Ishigaki Ju-Jitsu Club
Ishigaki is a martial arts club for gay and gay-friendly people set up in early 1994. The club has grown in strength, popularity and reputation since its lowly beginnings. It is run by and for LGBT people and their friends. It has a committee of six people: Simon Powell is the Club Sensei and holds a 5th Dan black belt; Sandy Mackay is the treasurer and holds the rank of 4th dan; Roger Bunnage 3rd dan; Sean Tonkin, 2nd dan and first dans Sue Shaw and Omar. The club trains six times a week in classes held in London and Brighton.
Senseis Simon, Sandy and Roger have all taught seminars at international events and the club regularly attends International training and competitions events. Ishigaki have scored very well in medals tables at recent OutGames, Gay Games and International competitions.
The club has a multi-national, diverse and friendly membership. The name is taken from the Japanese words meaning "stone" and "wall". Since 1994, the club has been pushing limits and setting new boundaries for its members and gay (and straight) people in sports.
The club welcomes anyone who wants to learn ju-jitsu and enjoys a bit of social in pubs, restaurants, parties and group trips.
The club also runs self defence classes and has had a very successful partnership with various London councils offering self defence as part of outreach work to LGBT people. Ishigaki have also teamed up with GMFA to deliver confidence building and self defence workshops.
History of Ju-Jitsu
The roots of Ju-Jitsu can be traced at least as far back as the fifteenth or sixteenth century in Japan.
Samurai warriors wore protective armour and they fought using weapons. There was little need for unarmed techniques unless the two warriors were so close together that swords or daggers could not be used or there was a need to capture rather than kill the enemy. Methods were devised which would exploit the joints in the armour to allow the opponent to be subdued.
The opportunities for armed warfare were restricted and armoured fighting became obsolete. The techniques developed earlier were changed to meet the new needs for dealing with unarmoured opponents.
As the restrictions continued more schools were opened which taught common people unarmed combat. Commoners were not allowed to carry weapons and so the techniques were refined still further. Refinements to techniques continue today with all martial arts. One of the most modern forms of Ju-Jitsu, Gracie Ju-Jitsu has been developed in Brazil. Gracie Ju-Jitsu concentrates on taking an opponent to the ground and has adapted many traditional Ju-Jitsu techniques to work on the floor where differences in size and weight can be minimized.