If you walk into the SU sports hall on a Monday night, chances are you will stumble across people rolling on mats while clung to each other and fighting to their last breath for the winning joint lock.
This is the NTU Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu society, which has now come to its second year of activity and has more than 20 signed members. Platform’s Federico Cornetto and Ola Fisayo went to find out more about this unconventional martial art.
When you first see Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu there might be just one thought in your mind: these people must be brave.
The level of contact is high, the joint locks are scary, and you have to tap when you feel that you’re being suffocated.
But Ronnie Friensener, who is the founder and former president of the club, says you shouldn’t feel intimidated.
Ronnie says: “Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is extraordinary for fitness. It teaches you to how gain control of your body and your breathing, and the mind frame you gain from it will help you in many aspects of your life.
“Jiu-Jitsu is one of the most dangerous martial arts when applied in real life but is one of the safest to train. This is because there are no strikes, and that means we can spar to the fullest extent as people can tap out of a choke or a joint lock, whereas in other sports such as boxing it is too dangerous to spar to the fullest extent.”
He adds: “You will learn a lot of things about yourself if you come to train Jiu-Jitsu. Just come in and don’t be afraid of not being good at it.”
Alisa Hitchings, 25, is studying a master in forensic mental health and has recently joined the club.
She says: “It is a little challenging to be one of the only girls as sometimes guys don’t want to roll with me, but I actually prefer to roll with guys because they have normally been there longer and they can actually help you, whereas girls don’t really know as much.
“I’ve been part of the society for almost a month now and I am really linking it, I come to almost all the sessions.”
NTU Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu are holding three sessions a week, on Monday from 7pm to 9pm, Friday from 11.45am to 2am and Saturday from 4pm to 6pm.
For more information, check their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/ntubrazilianjiujitsu/?fref=ts.