Vancouver Institute of Self Defense


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ujitsu (sometimes spelled Jiu-jitsu, is the standard Western transliteration; technically it should be spelled Jujutsu) is a martial art of Japanese origin, part of the ancient Samurai tradition. It is a superset of Judo [throws, pins & mat-work], Aikido [avoidance of confrontation through mind-control, leverage, directed-momentum, pressure points & joint locks] and Karate [direct assault through strikes & kicks], all combined into an extremely effective self-defense system. Classical Jujitsu also includes training in non- blade (e.g., traditional Okinawan) weapons such as Jutte (and its evolutionary daughters the Taiho and the modern police ASP baton), Jo- and Bo-Staff, Kubotan, Shuriken, Manriki-Gusari, Psi, Tonfa, etc. It is the oldest Martial Art, evolved and preserved by several Japanese clans for nearly 2,000 years, from which Judo, Aikido, and Karate evolved in only the last two centuries. These all evolved from Jujitsu as art-forms, where the dangerous aspects of practicing them with partners at full speed had been largely removed. Jujitsu retains numerous powerful and dangerous techniques no longer seen in these arts; for this reason, most reputable Sensei teach it in the framework of a purely self-defense art.

Taiho-Jutsu is the formal Japanese Police version of traditional Jujitsu. It is taught to police and emphasizes safe and effective restraint of criminals.

udoshin Jujitsu is the philosophical framework we follow, emphasizing Jujitsu as the gentle or flexible (Ju) art (Jitsu) of self-defense, stressing avoidance of harm to self and others, responsibility to the Community, and responsibility to defend the weaker members of society. The words Budoshin can be roughly translated as "The Warrior Spirit Way". Safety is a crucial issue, and it's always in the forefront of our training. Some of the techniques we learn can be so dangerous that very strict safety protocols are taught and vigorously enforced. The enforcement is absolute: if someone is significantly injured during a promotion test, it means insufficient control was exercised, and the testing stops. Perhaps the hardest part of the Shodan (first-degree black belt) test is not defense against 3 simultaneous attackers, not defense against a "live" knife-blade... it's the requirement to execute a one-finger version of the Yube-Nage throw-- without injuring the Uke, the partner, by breaking that little finger as you throw him.


oshin-Ryu is an origin style of Ju-Jitsu that we derive some of our training from: the root words reflect its origin ("body-defense style": literally, self defense). This technique tool-kit will allow you to have absolute, non-injurious control over your attacker[s] in a wide variety of situations, including those involving weapons. All techniques are taught for self-defense situations with a partner; there are no katas or forms practice in which you are dealing with an imaginary enemy - it's very much hands-on practical learning. As you progress you learn the subtle intricacies of the art - physics and nerve-network peculiarities - and why techniques work as they do. You will learn how a woman weighing 115 lbs can control a man weighing 215 lbs. You will come to understand how to apply leverage against strength; Ki against disorder; counter-intuitive disruptive behavior against linear confrontation; experience, surprise, and flexibility against aggression to unravel your attacker and unbalance him - to achieve Kuzushi. Learning is truly open-ended: students at the black belt level learn new techniques and new subtleties all the time - the learning-curve doesn't flatten out much. Not only will you acquire technical expertise but you will also develop a sound theoretical and philosophical background in the art - a new way to think. You will also gain a firm foundation in legal issues of self-defense, subtleties necessary for defending yourself in our highly litigious society. Finally, you will learn the joint and movement dynamics, the kinetic interplays, and the wiring of the human body - and learn to play it like a piano when you need to. With all of this comes a steadily increasing degree of confidence - and inner tranquility.

elf-defense instruction as taught in our school starts with a core of basic women's self-defense techniques and strategies. We cannot train a woman to a blackbelt skill level in three hours; however, assaults on women begin in a fairly limited number of predictable ways, and these we CAN teach you how to deal with. When Your Worst Nightmare finds you, you have 3 - 5 seconds to deal with it and get away. You have a high likelihood of doing this if you are willing to take some basic training, do a lot of repetition of moves - and make certain operational/philosophical decisions beforehand.


eginning with this basic core, we add several new techniques each week (there are over 840 discrete techniques in the Budoshin Big Book), and expect students to practice these repeatedly during (and in some cases after) class. No one fights from their cerebral cortex ("let's see... at this point I should try a kote-gaish..."), but from muscle memory. If you haven't practiced a technique sufficiently to use it instinctively, it won't work when YWN finds you. Most of our training teaches you to use your body to deal with an attack - after all, you will always have this with you wherever you are. However, we also teach how to use certain simple and portable non-blade weapons (most of which don't even look like weapons) that will give you enormous advantage over a larger attacker, even someone with a knife. Believe it or not, sophisticated statistical studies (at the Marine Quantico Advanced Combat Training School) have shown that it is not that difficult to deal with an attacker holding a pistol - in part because the attacker’s ki (or focus) is on that pistol. Statistics also show that a very high percentage of physical confrontations (more than 85%) end on the ground, so like Brazilian Jujitsu we emphasize ground-fighting as you increase in rank. Not only will you not fear being dragged to the ground - but you will actively seek to get there quickly because of the greater power and control you will have over your attacker.

It is important to understand that Jujitsu is highly adaptive: if you have a physical limitation, we will teach you to adapt to it. We have had pregnant students - we adapt to what they can work with.  Very few people have uninjured, flexible, and perfectly coordinated bodies - it's unrealistic to expect this of anyone. With time, you will find that some things work better for you - some techniques are “high-percentage moves” for you. We will teach you to adapt the huge range of self-defense techniques to your own unique and perhaps still-evolving physical body. You will find your flexibility and internal well-being will both improve, often dramatically, as you study.

Finally, you must understand that we do not teach you how to fight. We teach you how to end a fight. You “submit” your attacker - lock him from moving.