Your first IJJF Martial Arts class

Your first IJJF Martial Arts class

Arrive early! Jui-Jitsu students should arrive 10 minutes early. Please wear comfortable clothing. Our facility (dojo) does not have lockers, so please leave your valuables at home or in your car. We permit spectators to watch class on an occasional basis.

Our classes integrate traditional Japanese Jui-Jitsu with a modern training concept. It is specifically designed for the strengthening of muscles, the development of balance and the basic discipline and skills necessary to progress in an advanced martial arts program. Our style promotes tradition and develops honour, bravery, compassion, honesty and loyalty. Confidence, self respect and discipline will grow within the student as they begin to expect more from themselves on all levels.

In every class we practice striking techniques, weapon defences, throws, submissions, take-downs, evasion/movement drills, rolling and break falling.


If you don’t have a judo or jujitsu uniform (or Gi), that’s fine just come dressed in t-shirt & sweat pants or shorts to your Jujitsu lessons. Bring a water bottle to stay hydrated. You may also bring a notebook to take notes during class.


Beginner students will have a white belt. The colours signify various stages in development. Every martial arts school has their own grading and advancement system. Keep in mind that rank is not usually transferable. If a student receives a green belt in karate, that rank cannot be transferred to a Jui-Jitsu school. The beginner will first learn basic blocking techniques. These are vital, and while seemingly simple, they take time to master. Blocking helps the new student learn to coordinate movement and judge distance. From there, the more advanced throwing and locking techniques can be learned.

Addressing the Instructor and Other students

The instructor in the class is called the Sensei, which means “one who has gone before.” A senior Dan grade can also be referred to as Master. During class, you should address the instructor as Sensei. When outside of class, first name basis is preferred. Students who are NOT currently teaching you are generally addressed on a first name basis.


Bowing can be thought of as a type of greeting or a showing of respect. As with most martial arts bowing has its time and place within the IJJF. Bowing is part of etiquette of the club and is done as sign of respect to your teachers as a sign of respect for the skills, talents and knowledge that they possess. It is also a way of saying thanks for the instruction that you receive. Also this signifies that you are leaving the worries of your life behind you during class. While you practice, you will do your best to focus on the class and forget about the outside world. Then when class is done and you bow as you leave, you are better mentally prepared to deal with all other aspects of your day-to-day life.

How to Bow

In the IJJF we have a bow that is different to most other styles. When bowing, stand with feet shoulder width apart with the right foot in front of the left, arms are straight and relaxed with the hands placed on the thighs, then keeping the back and neck straight and looking ahead we bow forward 30 degrees and return upright.

When to Bow

At the start of training a series of bows is performed, one towards the club instructor and/or Sensei(s), one to the most senior student or Sempai and finally one towards the other students. At the end of training, the class also bows out to finish the lesson.

Throwing Techniques

Once you are competent at break-falling you can move on to tripping and throwing techniques. These moves take an attacker’s balance and redirect it towards the ground. Ideally these take almost no effort to perform and make the most efficient use of  energy and balance. However at the beginners level these techniques can be quite challenging. You will be expected to attack others and fall as they throw you, as this assists with mutual learning. As expected there will be close contact when throwing your training partners. Be ready to exert some effort as you learn how to do the technique properly.

Joint Locks

A joint lock is a technique that bends body parts in the directions they’re not meant to go. This causes pain and be used to manipulate attackers in different directions. At the beginning level of your Jujitsu lessons, you can expect:

Light wrist torques and arm locks.

Grab escapes

Learning the “tap out” which is a way of telling your partner that you’d like them to stop.


You will learn simple falling techniques that will prevent injury to your self in everyday life,  You can expect:

Some light forwards, sideways and backwards rolls.

To have to develop trust in your training partners.

Ground Grappling, Ne-Waza or Ground fighting

Some types of Jiu Jitsu (such as Brazilian Jiu Jitsu) place a huge emphasis on ground fighting. Japanese Jiu Jitsu practitioners will also make use of techniques on the ground in their Jujitsu lessons. For this portion of the class, you can expect:

Grapple with opponents in a competitive environment.

Being pushed around on the ground and held down.

Applying chokes and locking techniques while ground fighting.


Whenever training it is important to listen carefully to the instructions you are given. Show respect to everyone present during training. It is important to keep a calm mind, never react angrily, never show off or clown about. Abusive language will not be tolerated in the Dojo. Students should get permission from the instructor before entering the mat once class has begun. During class, students should get permission from the instructor before leaving the mat. These are safety rules to let the instructor know who is on the mat and that no one is injured.

The Tap

In Jujitsu it has been found that when one wants to show submission, he either taps the mat, himself, or his partner at least twice in rapid succession. If you are in a position that prevents you from tapping with your hands, you may tap with your feet or say “Mate” or “Stop”.

General Rules

Horseplay is neither accepted nor respected on the Jujitsu mat.

Sportsmanship is king on the mat and safety is law.

No student should engage in fighting/sparring without the instructor’s supervision or that of the senior students.

The student should never use any techniques not previously explained by an instructor. Complicated techniques, without previous experience or training, can lead to serious injury.

Fingernails and toenails should always be clipped short to prevent scratching or harming others. Jewellery must also be removed – it can get snagged or caught and potentially hurt yourself or your partner. The ‘gi’ must be free of pins and other hard or sharp objects which might be hazardous.

Students should maintain the highest degree of personal cleanliness. Jujitsu is a body contact art.

Students must be punctual at all scheduled meetings.

Students should pay attention to the senior students and their instructors.

Students should always be courteous and helpful to each other. Report all injuries to the Sensei immediately!