If you’re reading this you probably want to know how I got on at yesterdays grading. In short, I’m not a 2nd Dan quite yet.
The World Ju-Jitsu Federation holds a high and exacting standard for all of it’s gradings, to which no one is exempt. On this occasion I fell just short of the passing grade.
Now to clarify I have not failed, but I haven’t passed either. I have been deferred, which to most of means “resit the exam” so at some point I will have to attempt it again.
I won’t have to travel back up to the HQ in Liverpool but I will still do it in front of senior coaches, and at the moment the current plan sounds like I will travel to Norwich to do it at Haya-Ashi Ju-Jutsu who I trained with over the summer.
In the mean time I have been given excellent feedback on what I did well at and where I didn’t, which was given to me by 2 of the 3 senseis who sat on my adjudicating panel, namely KyōshiRuss Walsh (7th Dan) and Shihan Simon Jones (7th Dan). I was also fortunate in that my Uke for the day was Sensei Paul Daley (6th Dan) who also gave his own advice.
On that note, I would like to thank all of the sensei’s mentioned above again, as well as Kyōshi Robert Howes (7th Dan), Sensei David Howard (5th Dan) and KanchōRobert Hart (7th Dan), who had unpleasant job of breaking the news to me. Everyone I spoke to agreed that I can do it, it just needed more polish than I presented yesterday.
I never walked in expecting to pass. I knew I had to earn it and knew the standards were high, so also I knew there was a chance I could have failed. When it unfortunately happened, it wasn’t a crushing defeat. I don’t even consider it a setback because I haven’t lost anything that I need to regain.
People say you learn more from failure than success, and I plan to use myself as an example for our students. Sure you can train hard and still fail. But you take some time to assess what went wrong, work on those issues and you try again.
I’ll close out this post with a quote that’s served me well in the past and served me well yesterday:
If you’re not prepared to fail, you’re not prepared at all.
I will earn my 2nd Dan, it just hasn’t been quite yet.
Our children’s class has now reached its maximum safe capacity, meaning we can no longer accept any new students for the children’s class. Spaces at our children’s classes have become highly sought after and we are now operating a waiting list for children who want to join.
We therefore need students to attend on a regular basis. Failure to attend 4 classes in a row means you will lose your space to a new student. If you then want to return, you will be placed on the waiting list to await a free space. If a student is unable to attend due to sickness or injury then exceptions to this rule will be made on a case by case basis.
Should a space be made available then we will contact the parents of the first on the list to see if they are still interested. If they are no longer interested we will contact the next on the list, and so on until the space can be filled.
We’d also like to remind people that while the children’s class is full, we do have spaces in our adults class!
We have created a new email account, that is to be jointly accessible by both Sensei Julia and Adam.
Previously most of our online profiles (such as our Twitter account or Yell.com listing) used Adam’s email address, which while there was no issue with it, it did mean Julia would be unable to access those sites to make any changes if needed.
Therefore we set up this new email is jointly accessible by both Julia and Adam and we will move to use it in future for any new pages. It will also make it easier to pass on access to those pages should either Julia or Adam stop coaching.
But without any further ado, the new address is: firstname.lastname@example.org . You can of course still contact us through our private addresses if you want to speak to one of us directly.
For the last 6 weeks of the summer holidays, I’ve been travelling to Norwich to join the Haya-ashi Ju-Jutsu club twice a week for some extra weapons practice ahead of my 2nd Dan grading in October.
I would like give my thanks to Kyōshi Robert Howes (7th Dan), Senseis Jack Stapleton (3rd Dan), Martyn Webster (3rd Dan) and Jason King (2nd Dan), as well as everyone else at the club who took the time to help me and make me feel welcome at the club.
At the start of the summer I had ear-marked 6 dates I would be attending, in the end though it I attended 11 classes back to back! Even though I was just a visitor, by the end I didn’t feel like one, more a home away from home.
They are of course more than welcome to join in at our classes in Aylesbury should they ever be in the area!
Also finally, good luck to Steven Newson who is going for his 1st Dan black belt on the same day I’ll be doing my 2nd. Chances are one of us will end up playing Uke for the other at some point!
Hello everyone, Adam here with my little ‘report’ of yesterdays seminar in Manchester.
As you might be aware, this was my second seminar, my first being the ‘Soke Clark Seminar‘ held back in February of this year. This weekends seminar was hosted by Hanshi John Greenhalgh, who holds the mightily impressive rank of Jūdan (10th Dan!) This was also different in that it wasn’t a WJJF seminar, rather it was open to all regardless of sporting affiliation. But plenty of WJJF members were in attendance.
After a mildly intense warm-up on an already warm day, we started with some Kickboxing! This opening segment was conducted by Former W.K.A. Full Contact British Kickboxing Champion Chris West of “West Freestyle Martial Arts” (Website | Facebook).
I got to work with Claire, herself a champion kick-boxer, who was quite happy to let a me kick her directly! It’s honestly surreal when you kick a stranger in the stomach without them holding a pad of some sort, and they reply with “That was good, try it again!”
In all seriousness, Claire was really patient and gave lots of tips on how to improve my kicks and strikes. Speaking of which we started with simple but efficient strikes and kicks, and gradually worked up to more complex spinning kicks and multiple attacks.
After that we moved on to classic Ju-Jitsu, and I changed partners. For the remainder of the seminar I paired up with Sensei’s Peter and Graham, both 8th Dans. We worked on a nice variety of locks, counters and pressure points. What I enjoyed most was that both Peter and Graham showed their experience and how they would modify a move to a given situation.
This is the sort of thing seminars should be all about. Those with experience passing it on to the next generation.
“That was another excellent seminar. I really enjoyed working with the senior belts who don’t just show you how to do a move, they show the technical side as well.
Leaving feeling a bit battered and bruised, and I wouldn’t have it any other way!”
In fact we got so carried away, the seminar actually over-ran, with the Worsley Leisure Centre staff waiting for to leave to they could lock up. Somehow I don’t think they were going to argue with the 30 or so black belts in attendance.
But all in all, it was well worth the 350 mile round trip, and I look forward to the next seminar. Though up next will be my 2nd dan grading……..
This Friday sees our last week of classes before the summer break. We all enjoy training, but it’s not quite as fun when it’s too hot!
After Fridays classes, we will reopen for lessons on Friday 6th September 2019.
That doesn’t mean it’s all stop for everyone though! Sensei Adam will be has a busy summer planned, with a Seminar in Manchester on the 3rd August being run by the highest ranked belt in the WJJF, Jūdan (10th Dan!)Shihan John Greenhalgh.
Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic and the latest announcements from the Government, our classes are closed.
We will resume business when we are advised by the Government that it is safe to do so, and will keep you updated as to when this will happen.
We are still monitoring phone calls and emails should you still want to contact us.
In the meantime, please keep yourself and your loved ones safe. We also thank you for your support during this difficult time for all of us.