Jieishudan Photo courtesy by Photos8.org

Jieishudan (Japanese: “measures to defend oneself”) is a system of self defence, based in the United Kingdom. Jieishudan can be classified as a hybrid martial art as it incorporates elements of grappling, ground fighting, boxing, etc.

Jieishudan is a UK-based hybrid martial art employing boxing, grappling, and ground-fighting techniques. Developed in the early 1980s, it is an unstructured, nonprofit-making organization that teaches self-defense at youth clubs and is aimed at teenagers who learn how to defend through martial arts training and improve their physical health.

Jieishudan was co-founded by Ian Zeff and has been practised in the UK since the early 1980s in an unstructured and non-profit making capacity.

Initially, Jieishudan was taught unofficially as an un-named ‘street’ self defence system in youth clubs, where kids and teenagers from all backgrounds wanted to learn how to defend themselves if they had to do so.

The instructors were individuals who came from various martial arts and fighting backgrounds who gave their time freely to the clubs. The guiding principle behind what was taught was to give something useful to everyone, no matter what the student’s level of physical capability, co-ordination, or confidence might be.

A constantly evolving style: As the classes continued, the various styles began to form into certain definitive base movements and underlying principles.

From which it became apparent that the process of assimilating many diverse styles in an environment where there was no ‘competitiveness’ between styles was in fact creating a new one.

The emphasis has always been on developing the moves and methods of teaching. This has led to Jieishudan continually evolving with the instructors constantly looking to expand its repertoire of moves through improvisation based on existing movements and principles. These are then tested and evaluated before being included at the appropriate level for teaching.

A process of self-defence: Students at all levels are encouraged to ask questions and to understand why certain movements are rejected and others included in the form.

Jieishudan has proved its effectiveness for all students from any background, whether they have martial arts experience or not, with the instruction focused on the strengths of each and every student, providing them with both confidence and measures that they themselves can execute naturally.

Technical Aspects:

  • The emphasis of Jieishudan is on self-defence, has no forms or katas and no uniform.
  • Jieishudan is not practised as a sport and as such has no competitive aspect or competitions.
  • Training involves but is not limited to full contact sparring, bag work and endurance drills.
  • All kicks are kept below the waist for speed and to avoid being grabbed by an opponent.
  • Advanced students learn to defend against various weapons such as knives, sticks, etc.
  • There is a system of grading where belt ranks are awarded.
  • There are 7 grading levels for students over the age of 16 and 10 gradings for under 16 year olds.