The beginning of the academic year 2019/20 marks the beginning of the 16th year of Northumbria Jitsu. In 2003 we recruited 4 new members to a sport new to Northumbria, both of our current lead coaches coached at that session.
Fast forward to 2019….There’s a new £30 million sport centre and the campus has changed dramatically, we’ve enabled the participation of hundreds of students, and watched many of them progress along a martial arts pathway, both experienced martial artists and people who’ve done no sport for years. We’ve topped the Men’s and Women’s Jitsu BUCS tables, and we’ve just celebrated one of our members 10 years of commitment to the club.
People often use university to try out sports they’ve never taken part in before (or even heard of!) Jitsu often fits that category for a large number of students. There’s also some students who have been turned off “traditional sports” for many different reasons.
There’s no typical member of jitsu, we’ve got about 60/40 male/female ratio, (helped no doubt by having had a female coach for entirety of the club’s existence). We represent the whole Northumbria spectrum: brand new first year students, experienced 2ndand 3rdyears, Masters and PhD students, as well as staff. We’ve also got a wide range of fitness levels in the club!
We’re a Japanese Jiu Jitsu club, meaning we do lots of throwing (like judo), we also do joint-locking, striking and weapons work with a self-defence angle, as well as handling simple unpleasant situations which you might be unlucky enough to find yourself in, for example unwanted body grab and restraints.
The close physical nature of jitsu (and other martial arts) means it breaks down lots of barriers between the participants really quickly, and trusted friendships soon form. There’s a real feeling of camaraderie in helping your team mates improve; martial arts might frequently be viewed as an “individual” sport but the real progress comes from training together and members helping each other improve.
We’ll keep you posted on our progress this year on these pages.