Why Choose Ju-jitsu
Choosing Ju-jitsu over other martial arts depends on the individual, But for me I was impressed with the locks, escapes and throws.
Andy Walker 5th Dan
When did you start training?
Originally about 1987 for just a few sessions to get then my girlfriend back on the mat as she was a 1st kyu in hope she’ll stay and get her black belt. But unfortunately I was hooked straight away.
Why did you choose Ju Jitsu over other martial arts?
Originally I was really impressed with the different locks being demonstrated which for me stands out as a difference to other arts. In addition I was also attracted to the various other components that made Ju-Jitsu. It’s an all round art and you never stop learning!!
Did you do other sports/martial arts before Ju Jitsu?
I was never the best at any other sports as a kid, Two left feet for football, not the biggest for Rugby. I did enjoy sports, but Swimming was good for me as a kid,, Messing around rather than swimming with my four brothers.
Tell us about your first Ju Jitsu class.
I was about 17 and the class (Leeds Kodokan) was run by then Sensei Peter Clarke 3rd Dan. The class was really packed and I learned the break falls and was also taught a front strangle defences and a wrist locks.
When did you think about getting your Black Belt?
I moved to Dorset in 1994 and couldn’t train or find a local Ju-jitsu Club. So I started Poole Ju-jitsu Club. I graded under Sensei James Pape in Lowestoft in 1995.
Was it difficult to attain?
Looking back No ! But yes it was. All the hours training, drilling techniques takes time. Then you do pick up a few injuries from time to time.
But if you don’t feel that you worked hard enough then you shouldn’t wear a black belt. Wear a black belt doesn’t mean your the best or hardest, but your willing to learn & pass on your knowledge to others.
What does a “black Belt” mean to you?
It certainly means ‘Respect’ to everyone that has achieved it because it is difficult to attain. Personally it means a huge amount because not only have I achieved a long time goal but it has also opened other doors to coach others which is also very rewarding. I wear it with a real sense of pride and achievement even though it’s only the beginning of your ju-jitsu learning.
Ever had to use Ju Jitsu for real?
Yes in unusual circumstances! Shortly after passing my Purple belt I got jumped from behind in the street one night and in automatic mode I threw my attacker over my shoulder with a fierce shoulder throw. It was only then when I witnessed my attacker in agony on the pavement in front of me, I realised it was a mate of mine messing about. He never tried it again and I realised how effective this ju-jitsu was!!
Do you enter martial arts competitions?
Yes! I love testing myself and after years of never winning anything, something clicked,, Not sure what but I won a Silver medal in the United Nations of Ju-jitsu In Brighton. I couldn’t believe it and tried to play it down. Then I entered the next comp and won the Gold, then another then another. To date I’ve won the British Nationals 6 times, as well as Silvers & Bronze. And 5 time United Nations Golds.
I’ve done well in other areas In Judo, BJJ, & MMA competing, But it’s always Ju-jitsu to which I’m draw back to.
Has Ju Jitsu changed your life in any positive or negative way?
Positive in so many ways. I love the art, the sport, the club and have so many good friends through it! it has also given me an opportunity to be part of a winning and successful team again, remain competitive in sport and continue to be challenged and learn new things.
What do you see as the advantages of Ju Jitsu?
For different people it means different things including; gaining self confidence, gaining fitness, achieving goals, making friends, learning self defence and exploring the opportunity to be competitive. It ticks so many boxes!!!
How much time does your training require?
Each individual is different but like anything, what you put it you get out! I train in the dojo at least 2-3 times a week. When not in the dojo, I am working on different aspects in the gym to supplement my jujitsu or prepare for competitions.
If you could advise a beginner on one thing about Ju Jitsu what would it be?
We are very fortunate to have so many top competitors, coaches and Senior Sensei’s at the club who are willing to pass on what they have previously learned! Everyone is really friendly so take every bit of advice you can, train as often as you can, work hard, and most of all enjoy yourself and you’ll get the most out of it!!