Friday 20 November 2015


Reader Beth shares her enthusiasm for the martial art of Ju Jitsu… could it be the perfect hobby for you too?

Beth says:
A hobby that I greatly enjoy is Ju Jitsu. Ju Jitsu is about learning self defence and it also teaches you fighting moves - it's also lots of fun! Over the past few months that I've been learning, I go to the dojo (the 'place of training') every Saturday and each time I go I learn something new. I wear a gi - a two piece white suit with loose trousers, a wraparound jacket and a cloth belt - and our dojo has a sort of uniform of two black stripes on the trouser legs. The belt is a different colour depending on what level you are at and there's a specific way to tie it which can actually take a LOT of practice! It's important to wear the uniform the correct way as this shows respect to the dojo.

When you start Ju Jitsu you begin with a red belt, and the highest belt you can achieve is the black belt. I am now learning different moves called the 'back strangle' and the 'front strangle' and also the 'hip throw'. This can be scary when you hit the mat! It's important to get the moves right so that you are protected when you fall, and you need to learn your right and left break-falls too. You have to practice these all the time as these moves help you to avoid injury. I look forward to Ju Jitsu every week, from practicing and perfecting to the sheer enjoyment of it!

I have Autism and for me, Ju Jitsu is a brilliant way to release built up emotions and build new social skills. I have a great teacher who is always encouraging, even when your move isn't perfect. His comments always show the positive side of what you are doing. In Ju Jitsu, your teacher is called 'Sensei' and helps you to develop your skills. This was never a hobby I imagined taking up but I absolutely love it and wish I had discovered it sooner. It's great to know that you can defend yourself, get fit and have fun while doing all of those things!

Cathy says:
I am ALMOST tempted… one day, maybe! Beth makes Ju Jitsu sound amazing, and her enthusiasm is definitely catching! Have YOU ever tried a martial art? Or do you have another hobby you'd like to tell us more about? COMMENT BELOW to have your say!

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