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Cardiff Uni Jitsu Club

Basics of training

Practice is usually conducted in pairs, each taking the role of a defender and attacker alternately. Your partner is not a competitor or opponent and the aim is not to find out which of you can take the other, but together to improve techniques through cooperation.

A technique may be demonstrated by the sensei (instructor) in the middle of the mat several times, and then partners split off and practice the techniques themselves with instructors walking round correcting where necessary.

At the end of the session we may all sit round the edge of the mat, then pairs will take it in turns to go up in the middle and demonstrate some of the techniques they've learnt.

Other times we'll form up into Vs and/or circles and then take it in turn to practice their techniques against more lifelike attacks and situations.

Other techniques are taught in a kata (form). These usually involve a single person going through a set of moves (eg falling techniques) on their own. This is usually taught primarily with individual practice of a technique and then in the more traditional form of an instructor at the front calling out commands and the class responding as a unit.

One on one sparring has no place in our style as Jiu Jitsu is far too destructive to make this possible.

Students of Jitsu are taught defenses for real attacks like kicks and punches, not forgetting less harmful but equally unjustified intrusions like grabs to the wrists and body. Students also begin to learn defenses against weapons such as bottles, coshes and knives early on. We teach people to tailor their defense to a level appropriate to the attack. There is no justification for hospitalising someone just because they grabbed hold of your wrist.

Please make sure you familiarise yourself with the dojo etiquette before attending your first training session.

Rules of training

There are some simple rules for training in the dojo:

  1. Leave your ego at the door
  2. Take care of you uke (training partner) and everyone around you
  3. Treat your uke with respect and make their experience of jiu jitsu as real and as safe as you would wish for yourself
  4. Give all your focus, awareness and commitment to your training and you will be safer and learn more quickly
  5. Enjoy it

Remember that jiu jitsu is an activity that requires physical contact and in common with other martial arts and contact sports it carries the risk of injury. It is your obligation to have the highest regard for your own safety and for the safety of everyone around you when you practice jiu jitsu. Even when everything is done correctly injuries can occur when people make mistakes or misjudgements, lose their balance, and for other reasons. It is important that you always practice techniques slowly at first, to ensure that both you and your partner understand what you are doing. Speed only comes with familiarity and practice. Executing a technique quickly, but incorrectly doesn't make it any better. Excessive strength should also not be used. Correct technique requires very little strength, and the less strength you use the better your technique. By using strength you actually slow down the rate at which you learn.


On entering and leaving the dojo you should rei. This signifies your mental preparation and readiness to train. Once in the dojo you should conduct yourself in a respectful and dignified manner at all times.

Please be on time for the start of the session. Arriving late disrupts the class for other students and it is also considered disrespectful to the instructor. If it is unavoidable and you are late, enter the dojo quickly and quietly.

The instructor should be addressed as sensei and not by name.

Before stepping onto the mat you MUST attract the attention of the highest grade on the mat. They will signal that you may join the class by turning to face you, at which point you rei to each other. If they do not rei then this means that they have not seen you and you must wait until they do. This applies to all grades no matter what their seniority (the only exception is where you are a senior grade and you judge that a situation requires your urgent attention, and it is your intention to take control).

Personal hygiene must be impeccable at all times. Your gi must be clean and ironed at the beginning of each session. Finger and toe nails must be kept short and clean. No jewellery is to be worn during training. Any jewellery that cannot be removed must be covered by tape. Body piercing which cannot readily be removed may be worn at the students own risk provided it remains covered by clothing at all times, and it is protected with adhesive tape or plaster.

Smoking, chewing gum, eating, drinking and swearing are not permitted in the dojo, although water may be taken with the permission of the instructor.

Once training has commenced you must seek the permission of the sensei before leaving the dojo. Constant interruptions disrupt the class for everyone and distract the focus of attention which should be the aim of the beginner and lower grades, and is a necessary requirement of more senior grades.

When receiving instruction from the sensei or senior grade, stand upright with the right hand placed comfortably within the left. Do not slouch, talk or lean against walls or other equipment.

Always train with spirit, humility, dignity, discipline and self-control. Be respectful and courteous to others at all times. It is not just the physical aspect which is addressed during training, but also the building of character.

Outside the dojo, students of jiu jitsu have a responsibility to behave in a manner which maintains and enhances the reputation of their Association and the art of jiu jitsu.

Principles of Jiu Jitsu

Knowing the principles of jiu jitsu doesn't mean you will understand them. Understanding them doesn't mean you can apply them.

Learn to Stand
By controlling the way you stand you control the parts of your body that present a target for your opponent. A good stance makes the body narrower by turning sideways on. It shields the more vulnerable parts of your body behind the bones of your arms. Turns your hips so that the groin doesn't present an easy target. The elbow shields your kidneys and floating ribs.
Ma-ai - "Harmony of space"
If you are too close to your attacker you will not be able to react quickly enough to their attack. You will also find it more difficult to see the whole of their body, every part of which could pose a threat
Kuzushi: Balance Broken
In order to throw someone you must first break their balance. Being off balance doesn't just apply to a physical state, it can apply to a state of mind. Weakeners, distractions and diversions can all unbalance an opponent, by drawing their attention away from their control over your arm, your face or their knife.
Minimum Force, Maximum Effect
A small amount of force applied in the correct way is sufficient to immobilise an attacker. Applying this force requires skill and speed, but it does not require strength. A good rule of thumb in jiu jitsu is that if it took effort it wasn't as good as it could be.
Control the Head, Control the Body
The apparatus that allows us to balance is located in the inner ear. By controlling the position of your opponents head you gain control over their balance. As a child we learn to balance naturally by responding to a state of unbalance. Adjusting balance is a calculation that we make automatically. We are even able to make adjustments for heavy loads we may carry. We find it harder to cope when our view of the horizon is affected. If our eyes are shut or we are forced to look directly up we respond more slowly to changes in balance. We use these effects in jiu jitsu. By shielding the opponents eyes or by tipping their head upwards we slow their response to being off balance. Tipping the head can be done in a number of ways, from pulling their hair, to the use of nerve points around the head, weak points such as the eyes, using "handles" such as the chin and nose, or even striking the head. You can even influence it without touching it by suggesting an attack on their eyes for instance. Move the head and the body will follow.
Using Body Weight
A woman weighing 60 Kg is certainly at a disadvantage against a man weighing 100 Kg if she is involved in a pushing match. His greater mass can generate greater force. If he grabs her wrist she will find it difficult to pull away from him, but however strong he may be, it would not be easy to lift 60 Kg. Harder still to lift the weight with one arm. If he's made to lift it at arm's length it requires a great deal of strength. This principle is used in many techniques in jiu jitsu to gain control over someone who is bigger and stronger.
Centre Line
Look in the mirror and draw an imaginary line down the centre of your body. Now imagine a zone 6 inches either side of that line. This is the main area of your body to defend, and the main area of your opponent to attack. People often exaggerate their movement by stepping further than they should or extending a block further than they need to. Looking at the centre line it is clear that in order to defend the main area of your body you do not need to move far from the centre line.
Circular Movement
Blocking a punch or kick in some styles requires a great deal of force. The block is achieved by striking the attacking limb to deflect it. Jiu jitsu employs circular blocking that deflects the punch gently, and only a little. Hard blocking requires more force to overcome inertia and it creates momentum in the attacking limb so that you lose contact with the attacker , and lose influence over their body. Soft blocking allows you to gain control over an arm or a leg. This allows you to gain control of the attackers body. It also avoids the need for excessive force to deflect the limb, and makes it less likely that the block will miss by being too quick. The circular movement of a block follows the arm from its origin at the shoulder. Any force must derive from this point and the shoulder doesn't move as quickly as the fist. What applies to a punch or kick applies to ways of attacking. By moving around an attack You can redirect the force of your attacker and use their energy against them.
Bend Your Knees
One way of forcing your opponent to work harder when holding on to you is simply to bend your knees. This simple action may force them to lean forward, break their posture and make their position weaker. Bending your knees achieves other things. It means that you present a smaller target for the attacker, makes it easier to deal with kicks, and enables you to make better use of your body weight. Pushing a heavy object like a car requires that you use your weight effectively so you bend your knees and lean into it naturally. However, when given a movement to perform that isn't natural to them people are usually stiff and awkward, yet moving an attacker is like pushing a car, you need to bend your knees. It also works the other way, bending your knees makes it harder for your opponent to push you around. If they are forced to apply more strength lifting you off the ground they have less to force you backward. In order to throw someone, particularly in hip throws, it is important to lower your centre of gravity. Generally throwing is easier if your centre of gravity is below theirs, this way most of the force applied to them is upward. Throws generally involve rotation around your centre of gravity. When performing a hip throw: you bend your knees, use your body weight to pull the attacker towards you, break his balance, and guide his momentum and attacking force around you, in a circular motion that leads him to hit the floor...hard.


A list of the techniques you might learn, in english and japanese.


empi uchi
elbow strike
furi zuki
swing punch
gyaku zuki
reverse punch
haishu zuki
ridge hand strike
jun zuki
lunge punch
morote zuki
double fist punch
back fist strike
kazami zuki
snap punch
oi zuki
stepping punch
kinfe hand
spear hand
no tsukkomi
leaning punch
tesiho uchi
palm heel strike
tettsui uchi
hammer fist strike


stamping kick
hiza geri
knee kick
mae geri
front kick
mae geri keage
front snap kick
mae geri kekomi
front thrust kick
mae tobi geri
front jump kick
maewashi geri
roundhouse kick
mikazuki geri
cresent kick
nidan geri
flying front kick
sokuto fumikomi
foot edge stamping kick
ushiro geri
rear kick
yoko geri
side kick
yoko geri keage
side snap kick
yoko geri kekmoi
side thrust kick
yoko tobi geri
side jump kick


nami juji jime
normal cross strangle
gyaku juji jime
reverse cross strangle
kata juji jime
half cross strangle
hadaka jime
naked strangle
kata ha jime
single wing choke
okuri eri jime
sliding lapel strangle

Ground Holds

yoko shiho gatame
side quater hold
juji gatame
cross straight armlock
kami shiho gatame
upper quarter hold
kata gatame
shoulder hold
kesa gatame
scarf hold
kuzuri kami shiho katame
broken upper quarter hold
mune gatame
chest hold or cross shoulder hold
tate shiho gatame
lower quarter hold
ude garame
arm entanglement
ude gatame
arm crush or cross armlock
ushiro kesa gatame
reverse scarfhold


Throwing techniques are a large part of our style of jiu jitsu


o soto gari
major outer reap
ko soto gari
minor outer reap
o uchi gari
major inner reap
ko uchi gari
minor inner reap


ko soto gake
minor outer prop
yoko gake
side prop


kote gaeshi
wrist twist
sumi gaeshi
corner twist
tawara gaeshi
rice bail throw
shikoro gaeshi
twisting the neckplates


o goshi
major hip throw
uki goshi
floating hip throw
hane goshi
springing hip throw
harai goshi
sweeping hip throw
tsuri komi goshi
lifting drawing hip throw
sode tsuri komi goshi
sleeve lifting pulling hip throw
o tsuri goshi
major lifting hip throw
ko tsuri goshi
minor lifting hip throw
ushiro goshi
backwards hip throw
kutsuri goshi
reverse hip throw


ippon seoi nage
one point shoulder throw
kotomo seoi nage
jacket shoulder throw
moroto seoi nage
two arm shoulder throw
juji nage
cross arm throw
ude juji nage
arm lock throw
kuuki nage
air throw
shiho nage
all direction throw
suki nage
scooping throw
tomoe nage
stomach throw
ura nage
back throw
ushiro nage
reverse throw

Maki Komi

hane maki komi
springing winding throw
harai maki komi
sweeping winding throw
o soto maki komi
major outer winding throw
soto maki komi
outer winding throw
uchi maki komi
inner winding throw


de ashi harai
advancing foot sweep
harai tsuri komi ashi
sweeping lifting drawing ankle
sasae tsuri komi ashi
forward lifting drawing ankle
tsuri komi ashi
lifting drawing ankle
okuri ashi harai
side sweeping or accompanying foot sweep


koshi guruma
hip wheel
kata guruma
shoulder wheel
hiza guruma
knee wheel
yoko guruma
side wheel
ashi guruma
ankle wheel
te guruma
hand wheel
o guruma
major wheel
o soto guruma
major outer wheel
mizu guruma
water wheel


o soto otoshi
major outer drop
seoi otoshi
shoulder drop
tai otoshi
body drop
sumi otoshi
corner drop
uki otoshi
floating drop
yoko otoshi
side drop
waki otoshi
arm pit drop
taki otoshi
waterfall drop
hiki otoshi
draw drop
saka otoshi
headlong drop


yama arashi
mountain storm
uchi mata
inner thigh throw
uki waza
floating technique
kani basami
crab scissors throw
yoko wakare
side separation
mizu nagare
water flow
ko dori
log fall
guruma daoshi
wheel throw
shikoro dori
grabbing the neckplates
mi zudaki
body smashing
mizu iri
water plunge
willow snow
snow break
iwa nami
wave on the rocks


There are only a couple of katas (forms) in our style of jiu jitsu, the most important being Nage No Kata. It consists of five sets of three throws. Each throw is performed both left and right side, and is performed by both members taking part. The kata begins by both jitsuka rei-ing onto the tatami. Each jitsuka then makes his (or her) way to the square area set out for the kata.

Each then rei's into the square and takes a step in. The jitsuka then rei to the examiner and then to each other. Both take a sliding step forwards and then the designated jitsuka 'slides' across to 'collect' the other jitsuka.

The two jitsuka pause briefly and then take each other in a right judo grip. The two jitsuka then work through both the right and left-sided throws, working in embu. Finally the jitsuka 'slide to their respective corners and rei to each other. They then rei to the instructor, and then out of the square. It may then be necessary to rei off the tatami.

Te Waza hand techniques

uki otoshi
floating drop
ippon seoi nage
one point shoulder throw
kata guruma
shoulder wheel

Goshi Waza hip techniques

uki goshi
floating hip throw
harai goshi
sweeping hip throw
tsuri komi goshi
lifting drawing hip throw

Ashi Waza foot techniques

okuri ashi barai
accompanying foot sweep
sasae tsuri komi ashi
forward lifting pulling ankle
uchi mata
inner thigh throw

Ma Sutemi Waza sacrifice techniques

tomoe nage
stomach throw
ura nage
back throw
sumi gaeshi
corner twist

Yoko Sutemi Waza side sacrifice techniques

yoko gake
side prop
yoko guruma
side wheel
uki waza
floating technique


Field Hall
Talybont Sports Centre

Bevan Place
CF14 3UX