A Typical Session
After changing into your Gi, or loose clothing for beginners, we do a warm up. Like any sport, this is to prevent muscle related injuries.
As such we do a series of stretches (including working on the core muscles, which are essential to Jiu Jitsu) and some cardiovascular work. The instructor (Sensei) often includes a variety of different activities to keep the warm ups interesting and exciting!
Immediately after the warm-up we perform a greeting ceremony. This involves everyone lining up in grade order, facing the Sensei. Kneeling bows - a show of respect - are exchanged between the students and the Sensei. You'll be taught the proper actions on your first visit, so don't let this put you off.
Once this is over we practice our break-falling. The break-fall is an essential part of Jiu Jitsu, as this allows you to fall safely without injury - handy for when people start throwing you around the mat. However, as a beginner you'll learn how to fall in all directions from a kneeling position, moving up to falling from standing positions as you get better.
It is usual that the lower grades / novices are split from the main group so that higher grades can practise the more advanced techniques on each other while the lower grades / novices get specific attention for their requirements.
You will be shown and talked through how to do a technique before being allow to try it yourself. Instructors and senior students will help you while you're doing each technique to help you get it right.
As the session draws to a close, it is time to demonstrate what you have learned and been practising in front of the rest of the group. This may sound scary but remember that everyone has to do this, and everyone in that room at some point had to stand up there for the first time and perform.
As you get more experienced you will be required to demonstrate what you have learnt by getting the other students to attack you in turn. We generally do this by using what we call a 'V' or a circle.
Just before the session closes, a cool down in generally undertaken, stretching out those now tired muscles, to prevent the lactic acid building up.
Line Up (take two)
Again we line up and club announcements are made. As at the beginning of the session we kneel and bow to eachother and wrap up the session.
Then in true Moorgate style we go to the pub to share a drink and relax.