BJJ - Brazilian Jiu Jitsu
The history of martial arts is often richly layered and deep, with many different forms coming from the same original set of teachings. We’ve covered some of these in the past, and even in the modern age, many of these forms come into being as variations of more traditional forms. Today we’re going to be talking about one that is very popular in modern sports: Brazilian jiu-jitsu, also known as Gracie jiu-jitsu.
The Origins of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
This discipline of martial arts is descended from one you’ve probably heard of, judo, which was originally called jujutsu – translated as “the art of softness” or “the yielding way”. This early form was developed in Japan hundreds of years ago, as a way for fighters to overcome the armed and armoured samurai, even if they had small weapons, or none at all. Knowing that striking a samurai’s armour would not work, these combatants began to create ways to redirect offensive strikes and energy into pins, joint locks, throws, and other disarming or immobilizing moves. In essence, the art is about using your opponent’s energy against them, rather than fast offensive moves or strikes.
Kung Fu Studio Rules
In order to keep a safe and educational environment, at Kung Fu For Life we promote a healthy respect for others, ourselves, and our facility. To make sure everyone is treated fairly, we have a set of rules for our space, broadly split up into several different areas. These are quite standard across martial arts studios, and help protect our students, teachers, and equipment as we all take part in this journey together.
Rules for Decorum & Respect
The first rules in our facility are all about respect. Learning to view all others as equals and worthy opponents is they key to true learning and success, and it is foremost among our teachings here.
Respect for each other when working together should be high, and aggression or discrimination of any kind will not be tolerated. In fact, consistently rude remarks or gestures may result in dismissal. We believe that all students are responsible for their own actions, and liable for the consequences of what they do within these halls.
This respect translates into action with proper decorum as well. We do not allow excessive laughter or horseplay, as it is unbecoming of serious students of a difficult discipline, and neither do we allow swearing, profanity, or crude language. We even insist on a bow, with the left hand crossed over right (not the other way around, which is a challenging gesture), whenever entering or leaving the training hall.
Rules for Personal Dress & Hygiene
Having respect for yourself means good hygiene and clean clothes, too. All training uniforms, along with socks or mat shoes, should be clean, odor-free, and ready for use. Fingernails must be kept short as well, to reduce the risk of accidental scratches.
Rules Regarding Practice
Practice is required of the student, and plenty of it is necessary to permit sub-conscious recall in a defensive situation. In addition, all calisthenics and exercises are the responsibility of the student, and it is each student’s responsibility and prerogative to stop any exercise if it appears to be too strenuous. It is important to remember not to overdo any exercise while practicing and executing techniques. It should be tiring, but not too much – your good health is in our mutual best interests.
General Studio Rules
As a general rule, we do not allow training at other schools while you are currently training with us. As a student of Kung Fu For Life, we expect that you will not train in any other martial art because undivided attention is required to learn and understand our style.
We do not allow soliciting on the premises, either, as the studio is designed exclusively for the training and development of our members.
We ask that you do not show or teach this martial art to anyone without express permission from the school, especially regarding any advanced level training or teachings. Most of all, this is for the safety of you and those around you. Beyond that, all students are required to find a peaceful solution to any confrontation or conflict, if possible, before resorting to physical combat. Even if a defensive situation should arise, all students are required to avoid excessive force whenever possible.
Rules for General Sparring
Sparring safely is one of the most important skills and practices to follow. So, the rules that we have in place for sparring matches are also among the most important in preventing injury.
We do not allow sparring of any sort unless there is an instructor present, and we believe that excessive force is unnecessary for proper learning – therefore, it is not allowed inside the studio. All students inside the studio are expected to exercise excellent control while practicing techniques with other people.
When it comes to weapons, training is only permissible once your instructor and a representative group of your peers have decided that you are ready. It is usually reserved for advanced students who have proven themselves capable.
There are also specific rules for sparring to ensure fairness and a reduced risk of injury. In every sparring match, these guidelines are to be followed:
There are some unwritten rules for sparring, too, which all students must follow to avoid injury and progress with their studies.
It may seem like there are a lot of rules, but most of them are simply common sense, and in place to protect students and masters alike. Once you are comfortable in your kung fu studies, you will hardly even have to think about them – and that’s when the true education begins!
Kung Fu For Life
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