by Pernille Hansen
Kingston’s Ju Jitsu Club had great success during the weekend’s Randori Nationals, bringing home one silver and five gold medals.
Eleven KU students competed in the two day event at the Walsall Judo Centre, which this year hosted 566 competitors.
Emily Keaveny said she was “completely and utterly shocked” when she realised she had won. “The biggest thing I learned is that I have a lot more to learn,” said the Forensic Analysis MA for whom Saturday marked her first Ju Jitsu competition.
“When you train in a class you get used to each other. In a competition it’s more real and you get more adrenalin. Once I started I pretty much forgot everything. I remember the feeling of going in and just thinking ‘I’m not giving up’”.
The Randori Nationals are the biggest competition the 22-year-old KU Ju Jitsu Club participate in during the year, and coach Saeed Jabbar thinks it is a real learning curve for the students.
“For us, competition is really about self development,” said Jabbar. “Personally I think it is really important for students to get involved as soon as possible because it teaches them so much about their own character.
“How one deals with pressure, nerves, fear of failure etc are all important life skills that can be enhanced through participating in an event like this. When you look at the competition as a life skill, it's not really about winning or losing.”
Jabbar has been coaching the club for 13 years after joining as a student 18 years ago, and he says that watching his students compete is in some ways harder than when he competes himself.
“I have no control over the outcome of the match, it’s purely down the competitor. As an instructor all you can hope is that you prepared them correctly.”
Classical Ju Jutsu was developed by the Samurai in the battlefields of Japan. It was a method of fight that was mainly designed to work against an armoured weapon-wielding opponent. KU Ju Jitsu Club practises a modern derivative of this martial art.