Combat Ju Jutsu
By Kevin O'Hagan
In these times of increasing realism in the Martial Arts most practitioners are finding the need for some sort of impact and contact training. Training to punch, strike or kick fresh air or touch striking is just not enough to really know if your technique will stand up under pressure when the moment of truth arrives.
Of course some have known the need for impact training for years , others are only just discovering its values now. ln the system of Ju Jutsu Kempo Goshin Jutsu I have been training and teaching impact training for some years. Unique in some ways as most Ju Jutsu systems in general don't really practice, say, bag work, focus pads, etc, although some may have changed their ways in recent times.
One of my early instructors, Shihan Mick Upham, was a great believer in impact training and also contact training, his Ju Jutsu was real and he wanted to make sure it worked. He passed this idea on to me when at the time most Ju Jutsu training was very defensive based block, strike, throw, lock self defence techniques. He was the first to show me offensive Ju Jutsu and also working Ju Jutsu against a gloved up opponent just coming at you with any punches or kicks. This was all very new and revolutionary in the early 80s . I have carried on and developed these ideas and still teach these concepts today. Now of course everybody is beginning to cross train in these ideas.
NO HOLDS BARRED
l can remember being on a course with Shihan Upham and a few others from the Ju Jutsu systems , training with members of the Israeli Anti - terrorist squad participating in no holds barred fighting, anything goes, as long back as the 80s . Testing Ju Jutsu skills under extreme pressure and hoping you can come out in one piece.
This type of training was not new to us then, but only recently have other s begun to see the value of this type of practice. From my own observations of this type of practice you need equal amounts of striking and grappling knowledge, good physical conditioning and tremendous spirit.
Only regular impact\contact training can give you this, without it you will never know exactly what you are capable of doing when the shit hits the fan.
Every martial artist feels they are able to defend themselves and usually envisage themselves as some sort of un-stoppable fighting machine.
When you have performed for an hour on pad work and you feel sick to your stomach, legs feel like liquorice and your arms are like lead and you find yourself next up against an opponent whaling away at you with the gloves on, or trying to choke you out in a ground grapple, then you can really analyze your fighting capacity.
You will be greatly surprised, shocked or even disappointed. This is what Geoff Thompson's been doing in his Animal Day sessions and what he has been teaching in his seminars, yet some still choose to ignore it, prepared to keep on believing that when it goes down they'll be OK and their training will stand up to it.
I personally state unless you do some sort of contact and impact training and try and reach for some realism you will fall sadly short of the mark in a real street situation. It's not an easy step to take, no one relishes the thought of being battered about but with safe monitoring and being exposed to gradually increasing degrees of contact, anyone can do it.
Each month in my Ju Jutsu classes I will do an impact training session where we will work punching and striking the focus pads, kicking the shields, continuous throwing drills, gloved fighting, ground fighting, not just grappling but one person gloved and punching the other just grappling.
Upright striking and grappling,, closing a gap and clinching against all out punching. Punching pads in mounted, guard, side positions and from on the knees, two on to one all out sparring and heavy conditioning work for stamina and body toughening, etc, etc,
These sessions are physically and mentally draining but people keep coming back because they realize the need for them. I have seen people come out of themselves and change. It has increased their confidence and abilities no end, they know they have pushed themselves above and beyond what they thought they were capable of and found that hidden bit of extra.
When the sessions are over and you have recovered you feel great, alive and a sense of achievement. You can only get this going through adversity in some shape or form. I have only the utmost respect for those who take on this form of training.
Any Martial Art can supplement impact/contact training into their practice with a little imagination and lm sure they will feel the benefits. You don't have to sacrifice any other part of the art you are practicing, just add to it, if this sort of thing appeals.
For anybody interested in finding out more about this type of training check out my Impact Jujutsu series - which is on special offer.
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