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/

A message from the WJJF

The World Ju-Jitsu Federation has shared this message via their Facebook page, which we are re-sharing here as we know not all of our members use Facebook.

Dear members,

We want to take this opportunity to thank you all for your valued support during these difficult times as some of our clubs begin to re-open others are still unable to as much as they may want to.

Trust in us, we have your best interests and students health and welfare at heart.

As you all know the WJJF is run by its members for its members, we are a non profit organisation run by volunteers, but like most other businesses we have still had overheads to cover, with no income , we understand your concerns in not training and your memberships running down, however if you want your club and your federation to survive this pandemic we must continue to rely on your full membership support, some groups have asked students to continue paying fees whilst closed, this was not for the WJJF, all we now request is your FULL support in returning to your club dojo’s when you feel comfortable to do so.

Please do not be concerned about returning to training, only clubs that have proved to us that they are Covid safe and have all the documentation in place, vetted and signed off will be allowed to reopen, we will advertise the clubs individually when they have been approved as SAFE on the WJJF website starting tomorrow.

Stay safe with the WJJF

Kancho Robert Hart

(Source – WJJF UK Facebook page, 30/07/2020)

Coronavirus / COVID-19 Update #3

You may have seen in the recent news about the Governments decision to allow gyms, indoor pools and leisure centres to reopen from 25th July, so you may also be wondering what our plans are in this regard.

Up until this news was announced we were still following instructions from our governing body the WJJF and remaining closed. Last week we received an email from the WJJF HQ regarding the reopening of clubs and the potential return to training, and as such Senseis’ Julia, Adam and Andy had begun looking into what requirements we will have to follow and working out how we will meet them.

However a couple days later we received an email from the 9th Aylesbury Scout group who’s hall we operate out of. As the landlords they want to make sure everything is ready first before they let us and the other ‘tenants’ use the hall.
As such they have asked us not to use the hall just yet.

When the Scouts let us know we will be able to use the hall again and when that happens we will have to follow any instructions set by them. With that in mind, it’s very likely that any changes they implement would be the same as or similar too any changes we anticipated implementing, such as using a one-way system, mandatory face masks and hand washing. We will in due course let everyone know what those changes will be once we know we can re-open again.

On the plus side you will like to know that we have plans in place for how we will likely operate, and that we have being doing some online training on COVID safety. We can announce that all 3 of our coaches have passed and are ready for when we return.

Finally, we do now have a provisional return time-frame of ‘after the summer holidays‘, though we aren’t setting any specific date just yet because as we’ve mentioned above we’re waiting on the Scouts to OK our return, and of course the government advice may change again. Thankfully we have a few more Kata videos left to post before we run out of them.

If you have any questions then feel free to contact us through the usual methods. Otherwise enjoy the summer and hopefully we will see you in the Autumn!

An unexpected surprise – Sensei Adam awarded ‘Nidan’ (2nd Dan)!

Hi guys, Sensei Adam here.

You may remember back in October of last year I travelled up to World Ju-Jitsu Federation headquaters in Liverpool to do my 2nd dan (Nidan) grading, where I came close to passing but fell short.

Immediately after hearing the news, Kyōshi Robert Howes (7th Dan) offered to let me re-try my grading at a later date at one of his classes in Norwich, including ‘volunteering’ the services of one of his club coaches, Sensei Jack Stapleton (4th Dan), to uke for me. In case you forgot, Kyōshi Howes is the sensei who has visited us to adjudicate our club gradings in the past, and whom I trained under last summer.

After our last club gradings back in November, we decided that the best plan was for me to join them at their next club gradings which was set for Saturday 21st March 2020, but then that pesky Coronavirus meant all their classes and the grading got postponed.

You might now be wondering, why would I bring this up now?

This morning I received a surprise package from Kyōshi Robert Howes, containing a letter, a Nidan belt and my certificate.

Yes, I have officially been awarded my 2nd Dan black belt! I was not expecting this and was still waiting for when I could re-try my grading. At this point I don’t really know what to say, other than to thank everyone from Kyōshi Robert Howes, Kancho Robert Hart and of course our Sensei Julia! There are probably other people I need to thank too so if I’ve missed you, thank you!

Roll on October 2023 when I should eligible to attempt my Sandan (3rd dan) grading!

We are looking for reviews!


We are looking for reviews! Would you be able to help us?

We advertise ourselves in many places online but we have practically no reviews. We could say what we wanted about ourselves but it wouldn’t necessarily reflect how our students actually felt about us.

This is where you can help! We would be very grateful if any of our members (past or present) could leave a review for us on any of our online listings. For parents in the children’s class, maybe you could ask your children what they think and include anything quotable in your review.

If you feel the need to give us a low rating (and we hope you don’t) then we’re not going to stop you. All we ask is that if you do, that you at least write why you’ve given the rating you have. That way we can then use your comments to try make ourselves better.

We have 3 main places we would like reviews; Google, Yell and Facebook. You don’t need to leave a review on all 3 but we would very much appreciate it if you did! Clicking on any of the images below will take you directly to the listing for that website.

Google
Yell.com
Facebook Page

Finally we would like to thank you all in advance for any reviews you leave!

Coronavirus / COVID-19 update #2

At our last update we set a provisional re-opening date of Friday 15th May which is of course today. However we are again extending our decision to remain closed for the time being. Previously we set a new provisional re-opening date but this time we are not going to, opting instead to simply remain indefinitely closed until the lockdown is fully lifted.

We stress the emphasis on ‘fully’ lifted for a simple reason. While the Government has this week set out plans for schools to begin re-opening in June and issued guidance for personal trainers and coaches to begin a phased return, as Ju-Jitsu is martial art based on throwing, grappling and striking opponents, it is near impossible for us to do so while maintaining a 2-meter safe distance between people!

We would love to be able to say when we can re-open but at the moment we can not. When we are able to reopen we will let you know here on the website, through our Facebook page and group, on our Twitter account, and everywhere else we exist online!

In the mean time, we have been posting a new Kata video as revision aides for students to practice at home on our YouTube channel, and we have a few more still to post. We’ve also found some educational resources to share so even if we’re not practising Ju-Jitsu, we can all still learn something!

Coronavirus / COVID-19 update #1

When the lockdown was first announced we provisionally and rather optimistically set a potential reopening date of Friday 24th April, which is this week. As the lockdown is set to still be in effect for a few more weeks, we’ve moved our potential reopening date to Friday 15th May. Again this is another provisional and optimistic date, which may still change to another even later date.

If/when it changes or indeed when we are able to reopen, we will let you know here on the website, through our Facebook page and group, on our Twitter account, and everywhere else we exist online!

In the meantime, we’re still encouraging students to have a go practising their Katas at home as part of the #WJJFGardenKata challenge, and we have been posting a new Kata revision video on our YouTube channel every Friday. You can watch the full playlist of the Katas we’ve posted so far here.

Stay safe, keep washing your hands for 20 seconds, and keep practising those Katas!

WJJF Garden Kata Challenge!

We’ve been challenged!

The World Ju-Jitsu Federation have challenged the members of all WJJF clubs to record themselves performing any kata in their garden (or anywhere you have enough space) and to send the video of it in to your club!

Just pick whichever kata you like, record it, and send it to us. We’ll share your entries on our Facebook page and it may even be shared to the WJJF page as well!

Don’t worry if it’s not perfect, no need to wear your uniform, it’s all just for fun!

If you want to send us a video, you can either:

#WJJF #GETINVOLVED #WJJFGARDENKATA’S #stayhomesavelives