Today 4 students from The Island Project took part in the first ever session of self defense as a method of behaviour management. The syllabus is dominated by traditional Japanese Ju Jitsu but contains important elements of Brazilian Ju Jitsu and essential self defense techniques.
My initial concerns for this session was that some students maybe too shy to commit, whereas others maybe overly confident, each having the power to spoil this learning opportunity. This is where Sensei Patrick's expert ability as a coach really paid off. The balance Sensei Patrick and Sensei Stephen were able to create naturally through demanding respect but still allowing a fun learning environment enabled students to engage in a way that really took me by surprise. I spend 5 days a week with this particular group of students, motivating them, teaching them, listening to them and quite often chasing them round keeping them out of trouble. Today, this was not the case. It's fair to say Sensei's Patrick and Stephen had our students eating out of their hands - and even wanting more!
Students began their practical side of the session after an introduction and induction. I must be honest this part of the news article hurts as I write it. Sensei's Patrick and Stephen had been conspiring before I arrived and had planned in a little treat for me. I attend the martial arts academy in my personal time and have 3 years experience. Sensei Stephen made sure I put my experience to good use as he demonstrated several throws, wrist locks and takedowns using me as a dummy. (Yes this got a lot of laughs from students and staff!)
The facilities boast male and female changing rooms, a casual seating area, reception area and cabinets full of Sensei Stephen's medals that he has achieved by competing at various tournaments all around the world.
By the end of this morning session (9.00-11.45) our students had learn't an impressive amount of respect for martial arts. They understood the basic mannerisms when walking onto and off the matted area and how to address the instructor as Sensei. We covered theory on Japan and the basics history of Ju Jitsu. Practically our students covered basic footwork movements with striking combinations, to be specific our students learn't a 5 move combination starting with a basic jab then adding in a new element at each stage including both punches and kicks. Something I find outstanding, this session really blew my expectations out of the water.
Sensei Patrick pulled another treat out of his sleeve when he decided to teach some sign language. We all learn't how to sign our name, before learning some common phrases. One of which was 'Jonny is funny looking'. The banter is great and it compliments the learning environment.
I am happy to say, we have finally landed, were taking small steps and soon we will be running! Keep up :)