History of Aiuchi Jiu Jitsu

The Aiuchi Jiu Jitsu Association began in 1994, with the merger of two Associations which had only just been established, but held the same aims. The founding members strive for an environment in which the member clubs trained, and to ensure that members were treated fairly, openly and with respect, both in and out of the training hall.

The style of jiu jitsu practised within the Aiuchi Jiu Jitsu Association has been influenced by the many instructors within the organisation, who have taught and developed it over the last 15 years. As a style it is not clearly defined in physical terms, having many different individuals there are many different ways in which it is practised, thus the style is constantly adapting to suit the needs of its members. There is some influence from certain other arts too, which is explained by the lineage of the instructors who developed it and those who brought it to Britain from Japan via Australia and Germany. Its history is confused, but there are clearly influences in style that point to its origins in Japan, with some other influences, including Western influences.

The founding members of the Aiuchi Jiu Jitsu Association began their jiu jitsu careers in the Jitsu Foundation, which was the creation of Peter Farrar. Peter began his jiu jitsu career in 1969 at the age of 9, learning from Brian Graham who brought his very individual style of jiu jitsu to Britain from Australia in 1967. Peter and Brian, had very different physiques, and very different styles of jiu jitsu. Graham's smaller stature meant that his techniques were typically short, punchy, simple and effective. While Brian had developed his own very effective style of jiu jitsu, and had run a successful dojo in Keighley for many years, it was his student Peter who had the flair and charisma to build the club into a large organisation. Sadly, Peter died in 1998.

Brian Graham began training in judo and jiu jitsu with Matthew Komp in Melbourne, Australia in 1957 and was awarded his Shodan in 1967. Komp's dojo was a centre for many martial arts, and often attracted visiting instructors from Japan and Korea. He maintained connections with Akira Miura (also referred to as Riukia or "Rocky" Myura), who taught a number of judo seminars in Australia, and was involved in judo training for the Tokyo Police.

Matthew Komp originally learned judo, jiu jitsu, aikido, wrestling and boxing as a young man in Germany. Komp had been taught judo and jiu jitsu by his instructor in Cologne, Hassermayer, and later by another German (Wolfe?) who had trained in Japan prior to the Second World War. The style of judo taught by Hassermayer, and Komp was greatly influenced by Kenshiro Abbe (note: possibly Ichiro Abe). Abbe was a teacher of some renown, who spent some years teaching judo and aikido in mainland Europe before being invited to Britain in 1955.

Komp, who had trained as an engineer, emigrated to Australia in the 1950s, where he established his judo school in Melbourne. It is unclear which style, or styles, of jiu jitsu Komp was taught. There seems to be a marked judo influence, presumably from Kenshiro Abbe, and verbal history suggests that the jiu jitsu hails from the Kodokan. However, the influences of other instructors probably have a greater effect on the style as it exists today.

In order to understand the style it is necessary to realise that the transition from its roots in Japan to that practised in Britain today have relied on the understanding, and memories of several key men. These men were human, and in passing on their knowledge there has been much room for alteration, as well as the refinement and evolution of technique that is its strength. In view of this the senior instructors continue to review the knowledge as it has been provided to them. The core elements of the style are fluid, dynamic and practical, but there is also room for improvement.

The collective goal of the Aiuchi Jiu Jitsu Association fosters the ideals of learning jiu jitsu by testing, experimenting, and adapting techniques in order to improve and perfect them. It maintains the goals of developing character through the perfection of technique, and training with a partner as a way of gaining insight and compassion.