Frequently Asked Questions
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Feel free to get in touch if you have further questions.
What are Ju Jitsu and Brazilian Jiu jitsu?
WJJF Ju Jitsu - First and foremost our focus in our ju jitsu classes is self defence. We also teach the traditional elements of the WJJF system. Ju Jitsu is an ancient Japanese martial art which is often described as the mother of all Japanese martial arts as many other systems originated in Ju Jitsu eg the founder of Judo (Jigoro Kano) was a Ju Jitsu master who saw the potential for a sport in Ju Jitsu and came up with Kodokan Judo which brazilian jiu jitsu later evolved from. Aikido also stemmed from an old Ju Jitsu school.
Although Ju Jitsu has older roots it is most commonly associated with the methods of unarmed combat which the Samurai would use in feudal Japan when they were disarmed in battle. To someone with no experience of Ju Jitsu it is best described as an "all round" martial art as it has everything that a lot of other arts have and much more - punching, kicking, throws, locks and joint manipulation, chokes, grappling and ground work are all practised in the art of Ju Jitsu. Don't let all this talk of history make you think we are stuck in the past. As we are self defence based and living in the modern world we are constantly updating our self defence and training methods to make our ju jitsu system as effective in real world situations as possible.
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu - BJJ is a combat sport and self defence system based on grappling, mainly on the ground, using leverage, locks, chokes, and positional dominance to control and submit an opponent. BJJ evolved from Judo which evolved from Japanese Ju Jitsu and has continued to evolve with new techniques and training methods developing over time.
Are Ju Jitsu and BJJ good for self defence?
WJJF Ju Jitsu - There are few arts which are as good for practical self defence as Ju Jitsu. Many arts will teach a lot of complicated strikes and high kicks which are impossible to actually use if one was attacked on the street. In Ju Jitsu students are taught defences against a wide variety of realistic situations - defence from rear attacks, holds, weapons, punches, kicks, attacks on the ground and many more. Another reason most people find it useful is the fact that size and strength is not an issue and because of this Ju Jitsu is commonly taught in self defence courses to different people and in particular women. We also have live training (sparring) in every class which allows us to pressure test our techniques against resisting opponents.
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu - Although these days BJJ is very sport based it has excellent self defence applications. Many attacks end up on the ground which is where BJJ dominates. The emphasis on control and submission allows the defender to safely subdue an attacker without causing too much damage and then allow escape. BJJ leans heavily towards live training (sparring or "rolling") which means practitioners are used to the pressure of a real attack and they have already tested their techniques on resisting opponents before a real life attack happens.
Is Ju Jitsu the same as Brazilian Ju Jitsu?
There are some similarities and many techniques will feature in both styles but they are vastly different systems. Japanese (WJJF) Ju Jitsu is a martial art which is predominantly self defence based where as Brazilian ju jitsu is a combat sport which is more competition based. In Japanese Ju Jitsu the idea is to neutralise an attacker using a variety of means and get away safely where as Brazilian ju jitsu is focused on grappling on the ground to win a match against an opponent using submissions. Japanese Ju Jitsu also does some of this but it is not our main focus - we aim to defend ourselves against attacks in all ranges and situations. From experience, training in both is a great way to become a more rounded martial artist.
Can I train in both styles?
Yes, absolutely, in fact it is openly encouraged so our students become the best martial artists they can be!
What experience do I need?
No experience is needed as most people who join our classes have never done a martial art before.
When can I start?
New senior students are welcome to start at any time as the classes run all year round. All you have to do is turn up, fill out an induction form and then have a go. Please note that the junior Wjjf Ju Jitsu classes use a waiting list to avoid overcrowding and so that the kids in the class get the most out of it so please email to get your child on the waiting list. There isn't currently a waiting list for the kids bjj classes.
What do I need to wear?
A Ju Jitsu/bjj suit (gi) is not required in the early stages of training and I wouldn't recommend buying one straight away until you are sure you want to stick at it. New students should just turn up in loose clothing like a pair of tracksuit bottoms and a T-shirt. Footwear is not needed as we train in our bare feet.
Will practising Ju Jitsu/bjj make me fit?
Although a high level of fitness is not initially important a large number of people join the classes as a way of losing weight and improving their cardio-vascular fitness and learning something useful in the process. Many people say "I will need to get fit before i start the class!" This is like saying "I will need to get smart before I go to school!"
How often do I need to train?
Ideally students should train twice each week so that they get the best out of their training but this isn't always possible as a lot of people work late or their shift patterns change etc. Students should remember that the more you put in, the more you get out.
If I have a medical condition can I still train?
As long as the instructors are made fully aware of your condition and both you and the instructors know how much (if at all) it limits your training then you will be fine. Any medication needed eg inhalers, insulin etc should be brought to each training session.
Do I need to bring someone to train with?
There will always be someone in the class who new students can train with so it is fine for students to come along on their own.
When will I be ready for my first belt?
WJJF Ju Jitsu - Based on training twice each week, beginner students (red belts) should be ready for their first belt (white belt) in approximately 3 to 6 months although this can vary depending on students abilities and the effort put in. The time between each belt increases as you progress to higher belts. Students must demonstrate a full knowledge of their syllabus, good attendance and correct attitude/behaviour at class to be considered for grading.
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu - BJJ has always had a less formal grading structure. Adults start as a white belt and are usually ready for blue belt in approximately 2 years although this can vary depending on ability, frequency of training etc. Our adult belts are awarded by our head coach Prof. Antonio La Salandra. Kids belts are awarded by Coach Lyle Gawley as are stripes between belts for kids and adults.
Do you use weapons in Ju Jitsu?
As students progress to higher grades in WJJF Ju Jitsu they will begin to use a variety of different weapons including tonfa, nunchaku, sai, bo, katana, jo and more.
What about competitions?
WJJF Ju Jitsu - In recent years we have developed a competition element to the WJJF system in the form of grappling competitions and kata competitions. This is in addition to what we already do which means you don't have to compete if you aren't interested (which is the case with most people) but there is an opportunity for you to do so if you are interested.
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu - BJJ is more geared towards sport and there are competitions/tournaments throughout Ireland and beyond that students can enter should they choose to. This is not compulsory at all.
If you have any further questions please contact us.