The students at Bushi Kempo Ju Jitsu Bunbury are preparing to undertake the club’s first grading on July 9 with a number of skills and techniques required to succeed.
Sensei’s Neil McLeish and James Sheehan invited the Mail to a Wednesday night class at Bunbury’s PCYC to see the students put through a final test of their abilities.
For more than an hour the students demonstrated a variety of strikes and blocks, defended themselves against weapon attacks and destabilised adversaries with a number of impressive throws and joint locking manoeuvers.
Sensei Sheehan said Bushi Kempo Ju Jitsu is predominantly used as a form of self defence that turns an opponents speed, weight and balance against them.
“We focus our students to have a strategic use of their best assets, it’s certainly not all about brute strength,” he said.
“It’s ideal to have techniques that resolve a situation without a punch being thrown and it’s always good to finish a fight early.”
During the class the various moves are practiced at a reduced speed to ensure students learn the correct techniques along with the difference between causing pain and causing injury.
Sensei McLeish said it is very important for students to develop a strong foundation early on and to understand the mechanics of the human body.
“What we teach here could save a life so it’s important for the students to do it correctly and be confident that it does work,” he said.
“There are many ways to disarm someone without beating them to a pulp and often a little bit of knowledge about the body’s pressure points can make a big difference when you want them to yield.”
Three black belt judges will grade the students on both their physical abilities and their understanding of the history and tradition of the artform.
“We don’t like to use terms like ‘master’ because it implies that you’ve someone learnt everything you can – it’s not like that at all, you never stop learning and developing your skills,” Sensei McLeish said.