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February 25, 2020

Achieving total fitness with the help of Jujutsu

What is Total Fitness?

Total Fitness, Total Force Fitness and Dimensions of Wellness are models used by fitness, wellness, and health experts to help guide individuals and groups towards maximising their overall health and wellness.

Wellness is an active process through which people become aware of, and make choices toward, a more successful existence.” – National Wellness Institute

The National Wellness Institute promotes Six Dimensions of wellness (Developed by Dr. Bill Hettler 1976): Emotional, Occupational, Physical, Social, Intellectual, and Spiritual. Addressing all six dimensions of wellness in our lives builds a holistic sense of wellness and fulfilment. An eight-dimensional model was developed by University Health Service at the University of Michigan (University of Michigan, 2012) making two additions; Financial and Environmental.

Total Force Fitness is a US military concept beginning in 2006, the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USUHS) was investigating the aspects that led to human optimal performance or HPO, allowing service members to excel in an operational environment. They were commissioned to develop the Total Force Fitness concept into a CJCS Directive that would address the intersection of health, fitness, and performance optimization for the US military.

Total Force Fitness - MIND: Psychological, Behavioural, Spiritual, Social | BODY: Physical, Medical and Dental, Nutritional, Environmental

Total Fitness is the model used within the UK fitness industry and consists of 6 elements to total fitness. Emotional / Mental, Social, Medical, Physical Fitness, Nutritional, and Spiritual.

A brief introduction to Jujutsu and Taijutsu Kai

Jujutsu first began during the Sengoku period over 500 years ago in feudal Japan, combining various Japanese martial arts which were used on the battlefield for close combat. Japanese hand-to-hand combat forms focused heavily upon throwing, immobilizing, joint locks and choking.

Jujutsu techniques have been the basis for many military unarmed combat techniques (including British/US/Russian special forces and SO1 police units) for many years. Since the early 1900s, every military service in the world has an unarmed combat course that has been founded on the principal teachings of Jujutsu.

Jujutsu is referred to as the mother art, and it’s descendants include; Judo, Sambo, Brazilian jiu-jitsu (via Judo), Aikido, Hapkido, Catch wrestling, Bartitsu, German ju-jutsu, and Atemi Ju-Jitsu.

This gives Jujutsu a vast range of flexibility and the art has incredible depth. There is something for every martial artist and Jujutsu can be described as a mixed martial art, 500 years before the UFC and other MMA promotions were ever created.

Taijutsu Kai is a school of Jujutsu founded by Sensei Ross Iannoccaro in 1980.

How Jujutsu helps towards "Total Fitness"

1. Emotional / Mental

Concerned with psychological well-being. The pressures of daily life can have a negative effect on mental and emotional fitness. This affects the ability to think clearly and constructively, leading to stress, which is a contributory factor to Coronary heart disease (CHD).

Jujutsu provides a structured syllabus in an encouraging and safe environment. Students can learn and develop their confidence and self-esteem at their own pace. Training jujutsu also works as a great stress reliever, taking your thoughts away from day to day life and completely focussing on the task at hand. Jujutsu also has some direct stress-busting benefits. Physical activity helps bump up the production of your brain's feel-good neurotransmitters, called endorphins. Exercise can also improve your sleep, which is often disrupted by stress, depression and anxiety. All these exercise benefits can ease your stress levels and give you a sense of command over your body and your life.

2. Social

An individual’s ability to interact, communicate, establish and maintain relationships with others.

At Jujutsu classes you come into regular contact with new people every class, you build long lasting friendships, work with others to progress together and have a great feeling of being a part of a team. You will meet and socialise with people from all walks of life and share goals and interests. As you progress, you will begin helping others on their learning paths and naturally develop your communication skills whilst teaching others. Taijutsu kai embraces the traditions of Japanese martial arts. Respect, loyalty and kindness are at the core of all our clubs.

3. Medical

An individuals state of health and the absence of disease, illness, injury or disability so that the body is in optimal working order.

Physical exercise can reduce your risk of major illnesses, such as heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and cancer by up to 50% and lower your risk of early death by up to 30%. (NHS)

It's medically proven that people who do regular physical activity have:

  • up to a 35% lower risk of coronary heart disease and stroke
  • up to a 50% lower risk of type 2 diabetes
  • up to a 50% lower risk of colon cancer
  • up to a 20% lower risk of breast cancer
  • a 30% lower risk of early death
  • up to an 83% lower risk of osteoarthritis
  • up to a 68% lower risk of hip fracture
  • a 30% lower risk of falls (among older adults)
  • up to a 30% lower risk of depression
  • up to a 30% lower risk of dementia

4. Nutritional

Eating a well-balanced diet to ensure the body has sufficient energy and ability to carry out daily life.

This one Jujutsu can’t help with too much, except that it can provide goals such as competitions and gradings to help give you a great reason to focus on your diet and nutrition.

5. Spiritual

An individuals attitude, honouring one’s own and others basic human values and beliefs.

As previously mentioned you will meet and socialise with people from all walks of life and share goals and interests. Taijutsu kai embraces the traditions of Japanese martial arts. Respect, loyalty and kindness are at the core of all our clubs. Taijutsu kai clubs pay no attention to race, religion, or sexuality and everyone is always welcome.

As a traditional Japanese martial art we encourage; Integrity, Respect, Courage, Honour, Compassion, Honesty and Sincerity, and Duty and Loyalty.

6. Physical Fitness

A combination of attributes that allow you to function effectively, to enjoy leisure and cope with emergencies; Cardiovascular fitness, Motor Skills, Muscular Strength, Muscular Endurance, Flexibility.

All these factors are trained at Taijutsu Kai and Jujutsu is a great physical exercise to help improve in these areas. Jujutsu can also provide goals such as competitions and gradings to help give you a great reason to focus on your physical fitness. Jujutsu is a great form of exercise whilst also providing you with skills you’ll keep for life, build your confidence and ultimately keep you safe with self-defence skills.

These 6 areas combine to help achieve "Total Fitness" and learning Jujutsu at Taijutsu Kai is an excellent way to work towards these goals. The benefits of training Jujutsu are considerable and we would love everyone to come and give it a go. If you have ever considered starting a martial art you are never too late. We have people starting at every age and ability, everyone is welcome, there is always place for you at Taijutsu Kai schools of Jujutsu!


Free Trial

We are so confident that yourself or your children will love Jujutsu that we give every new student a free class to come and give it a go. Just fill in the below form and let us know which class you would like to attend.

You just need to wear shorts or tracksuit bottoms and a t-shirt or sports top (what you'd wear to the gym / P.E. ) and be aware that you will be training barefoot. A bottle of water is a good idea and if you have asthma please remember to bring your inhaler. We look forward to seeing you soon!
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