Art of Japanese Jui-Jitsu

Welcome to the world of Japanese Jui-Jitsu, where the International Jui-Jitsu Foundation (IJJF) offers a comprehensive program for martial arts enthusiasts. Over many generations of development, the IJJF has taught a form of martial arts that emphasises throws, trips, striking, and locks. Students can expect to learn over 400 techniques during the 5 to 10 years of training required to become a black belt. In addition to physical training, the IJJF also provides psychological training to handle self-defense situations legally and respectfully, while improving overall health and well-being. As a member of the IJJF community, you will have access to a close-knit group of martial artists from different occupations, creating an extended family across Australia and its surrounding nations.

History of the IJJF

The Jui-Jitsu style of the IJJF has its roots dating back to the 17th Century. As per historical accounts, a certain Shirobei Yoshitoki Akiyama, though some claim it was Yoshin Miura, ventured to China and Tibet. Following a period of contemplation and training, he developed the numerous combat techniques that served as the foundation for the school known as Yoshin-Ryu or the School of the Willow.

The IJJF, a not-for-profit organisation, fosters a Japanese style of Jui-Jitsu, also known in the West as Ju Jitsu, Jiu-Jitsu, or Ju-Jutsu, which originated from the Samurai, an elite warrior subculture of Japan. The technique evolved through centuries of battlefield combat training. Jui-Jitsu originated in Japanese Samurai schools where warriors were trained in various combat methods, including weapon arts. These techniques were taught as a subsidiary method, including strikes, joint locks, strangulations, and throwing techniques for use in emergencies when the Samurai was unarmed. During peaceful times, Jui-Jitsu was oriented more toward civil combat, away from the battlefield.

At the onset of the Meiji period (1868-1912), restrictions were placed on carrying weapons in public, and the unarmed techniques of Jui-Jitsu grew in importance and functionality. Jui-Jitsu is a comprehensive system of martial arts and philosophy originally practiced by the samurai in ancient Japan. Techniques from this style are utilised by military and police special forces worldwide due to their swift effectiveness. Jui-Jitsu is also the father art of many classical Japanese arts, such as Judo, Sambo, Aikido, and dates back over 2500 years!

In 1928, Kam “Panther Hoe” Hock Hoe, a professional wrestler, traveled to Singapore and studied under the instruction of Professor Watanabe, where he learned the art of Jui-Jitsu and obtained the rank of 1st Dan. In 1930, he achieved his 2nd Dan under Professor K. Yamamoto in Hong Kong. He later completed his 3rd Dan and Kuatsu training in Kobo, Japan, under Admiral Yamamoto in 1935.

IJJF Founder Professor Kam Hock Hoe
Professor Kam Hock Hoe

After his studies in Japan, Professor Kam Hock Hoe returned to Malaya via Shanghai, where in 1935, he founded Hoe’s Jui-Jitsu Studio in Kuala Lumpur, teaching boxing and self-defence training to the Malaya police forces and Australian Defence Force personnel who served in Malaysia for over 40 years. Professor Kam Hock Hoe made a significant impact on the Martial Arts’ scene in South East Asia. During his time in Malaysia, he was particularly noted for the large number of Australian service men and women he instructed at the RAAF Base Butterworth through the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s era. Prior to leaving the Butterworth area, he started the International Jui-Jitsu Association, which later became the International Jui-Jitsu Foundation (IJJF).

The IJJF was founded in 1979 and registered in Malaysia in 1982. When Professor Kam Hock Hoe left the Butterworth area, he appointed the late Grand Master Gurasami Rajathurai to head the foundation. Many service men and women will fondly remember their days training at the RAAF Jui-Jitsu club either at the Butterworth air base or on Penang Island under the late Grand Master Gurasami Rajathurai and Grand Master Aridas Selveraj.

The IJJF’s previous Grand Master was the late Grand Master Gurasami Rajathurai, a highly respected practitioner who achieved the rank of 6th Dan, Master Dan, Kuatsu Specialist. Grand Master Gurasami Rajathurai began his martial arts journey with Tae Kwon Do, followed by Karate, Siamese Boxing, and Shaolin Kung Fu. He then went on to train under the tutelage of the renowned Professor Kam Hock Hoe in 1963, rising through the ranks to become a 4th Dan Master.

Grand Master Gurasami Rajathurai and Professor Kam Hock Hoe

The IJJF’s current Grand Master is 6th Dan Grand Master Aridas Selveraj, who, like the late Grand Master Gurasami Rajathurai, was a student of Professor Kam Hock Hoe from 1964 until his passing in 1989. The IJJF has several clubs in Malaysia and Australia and is committed to passing on the vast array of techniques that make up its diverse style.

Contemporary Jui-Jitsu systems incorporate numerous traditional Samurai combat techniques, albeit with a more contemporary orientation that is less focused on the potentially lethal tactics of its origins. Specifically, the IJJF style consists of over 400 throws, locks, and holds that are meticulously rehearsed in a secure setting. Our style prioritises physical fitness, self-defence, and character development, making it highly effective for safeguarding oneself and loved ones.

Instructor’s certificates are granted only after an individual has earned a black belt and completed all mandatory training. This distinction is indicated by a 12mm red stripe at both ends of the belt. In the case of Dan belts, a 12mm gold stripe corresponding to the Dan belt’s numerical level is embroidered on each end of the belt. The rank of Master Dan is denoted by a 25mm red stripe at both ends of the belt, and it can only be bestowed by the Grand Master.

Rank Structure

At the top of the rank structure in the art of Jui-Jitsu is the Grandmaster, responsible for developing and preserving the art for future generations. The Professor is an exemplary role model both inside and outside the Dojo or club, with exceptional knowledge and expertise in the art. Those who have made significant contributions to the development and advancement of Jui-Jitsu are awarded the rank of Doctor.

The Chief Instructor (of a country) oversees the approval of new clubs, tracks memberships, injuries, and senior gradings, resolves disputes, and ensures adherence to safety guidelines and associated fees. The Master rank is reserved for instructors who have dedicated their lives to Jui-Jitsu and have demonstrated their ability to train and develop other instructors. The Head Instructor (of a state) is responsible for maintaining regular contact with all instructors in their state, visiting all clubs in person, collecting fees, resolving disputes, and ensuring adherence to safety guidelines.

Instructors are responsible for teaching the core values and syllabus of Jui-Jitsu to students, ensuring they have good character, and notifying the Head Instructor of new members, injuries, and gradings. The Kuatsu Specialist rank is for instructors who specialize in teaching and examining Kuatsu (healing techniques) students. Those who have completed training in Kuatsu and can responsibly practice healing techniques are awarded the Kuatsu Trained rank.

Belt rankings are as follows: Dan Grade (1st to 6th), Black Belt, Brown Belt, Green Belt, Orange Belt, Yellow Belt, and Self Defense Grade.

Etiquette

All members must show appropriate respect to higher ranks by bowing before addressing them and after discourse is completed.

Upon entering and leaving the training area, all students must bow.

Prior to beginning or ending a lesson, the class must bow in from the highest rank to the lowest. The instructor should be at the top centre, and the highest to lowest ranks should form equally on either side to create a rectangular formation.

Members of appropriate rank who choose to wear black pants to training may not participate in being thrown during class.

Members who have qualified for the Instructors grade must wear a 10mm red stripe at the bottom of their belt to indicate their rank.

Members who have qualified for First Dan, Instructor Dan, and Kuatsu Training are considered to be Master Grade and are entitled to wear black pants. This rank is shown with a 25mm red stripe at the bottom of their belt.

Members who have passed one or more Dan grading must wear one 10mm gold stripe per grading passed. These markings will be placed above all others on the belt.

Members and instructors of the IJJF should promote coexistence with other martial arts and support other styles or arts that align with the IJJF’s teachings.

In the event of an open challenge against the club, the senior belt instructor of the club should defend the club’s honor. All present must ensure a fair competition.