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The Nationals and the Summer Ball

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Jitsuka training at the Nationals

There are three national events each year. These provide an opportunity to train, compete and socialise with other Jitsuka around the country. The Nationals, as they're called, are some of the biggest martial events (and possibly the biggest jiu jitsu events) in the country.

Atemi Nationals
This is an annual two-day event in Telford, UK but has previously been held in Birmingham, Sheffield, Slough and Manchester. Usually taking place in November, courses in the morning and competitions in the afternoon are held for each grade level.

There are two phases to the competition. Firstly in the 'V', competitors must defend themselves, using any techniques that they have learned, against a continuous cycle of attackers either unarmed, or armed with weaponry appropriate to the grade of the defender. This is followed by a 'gauntlet'. In this phase, the competitor has a chance perform techniques without the pressure of a realistic 'combat' situation, however the competitor is expected to demonstrate control, skill, and fluidity. The 'V' focuses on the “martial” or fighting aspect of jujutsu, whereas the 'gauntlet' examines the “art” aspect. The competition uses a points-based system judged by a panel who assess technical ability, style and effectiveness of techniques.

The event is held over two days, with heats on day one and finals on day two. Day two also includes the 'open grade' category, which any senior grade can enter.

Randori Nationals
TJF also run annual Judo competitions for its members, currently held in Telford, UK. Usually taking place in March, courses and competitions are held for each grade level, with those who also hold Judo grades competing at a higher level.

Grades have a choice of two competitions. In ground fighting (ne-waza), competitors must try to achieve a pin or submission over a two-minute bout while on the ground. In standing fighting (nage-waza), the first to score a full point (ippon), with any throwing technique, is the winner. Due to the nature of these contests, the competitors are placed in weight, sex and grade categories.

The second day hosts the finals and open competition, which is itself a full 'judo rules' competition that allows both standing and ground fighting in the same contest. In the open competition, it is very difficult to score an oppon, compared to real Judo, and most fights end on the ground.

These two events form the highlights of TJF year for most jitsuka.

The Summer Ball
Held in July, the summer ball is the final event of the Jitsu calendar. It is held in different locations, depending on circumstances – for 2004 in Plymouth, celebrating 25 years of Jitsu. The 2005 event was held in Bristol, and in 2006 it was held in London, each time marking 20 year anniversaries for the founding of the respective region. The 2007 Ball marked 40 years of Jitsu in Keighley, Yorkshire, where the late Shihan Brian Graham founded our style.

Although a smaller affair than the two national competitions, it is nonetheless important, as it also hosts the Shodan, Nidan and Sandan (first to third dan) gradings (there is also now a shodan grading in January). The evening dinner has an awards ceremony to congratulate the successful candidates and other individuals who have made significant contributions to the style over the last year.

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