist style for any of the areas of focus, the larger “toolbox” or techniques for different situations and the ‘whole’ view that allows the techniques to be combined makes this a formidable skill set.
I have been heavily involved in one particular style of Jiu Jitsu since the early 1990’s. Shorinji Kan Jiu Jitsu more commonly known simply as “Jitsu” or “TJJF Jitsu” is my primary area of understanding. I began training under Sensei Richard Harrop and Sensei Rod Chapman at the University of York Jiu Jitsu club and will be eternally thankful for their guidance and the expertise they shared with me in my first few years of training. Since then I have trained with many other instructors across the country but primarily in Yorkshire and for the majority of time in York.
In September 2002, Sensei Graham Smith passed on the running of York Town Jitsu Club (YTJC) to me. I was a founding senior student at the club and I held the position of lead instructor to late 2019.
I am very fortunate to have met many wonderful people through the club and I wonder how rich my life would have been without the hundreds of students who have trained with me over the years (you are too numerous to mention, but thank you all). I am also grateful for the support of other instructors who have helped run the club and within the region who have helped support both the development of myself as an instructor and the club - (in no particular order) Sensei Michael Lycett, Sensei Jas Bhachu, Sensei Matt Charlton, Sensei Peter Dodd, Sensei Jessica Young, Sensei David Yates, Sensei Mags Godderidge and Sensei Dax Godderidge.
If you would like to learn Jiu Jitsu in York, please visit the YTJC area of the YorkJitsu.org web site for details.