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Telephone Hayley: 0795 1587 398
Cheltenham - Cirencester - Bourton

Five self-defence techniques every girl should know.

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At TJK we often hear “Will that work for me?”, “Can a smaller person really defend themselves against someone who is bigger and stronger?” and “Can a girl realistically defend themselves against a man?”

There are a few questions at play here, but it comes down to this – can someone who is trained in Jujutsu defend themselves against someone who is bigger and stronger than them?

We have used a young lady being attacked by a man in this example, but it could be a child against an adult, or any other variation of large attacker vs small victim. What needs to be taken into consideration is that with each variation of attacker and victim the most likely types of attack change. A male will attack a female differently to how a male would attack another male and vis a vis. Likewise, a child attacks another child (bullying) differently to how an adult would attack someone. Therefore, you need a martial art that can adapt to different situations and evaluate the person being instructed and what is most effective for them.

At TJK we teach 3 stages of self-defence and personal safety.

Detection – Students are taught to be aware of their surroundings, spot signs of danger and take sensible actions to reduce the chances of being in unsafe situations.

Defuse – Students are taught to defuse situations, keep distance, bring attention to the situation and move to safety. Training Jujutsu also helps increases confidence and self-esteem which helps deter attackers.

Defend – In worst-case scenarios, there may be no other option but to engage and use Jujutsu skills to defend an attack. At TJK we train a robust syllabus of techniques which are effective, practical and based on most common attacks, police data and over 40 years of martial arts teaching.

In the above video, we give examples of a few common attacks that females might need to defend themselves from. The video shows how at TJK we train self-defence techniques that help to minimise damage and either move to safety or control an attacker.

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.

The answer is yes, a student who trains in Jujutsu at TJK will learn several techniques that will help them to defend themselves and mitigate damage but also helps reduce the chances of an attack ever taking place.

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 FitnessMIND: 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:

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!

‘Our Jujutsu classes will support your children in becoming confident and resilient young people. Your child/children will develop the skills to detect danger in their surroundings and defuse situations that may spiral out of control. If a situation turns physical your child will be able to access the very best skills that will move them to safety’

Here at Taijutsu Kai we teach children from 5 upwards and have a children’s specific syllabus. Every new student starts with techniques we feel (from our 40 years of experience) are most important for children to learn to stay safe. Our beginner syllabus is made up of simple, easy to learn, yet practical and effective techniques that can be used in a multitude of situations.

As well as an enjoyable leisure activity Jujutsu is an excellent and rewarding pursuit for children. The discipline required through the study of jujutsu will encourage children to become more disciplined, responsible and self-confident.

Children can acquire and improve their co-ordination, concentration, self-esteem and self-control through jujutsu. Add this to self-defence and fitness benefits and you can see why jujutsu has become so popular with children.

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We encourage every child to train at Taijutsu kai and boys, girls and all ages are always welcome. Children don’t need any special uniform or equipment to get started and we offer a free trial lesson for every child. They just need to arrive in clothes usually worn for P.E. lessons at school and they’re good to go!

We have also taught many students with disabilities and special needs, if you feel your child may be able to benefit from training Jujutsu but unsure if it is a suitable pastime for them, please don’t hesitate to contact us and we can have a chat about how we may be able to help.

Don’t just take our word for it! We have taught 1000’s of happy and successful students over the past 22 years here at TJK Cheltenham. Taijutsu Kai schools of Jujutsu are also highly regarded across the UK and has influenced and taught many professional martial artists over its 40-year span. Including Police officers who protect the Royal family, to professional UFC fighters, plus countless other police offers, prison guards and more. See for yourself just some of the great feedback we’ve had from our students!

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Meet Ella, one of our students at TJK Cheltenham who has been with us for over 12 years!
In that time we have seen Ella’s confidence, self-esteem and many other aspects grow and develop. We are proud to have Ella here at TJK Cheltenham and she regularly helps out in classes and is an outstanding student!
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“Hi, my daughters been doing jujutsu for 4 years now. When we joined we found all the staff very friendly and we would recommend TJK to anyone who is concerned about their child’s safety.”
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“Hi, my daughter has been training with TJK for about a year now. She absolutely loves it, its great practical skills for self-defence, great for her self-confidence and something she really enjoys. I’d absolutely recommend it to anyone who’s thinking about getting their children into any martial arts, it literally is fantastic and great fun!”

We have 24 reviews on Facebook too! Pop along and take look at them here on our Facebook page and give our page a like too whilst you’re there to keep up to date with news, info and promos!

It’s Valentine’s day and what better way to celebrate than to write a quick article about what it’s like to train Jujutsu as a couple!

It’s not often we have couples training together, but when we do they can be a force to be reckoned with and we think more couples should come together and give TJK a try! There are a number of benefits to training with a loved one:

Mark and Jen have been training Jujutsu together for the past 5 years!

“Jen and I have a great time training together at TJK, we often motivate each other on those days you feel like giving it a miss. When Jen first started Jujutsu she was incredibly nervous. She soon fell in love with it though and now you can’t get her off the mats! She is currently training for a high level competition next month putting in training 4 times a week, has won numerous competitions and I’ve seen many fully grown men hide from Jen when it comes time to train as she will often submit people twice her size.”

Mark

Jujutsu is a safe and fun activity for everyone. We have classes for all ages with separate children syllabus and adult syllabus tailored to the different ages. Girls and Women are encouraged to come and try TJK and we have many very successful female students who not only enjoy Jujutsu but also excel at it!

At TJK Cheltenham we regularly meet with the head of Taijutsu Kai and the other TJK Instructors from across the Midlands to keep all our techniques up to date and to the highest standards. With over 20 instructors and high-level black belts with countless years of experience coming together to share knowledge and experience.

Sensei Ross Iannoccaro teaching Taijutsu Kai instructors master class

Instructors are given the opportunity to train, ask questions and share experiences with other instructors. Sensei Ross keeps all clubs performing to the high level of standards that have come to be expected of Taijutsu Kai schools of Jujutsu, from parents and students alike. This pool of experience, knowledge and a family knitted community of instructors and students is just one of the reasons Taijutsu Kai stays at the forefront of self-defence and sports Jujutsu and offers the very highest levels of Martial Arts coaching.

Sensei Andrew Privett and Sensei Ross Iannoccaro Training Self-Defence
Jujutsu is a continuous learning experience here TJK Cheltenham Senior instructor Sensei Andy takes time to train with Sensei Ross as they share ideas and techniques.
Sensei Lee Iannoccaro leading the Taijutsu Kai intructors training
Constantly improving and developing our syllabus we look to keep our techniques and teaching at the top of its game.

Nearly every martial art uses the term self-defence when describing the benefits of that art, whether it’s Taekwondo, Karate, Judo, Jiu-Jitsu, JuJutsu or any other martial art. At Taijutsu Kai, self-defence is a core aspect of our art and is the framework of our syllabus. We use the term “reality-based self-defence”, but what exactly does that mean?

Reality-based self-defence is the task of taking an honest look at what happens in public altercations then training a system towards what is LIKELY to happen, not what we WANT to happen. Taking into consideration aspects that are often overlooked, such as clothing, space, type of attacks, obstacles, human behaviour, numerous attackers, surroundings and trends in crime.

By gathering and analysing data from law-enforcements and listening to first-hand experiences from people on the front line. We can establish the most common attacks, dangerous scenarios and what can go wrong. TJK takes this data and combines it with the high-level knowledge of Instructors to create a syllabus of effective techniques that work well in a multitude of scenarios. We aim to teach our students a range of principles such as spatial awareness, danger recognition, alternatives to fighting and ultimately, simple but effective self-defence techniques, that can be used any time, any place when needed.

Self-awareness before Self-defence

It is important to recognise that a student of martial arts has numerous opportunities to mitigate danger before using Jujutsu techniques. By keeping a few simple concepts in mind when in public a student can increase their odds of staying safe and reducing the chances of coming into danger.

Many important ‘signals’ take place before a person is in a position where they must defend themselves. A rounded approach to personal safety considers the ability to detect and defuse dangers. This could be a simple decision to not visit certain known high crime locations at certain times… sounds like ‘common sense’ but you will be surprised how many people make poor choices in this area. Another example could be taking a taxi home after a night out, instead of walking… this may be the best £15 you have ever spent.

The ability to defuse a situation is also a valuable tool to have. If the situation is upon us, we need to make effective use of our body language and choice speech. If someone is talking to us, there is a chance that you can negotiate a way out of the confrontation without any violence being used by either party.

An area that is often neglected is the role that our ‘egos’ play in decision making when making choices with respect to our personal safety. Many a confrontation has been escalated because a person (and this applies to martial artists) have the inability to ‘defuse’ their own anger and desire to be right. Never a good personal safety decision will be made when we let your ‘ego’ take the driving seat.

Understanding the reality of Self-defence

At our recent seminar, we invited students to train self-defence in their day to day clothes, including jeans, shirts, shoes and jackets. We also took away the false environment of safety mats and trained techniques on the hard floor, similar to a real-life situation.

Students quickly realised that the range of movement is compromised when wearing jackets and jeans. A perfect roundhouse kick to the head becomes near impossible when in work boots and jeans. Punches also become much more restricted and different techniques need to be used that work with limited movement. The hard floor establishes quickly that techniques that feel fine on the mats can be devastating on concrete. The dangers are not just increased for an attacker, but the student must also be aware of the dangers to themselves. If a student over commits to a technique and lands heavy on their knee it could have a disastrous consequence to themselves.

Clothing can also be used as a weapon both for the attacker and the defender, ties, scarfs, necklaces and bags with straps can be quickly used to strangle someone with profound effect. Coats, jackets and hoodies can be used for grips, chokes and disorientating someone.

If all else fails

“It is better to be a warrior in a garden than a gardener in a war.”

When everything else has failed, you’ve been caught off guard, you have someone to protect, or the attacker will not back down. You may have to engage and use your self-defence skills to keep yourself and others safe.

The photos we can see a demonstration of an altercation as it builds. Working from left to right we see an attempt to defuse someone who is in agitated and/or angry state. By using calming hands the ‘defender’ is working from a strong moral & legal framework. From this position, the ‘defender’ operates behind an effective and versatile barrier. At any stage, this position can be deployed in a proactive manner or will react instinctively if an attack is launched. As the photos progress, we see that an attack has taken place… in a street attack, a common attack will be that of a haymaker punch. What we see in the middle photo is a failed punch that now turns into a bear hug/grab situation. You can see the robust nature of the barrier against such attacks. The last photo shows an elbow strike that allows the ‘defender’ to exit to safety.

In the next 2 pictures we see a multiple assailant situation. The picture on the left shows the complexity of facing 3 opponents at once. A good outcome for the ‘defender’ in this position is unlikely… there are too many variables to deal with in an effective manner. What we see in picture 2 is the ‘defender’ moving out to the left-hand side… by doing this he narrows the channel through which he can be attacked. The key here is to get 3 heads in a row which will mean that any attack will be from a single person. The best way of dealing with multiple attackers is to deal with 1 at a time, as stated by Coach T Blauer.

Expect the unexpected

Not every encounter happens standing up and in a nice 9m by 9m square of open space. In the pictures below Sensei Ross in demonstrating a scenario that happened to one of his students parents. The parent was sat behind their desk at work when an aggravated member of the public leant across the table and grabbed them by the neck. Have you ever been in a situation at work when you’ve felt threatened by a customer? How often have you trained this scenario in your martial art? It is a common attack and a common scenario but very rarely trained or even discussed. Sensei Ross is demonstrating how two of our white belt techniques can be quickly adapted to the situation and even improved with the use of the table.

By having these discussions, training in our casual wear and taking away the falseness of the dojo and training mats we get a real sense of what an altercation in public might feel like. Which helps our students be better prepared, not just with techniques, but with handling the adrenaline rush, understanding their surroundings and more.

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Taijutsu Kai seminar where children of all ages trained realistic, reality based self-defence in every day clothes.
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