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Shihan (Master) Hans De Jong : Recent Times

 

 

 

8th Dan Tsutsumi Jujutsu

1st Dan Yoseikan Aikido

1st Dan Shotokan Karate

Introduction

At Self Defence Central Dojo, we teach the art of Tsutsumi Hozan Ryu Jujutsu as taught by Shihan Hans De Jong, which has been passed on to him by his father Shihan Jan De Jong. This is the second part of a three part article exploring the achievements and views of Shihan Hans De Jong, who has spent the last 60+ years living the martial arts and continues to this day to share as much of his extensive knowledge and experience with anyone who is willing to listen.

The first part of this article was focussed on the early years (1955 – 1970s), this second part will explore from the late 1970s through to the current time period and highlight the significant contributions Shihan Hans De Jong has made to the SAS and Australian Army, the Australian Ju-Jitsu Association, and to the current generation of Tsutsumi Jujutsu Instructors who Hans has been teaching and mentoring since the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Shihan Hans De Jong and the SAS

In 1979 Shihan Jan de Jong accepted the position of Chief Instructor and Adviser to the SAS and Hans assisted his father. This relationship resulted in the development of a close combat/hand to hand combat system to be utilised throughout the Australian Army. The following excerpts are from the forward to the 1987 Hakusho Yearbook [6], written by Major Greg Mawkes MBE (Retired):

“…I needed a man with a vast knowledge of and skill in several martial arts. Someone who knew that unarmed combat has both offensive and defensive applications. A man who understood that aggression has to be developed but controlled. A man who could appreciate that what works in the dojo may not be effective on the battlefield. And if possible, a man who had experienced combat. I approached several martial arts schools in Perth, but although they were willing to help, non could offer the total solution I was seeking. Without exception though, they felt that Jan de Jong was my man”

“What was created during those months of early morning starts and hard work is a system of unarmed combat that has Tsutsumi Ju-Jitsu as it’s cornerstone. The reflex method of training and testing is particularly appropriate to the instinctive reactions that must be developed in unarmed combat exponents. Techniques from Aikido, Shotokan Karate and Pencak Silat are incorporated, as well as some not known or practised in self defence martial arts.”

Shihan Hans De Jong and the Australian Ju-Jitsu Association (AJJA)

Hans was always active with the Australian Jujitsu Association (AJJA) and in 1985 the AJJA was founded in Brisbane. In 1987 Jan de Jong was invited to fill the role of President and National Coach of the AJJA. In 1991 Sensei Peter Clarke, one of Jan de Jong’s Senior Instructors and now Shihan of his own system Tsutsumi Jugo Ryu, developed a grading system for the AJJA in order to help encourage a consistent standard for the black belt level nationally.

Jan and Hans spent many months grading jujutsu instructors across Australia in the AJJA black belt grading, and Jan also had all his own instructors sit this examination.


The AJJA badge symbol is designed from a photo of Michael Bolland executing a wrist twist on Hans de Jong whilst delivering a side kick to Greg Palmer, all instructors of Jan de Jong Self Defence School.

Sensei John Coles, notes the following of Shihan Jan De Jong’s involvement with the AJJA, on his blog site, Kojutsukan; ref [5]

Brierley Bailey OAM, National Secretary of the AJJA, credits the presence of De Jong within the AJJA as having brought jujutsu together around Australia and moving it forward in world circles.

Whilst associated with the AJJA, De Jong developed a competition format to satisfy the growing desire for competition by some members of the organisation. He was not a fan of competition to any large degree so the competition was based on a kata-type format which he thought would also promote better technique. De Jong, with the assistance of Peter Clarke, developed a Dan grading system for the AJJA. When I say ‘assistance’, Clarke was probably mostly responsible for these gradings. The aim of this grading system was to facilitate continued learning opportunities and advancement for those wishing to do so, through a credible grading system. The grading system was very clever as it did not impose De Jong’s ‘style of jujutsu’ onto the AJJA schools. What it did do was test their tactics and techniques using particular formats as well as introduce a systemic way of thinking about their jujutsu. A systems thinking approach is a defining feature of De Jong’s jujutsu (for those who think about it rather than just ‘do’ it).

A further example of the consideration and respect for his father, Hans had the following to say when interviewed by Blitz magazine about his absence from the AJJA for a period.

Shihan Jan de Jong founded the AJJA, but I understand that after he passed away, you spent some time away from the organisation, but you have since returned to the fold. What was the catalyst for your departure and return?

I have always been on the books as a member of the AJJA since its inception. During the last years of my fathers life, due to ill health he was no longer actively involved with the AJJA as the national coach. During this time, I was reluctant to stand in his shoes while he was still alive, and therefore not involved in any official capacity[1]

Hans is currently an active member of the AJJA and is a regular instructor at the annual national seminar. In addition, due to the extensive international seminar requests, the role of International Ambassador to the AJJA is also fulfilled. Shihan Hans De Jong shares a very close relationship with Shihan John Beckman, 8th Dan Senjutsu Ryu and President of the AJJA. It is evident this relationship extends to the affiliated schools as per the introduction to the Senjutsu Ryu Ju Jitsu web page;

The school was created by Shihan John Beckman, 8th Dan, in 1982. Shihan Beckman has been training in the art of ju-jitsu for over 40 years. His mentor, Shihan Jan De Jong, had a huge influence in the shaping of the Senjutsu Ryu system. And now his son, Shihan Hans De Jong, is a technical advisor to Shihan Beckman along with all of the Senjutsu Ryu instructors and students. [7]

Hans De Jong Self Defence School

Throughout the 80s and 90s the Jan De Jong Self Defence School continued to grow. Hans continued to support his father’s school and taught several classes full time in the Perth Northern and Eastern suburbs. It was during this 80s period that many of Han’s current Sensei were taught as children from the Craigie and Morley branches of Jan de Jong Self Defence School.

Shihan Jan de Jong passed away in 2003 and subsequently the School in West Perth which had been a second home to many students since 1963, closed it’s doors. On Jan’s passing the northern suburb branches were handed to Shihan Hans De Jong and the city centre school continues to be run by Jan’s daughter, Sensei Maggie De Jong and Shihan Paul Connolly. Many Senior students who had been training with Hans in the 80s and 90s joined his school in 2006 and became Hans De Jong Self Defence School members.

Although Hans teachings are always very practical and focused on realistic and efficient self defence, interviews with the Blitz magazine also highlight his views on the very import elements of the mind, body union, and strategy:

“The mind must be rendered blank so it doesn’t interfere with the action of the body. The mastery of any art or skill has two dimensions: the physical and the mental. The ultimate goal of training is to achieve a perfect union between the body and mind functioning as one.”[2]
“While people tend to focus on techniques, tactics are also an important part of jujutsu training. Without employing the correct tactics, there’s often no opportunity to use the techniques successfully, at least. Our very first grading involves dealing with two attackers, who attack one by one in quick succession, or simultaneously. The student is not only examined on technique, but how they are able to avoid the second attacker while dealing with the first. So the body movement used and how the attacker is placed in front of the other is looked at during the grading…”[2]

[1] Blitz Magazine Vol 20, #8 Feature Article – Jujutsus First Family – the De Jongs 80-Year legacy

[2] Blitz Magazine Vol 20, #10 Feature Article – Ultimate Control – The fast finishes of Tsutsumi Hozan Ryu jujitsu

[3]KojutsukanJan de Jong Pt 7 – Yoshiaki Unno, Tuesday December 14, 2010 , John Coles

[4] Jan de Jong, The Man His School and His Jujitsu System, John Coles

[5]KojutsukanJan de Jong Pt 8 – The Political Years, Wednesday December 22, 2010 , John Coles

[6] Jan de Jong Self Defence School, Hakusho – Yearbook 1987

[7] Senjutsu Ryu Web Page, http://senjutsu-ryu.webs.com/

 

Sensei Dan Newcombe, 5th Dan

Self Defence Central Dojo Owner/Principal Instructor

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