On Tuesday was my first Jiu Jitsu class. It was great! I think I'm going to enjoy this component of my Batman training more than I had expected.
So before I get started I should clear up a few things. When I mentioned that my quest to become Batman would soon include martial arts training, I posted a link to Jiu Jitsu. Jiu Jitsu is a Brazilian variant that is descended from Judo. This IS NOT what my dojo teaches. The class that I'm attending teaches Jujutsu; however, they spell it Jiu Jitsu. As I understand it, Jiu Jitsu is a more archaic term and Jujutsu is the more accepted term.
Out of respect for my dojo, I'll refer to the tradition as Jiu Jitsu, ok?
To get an idea of the spirit of Jiu Jitsu, let me give you a brief historical tour of it's development. In feudal Japan, the combination of heavy armor and a highly tuned offensive techniques made samurai warriors the ultimate tank of the era. If one were to meet such an opponent unarmed and unarmored, one would need specialized techniques to be victorious. Striking an armored opponent wouldn't do the trick and allowing them the room to utilize a katana or yari would be a very bad idea. Jiu Jitsu is martial art for neutralizing enemies through grappling, throwing, locks and chokeholds. In this regard, it is far more akin to western wrestling than other eastern martial arts; however, there is a substantial difference: whereas wrestling seeks to pit strengths, Jiu Jitsu is literally the "art of softness" or the "way of yielding". Wikipedia says it quite well: "These techniques were developed around the principle of using an attacker's energy against him, rather than directly opposing it."
We began with exercises and stretches. These weren't so bad except for the squats. Those are muscles that I have not invested in and they were stiff until this morning. We were then introduced to falling techniques. Since Jiu Jitsu is a grappling art, absorbing the impact of falls is crucial.
We then learned three locks and two chokes. Although I've been practicing them every day I won't try to explain them to you yet. Don't worry though. I will as soon as I feel more comfortable with them and have found a reasonable body of resources on the internet to point you to.
PS If anybody does know of good resources that I should be familiar with please leave me a comment.