The Union Flag


Maintained by Doug Southern
Updated 26th March 2006

What is Ju Jitsu ?  - Return to the top
Ju Jitsu means the 'Gentle Art'. Originating in feudal Japan, it's a form of unarmed self defence, using blocks, strikes, throws and locks to defeat an attacker. Ju Jitsu (it can also be spelt Jui Juitsu, Jiu Jiutsu, Ju Jutsu and there are other variations) is sometimes described as the mother art for other martial arts.

For instance Judo is now an Olympic sport, that developed from Ju Jitsu in the late 19th century, it uses locks and throws from Ju Jitsu. Karate is also a sport that uses blocks and strikes found in Ju Jitsu. Aikido uses wrist based techniques to handle an attacker. Other martial arts use elements found in Ju Jitsu.
What do I wear during a lesson ?  - Return to the top
Comfortable clothes, with no zips or other items that could scratch, snag or break. You should not wear jewellery or other items that may scratch. Usually jogging pants or similar, with a sweat or tee shirt can be worn. The clothes can be grabbed or pulled and you may not want to wear your best clothes in case they get damaged. After a few lessons you should wear a gi(uniform). Ju Jitsu exponents (Ju Jitsukai) train on mats (tatami) in bare feet.
What happens during a lesson ?  - Return to the top
The lesson must be led by an accredited coach. A coach is an instructor that has taken recognised training. Instructors are not always dan grades.
  • Start of lesson: Bowing ceremony, this sets the stage for the lesson.
  • Warm up: A short warm up then follows, this loosens the joints and warms up the muscles ready for the core of the lesson.
  • Practice: The coach will then teach self defence techniques.
  • Warm down: Prepares the student for leaving the dojo (training room).
  • End of lesson: Bowing ceremony to formally close the session.
What fees are payable ?  - Return to the top
There are several fees paid;
  • Each session: A mat fee. In some places e.g. a sports centre you may have to pay an entry fee and/or membership to enter the building.
  • Current session fees (June 2017) are: 4 for adults (age 18+), 2.50 for juniors (age 4+) and the unwaged.
  • Each year: A membership fee that gives you membership of the club, it also provides basic insurance.
  • Current membership fees are 9 for year one and then 6 per year.
  • Grading fee: Every few weeks or months once you are proficient at several set techniques you will be graded and awarded a certificate if you pass the grading.
  • White to brown belt gradings are 6 per grading for adults (age 18+) and 5 for juniors (age 4+). A new coloured belt costs 2.50.
  • Fees can change at short notice.
Are there any other costs ?  - Return to the top
After a few weeks new students are expected to wear a uniform (gi). A new gi usually has a white belt included in the price. The gis are usually hard wearing canvas or cloth materials, that mean a student's street clothes are not damaged. Club and association badges can also be sold. These identify your affiliations if you attend other clubs, courses or competitions. When you take a grading you may need to buy a belt of the new colour when you pass the grading. If you want to go on courses or enter competitions there are also costs involved in travelling to the venue and taking part in the event.
How long does it take to become a black belt ?  - Return to the top
If you train about twice a week, it takes between 3 and 4 years to get a black belt. Your first black belt signifies you are the first level of  teacher (1st Dan or Shodan). You can still progress and take further grading's. While training to become a black belt you will be a Kyu (student) grade. These are signified by coloured belts.
  • Novice (beginner): No belt, unless the student has a gi it is then usually white, though it can be red.
  • White belt: Adult -6th Kyu, Junior -7th Kyu.
  • Yellow belt: Adult -5th Kyu, Junior -6th Kyu.
  • Orange belt :Adult - no grading taken, Junior -5th Kyu.
  • Green belt: Adult and Junior -4th Kyu.
  • Blue belt: Adult and Junior -3rd Kyu.
  • Purple belt: Adult and Junior -2nd Kyu.
  • Brown belt :Adult and Junior - 1st Kyu.
Adults (18+) and Juniors (4-18) learn slightly different techniques. Training is at a pace suited to the individual, though the BKJJA has guidelines on the amount of tuition required between each grading.