Coronavirus / COVID-19 Update #7

You will have no doubt seen in the news that from today, gyms and swimming pools are able to reopen. You may have also seen that some martial arts classes are reopening in limited fashions.

However this is not the case for all martial arts as contact sports are still banned up until 21st June 2021 when the full lockdown should end. Group exercise classes (such as Yoga for example) can resume from the 17th May as these don’t involve person-to-person contact.

To quote the Gov.uk Government roadmap:

Step 2, no earlier than 12 April:
“Indoor leisure facilities, such as gyms and swimming pools, will also reopen – but only for use by people on their own or with their household.”

Step 3, no earlier than 17 May:
“Indoor hospitality, entertainment venues such as cinemas and soft play areas, the rest of the accommodation sector, and indoor adult group sports and exercise classes will also reopen.”
Link – https://www.gov.uk/government/news/prime-minister-sets-out-roadmap-to-cautiously-ease-lockdown-restrictions

Our position is still unchanged. We will not be able to re-open until:

  • The lockdown has ended,
  • The WJJF have confirmed member clubs can resume training, and;
  • The 9th Aylesbury Scout Group have given us permission to resume using the hall.

Until all 3 factors have been met, we will not be able to resume our classes.

WJJF Headquarters closed due to damage

This morning the WJJF shared with us an announcement regarding the ‘Clark Centre’, the building named after Sōke Robert Clark and which was the headquarters for the WJJF.

The WJJF HQ as seen from the outside.

To partially quote their statement:

When we re-entered the building, after twelve months off, we were faced with a horror story! The roof was leaking into the Dojo and onto the Tatami and also into the changing rooms. The resulting damp throughout the building had turned to mould on all the furniture and equipment. The paint was peeling from the walls due to the gutters falling off and water ingress soaking the walls. The smell of damp and mould was not only repulsive, but it would also have had a detrimental effect on the health of anyone entering.

As Directors of our Organisation, we have always taken our responsibilities seriously and worked hard for the benefit of the members. We were left with no choice other than to consider the future viable use of the building with regard to the Federation. Taking into account all the aforesaid implications we had to make some extremely hard decisions as we felt that we could not allow our members to return to this unsafe environment. The cost to put everything right, into a building we were purely renting, without any financial help from the landlord, would have been an unfair and unrealistic epic financial burden to place on our members.

Therefore, it is with much sadness and deepest regret that the Board of Directors can confirm that we have closed the Clark Centre.

The full statement can be found herehttps://www.wjjf.co.uk/official-statement-from-the-board-of-directors/

The main training area inside, showing off the newly laid Tatami floor mats.

New WJJF Logo!


The World Ju-Jitsu Federation has a new logo!

Below is a message from WJJF Managing director, Kanchō Robert Hart

To all Students Past and Present
Today is a day of celebration! It was on this day, in 1946, when our beloved Soke Robert Clark was born. Today would have been his 75th birthday. In order to honour his many attributes and his talent as a great Martial Artist, we, who have preserved and continued to promote his legacy as members of his original World Ju-Jitsu Federation, have chosen to launch our redesigned Logo, in honour of and as a fitting tribute to Soke Clark.
Designed with his Federation in mind, the circumference is exactly the same size as Soke Clark`s original badge with the words “World Ju-Jitsu Federation” emblazoned around the outside. The centre motif depicts Soke together with a student, doing what he always did best “Ju-Jitsu”. The background comprises of Liver Birds, which are associated with the City of Liverpool which is where our Organisation was established, alongside his name in Kanji. (Trademark pending).
The Liver Birds featured in this logo are as synonymous with Liverpool as is Soke Clark. Nikita Gill, a writer and poet, has composed some inspirational quotes about the Phoenix which are very relevant to the current situation we find ourselves in.
“You like a Phoenix, know how to ride, and resurrect”.
“Like a Phoenix from the ashes, they may defeat you, burn you, insult you, injure you, and abandon you. But they will not, shall not, and cannot destroy you”.
So it is with this comparable ardour and passion we will endeavour to progress and advance the Organisation with Soke Clark indelibly imprinted in our minds, in our hearts and in addition displayed proudly on our chest.

Kanchō Robert Hart.

A quick message from us – We will work on updating our website to reflect the new logo in the coming few days.

Coronavirus / COVID-19 Update #6

A belated ‘Happy New Year’ to you all.

This update is somewhat of a formality, as our previous update was from November 2020 and covered our plans up to the end of December. As we are now into January 2021, we felt we should update you all with our current plans.

Last Monday 4th January, the WJJF once again closed all of its clubs nationwide regardless of what tier group that club was in. Later the same day, the UK Government announced the 3rd national lockdown, rescinding the previous system of tiers.

At the time of writing we are not sure when the lockdown will end, with some sources indicating mid-February while others giving the end of March.

Our position has remined unchanged. We will not be able to re-open until:

  • The lockdown has ended,
  • The WJJF have confirmed member clubs can resume training, and;
  • The 9th Aylesbury Scout Group have given us permission to resume using the hall.

Until all 3 factors have been met, we will not be able to resume classes.

We are anticipating that once this lockdown ends we will go back to the tier system, and that we will not be allowed to operate while Buckinghamshire is at Tier 3 or above. At Tier 2 we should be able to operate with provisions in place, based on the previously issued Government guidelines.

However this is all very speculative as we do not know when the lockdown will end or what the rules will be after then. Of course this means our plans may change as regulations change.

All we can do is encourage you to stay safe. Follow the Government guidelines. We miss you all and really do want to see you all again safely on the mat.

Mental Health Mondays

It’s not enough to just look after your body, you need to look after your mind as well.

Considering everything that’s has been going on this year and the usual pressures that emerge at this particular time of year, we figured that if we’re going to be doing a ‘Fitness Friday‘ then it makes sense to also have a ‘Mental Health Monday‘.

We’re going to start with the basics of self care, then in later weeks focus on some specific conditions, and even touch on some Japanese concepts that relate to both mental health and martial arts.

To kick things off we would like to share this simple self care checklist.

Source: https://cinnamonsunrise.com/blog/self-care-checklist-printable/

As ever, if you have any comments or suggestions then feel free to leave a message in the comments or contact us directly.

Coronavirus / COVID-19 Update #5

As you will have no doubt heard, we have another national lockdown coming into effect this Thursday 5th November, which we are all being told should end on Wednesday 2nd December. As we are yet to re-open anyway, this just means we will be closed for a while longer.

That potential date of 2nd December does raise a point for us. Assuming we are able to, it would mean that we could reopen on Friday 4th December. However that would only be for three weeks before the Christmas holidays – Fridays 4th, 11th, and 18th of December.

With that in mind it would not make sense for us to reopen for just three weeks only to take another two week break. So it is most likely that we won’t open for the rest of this year, and we will now wait until after the New Year to decide when we will reopen. As we have stated in the past, this is just a provisional date because we don’t know what’s going to happen between now and then!

If you have any questions then feel free to contact us through the usual methods.

Coronavirus / COVID-19 Update #4

A short update this time around. In our last update we said that we were waiting for the 9th Aylesbury Scout group to give us the OK to return, because as our landlords they wanted to make sure the hall was ready.

Unfortunately we can’t say much has changed. The Government guidelines have changed more than once since then and we can only presume the Scouts have had to make changes to their plans. But as it has been a couple months since the last update we felt that we should at least check in to let you know what’s going on. Or in this case, the lack of anything going on.

Just to be clear, we’re not blaming these delays on the scouts. We’ve been keeping tabs on the guidelines and trying to keep track of what we will need to do so that we are ready to return, so we know full well that it’s not the easiest thing to do. We all want to return to normal as soon as possible, and we all want it to be as safe as possible too.

22/09/2020 EDIT: Less than 24 hours are publishing, and the Government has today published new guidelines implying that indoor team sport for more than 6 people will not be allowed, which will no doubt apply to us and the Scouts.

If you have any questions then feel free to contact us through the usual methods.

New Educational Section!

We have added a new educational section here on the website, dedicated to various educational resources which we feel help expand our students knowledge of Ju-jitsu, other martial arts, or martial arts culture in general.

While it is sparse right now, we aim to expand this over time. At the moment it has 4 pages within it:

  1. The glossary, which has been moved over from our ‘FAQ’ section. The glossary has also has another update itself, finally adding in audio clips so you can hear how various words are pronounced in Japanese. Just click on the 🔊 icon next to any of the words to hear them. We’ve also gone through and fixed up a few spelling and grammar errors.
  2. One of the 2 new pages is the recommended reading list which is a collection of books we have read and would like to share. They cover a wide array of subjects that don’t just focus on Jujitsu, but other martial arts, their history, the cultures they came from and the works of famous practitioners of those arts.
    We are very keen for this page to be community led so that we can get more recommendations from anyone who wishes to recommend them.
  3. Our recent short essay about The ‘Unwashed Black Belt’ Myth can now be found here. We would love to hear your ideas for any more subjects we could write about.
  4. Finally we have the second newly created page directing people to our YouTube channel. As we’ve been using this lockdown to post Kata videos, we felt it would be a good idea to have a more prominent link to that content for any future students to find.

As we’ve alluded to a couple of time, we would love to get your feedback or ideas for more content that could be put in this section. We have a few more ideas in the works which we will be adding in the coming weeks.

You can find the page in the menu bar above, or you can simply follow this link – https://dragonspiritaylesbury.co.uk/education/