Background: In late 2000 a serial rapist was active in the Reston, Virginia area. The Sensei of the Reston Budoshin Jujitsu school was a retired police officer named Bruce Jones, and he called his class together one day and said, basically, “we don’t have to let this happen.” He said that he was going to offer a free self-defense clinic for concerned women at the Reston Lake Anne Community Center, and said that if any students wanted to participate they were welcome. There was no obligation. However, almost all his students showed up that first Saturday, and it was a good thing, as more people signed up than the facility could accommodate. Ultimately 7 or 8 classes were taught, spread out over northern Virginia. The Sensei himself had always taught us, his students, a sense of responsibility to our community - this was part of the meaning of “Budoshin.” Practicing what he preached, he volunteered to do night patrols for the Reston Lake Anne Association where he lived. By an interesting coincidence, he stopped a gang-rape at 2am one morning, and personally took down three of the four attackers. The fourth was later apprehended, and the rapes stopped.
The Principles: As Bruce Jones observed at that first class, we cannot teach women how to become black belts in Jujitsu in a 150-minute class. However, assaults on women begin in a limited number of fairly predictable ways, and those we CAN teach you how to deal with. About ten techniques are taught in our basic self-defense classes, and since no one fights from their cerebral cortex, it entails a lot of repetitious practice to ingrain the techniques learned into muscle memory. The curriculum of the Vancouver Institute of Self Defense has at its core this fundamental suite of self defense techniques - these are the first techniques our students learn, so they will be prepared sooner rather than later. When Wynn Sensei first arrived in Vancouver in 2002, a nurse at Kaiser, a martial artist herself, told him of a 2nd degree karate black belt in Portland who had been recently raped. The attacker trapped his victim on the ground where it was difficult to punch or kick. For this reason we teach powerful close-combat ground-fighting and control techniques as part of this fundamental training. In early 2009 another female karate black belt was raped in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. How did it happen? She was punched in the face and stunned into submission. Among the first things we teach is FRAMES: how to keep your hands in the way and slow or sap any punches. We also teach our students that if an unwanted hand touches them, to consider it a gift - and never let go, but to take the attacker to the ground and submit HIM. Wynn Sensei has watched Judy Jones, a 5’ 2” Jujitsu black belt, take down a 6’ 1” former Navy SEAL trainer. She did this not once, but several times. The key point was that she never used STRENGTH. If it ever comes to a strength competition, it is no longer Jujitsu - and you have already lost the fight.