Good question. First of all, you come and try out our training (bring some running shoes or trainers, and regular workout clothes). You might even want to do a couple of trial sessions (up to three are free) because every training is different. We meet at our dojo (gym) and start with a run from there. Don’t worry if you don’t have running experience, we will make it work together. And much about being outside is about exploring our surroundings, not the fastest running, so we might climb around some unsuspecting playgrounds or explore nearby parks. Then we come back and train inside the gym.
First things first: the basics of Jutaijutsu include Ukemi Waza, i.e. falling techniques. This is important because it teaches you how to fall on the mat (or ground) without hurting yourself. So you’ll start with that.
As soon as you’ve mastered the first steps there, you move on to some techniques. All training takes place in pairs. Together with your training partners you’ll practice throws, levers, locks, strikes, blocks and other fun, hand-to-hand techniques. At beginner level, we take everything slow. As you become more experienced, techniques grow more elaborate and there will also be some sparring.
We have a belt system, so at regular intervals, you’ll pass belt exams and move on to the next level. It’s exciting, but also a lot of fun and you’ll mostly be part of a group who are supporting you, so no worries!
Once you’ve got confident with your techniques and got a grip on those on our curriculum, you are ready for the next step: your black belt exam. We won’t lie, it’s not a walk in the park. At all. It might take you a few years to get there. But once you get past it, a whole new world opens up: training with different traditional Kobudo weapons such as Bo, Sai, Tonfa, Bokken (Bokuto) and others await you. And of course, you can also teach at this level.
So basically, learning Jutaijutsu is pretty much a never-ending journey that will keep giving back to you much more than you invest in it (but you do have to invest if you want to see results). As you can see, it’s not about winning points or competitions; in fact, we don’t do that at all. It’s about your own personal journey and helping you become stronger in every sense of the term.