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Overview of the Year

This page outlines the activities which the club participates in every year.  It is designed to give you some idea of the time scale of when gradings, national competitions etc take place so you can plan for upcoming events and look forward to them! Click the photos to enlarge and scroll through the galleries.

As we are a University club, our year begins with the academic year.  You can join at any time of year, however, as we are always geared up to welcome new people.  

In September our existing members return after a summer break and the University holds Freshers' Week.  Surrey Jitsu always has a prominently placed stall at Freshers' Fayre  in the marquee on PATS field.  This is a great place to find us, ask questions and sign up!

At the weekend, Surrey Sports Park (SSP) hosts Active Freshers' Fayre where you can get a slice of the action and try Jitsu out for yourself, free of charge!


This is the first month of training for our new members; a chance to get stuck in to a great Uni sports club and keep active whilst aquiring some very practical self-defence skills and enjoying an active social life!


We organise something fun as a club for our first social event of the year to get everybody involved and chatting to each other.


The Atemi nationals (striking, locking, throwing) take place every year in November, usually about the second weekend and this is an excellent opportunity to learn with nearly 1000 people from all over the country and the best instructors in the Foundation.  We drive a minibus or two to the venue (usually Ponds Forge in Sheffield) on the Friday evening and back again on Sunday afternoon.  This weekend is great fun and not to be missed by any Jitsu enthusiast!  There's always a party for everybody on the Saturday evening and the finals of the competition on the Sunday.  Then the dans come out to play - the Open is always worth a watch!


So after nearly three months of training and confidence building, many beginners are ready to take their first grading.


There are usually lots of questions asked about the first grading, but don't worry, we've all been there - every black belt started as a white belt.  See our information sheet for the order of the belts and other FAQs.


We always round off the year with a Christmas meal and social event.


After the Christmas holidays we come back hungry for more jitsu and ease back into training.

This is a great time to burn off the unwanted calories you may have gained so if your new year's resolution is to get fitter or learn some self-defence, get stuck in in January.

Established members can expect to progress in their grade, enjoying their new belt if they were awarded one before Christmas and learn new skills to enable them to progress towards their next grading.


Time for another nationals!  This time around it's the Randori nationals.  For a Randori competition, lower grades begin seated on the floor and higher grades begin standing up and the idea is to pin your partner to the ground (higher grades needing to throw their parner first).  These judo-esque nationals are similar to the Atemi nationals in November, in that jitsu students can expect to be taught by the top instructors in the country over two days with a night out on the Saturday and the Open competition on the Sunday.  Don't worry, all you hard-core jitsu fans, it's not all rolling around on the floor, hugging people!


By the time March comes around we're ready for another grading.  Most new members having done a grading already, will feel more confident about this one; knowing the format of the event.  Don't forget the post-grading party/pub visit, whether you graded or not.


We frequently have guest instructors and club members are also encouraged to visit and train with other clubs.  This is a great opportunity to work on different aspects of your training as different instructors tend to have a different focus.

Students of Jitsu who simply can't get enough are often found training at two or three clubs per week.  Let us know if you're interested and we can point you towards some local clubs or help you find a club near you.


With the weather improving we may plan some outdoor sessions (but in Britain you never can be sure!) and certainly some more socials.


Jitsu is a really good way to bust exam stress and take a break from revision and as training is by no means compulsory, feel free to dip in and out as you like.


This is the end of the academic year and a good opportunity for one more grading.  This 3-month spacing between gradings means that with effort and dedication a new student of Jitsu can realistically expect to attain their green belt by the end of the academic year.  

See our information sheet for the order of the belts.


Many university students move away for the summer, but if there are still people keen to train our club instructor very kindly gives up extra time to come and teach.  Do let us know if you would like to come during this time as slots have to be specially booked and if attendance is low it is not viable to run sessions.


Similar to June, sessions are run according to demand and are surplus to our instructor's agreed teaching hours, which are term time only.  We suggest that to avoid disappointment you find out if sessions are going ahead before you make your way to SSP.  You can check this in our calendar, on our facebook page or by sending us an email.


With the focus off gradings, the summer months can be a time to learn some often less-used jitsu techniques or try out a different club if you have moved away between semesters.


Everybody can do with a rest, especially the instructors, and August is usually a quiet time for the club in terms of training although for the past two years Surrey Jitsu has attended the German Nationals - find the photos here.


During this time we especially welcome interest from students applying to the University of Surrey for the upcoming academic year and also from returning students who would like to try something new.

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