Northumbria Jitsu Celebrate 20 Year Club Anniversary

Posted by Oli Russell

Northumbria Jitsu Celebrate 20 Year Club Anniversary

Northumbria Jitsu was founded in the late 90’s, when coaches David and Ruth Chalton channelled their love for martial arts and paired this with mentoring the next generation. Together, alongside help from long-term, committed assistant coaches, David and Ruth have nurtured Jitsu into an established, inclusive club of 20 years, acclaiming multiple highlights along the way.

The club was founded with four members practicing martial arts on a squash court and has grown to an established club with over 30 members.

Running sessions for two decades has kept David and Ruth fit and healthy, however, when asked what has kept motivation high to continue, David simply answers: “The students.”

He continues to explain how: “It’s the students’ club. Their commitment to training, their enjoyment, and their progress.  Seeing people with no martial arts background find a welcoming home here during their time at Northumbria, and exceed what they thought they were capable of.  It’s a real honour to be involved in a person’s development and guide them on their way.”

Northumbria Jitsu sessions have been designed by the two coaches to be as inclusive and welcoming as possible, achieving a sense of pride by providing a supportive atmosphere, particularly for students who may have had negative experiences of sport whilst at school. The consistent presence of a female coach also aims to banish any stereotypes suggesting martial arts to be a male dominated sport.

The weekly sessions offer great flexibility for students conscious of a heavy work-life balance. Students are encouraged to come to sessions as and when they can, as the busy nature of university is more than understood by David and Ruth.

Despite David’s background in martial arts, the pair established their joint love for Jitsu whilst studying at university in Newcastle, with Ruth first taking to the mats in her first year of study. Since then, together they have provided opportunities for students to escape from academic stresses and refresh themselves through martial arts.

Their efforts have subsequently earned copious achievements over the years, including Northumbria University Sport Development Award and finishing either first or second on BUCS points over a period of four consecutive years.

The pair’s commitment to the sport is evidenced by developing the club from just four students training out of a squash court, to an established club made of 30 members now training out of a multi-million-pound sport centre. What’s more, seven club members have developed their skills to instructor level under David and Ruth’s guidance.

Off the mats, Northumbria Jitsu have also helped Northumbria University’s Forensic Department to collect data on simulated assaults, leading to a groundbreaking paper in the field of fibre transfer.

Interested in joining Jitsu? David explains how they: “will be joining a fun and welcoming environment where more often than not a completely new skill will be learned, as well as increasing physical health and adding to a healthy social life.”

From everyone at Northumbria Sport, we would like to say a huge thank you to David and Ruth for their consistent loyalty and hard work!

Students wishing to find out more are encouraged to contact @polyjitsu via Instagram.


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