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Jieishudan (pronounced gee-shoo-dan) (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 and boxing.
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.
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.