Lisa Monozlai

Shorinji Kan Jiu Jitsu would be a fun and really smart thing to learn so that I can improve my confidence and security on campus.

Lisa Monozlai

Shorinji Kan Jiu Jitsu teaches self-defence, such as how to quickly escape and debilitate an attacker. But this aggressive martial art is far more fun and social than it seems, reports student Lisa Monozlai.

This is not a class like any other at U of T. First you are expected to address your instructor as Sensei. Then you throw people over your hip onto a mat.

Welcome to Shorinji Kan Jiu Jitsu, a self-defence system taught in several countries under the guidance of The Jiu Jitsu Foundation. 

First introduced in the UK in 1967, Shorinji Kan Jiu Jitsu is a modern combination of judo and Jiu Jitsu. Jiu Jitsu originated in Japan along with the nation’s samurai class around 792 AD as a method of close combat fighting to be used if a samurai lost control of his sword. Because it teaches students to use their attacker’s energy against them, Jiu Jitsu is especially useful for those who are new to martial arts, enabling smaller opponents to defeat larger opponents with the use of the proper technique.

That’s why I, a newcomer to all martial arts (and of pretty small stature to boot), was quick to register myself in the Shorinji Kan Jiu Jitsu that takes place at Hart House every Tuesday and Saturday. Only a few weeks later, I was able to throw a 170 pound opponent! Granted, he was an experienced blue belt who let me throw him, but the potential is there to learn how to use the opponent’s strength and weight to your advantage. 

This is not to say that the class is easy. In fact saying that the class is demanding would be an understatement. Training consists of an intense pre-class workout, rolling over one’s shoulders, break falling, flipping and throwing—it is a lot of impact for those who are not used to it.

Old school Ju-Jitsu demo showing how women can use the ancient Japanese martial to defend themselves.