Finally, after the first two editions of this column, I was able to get a club to kick the living shit out of me.
In the case of the Aikido and Jiu Jitsu Club, however, they preferred to throw rather than kick me.
Previously separate clubs, both Aikido and Jiu Jitsu combined for the same practice sessions so the members can get exposure to both martial arts. But, for better or worse, I was only present for Jiu Jitsu.
As someone whose martial arts knowledge includes all of Jackie Chan’s discography, I really had no idea what was about to happen to me when club President John Leinonen agreed to demonstrate moves on me.
What was truly surprising was that the first thing I had to learn was how to fall. Everything the group practices plays into the theme of self-defense as a last resort.
“We [practice] striking only in the most practical sense,” Leinonen said.
Now that I know how to fall like a champ, I can finally take the ass-kicking of a lifetime, so come at me, bullies.
Jiu Jitsu teaches methods to disarm an opponent, incapacitate him or her through tackles and how to efficiently respond to an attack.
Jiu Jitsu is the art of reaction, using your opponent’s momentum against them, Leinonen said.
As club Sensei Brant White said, “When you get good, you don’t choose your technique, you’re opponent does.”
The Jiu Jitsu Club is about to get a lot more opponents as they are now going to competitions. For the last year, UW Division of Recreational Sports has helped the Jiu Jitsu Club compete in the Brazilian-style of fighting, Leinonen said.
It happens that Jiu Jitsu isn’t only useful for fighting, so for any pacifists like myself, it can be used in just about any physical situation, like falling off your bike the right way to avoid injury.
I can only assume how hard Jiu Jitsu is because I never actually threw anyone. I was the butt of all injuries, but they still went “easy,” and I was way more exhausted than I probably should have been. Fighting hurts.