Sunday, January 5, 2014

Ju-Jutsu: Jukaido-Kan Ju-Jutsu: Verdun, QC

Background: I was attending a Martial Arts fundraiser for cancer research and saw that Jukaido-Kan would be teaching a seminar. I didn’t know anything about Shihan Bedard or his school but decided that I had nothing to lose and the description sounded appealing. It seems appalling to me today that I nearly missed getting to train with such a quality school because of my whimsical approach to choosing courses that day. What followed was an incredibly interesting and fun afternoon of throws and locks.
Working takedowns with a stomp to finish my attacker off.
Sensei Julien of Jukaido-Kan helping correct us in the background.

I will always be grateful to my friend Sensei Andrei Boudreau for formally introducing me to Shihan Charles Bedard. Sensei Boudreau hosts seminars at his dojo where he will invite other Martial Artists to teach and learn from each other. I was teaching at one of these events in the morning and had the opportunity to begin learning from Jukaido-Kan that afternoon. After the seminar at the cancer fundraiser I knew this was not an opportunity to miss.  

The seminars that Sensei Boudreau organizes embody the spirit of Martial Arts by bringing fighters of all stripes together. The only complaint I have with the seminars is that they are bound by the limits of physics and time and therefore always seem to end too fast. However, they did give me a much better taste of what Jukaido-Kan was. I spent much of the afternoon with Sensei Julien and Sensei Dakota working through different locks and throws. It is always a good time to be able to train with some high level fighters and see how they execute techniques. As my Sifu has told me many times, “many people may do the same technique but everyone will flavour it differently.”
The crew that came out with Sensei Boudreau's 25th Anniversary Seminar

What did I learn: While writing this blog I was torn on how to answer this question. Shihan Bedard took time to show me numerous techniques to give me a taste of the Jukaido-Kan style and their interpretation of Martial Arts. I could write paragraphs about that yet have deliberately chosen not to. The reason is because despite having learned a lot it wasn’t the biggest lesson of the evening.  Sometimes lessons aren’t about what you new techniques you learn rather being reminded of the lessons you should know. Those reminders are what I am going to focus on because they were such powerful examples of a quality school.
While waiting to execute any technique everyone jogs.
No lazy students here.

Many schools will incorporate a ying yang in their logo and preach the need for balance and harmony, mine included, yet Shinan Bedard’s school exemplifies this. As I walked through the doors I was greeted by laughter and the sound of people working out. Every instructor was wearing reindeer antlers on their heads as it was the last class before Christmas as they warmed up. It was silly and fun and truly a great idea. However, underneath the antlers, there was a discipline and respect that was impressive. The seniors were organised and moving with purpose to help the rest of the class.

Far too often I see seniors standing around doing “senior things,” which normally include talking, leaning on walls and generally watching others working hard. In Jukaido-Kan this was not the case. Every student of Shihan Bedard’s, from the newest white belt to the oldest sensei trains. Training is actually an understatement, the seniors lead. No student is asked to do something without the seniors showing it first. When a new student doesn’t know a drill the seniors take time to show them patiently and while this is happening the rest of the class jogs on spot continuing to work out. There is a difference between knowing good principles and living them. It is why Jukaido-Kan is as good as they are. They live their principles. 
Sensei Brett & Sensei Julien leading by example with Sensei Dakota set to follow.

What was similar: Just the other night I was training outside leg sweeps with Shifu Lorne Bernard. The first technique that we reviewed at Jukaido-Kan was the inside version of the same sweep. It was like stepping from one lesson right into the next one. We also covered throat and wrist grabs. The white belt defenses to these attacks were nearly identical to the ones that we use in Northern Mantis, MMA and Sanshou.

Front kicks are another of those universal techniques.

There are some techniques universal across Martial Arts. They might carry their own flavour and slight deviations but the core principles remain. This is the mark of a good school and a good teacher. If you are at a school and none of the basics look like anything you have seen before you might want to ask a question or two.

I couldn't be more grateful to Shihan Bedard for having me in class.

Conclusion: Jukaido-Kan is a top notch school. The quality of the Ju-Jutsu is very high and teachers are patient, talented and disciplined. I also made Shihan Bedard a promise to return and provide some filming with my Go Pro Camera so we could demonstrate what it was like to be thrown around. I look forward to visiting him in the near future for another great night of lessons.
Christmas classes are a ton of fun and Jukaido-Kan threw a great one. 

Best regards and keep training,

Martin "Travelling Ronin" Fransham 

If you are interested in training together I would love to get together with you. Drop me a line on facebook and we can connect. I would love to learn from you. On Facebook:
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