People generally have similar questions when it comes to considering a martial arts school or with respect to Can-Ryu Jiu-Jitsu itself. The following list addresses some of these common questions. Please feel free to contact us with any other questions you may have that are not addressed below.

What style of martial arts does your school offer?

Foothills Jiu-Jitsu offers Can-Ryu Jiu Jitsu, a self-protection centric style of Japanese (stand up) Jiu Jitsu. Can-Ryu Jiu Jitsu was pioneered by Professor Georges Sylvain in the 1960s; his background in the Canadian Armed Forces and as a member of the Ottawa City Police Department provided a wide variety of combative experiences and instructional guides. Along with martial arts training in a variety of disciplines, Professor Sylvain used these experiences and created the Can-Ryu (Canadian System of Self Defense) style of Jiu Jitsu.

What style of martial arts is best?

The answer to this question really depends upon what a given person is looking for. Rather than deciding upon which martial art is best, the question is probably better phrased as “which style of martial arts is best for me?”. The answer could be more than one, as each style has things it focuses on more than others. Below are a few examples of common martial arts and their main concentration areas. This list does not represent a particular school or style; rather it is a general description of the art as a whole:

Karate: Striking, Kicking, Katas (movement patterns) involving striking, kicking and body movement and positioning. Karate is also practiced as a sport, often with tournaments and a rule set associated with such.

Taekwondo: Striking and Kicking, with heavy emphasis on the latter. Taekwondo has a variety of sub-styles and governing bodies, has a competition/tournament aspect and is also an Olympic sport.

Muay Thai: Standup Striking, Kicking, Elbows, Knees. Similar to kickboxing, but opponents are permitted to use a clinch (grabbing behind the head) to position an opponent for knee strikes; elbows strikes are also permitted. Muay Thai has various governing bodies and leagues worldwide with a competition aspect. Kickboxing is a paired down version of Muay Thai where only punches and kicks (hence the name Kickboxing) are employed. Like Muay Thai, Kickboxing has a sport component where people can compete against other practitioners.

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu: With Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Can-Ryu Jiu-Jitsu sharing the same last name, confusion sometimes arises with respect to the commonalities and differences of each martial art style. Below is an expanded discussion on how Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Can-Ryu Jiu-Jitsu are compared.

Judo: Throws, Takedowns, Neck Restraints. Judo practitioners (termed Judoka) aim to establish grips and to take their opponent to the ground through off-balancing, takedowns and a variety of throws. The Can-Ryu Jiu-Jitsu system contains many Judo throws, but in a self-protection context takedowns are usually the preferred option. Like Taekwondo, Judo is also an Olympic sport.

Aikido: Throws and Takedowns involving joint manipulation to achieve the result. Aikido practitioners are also accomplished in the practice of Ukemi (breakfalls). Given the nature of some of the techniques in Aikido, knowing how to fall correctly is critical to one’s safety. This concept translates to Can-Ryu Jiu-Jitsu as well; breakfalls are one of the first techniques students learn.

The following links provide information for NinJutsu, Arnis/Kali/Escrima and Krav Maga which are also widely practiced.

The number of martial art styles in existence is numerous; the above list provides only a small sample of the options available to a martial arts practitioner.

What is the difference between Can-Ryu Jiu-Jitsu and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu?

Can-Ryu Jiu-Jitsu is rooted in what is commonly known as Japanese Jiu-Jitsu. This style of Jiu-Jitsu typically emphasizes techniques that are employable while one is standing and does not generally have a sport context associated with it. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (or BJJ) is a very popular style that, while definitely has application in the self-protection field, tends to concentrate more on the sport aspect and competing with others as a way of measuring ones progress. BJJ also focuses heavily on the techniques associated with ground fighting and grappling for the purposes of controlling and submitting an opponent on the ground. While there are certainly overlaps in Can-Ryu Jiu-Jitsu and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in areas such as joint locks and ground defense, BJJ is more deeply focused on techniques useful in a ground fight or a grappling tournament whereas Can-Ryu Jiu-Jitsu is a comprehensive self-protection system that addresses a number of common standing and ground-based scenarios.

How does Jiu-Jitsu differ from other martial arts?

Jiu-Jitsu (also commonly spelt Jujutsu or JuJitsu) is roughly translated from its root Japanese as “the soft/gentle art”. Jiu-Jitsu was originally a system of hand-to-hand combat used by the Samurai of feudal Japan when the use of weapons was impractical or impossible. One primary tenant of Jiu-Jitsu is to yield or to allow for an opponent’s momentum, energy and force to be redirected or used against them, rather than trying to overcome an attack by brute retaliatory force. For this reason, Jiu-Jitsu techniques do not generally rely on strength, but use the concepts of leverage and off-balancing to gain an advantage against an assailant.

Japanese Jiu-Jitsu is considered the root art for a number of other styles of martial arts; Judo, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Aikido just to name a few. Can-Ryu Jiu-Jitsu can be defined as a style rooted in the concepts of Jiu-Jitsu, but modernized for the challenges of the 21st century. For example, although certain weapon defenses are taught, that is certainly not the focus as the likelihood of encountering an unarmed assault versus an armed assault is generally greater. Some statistics from Canada suggest that 70%+ of violent crimes do not involve weapons and in only 2% of violent crimes is a firearm involved.

If Can-Ryu Jiu-Jitsu does not have tournaments or competitions, how does one progress?

The main idea behind Can-Ryu Jiu-Jitsu is that it emphasizes self-protection. In a self-protection situation, there are no referees, no rules, no point system or medals to be won – the prize is your safety and the ability to avoid a confrontation or to extricate oneself from a confrontation safely and expediently. The longer a physical altercation continues, the greater the chance of escalation and of serious consequences for all involved. Can-Ryu Jiu-Jitsu provides a structured set of accessible tools and strategies that can be deployed quickly and efficiently to neutralize a physical threat. Progression in Can-Ryu Jiu-Jitsu is a collaborative process between yourself, the other students in class and the instructor that involves periodic testing against an established curriculum. Like many other martial arts, Can-Ryu Jiu Jitsu employs a colored belt system (Kyu ranks) and a Black Belt system (Dan ranks) that allow one’s experience and commitment to be reflected.

Does Foothills Jiu-Jitsu have active live resistance training?

Many martial arts feature active live resistance – that is, partners that are resisting and/or counter-attacking as would likely occur in a real-world self-protection event. The short answer to this question is yes, but in a controlled manner as an instructional or aerobic activity. Certain techniques or themes may be expanded during class to include an active component (for example, getting to one’s feet while being held down by an actively resisting opponent), but safety is always the primary consideration.

The main problem with active live resistance training is that it carries an increased risk of injury and depending upon the personalities involved, can also cause friction within the Dojo. Active live resistance drills, when done safely and in a controlled manner is a valuable way to determine how you may fare against a situation in a real-life self-protection event. Can-Ryu Jiu-Jitsu features techniques that are specifically geared to neutralize a physical threat and to achieve escape; because most students don’t learn well from a broken nose, a hyper-extended elbow or a separated shoulder, any active live resistance training at Foothills Jiu-Jitsu must follow a rule set for everybody’s safety.

Does Foothills Jiu-Jitsu belong to any type of organization?

Foothills Jiu-Jitsu is a member in good standing with the Canadian Jiu-Jitsu Union, an organization that oversees the Can-Ryu Jiu-Jitsu system and supports Jiu-Jitsu instructors Canada-wide with respect to their development and teaching. The Canadian Jiu-Jitsu Union is managed by Ed Hiscoe, Hanshi (10th Degree Black Belt, President CJJU) and Steve Hiscoe, Soke (9th Degree Black Belt, Vice President CJJJU). Both of these individuals are accomplished martial artists that have dedicated their martial arts lives to the study and betterment of the Can-Ryu Jiu-Jitsu system and the instructors that teach it. Both Ed Hiscoe and his son Steve Hiscoe teach Can-Ryu Jiu-Jitsu at their schools in Ottawa, Ontario and Chilliwack, British Columbia respectively.