Australian Jujutsu and the AJJA - What's the deal?
Hi all. I was wondering what if any experience people here have with the ajja and any instructors within it. I have trained with a couple of instructors under this particular banner, and to be blunt, they are crap. I see a few "shihans" about, such as John Beckman and Brierly Bailey and it says that did course at the International College of Kenshusei. From what I have heard, the late Jan De Jong had every right to use the title shihan, and even then he generally didn't like it. He has a pretty rock solid background too.
What sort of background do all these supposed shihan in the ajja have? I checked out John Beckman briefly, and it says that Tsutsumi Hozan is the parent style of his Senjutsu ryu. So, he trained under Jan De Jong I'm assuming, and now, only a few years after his death, I see him posing in a red and white belt. So where are all these shihan grades coming from?? Is it this International College?
I took a class of Bruce Watt's once (I think he's a 4th or 5th dan) and it was the biggest waste of time I have ever experienced. You couldn't even say "Hey, where's the non compliant drills and sparring?" because it was at an even lower level: they didn't even do full speed drills. Add to this a class where Sekiguchi sensei of the MJER attended, Watt's let his goddamn sword fall out of the scabbard getting up from seiza right in front of the guy.
Then there is Wayne Hanley, who doesn't seem to be associated with the ajja anymore, yet was up until a year or two ago. he got torn a new asshole on e-budo for his claims that he had no evidence for.
So having said all this, and after my experiences, I have to ask if anyone around here has any further information on this association and the "shihan" within. To any first timer it would seem completely legit, hell to most guys that have been around the block it would seem legit. Having met a few of these teachers/members however, I smell a rat. Hey, I could be wrong.
Is there a website? Links plz.
Also, what is your experience in JJ?
www.ajja.org is the place to start.
My background is 6 years in Ittaishin ryu jujutsu, something I am investigating myself at the moment.
From the site:
Since the inception of the AJJA Inc. we have grown with up to 90 clubs throughout all States of Australia and encompass some 45 different styles. The AJJA Inc. prides itself on checking member’s linage and qualifications before accepting them into the Association. The member is then handed a Code of Conduct and Occupational Health & Safety – Risk Management Policy.
They list all the indivual club instructors qualifications, i imagine invdidual teaching practices would be the problem of the individual schools?
You say there was no sparring when you attended? Is there normally full speed drills in new/ beginer classes? Or do you mean there was no sparring in a more advanced class that you watched?
I know and train with one of the instructors listed on that site (Matt Tonkin) on a regular basis, he holds a blue belt in BJJ under my instructor in addition to his JJJ credentials, and another instructor from South Australia (Geoff Howe) who comes down to Melbourne to train with my BJJ club (Peter de Been JJ) on a frequent basis.
They are both tough as nails, with legitimate skills that they had before walking in the door of my BJJ club. I would highly recommend them both to any prospective student
As far as the organisation is concerned, I'm not sure how rankings are conducted, but I may be able to find out from Matt
I am not out to say that everyone associated with the ajja are crap, not at all. I have heard of a few within the organisation that are exceptional. As I noted before, my problem is, where are all these shihan getting their ranks from???
Regarding your question, syberia, this was a black belt class that I participated in.
I know Matt is graded in TJJ by his original instructor, I'm just not sure who he is. He's mentioned the guy's name to me once or twice, but it's slipped my mind. I'll ask him the next time I see him