Recreational (Decentralized) Ju Jitsu

Here is the basic foundation for a recreational Ju Jitsu and/or striking class.  The general idea is to split those that want to learn technique and application with a real partner from those that are more looking for a work out that is related to Ju Jitsu, striking, and/or general MMA.

Classes each have their own warm-ups and cool downs and so are structured in a way that students can attend either one or both classes without much fear of injury or over-training.  Most or all exercises and drills are go at your own pace which further facilitates this. People who are not already familiar with the sport or are not in a decent standard of shape should only attend 1 class per session.

We divide the classes in 2 x 1.5 hour spots, back to back, where the first class is a work out/boxer-fit style class and the second class is a technique and TECHNICAL sparring class.

Workout Class

Starts with a long gradual warm up.  For striking classes the standard boxing gym approach seems best: 3 rounds shadow boxing, 3 rounds skipping, 3 rounds sparring.  A few rounds of footwork only can also be mixed into any of the rounds.  Rounds could be 2 to 3 minutes with 30 seconds or 1 minute rest in between (depending on fitness level of class).  Different callisthenics can be inserted in between rounds (ie 5 pushups etc.)

A nice paced interval jog with various changes in footwork etc. works well also (need a big enough area!).

After the warm up many types of workouts can be used. Different bag and pad drills with a timer for the most part. Exercises are generally go at your own pace.  The idea is to warm up, get heart rates up, and use fairly active recovery (holding pads etc.) and interval training throughout.

A nice cool down, footwork drills, shadow boxing, jogging, etc.

Those that are finished for the day stretch for 20-30 minutes (for those that move on don’t stretch! Just start a nice gradual warm-up for the next class)

Technique Class

Start with a nice gradual Warm up.  For striking class the warmup should be shadow boxing and striking related warm up exercises, for Ju Jitsu the warmup should be more full body and partner related (pummeling etc.)

Drills are relational with an opponent.  Different standup games and footwork drills, parrying and defence.  Combination practice.  Lunges.  Circling drills and practice.   Bagwork and pads.

Technical Sparring is nice and light, mutual facilitation.  Practising specific aspects and trouble areas.  Rolling has no tap outs (except emergency etc. work out of submissions!).  Sparring is (semi-)contact but mostly only when a student accidentally step into a punch.

Cool down is less necessary since technical sparring is usually light with plenty of rest, but still helpful and recommend.

Everyone stretches after technical sparring.  A good time to chat and review 🙂

Key Points

It’s subtle on paper but in practice the key difference here is class will eventually run without much need for an instructor.  A leader and main facilitator for the dojo and class are still essential, however students should learn quickly not to look to a single authority for progress whether from the fitness classes or the technique classes.

This separates the running of classes from the curriculum design which allows for a different collective of people to be able to decided the actual drills and exercised used.

The curriculum then is in effect modular, can be planned far in advanced, can be carried out by qualified leaders, and can be updated easily to reflect changing sport science and class needs.


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