One of the most important precepts of judo is the uke–tori relationship. This relationship is just as important when training in Goshin Jitsu or any other contact martial art. In Japanese uke means “receiver of technique” while tori means “performer of technique”. When working with partners, uke is usually the attacker or feeder, while tori is the defender.
When feeding you are responsible for making realistic attacks, but with controlled speed and power. Most importantly, the attacks should strike (with light and controlled contact) your partner, if he or she does not defend. Thus one gets to practice one’s defensive techniques against a “real” attack. When practicing a new technique for the first time, feed slowly and obviously, and do not attempt to resist the counter-technique. Later, when you have a better grasp of the technique, you may apply more speed and power to the attack to increase realism. The bottom line is train and feed to the level of your partner!
In practicing techniques, both sides must exercise control. Many of the techniques taught can be extremely harmful to the feeder. Since techniques are designed to work against larger, stronger opponents, they are best learned when performed in a relaxed manner instead of trying to “muscle” your way through. This allows you to develop a feel for how a technique should work. Unlike good technique, muscling is ineffective against stronger opponents.
Remember that, as you train your partner, they train you. Work to the level of your partner, and give each other feedback. Realize that your training partner is your path to perfecting your self-defense techniques.
Tapping is a signal that lets your partner know that you have had enough of a technique, such as a joint lock, choke or attack. Tapping lets your partner know that their techniques were effective and that they need to stop and release the technique before injury occurs. Always respect the tap. If you hear or feel anything, let go, even if you don’t think anything is wrong! It is better to start over again, rather than cause grievous harm to your partner. Everyone must realize that there is no shame in tapping. It is better to tap sooner than too late, in order to avoid injury, which can keep you from practicing further.
A “tap” is signaled by any one of the following:
- Shouting “TAP”, “STOP”, or “MATAE”.
- Two or more rapid taps with the hand (or foot) on the mat, or better yet on your partner’s body.
- Snapping your fingers.
- Students should be dressed for practice and on the floor approximately 5 minutes before class starts. Once they are in class, students should warm up and stretch.
- Show respect to the art and to your fellow students.
- Bow when entering or leaving the mat.
- Bow, shake hands, or touch gloves before and after working with a partner.
- Do not engage in roughhousing or horseplay.
- During sparring or rolling do not cheer or coach either side.
- Ask whether someone wishes to work, spar or roll with you, do not insist.
- Be helpful to instructors, observers, and fellow students. Ask questions and raise valid comments, but do not socialize during class time.
- Be prepared.
- Always have clean training clothes, trimmed nails, and good hygiene.
- Remove all watches and jewelry.
- Bring a mouth guard and, if desired, headgear and (males) groin cup.
- Bring your Goshin Jitsu notebook and sheets.
- If you come late to class, stretch and warm up separately, then sit at the edge of the training area, and wait for an instructor to signal you on the floor.
- Show good effort and intensity at all times. Students who are injured or feel ill may be excused. Students who do not participate will be asked to sit outside of the training area. Keep in mind that you are the best judge of what you can and cannot do. If something feels uncomfortable or hurts, don’t do it. Inform an instructor if you are injured or in pain.
- If you need to leave the training area for any reason, make sure an instructor knows where you are.
- Practice safely and responsibly.
- Be aware of your surroundings and classmates.
- Use equipment properly.
- Do not walk on the mats with street shoes.
- Students should never use their skills outside of class except in self-defense, training, or competition.
When striking in drill or sparring use adequate power, enough to let your partner know they were hit, but not so much that they are injured.
When throwing you are responsible for placing your partner safely on the ground. That is, make sure that they can perform an adequate breakfall and that their landing site is clear of people or equipment. Do not slam or attempt throws that you do notunderstand.
Unless specifically told otherwise by an instructor, during rolling, never use:
- Heel hooks
- Outward twisting ankle locks
- Twisting knee locks