WJJF

Discussion in 'Ju Jitsu' started by Prizewriter, Jan 18, 2014.

  1. Prizewriter

    Prizewriter Moved on

    I wanted to start this because of other references to the WJJF on here. I thought it would be best to have it's own thread to discuss the good, the bad and the ugly of the WJJF.

    The WJJF, as per a very long thread in e-budo, seems to have dubious roots as a "Ju Jutsu" style. Robert Clarke, the founder, apparently studied Yoshin Ryu for a time but was kicked out for forgery. So the story goes.

    WJJF seems to be a composite of punch, kicks, takedowns, locks from various sources, not all of which would be Japanese. What's wrong with that? Nothing, except the WJJF heavily promotes they are a "Japanese system". The fact of the matter is the WJJF has no connection or roots in Japan so far as anyone can tell.

    Some stories I've come across about the WJJF over the years. I have either first hand experience or they have been related to me:

    1) My skinny teenage friend, with less than a year of BJJ, submitted a WJJF black belt who was considerably older/heavier than he was.

    2) During a grading, on 2 occasions different adult students, while demonstrating throwing techniques, fell on their own face while trying to throw someone. They still got their belts.

    3) During a grading, a father noticed in the instructors kit bag all grading certificates were already signed and dated BEFORE the grading started. Basically the kids got promoted, regardless of how they did in the grading.

    4) My boss studied with the WJJF for 15 months. Admittedly, he went to one class a week. On a night out, while smoking outside a pub, he noticed a drunk man grabbing a woman. He intervened, and ended up taking a savage beating by the drunkard that left him hospitalised. He quit the WJJF shortly thereafter.

    5) In Northern Ireland in Summer 2013, a TAGB/WJJF student was killed by a single punch during a street fight he got involved in. The WJJF club responded by saying he only ever went to one class on their facebook page. The young man's own facebook page contradicts this. Perhaps this was an honest mistake, or perhaps it was someone who teaches "Self defence" disowning the young man in order to protect their reputation. I sincerely hope it was the former.

    6) Lack of safety. The WJJF class I attended never did much work on breakfalls. Seems a common problem in WJJF classes over here. I witnessed a broken wrist and dislocated shoulder due to not falling properly.

    7) Uniforms: You have to buy over-priced WJJF uniforms which tear easily. You cannot use a standard Judo gi, which is much more durable and affordable. You have to buy a patch (currently retailing at £8) every time you get promoted to add to your uniform. The WJJF in Ireland have decided to start their own grappling competitions. They are now selling competition gi's (like judo gi's) as their normal gi's "weren't suitable for fighting in". :rolleyes:

    8)Robert Clarke. Not fair to talk ill of the dead, but the man was in one of the red top newspapers in the UK in the 90's for failing to pay insurance money and fraud and ended up in court. According to e-budo I should say! He has also had some dubious associations in the past.

    In short, it is the first organisation that comes in to my head when I hear the term "McDojo". Am I biased? My experience has made me so. Studied with them for a few months after I lost my way in TKD. After 3 months, they had me pining for TKD :rolleyes:

    I'm sure there will be people who will suggest that some of the points I made are less valid than others. They may be right. I'm sure other people have different views on the WJJF. I invite discussion!
     
  2. Van Zandt

    Van Zandt Mr. High Kick

    Better qualified people here will chime in at some point, but a personal opinion about the single punch knockout: anyone can get caught off guard - even the most skilled self protection experts. Don't take one person getting ko'd/killed as a reflection of the whole style.
     
  3. philosoraptor

    philosoraptor carnivore in a top hat Supporter

    Add to this the falling on your face during grading. Weird stuff happens when you're grappling. OP I have thankfully little experience with WJJF but the little I do know suggests you're spot on!
     
  4. Prizewriter

    Prizewriter Moved on

    Very true! These were compliant drills though, where they were throwing a non-resistant partner. Which makes it worse lol!
     
  5. philosoraptor

    philosoraptor carnivore in a top hat Supporter

    Ooh, yeah that's not good. :[

    i've always liked the low key belt promo system. Coach just walks up to you and says "you're a blue belt now."
     
  6. Dean Winchester

    Dean Winchester Valued Member

    Why? It's been done to death.

    Are you still stinging from your experience with them?

    I think if you are going to come out with stuff like that you need to link it to the appropriate thread and any evidence.

    You said previously that the founder studied Yoshin ryu?

    Now I'm not pro WJJF, far from it, but you need to structure you points better. While I agree that it is not a Japanese system you can't ignore what is there just to make your point about what is not.

    I believe there is also a strong Judo influence too?

    Means little without more context.

    Means little without more information. What was the grading criteria?


    Assumption. Those certs could of been pre-made to facilitate the grading for those who did pass, kids would love getting their cert there and then and without knowing each kids grading points you can't say.

    15 months once a week is nothing and then there is everything else that goes with SD.

    A tragic accident. Again you need to be careful about saying this without back up.

    How much is the right amount if break falling? Also this only speaks for your classes and area. More back up would be required.

    Nothing wrong with selling equipment as long as it is not mandatory purchases for the students.

    Links or this is worthless.

    Not saying it is untrue just that you need to back up stuff.

    So you have very limited experience with them?
     
  7. Moi

    Moi Warriors live forever x

    They also like to insist on weapons training, which at first consists of learning a "kata" buying the weapon, paying for a weapon seminar then it all starts again with the next one :) it's a fantastic way to make money :)
     
  8. Dean Winchester

    Dean Winchester Valued Member

    Don't get me started!

    :bang:
     
  9. Prizewriter

    Prizewriter Moved on

    You do have to but their Uniforms, that is mandatory. You can only get them from the WJJF.

    As for what I said regarding the history of Robert Clarke and the WJJF, here is the e-budo link:

    http://www.e-budo.com/forum/showthread.php?45810-Research-into-British-Jujitsu&highlight=wjjf

    Regarding point 1, here is the match between my former training partner (white belt) and a the WJJF black belt. He wins by armbar but camera cuts out before the end:

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WmFGcYyl_vo"]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WmFGcYyl_vo[/ame]

    The other stuff I admit is anecdotal. I have little to back it up. People can make of it what they will. I should say. I find them to be an organisation that allows a lot of people in Northern Ireland to train martial arts as they are so well spread out and accessible in this part of the world. That is a good point.

    I would also like to reasonably criticise what I feel are problems with the organisation based on experience. This does not make me bitter. I created this thread to generate discussion (so far so good) as some posters who discussed the WJJF recently seemed to be unsure about the WJJF. I could not find a unified thread on the WJJF, so I made one.
     
  10. Dean Winchester

    Dean Winchester Valued Member

    Better to keep things as above board as you can, makes for a more honest discussion.

    Like I said I'm far from being pro WJJF.
     
  11. Moi

    Moi Warriors live forever x

    It's been done before somewhere?
     
  12. Prizewriter

    Prizewriter Moved on

    Another point. This thread on Bullshido was linked to the WJJF page on wikipedia which said "The WJJF has been criticised for having unrealistic methods of training..." and link to this thread as a source:

    http://www.bullshido.net/forums/showthread.php?t=52528

    The wikipedia page was subsequently withdrawn within a few days of that link going on by the original page author. I don't know why but I'd hate to think it was simply because some folks at bullshido reported their negative experiences with the WJJF and WJJF students. Seems an odd thing to do IMO and I hope it wasn't done as the organisation considers itself above criticism. I don't know why they did it though.
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2014
  13. Moi

    Moi Warriors live forever x

    Not great advertising though is it? It's a martial arts based business created before the Internet.
     
  14. mattt

    mattt Valued Member

    My take:

    1) My skinny teenage friend, with less than a year of BJJ, submitted a WJJF black belt who was considerably older/heavier than he was.

    So what? BJJ is arguably the best Gi based grappling art.

    2) During a grading, on 2 occasions different adult students, while demonstrating throwing techniques, fell on their own face while trying to throw someone. They still got their belts.

    To me, a grading isn't a 'random test' it is put forward to people who have demonstrated ability in class, and a chance to show things in a ritualized setting, it is a formality.

    3) During a grading, a father noticed in the instructors kit bag all grading certificates were already signed and dated BEFORE the grading started. Basically the kids got promoted, regardless of how they did in the grading.

    See above

    4) My boss studied with the WJJF for 15 months. Admittedly, he went to one class a week. On a night out, while smoking outside a pub, he noticed a drunk man grabbing a woman. He intervened, and ended up taking a savage beating by the drunkard that left him hospitalised. He quit the WJJF shortly thereafter.

    I would argue he could have been studying BJJ, a way more respected art and exactly the same would have happened. He clearly didn't take his training seriously based on the amount he trained and that he was out smoking (and drinking one could argue)


    5) In Northern Ireland in Summer 2013, a TAGB/WJJF student was killed by a single punch during a street fight he got involved in. The WJJF club responded by saying he only ever went to one class on their facebook page. The young man's own facebook page contradicts this. Perhaps this was an honest mistake, or perhaps it was someone who teaches "Self defence" disowning the young man in order to protect their reputation. I sincerely hope it was the former.

    That is a sad event. You should learn now that no martial art can prevent things like that from happening, training in martial arts doesn't make you superman.

    6) Lack of safety. The WJJF class I attended never did much work on breakfalls. Seems a common problem in WJJF classes over here. I witnessed a broken wrist and dislocated shoulder due to not falling properly.

    Martial arts without injuries are not worth studying. I see similar injuries weekly.

    7) Uniforms: You have to buy over-priced WJJF uniforms which tear easily. You cannot use a standard Judo gi, which is much more durable and affordable. You have to buy a patch (currently retailing at £8) every time you get promoted to add to your uniform. The WJJF in Ireland have decided to start their own grappling competitions. They are now selling competition gi's (like judo gi's) as their normal gi's "weren't suitable for fighting in".

    That sucks, but it is not unique.

    8)Robert Clarke. Not fair to talk ill of the dead, but the man was in one of the red top newspapers in the UK in the 90's for failing to pay insurance money and fraud and ended up in court. According to e-budo I should say! He has also had some dubious associations in the past.

    Whatever.
     
  15. Simon

    Simon Moved on. Admin Supporter MAP 2017 Koyo Award

    Then you are training at a poor facility.

    Olympic and world class athletes don't train at facilities that have the weekly injuries you talk of.

    You've said before that you've not been corrected on the mat for over 4 years. Does your instructor care for the standard of your training?
     
  16. mattt

    mattt Valued Member

    Actually, we have Olympic Judoka and World Champion BJJ guys on the mats in every single class. The school is one of the most sought out places in the world to train grappling.

    Injuries happen when training at that level, though most of them come from the numpty Blues and people trying to make a name for themselves.

    I don't think he cares that much for the first 4-5 years, though he did say I had a good de ashi barai the other day.

    Edit- I'll say that in fairness breaks and dislocations are probably more like every 2 months in the class I attend, but injuries that involve stopping training and ice packs tape and limping which require time off are more common than once a week.
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2014
  17. greg1075

    greg1075 Valued Member

    Totally agree with every point except maybe the one about safety. Not all injuries are equal. Some are nagging ailments that come with the territory so to speak or due to unavoidable accidents while some are due a lack of emphasis on safety e.g. students not taught how to fall properly or not taught well, dangerous techniques, lack of control etc. The former is to be expected, the latter should never happen.



    As for the white belt taping the black belt, for the love of Christ could people PLEASE stop making these silly comparisons? Unless wjjf makes the claim to be a top grappling art (which I don't believe it does), you're comparing apple and oranges. The fact of the matter is you're comparing why a student in a style that probably spends 10% of his time doing ground stuff gets out grappled by another who rolls 90% of the time or more. A BJJ black belt is going to get owned standing up by a Judo blue belt. Does that mean that BJJ's takedowns suck? Training method, emphases and contexts are all different. There's nothing surprising about one art's forte not being the other's.
     
  18. Hannibal

    Hannibal Cry HAVOC and let slip the Dogs of War!!! Supporter

    BJJ guys are more than capable of holding their own against judoka of approximate level so that is a pretty poor analogy.

    WJJF is a composite system comprised of strikes, takedowns, locks and groundwork.
    BJJ is a composite system with (a few admittedly) strikes, takedowns, locks and groundwork

    Both are grappling styles, both emphasize close range techniques and purport to utilize technique over strength.

    Both have roots in Japanese Ryu

    Comparisons between the two are absolutely fair and valid. You cannot just discount a comparative between the because the outcome so heavily favours one art
     
  19. philosoraptor

    philosoraptor carnivore in a top hat Supporter

    Why would we not make this comparison? Yes, if BJJ blackbelts are consistently taken down by judoka with less than a year experience, their takedown and takedown defense sucks and they should crosstrain. These guys advertise a self defense system. If it has significant holes that can be exploited by small novices in a controlled environment, what makes you think they'd do any better in an uncontrolled environment?
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2014
  20. mattt

    mattt Valued Member

    No, a bjj black belt will not be owned by judo bluebelt. Generally speaking bjj blackbelts don't get owned in grappling and throwing.

    Elite fighters in judo are a different kettle of fish altogether and can dominate the standup. By elite I mean blackbelt national team level.
     

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