Training with the London Aiuchi Jiu Jitsu Club

The art that we learn at the London Aiuchi Jiu Jitsu Club is jiu jitsu, or more commonly just "Jitsu". Although it has its origins in the ancient fighting arts of the samurai, it is much more recently related to Kodokan Judo, though we emphasise different applications of techniques that would be familiar to long term students of judo. The art itself is made up of a wide range of techniques (waza), some of which are described below.

Throwing and breakfalling
Autumn 2010
Falling

Our emphasis is always on safety above all else. One of the first things you will learn to do as a student is to fall safely using breakfalling (ukemi) techniques. These allow you to build up to some pretty impressive-looking almost acrobatic techniques, but ultimately the initial training is to allow you to fall safely out of the other techniques you will learn at the club. Training is usually performed on a matted surface to protect you against harder falls, but the techniques you learn can also be applied when falling onto a hard surface.

Striking

Although our art is defensive in nature, it is useful to learn to strike well to ensure that you can defend well. Dealing with committed attacks from a trained opponent will much better prepare you to defend yourself in reality, should it become necessary. In addition, striking has its place in defence as well, as a well placed strike to a relatively weak area of the opponent's anatomy (atemi) can disrupt their balance and concentration enough to allow you to either escape or utilise a second technique.

Landing safely from a throw
Spring 2011
Throwing

The true speciality of our art is the wide range of throwing (nage) techniques designed to put an attacker onto the ground where they are much less able to continue their attack. Our art covers a wide range of throws from the very gentle takedowns that you might use to subdue someone you do not wish to harm through to very powerful techniques designed to end the confrontation then and there. As mentioned above, safety is the first priority in our club, therefore you will not be expected to do anything beyond your ability to fall safely from.

Locking

Sometimes you might not want to subdue an attacker by throwing them heavily to the ground or striking them until they are no longer a threat. In these circumstances a locking technique (kansetsu) or a strangle (shime) may be more appropriate. These are designed to hold an opponent in place using weak locations of the body (wrist, elbow, shoulder, neck, knee or ankle), allowing you to either reassess the situation, call for help or to escape at an opportune moment. As some of these techniques can be difficult to apply in isolation, we also learn Judo-style hold downs and other groundfighting techniques (sweeps, reversals, guards, mounts, etc). This is extremely useful knowledge if you find yourself taken to the floor against your best intentions.

Bottle attack (plastic bottle)
Spring 2011
Weapons

Sadly many attacks are not carried out by unarmed assailants, therefore we learn to deal with some of the common weapons that might be encountered in a self defence situation, including bottles, sticks, baseball bats, knives and chains, together with some far less common weapons, such as swords, chairs and guns. Our training is done with imitation weapons for safety reasons, and everything is learnt from very basic principles and built upon gradually over time.

Fun

This is not so much a set of techniques within our system as an ethos of the club: we all want to have fun learning this art, and all the instructors will do their best to ensure that the learning process is as interesting and entertaining as possible. It can be very difficult to describe the exhilaration that accompanies pulling off a particularly challenging technique for the first time, but it really is a phenomenally rewarding experience.