Saturday, July 10, 2010



Allow me to introduce myself. My name is John Coles and I am an instructor of the late Jan de Jong. I was a full-time instructor of his for a number of years and I am one of only five people who have completed the technical grades of De Jong's jujutsu grading system. I have accompanied De Jong on numerous teaching tours of Western Europe, Australia, and even Java, Indonesia. I was the first of his instructors to conduct a seminar overseas which was more a reflection of the esteem with which De Jong and his teachings are held than for the esteem which I am held. I was shodan (first dan) at the time, which is unheard of in Europe for conducting a seminar. Shodan is often considered the commencement of the study of a martial art rather than the culmination of a study. In De Jong's jujutsu, shodan is an entirely different proposition (which will be clarified in a later blog). The seminar was in honour of a milestone anniversary of Wim Mullens' predominantly Shotokan karate school in Rotterdam, Netherlands. It was a humbling experience to find participants attending from the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, and Denmark, more than half of which were higher graded than me. Again I reiterate, it is a reflection of the esteem with which Jan de Jong and his teachings are held that these participants attended this seminar.

This blog has been started to introduce my work. I was originally engaged in writing a how-to book on the tactics and techniques of Jan de Jong Jujutsu (a future blog will discuss the name of the style of jujutsu). The goal of this how-to book was to (a) preserve for posterity the teachings of Jan de Jong, and (b) to contribute to the general body of knowledge. The first goal is associated with the 'fact' that if it's not documented it didn't happen. I was confident the second goal could be achieved because of the interest and world wide demand for De Jong and his teachings.

The original idea was to put a little 'science' behind each chapter in order to provide a deeper understanding and appreciation of the how-to instruction. I also have various undergraduate and postgraduate business related degrees and qualifications which have provided me with research, analytical, and conceptual skills and abilities. My research for the 'little science' provided hitherto unreferenced and unconsidered information which generated unique insights and concepts. The 'little science' came to overshadow the how-to instruction and thus, a new book was born.

I've been working full-time on a book dedicated to the science behind all the tactics and techniques of all the martial arts, combat sports, close quarter combat systems, and self defence systems for over three years now. Nearly seven days a week, twelve hours plus a day, over that period of time. It has been an amazing journey. While the book is a little while off, I thought it is time to share some of what I've learnt and developed and start to generate interest in my work. Also, after repeated pressure to recommence teaching, I am now beginning to be in a position to do so. My ideas and concepts are reshaping the grading system and teaching methods used by De Jong. They enhance his work. How can I do that with the work of a master? As Isaac Newton said, 'if I can see further it's because I stood on the shoulders of giants.' I AM standing on the shoulders of giants, and it would be very disappointing if I could not see further than my venerable master, and good friend, Jan de Jong.

What does kojutsukan mean? In my research I've come to appreciate the genius of Jigoro Kano, the founder of judo and specifically Kodokan judo. He named his martial art Kodokan. 'Ko' is said to refer to lecture, to study, or to spread information. 'Do' is the way compared to 'jutsu' which refers to skill, technique or art. 'Kan' is training hall, dojo, or school. Kodokan is said to mean the a place for the study of the way. My approach, encouraged by the Jan de Jong Jujutsu methods, and fostered by my mentor, instructor, fellow instructor, training partner, and dear friend, Greg Palmer, is the study of the skill or technique. In homage to both Kano who transformed the martial arts world, De Jong and Palmer, and to reflect my approach to the martial arts, I'm considering naming my school Kojutsukan.

Hello. This is my introduction to my blog. I hope you find my work as interesting and informative as I do.

John Coles

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