> Keith Rose & Ian Purnell take a look at Jiu Jitsu at UWE.

On top of the Fresher’s Fair recruitment, and introductory sessions, the club has already had two extra training events this October.

The Club is one of the longest lasting clubs at UWE, having started in 1984. Its on-going popularity is due to its addictiveness as a sport, welcoming atmosphere for beginners and fantastic social events. Jiu Jitsu comes from Japan where in feudal times it was the unarmed combat taught to samurai warriors. Jitsu directs an aggressor’s force against themselves using strikes, joint-locks and throws. Because of this, size, strength and gender are unimportant. In fact, we run one of the few clubs where men and women compete on equal footing. But our club isn’t all about fighting! Social Events include the much-needed chance to re-hydrate in the bar after sessions and regular social outings like pub crawls, BBQs, cinema trips and parties giving members the chance to get to know each other better ‘off-the-mat‘. The regular interactions and inter-club training create a camaraderie which means even National events have a feeling more like a family reunion. Also on Wednesday 20th of October the UWE Jitsu club played host to a guest Instructor, sensei Chris Washington (the Instructor of rival local club, Bristol Uni!). The hectic month continued on Sat 23rd of October when UWE joined nine other clubs from the area at Bath University for a special regional level training course. “These courses only happen three times a year and it was a great opportunity for our new recruits [to] train under some different Instructors” said Lorna Young, the latest recruit to the Jitsu coaching team here at UWE, “We are particularly lucky that some of the top instructors in the country just happen to be based in this area”.

National Events are also held in November and March. The Atemi nationals, which were held on the 13th & 14th November, are a 2 day event with training, friendly competitions and a huge late-night party! The competitions consist of demonstrating the techniques you’ll have been taught and are open to beginners. The Randori nationals (March) are similar in format but give you a chance to test your techniques against a resisting opponent using throwing techniques, and ground techniques. All national events are heavily subsidised by the club and take place all over the country. Definitely not to be missed! Beginners don’t require any previous experience at all and a good number of those who come along will be just starting out. We welcome people to try Jitsu at any time. Simply turn up any day and your first session is totally free. Plus, you get two weeks free insurance for you to decide if it’s for you. Membership, if you choose to join, costs £40. For this you get the UWESU membership as well as membership and insurance from The Jitsu Foundation (www.jitsufoundation.org). When you consider what you get for your money, it’s well worth it! Jitsu is ideal for boosting your social life, fitness, confidence and general well-being! We train at St. Matthias gym (take the U3 bus from town or Frenchay campus) every Tuesday (8-10pm), Wednesday and Friday (6-8pm). Don’t worry if you are not at the peak of fitness, all you need to start is some loose clothing and a willingness to learn. Bring a friend along too if you like! Simply turn up and one of us will introduce ourselves. We look forward to seeing you! For more info, visit our website (www.uwesu.net/jitsu) or add us on Facebook (search for ‘UWE Jitsu Club‘).

 JIU JITSU NATIONALS REPORT

On Friday 12th November UWE Jitsu Club set off for Sheffield and the Atemi National Championships in good spirits, looking forward to 2 days of hard training and competing with 800+ fellow Jitsuka. With only 9 of us travelling there were lower numbers than previous years but we still had high hopes of returning with medals. On Saturday, it started well with novice Adam Waterman getting through to the semi-finals. Then it was the turn for the grades to take part which did not go as well as it was only, purple belt, Matt Jones who got through to compete in the finals the next day. This was achieved despite having to demonstrate most of his techniques with one hand as his thumb was strapped up from a training incident a couples weeks ago. Before the day was done it was once again Adam’s turn to take part in his semi-final but despite a good showing he just missed out on getting through to the final on the following day. On Sunday morning the mat was only half full due to many Jitsuka still recovering from the night before, as is the norm at these events! Unfortunately the morning brought bad news for UWE’s chances of bringing home any medals as Matt’s thumb had become too swollen to compete, leaving the extraordinary position of nobody from UWE competing on finals day. We did, however, have a good training session in the morning and the pleasure of watching the open competition (the grand finale of the event) once the finals had been completed. Bath Uni came away as the Atemi National Champions and Bristol Uni won the BUCS Club Shield, demonstrating that our region is leading the way in Shorinji Kan Jiu Jitsu. Now we look forward to the regional grading on the 4th December at Bath Uni where we can show the national champions what we are made of!

Keith Rose & Ian Purnell