University of York Fresher Fair

As the days get longer and colder it can only mean one thing, yes the University term is starting!  With that bring the Fresher Fair where we get to recruit another group of people who are want to try Jitsu for the first time.  University club memebers should already have had an email about it but for those that haven't here are the details:

Freshers Fair

University Sports centre (Heslington Lane) 8:30 - 16:00  5th October

Please bring your Gi and any Jitsu merchandise you have along so people can clearly recognised who we are and what we do.


The first session for the new novices will be Monday 19:00 7th October in the sports centre.


YTJC Club Photograph (Monday 23 September 2013)

From 8:30 PM on Monday 23 September the club will be taking some entire photographs.  It has been some time since we last did this (several years) so we would really like a good turn out.  This session will be a great opportunity to get back into Jitsu for those who have been out a while.  So whether your a brand new novice or an experienced veteran we'd love to have you join us! Juniors should get permission from parents to stay a bit later to take part.

We're hoping to have a range of more unusual club photographs as well as the classic everyone in lines team photo.  If you have an idea, please submit it via our Facebook page.

The photos will be uploaded to a private gallery later in the week for club members to download. A handful of photographs may be selected to use on the club's web site and in social media - names will not be included ... though if you want to tag yourself in any uploaded to our Facebook page you are welcome to do so.


Bank Holiday No Training (25 August 2013)

There will be no training at YTJC (St. Olave's School) on Monday.  Since this is out of term time, there will also be no training available at the University club (as there is on many bank holidays).
The next YTJC session will be on Friday 30 August from 7 PM at St. Olave's School.

Bank Holiday Training (6th May 2013)

There will be no training at YTJC (St. Olave's School) on Monday.  Training will however still be on at the University of York club.  Town club members wishing to train on Monday can attend the university session instead.

The University of York club trains from 7 PM - 9 PM on Monday evenings at the University of York sport centre (main campus, next to the astro turf pitch).


Do the mons go on the left or the right?

After the recent gradings I was asked the perennial question by one of my students - "Which side do my mons go on?". So I thought this was worth writing a little piece about.

In Japanese martial arts, mons are coloured stripes that are awarded to students who do particularly well during their grading (an assessment for a new belt). The stripes are sewn onto one end of a belt. In some martial arts they are used to show progress towards a new belt without actually assigning the new belt. In Shorinji Kan Jiu Jitsu mons are sometimes used for this purpose but more frequently they are used to indicate that the student simply demonstrated spirit, techniques, etc. above that required for their current belt; so similar to but not quite the same as demonstrating elements of the next syllabus.

In some arts mons are restricted to juniors. Shorinji Kan allows adults to be assigned mons at grades up to and including orange belt and for juniors up to and including green belt.

So with the purpose in mind where do the mons go when the belt is tied. Should they be on the left or on the right? Does it matter at all?

The mons are used to determine the order in which students line up together. The more mons, the higher the rank and the further to the right of the line a student will stand (i.e. lowest grades line up on the left and highest grades line up on the right). So having the mons on the left shows the lower grades the next level to which they should be aspiring. Of course having it on the right makes sense if you consider that the higher the grade the further to the right it is.

So which side is it? It's the left side.

As I've suggested, there's logic to wearing it on either side, but there are a few sources that back up this statement.

  • This is what my instructor told me when I asked him the same question. Just like the techniques I studied, this was just another thing passed down through the instructor/student lineage and I expect was what his instructor had told him (and so on back through the line).
  • The second is the Wikipedia page for The Jitsu Foundation. TJF is the governing body for Shorinji Kan Jiu Jitsu and an entry on the page states the following - "The belt is then worn so that the mons are displayed on the wearer's left.". Whilst you shouldn't necessarily believe everything you read on the Internet/Wikipedia this does corroborate my first source.
  • The third and final source comes from something I got with my first gi (Jitsu uniform). The old style of gi were custom made by a company called Carter and included a sheet entitled "Welcome to the Foundation". This sheet included details about how the various grades (including the old dan grade system) were indicated by gi and included an example photograph of a jitsuka with mons on his belt. The mons are on the left (see below and note the badge on the right shoulder so we know the image hasn't been accidentally mirrored).

Author: Stephen Millard.