Spotlight: Sevenoaks Jitsu

Japanese Jujitsu is a traditional martial art developed by the Samurai in feudal Japan. It was the physical part of their life philosophy, much like physical poses are the physical part of yoga; there’s so much more to it than just the moves!

Japanese Jujitsu is a self-defence martial art so you won’t find competitions in it, although there are plenty to be found in the arts which developed from it, such as Judo, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and some types of Karate. It’s got everything, from break falling, throwing and grappling, to sparring, escaping from grabs and self defence.

Another brilliant thing about Japanese Jujitsu is that a key underpinning principle is that everybody is able to defend themselves and so everybody is able to take part regardless of strength, flexibility, age or ability: by the time you take your Black Belt no-one watching will be able to tell if you were a natural or if you had to work your socks off to make it. You’ll just look amazing.

Sevenoaks Jitsu began fourteen years ago as a way for Chris Doherty to support his eldest child, then six years old, in his weekend activities. Whilst some dad’s help out at rugby or football, Chris decided to start a children’s martial arts club.

All these years later and thousands of boys and girls, men and women have come along to have fun, develop mental toughness, get fitter and stronger, become skilled at self defence, and to learn some cool moves on the way to Black Belt.

The emphasis is on fun and inclusivity. We know that learning is a life-long journey, and so is our journey into Jitsu; no move is ever wrong or right, it’s just where we are right now. As we develop and grow so does our understanding of the techniques. Thirty-two years after beginning his Jujitsu studies, Chris learns something new every time he steps on to the mats.

In these challenging times it can be difficult to know what is safe and reliable, to find a path which will help us grow and develop despite the changing medical advice and government guidance.

Developing mind and body so that they are strong and resilient is a fundamental way we can help ourselves survive and thrive in 2020.

• You can contact Chris Doherty,  a 5th Degree Black Belt at Sevenoaks Jitsu, via their website at www.sevenoaksjitsu.co.uk or on the phone at 07914 805339.