Questions & Answers

A martial art based on the traditional combat systems originating and developed in medieval Japan by the Samurai. The core of the art comprises a system of throws, joint locks and strikes and is based on the principal of using an aggressor’s momentum to their own disadvantage. This means Jiu Jitsu skills can be used by men, women and children of any size or strength to counter aggressive situations ranging from unwanted harassment to armed physical assault.

The Jiu Jitsu Foundation is an organisation with over a hundred clubs worldwide that teaches the modern and unique Shorinji Kan system of Jiu Jitsu. Preston is proud to have been affiliated with The Jiu Jitsu Foundation for over 25 years

With over 3000 active members and several hundred instructors, The Jiu Jitsu Foundation is the largest Jiu Jitsu organisation in Britain.

You know what, you probably can! Jiu Jitsu is for almost anyone: tall, short, big, small, girl or boy, old, young or smack bang in the middle. You don’t even have to be particularly fit or fast.

What you do need is to be enthusiastic, free for a few hours a week and keen to learn. Regular training will get you fit and keep you there. As long as you put a little effort into it, you’ll get a whole lot out of it.

Listed below are some common questions we hear from people who are worried they can’t learn Jiu Jitsu.

For the Junior club you’ll need to be at least 8 years old, and 18 at all other clubs. There is no upper age limit, however Jiu Jitsu involves locking, striking, throwing and you will also become good friends with the floor!

If you have any concerns or reservations, please feel free to contact one of the instructors who will be more than happy to talk them through with you. Saying that, clubs throughout the north west currently consist of members ranging from age 8 to upwards of 50.


Absolutely! We welcome beginners throughout the year, and almost always have complete beginners on the mat as people join all the time. There’s always someone in a similar position to you (don’t forget –  we were all beginners once), so you won’t be alone if you turn up…alone!  You’ll also get to train with higher grades who will be more than happy to share their knowledge with you.

Many many people train in multiple martial arts, Jitsuka (people who learn Jiu Jitsu) are no exception. The Preston clubs have members who have also trained in Judo, Tae Kwon Do, Karate, Aikido and a host of other arts. Our professional instructors will help you incorporate your existing skills into Jiu Jitsu (they might even learn something new in the process!).

Nothing too intense! We will help you feel comfortable with working in close proximity to others. We will also show you some very simple techniques which work right away.

During your first few months you will learn and practice:

  • How to fall and land safely
  • How to move and control your own body to:
    • avoid an attack
    • take control of an attacker
  • Defences from body grabs
  • Basic joint locking techniques
  • Basic defences against weapons such as bottles
  • Basic throws (incorporating safe falling)

These basic, but fundamental skills will be used throughout your Jiu Jitsu career, which is why they are taught at this early stage.

Regional grading examinations are held about four times a year. This is where the students put into practice the skills they have learnt and developed over the last few months. There is no pressure to undertake these.

The clubs attend three regional, and two national events per year. These regional and National courses are great opportunities for students to meet and train with new people and to be taught by the best instructors The Jiu Jitsu Foundation has to offer.

Most sessions will follow a tried and tested formula:

  1. Warm-up
  2. Break falling
  3. Learning and practicing Jiu Jitsu techniques
  4. Cool down
  5. Fluid Replenishment (The pub)
  1. Warm-up

The most important section of any training session is the warm-up. This is where we prepare our bodies to practice Jiu Jitsu by raising our heart rates, warming the muscles and stretching. A thorough warm up is the best way to prevent injuries such as strains, sprains and pulled muscles.

  • Mobilisation 
  • Raising the heart rate
  • Stretching
  1. Break falling

In Jiu Jitsu many of the techniques you will learn involve your partner ending up on the floor immobilised. In order to practice this safely, we must learn how to fall, and land on the mats without hurting or injuring ourselves. We call this ‘Break falling’ and it’s great fun! Many students even admit that this is their favourite part of the session!

  1. Techniques

The reason we all turned up! This will form the majority of the session and is where the class is taught the techniques that form this amazing martial art.

Sensei (Don’t worry – it’s just the Japanese word for teacher) will demonstrate a technique to the class, and then you will partner with another student and give it a go. Sensei will then watch the class practice, and provide one to one feedback so you really will pick things up faster than you thought you ever could!

The types of techniques you learn will depend on the lesson plan Sensei has prepared, the theme of the session and whether there are any forthcoming events (Gradings, competitions, demonstrations etc) in the near future. The techniques shown will follow a theme and will build up in stages so by the end of the session you will be doing some fairly intricate movements without even realising!

Each class is tailored to the level and abilities of the attending students so you will never be asked to do something you are not ready for. Just remember, all our instructors were new once, so they know exactly how you are feeling and are there to help!

  1. Cool-down

This is where we take the energy level right down so you can calm down a little before we send you back onto the streets. We also do some gentle stretching to (again) prevent injury and ensure that you’re not too stiff the following day!

And finally…

  1. Fluid Replenishment (The Pub)

This part of the session is optional, but highly recommended! You have just spent 2 hours practicing an amazing art and will have no doubt burnt off some calories in the process; therefore it is important to make sure you drink plenty of water. (Or beer if you prefer!)

Generally we all go to a local pub after the session to relax, have a chat and discuss any Jiu Jitsu (or non Jiu Jitsu) related stuff. It is always a relaxed affair and is a great opportunity to chat to other members of the club and try to get a drink out of them!