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Self-defence training in groups

Training takes place at

(A. Deglava 69-D, sports club „Active Life”)

Training time

Monday, Wednesday, Friday: 8.00–9.30


Ingmars Varpins

Individual training with prior approval.

Training for women with prior approval.
Demonstrations, video shooting for ads and other events.

Practical jiu-jitsu

One of the main features of jiu-jitsu as a fighting style is its practical use. Jiu-jitsu is not something that can only be effectively used in training situations, since it is not necessary to carry a bat or sword with you in order to effectively use what you have learned in training. It is also not necessary to be 100 kilograms of weight, to perform jiu-jitsu techniques in a real battle situation. 

The idea of jiu-jitsu fighting style is best described as agility, proper technique and flexibility that lead to victory over "banal" brutal force.

In addition to jiu-jitsu training, you will not only learn to use your physical abilities in a real battle situation, but turn your opponent's brutal power toward themselves. Also, during jiu-jitsu training, while learning how to handle "traditional" eastern combat weapons (tonfe, bat, tanto, belt, etc.), you will learn how to use any other seemingly innocent household object that may be at your side in the event of an attack at the same time. And the more and more vigorously you will train, the better will be your mastery, and in the end there will be a moment when the seemingly innocent object in your hands will become the most dangerous weapon.

About belts

Belt colour denotes the mastery level of the student. Fighters of Japanese martial arts (for example, judo, jiu-jitsu, aikido or karate) are qualified according to their mastery level with the help of Dan system. Dan system was first introduced by judo inventor Kanō Jigorō, and was subsequently taken over by other Japanese martial arts schools.

Dan system divides fighters into two big groups – apprentices and masters. Apprentices are awarded KYU, but masters – DAN grades. In order to get the lowest master degree - 1 DAN (first grade black belt), apprentice must first gradually acquire all grades of an apprentice (KYU).

KYU grades are most often marked with coloured belts, but in some martial arts styles students should wear a white belt all the time until they have completed all KYU grades and then passed the test on the 1st DAN with a black belt.

In the KYU system, the lowest possible degree is 10 KYU. Today there are not that many schools in which students are divided into 10 KYU grades. For adults, the long path to the black belt usually begins with a test on the 6th or 5th KYU. The highest of KYU grades is KYU 1 (usually a brown belt).

Apprentice exams – KYU grades

In Latvia, jiu-jitsu students usually start their way to a black belt with a test for KYU 5. KYU 5 is a yellow belt. The next is the 4th KYU (orange belt), 3rd KYU (green belt), 2nd KYU (blue belt) and 1 KYU (brown) belt. Normally, there is a fixed period between all these tests. Tests require a certain number of techniques from the pretender (according to the degree of test). However, at the same time, future tests require not only more techniques, but also better technical performance.

Austrumu cīņas - par jostām

Black belt test (DAN 1)

Further grades (DAN 2-12...)

Although in some types of martial arts sometimes there are masters with even DAN 12, getting the next grade black belt is by no means easy even for a good master. In order to get a higher grade black belt with the usual workouts in your Dojo (training hall) may not be enough. Most likely, you will not only have to attend regular seminars (possibly also abroad), but maybe even attend private lessons with sensei. In turn, higher grade black belts are presented for special merits in the development of the style of martial arts in terms of quality and technical performance.

By acquiring a black belt, apprentice becomes a master, so the black belt test in Eastern battles is especially important, and the demands on the pretenders are very high. The theory holds that the black belt must be fully familiar with the entire jiu-jitsu technique, must be able to fight several pretenders. In practice, the black belt applicant in Latvia demonstrates his mastery by organizing a show. They have to stage a performance of a certain length, which includes their chosen techniques, of course, in accordance with the requirements of the black belt in terms of the quality of the performance.

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The first (trial) workout is for free! This way you can try out whether this training is exactly what you are looking for.

You can see scheme by which our training takes place below

Training takes an average of one and a half hours, twice a week.

Training starts at 08:00, usually goes until 9:30.

1. Warming up

Pašaizsardzības treniņi Rīgā

2. Falling techniques

Every training session begins with a warm up. Warm up is required to prepare the body in order to avoid traumas during the course of the training. Warm up is done at an easy pace, usually starts with a run around the hall, stretching and warming up hands, legs, shoulders, neck, etc.

3. Striking & kicking techniques

Learning to fall correctly is very important – not just to work well during your trainign. The ability to group and to fall properly will also be useful in life, for example, when slipping on a slippery sidewalk or falling from a bicycle. In some cases, the ability to fall correctly can not only protect you from injuries, but also save your life.

4. Exercises for strength, flexibility and endurance

In a real-life situation, in order to win a fight, often only a one well-targeted and strong punch or kick is enough. An inaccurately executed strike (or kick) may not only be ineffective, but can also cause injury to its performer. Therefore, we pay special attention to the training of the correct kicking and striking techniques, as well as the protection against strikes and kicks.

5. Working on jiu-jitsu techniques

Only when the body is warmed up adequately, you may start to work on jiu-jitsu techniques. Different jiu-jitsu techniques are being worked on in each training session. This can be, for example, release from a grip and protection against attacks. Various effective throws, convoys etc. are also being taught.

In order to execute techniques effectively, strength, endurance and flexibility are required. Therefore, strength and endurance exercises are being done at each training (e.g. push-ups, sit ups, abdomen exercises, etc.). Flexibility is developed by performing stretching exercises.

6. Fighting techniques on the ground

Fighting techniques on the ground. In cases where opponents are similar in their power, 90% of all fighting situations in real life end with a fight on the ground. Therefore, in almost every training session, we also work on techniques of fighting in a situation where both opponents are lying on the ground or parterre.

7. Fighting games

In order to effectively use any technique in real life, it must be possible to fulfil it not only when the training partner permits it, but also to overcome the opponent's resistance. Therefore, battles with a certain resistance from the training partner are played out during trainings. The word "sparring" is not used here, as it is more closely associated with training sessions between professional or semi-professional athletes. During our workouts, fighting takes place at a light pace with limited resistance to minimize potential injuries. It can be a fight on the ground, a light sparring, a game in which you need to push an opponent out of a certain territory, move out of balance, get ahead, execute a particular technique, etc.

8. Warm down

Each training session ends with light stretching exercises.

It is advisable to arrive to training sessions in time. At 8.00 trainings begin on tatami, i.e. fight hall. This means that it is advisable to be there at least 10 minutes before. Often, the question is, is it necessary to call and apply before the session? Answer: It is highly advisable, so that Ingmars can count on how many students will be at the session (for each to have a couple), but if you come without applying, you will also be welcome. Go to sports club ”Active Life” (Deglava Street 69-D, Riga) and tell the administrator that you are coming to jiu-jitsu classes at 8.00 (instructor – Ingmars). Entrance to the sports club is from the side.

About tests

Our students now, according to the individual qualifications and experience of each student, have the opportunity to get different grade belts by passing jiu-jitsu tests. Here are answers to some of the most commonly asked questions regarding the tests.

1. How long does it take for a beginner to take his first test and get his first belt?

Approximately 6 months starting from the first class. In many martial arts schools, there is a specific time period that should pass from the start of trainings until pupil is eligible to take his first test. With jiu-jitsu it is usually 6 months from the first lesson. At our school, the student is admitted to the tests by the trainer’s recommendation. This means that the trainer will evaluate your mastery and dedication and will decide when you will be ready to take your first test. 6 months in this case is not an obligatory deadline, but the time it takes for a pupil to master jiu-jitsu to a level that qualifies them to their first belt. It may be a little earlier than 6 months, but sometimes it will take longer to properly train for the test.

2. Where and when does the test take place?

Tests are held after a prior agreement between the instructor and sensei who will hold the test. Tests are likely to take place in other rooms with students from other jiu-jitsu schools. Tests are usually organized twice a year – shortly before Christmas and before the Midsummer.

3. Do you have to pay extra for tests?

Taking into account the fact that tests are not done by our group trainer, it is possible that additional cost will be required to take the test, according to the degree to which the test will be passed (for a lower grade belt, the fee is expected to not exceed EUR 14.23).

4. What do you need to bring to the test?

It is obligatory to attend the test wearing kimono. Although the test requires knowing techniques against attacks with a stick, knife, gun, etc., usually you do not have to take along these things to the test, because they are provided by the school where the test takes place.

5. Is it obligatory to find a partner before you go to the test?

It is advised to go to the test with the person with whom you will work during the test. This is advised, first of all, because you will be accustomed to working with this person, you will be using joint techniques and passing the test with a well-known partner will be much easier than working with someone who you meet for the first time. In any case, if you want to take the exam, you can definitely find someone from our group to be a test partner (it is not necessary for them to take the exam, but they can take the exam just as your partner and assistant).

6. What is being asked at the test?

Exams are held according to a specific program. We learn all the techniques needed for the exam in the classroom. In essence, for the lowest (yellow) belt, you should know one technique against each type of attack (grips, strikes, kicks, attack with a stack, a gun, a knife etc.). You must also be able to complete 6 throws, 4 convoys, etc. (see the full list of techniques at the bottom of the page). Accordingly, the second grade (orange) belt requires two techniques for each type of attack and a larger count of throwing, pain, strangulation etc. techniques. Also, better technical performance is required. Additionally, knowledge of basic techniques is also required (tumbling, self-insurance falls, etc.).

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