What to expect for your first day of training
On your first day on the mat, you will get a chance to try a lot of new things and while it can be challenging to start something new we hope you will give it a try. Every member of the dojo from the black belts on down all started where you are starting. We didn’t know when to bow, how to line up, what the warm-ups were going to be like, how to fall, how to throw, or anything. We showed up in our workout clothes and saw the other students with their gi [uniform] and obi [belt] and did not have a clue what was going to happen next. But with a little help we got the hang of what to do and each class learned something new and felt more comfortable.
Our approach is to teach each student at their level. We want you to progress and improve, but understand that each person will learn at their own rate. The Danzan Ryu curriculum is designed so that techniques are built upon each other and so you will be able to move through the system as you develop skill.
Your first day will consist of training but also ample time for you to connect with the Sensei [Instructor] to learn about what we do. This is a great time to ask questions about training. Each class will start with a specific set of warm-ups, stretching and strength building exercises called Kowami [tough body] designed to prepare your body for the techniques in the system. These will be lead by one of the sempai [senior], a more experienced student in the dojo, and they will guide the class through the exercises. As a newer student one of the other sempai on the mat will help you.
During the rest of the class there may be a short lecture on a topic and an all class training period. Each month we have a new a theme that we focus on. The majority of the class time will be divided into groups by skill level, with different groups being led by sempai, black belts and/or Sensei. During the first few weeks you will focus a lot on sutemi [self sacrifice] and some escapes from grips and locks of yawara [yielding]. On some days we finish class with healing arts known as seifukujitsu [restoration techniques].
Over time we think you will find the dojo [school] will feel like a second home where you can train with your ohana [family]. We have an unique opportunity at Pacific JuJitsu Kai to practice a martial and healing art that allows us to work on personal development, gain health enhancement while learning techniques of self defense.