During my career in the martial arts, which has spanned about 37 years, I have had the privilege of training and learning from some very great instructors. Unfortunately one of the pitfalls of the martial arts are the politics involved in them at a certain point in your progression.
When I was about 21, I left home for a career in policing, this meant I moved clear across the country. A few years after I left home my father and I ended up leaving the school we had belonged to for over 20 years. The reasons we left are not important for this article, and frankly it is all behind us now. The theme of this article is about credit given and taken. I would like to believe that in my last 21 years I have accomplished many things in the martial arts, founding an organization, creating my own dojo which has been successfully operating for over 20 years, creating a network of dojos under my umbrella that work well together and improving my own skills and knowledge.
All of these things would not have been possible without the influence of my teachers in my formative years. Although we may not be aligned anymore I do give them total credit for many of the things I have learned, be professional, work hard, promote professional events, make people feel welcome… I have no problem giving credit where credit is due.
What I wonder is do these people take credit for I have accomplished? I would have no problem if my early mentors were to say, hey, that Steve Hiscoe guy on the westcoast, he used to train here, he was my student, I taught him xyz…
I have had students leave my school and want to pursue their own paths also. Some of theses students have gone on to great careers and have used the skills I have taught them. I have no problem endorsing them and even saying, they were my students at one time.
Give credit where credit is due
Q1. How long have you been in business?
A1. Hiscoe Jiu-Jitsu was established in 1992 when I began teaching in Abbotsford, BC. Due to my full time career in law enforcement the school was a part time venture for close to 17 years. In September of 2012 I opened the doors to our full time facility in Chilliwack, BC. After 2 years in operation we expanded by taking over the space next to us. I have been teaching under the Hiscoe Jiu-Jitsu banner for 22 years now.
Q2. Are we a brazilian jiu-jitsu school?
A2. No, we are a modern jiu-jitsu school with a Japanese influence. The style of jiu-jitsu taught at Hiscoe Jiu-Jitsu is called Can-Ryu Jiu-Jitsu. Essentially this is translated as “The Canadian System of Self-Defense”. Georges Sylvain, a 10th degree black belt in jiu-jitsu, developed our jiu-jitsu system; he also held black belt ranks in judo and karate. Mr. Sylvain had been a military police officer and subsequently a municipal police officer that became a tactical training officer upon leaving law enforcement. Mr. Sylvain is extremely well known in Canadian jiu-jitsu circles.
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu can be described as mostly emphasizing ground grappling with some standing up self-defense. Can-Ryu Jiu-Jitsu could be described as emphasizing stand up self-defense with some ground grappling.
Q3. Do we train for competitions?
A3 . We do not train for competition but rather for self-protection. My main focus is to teach people to be safe. In the real world there are no referees to step in and stop the fight. Your opponent is unknown and you haven’t trained months for the fight. In short we train for reality.
During the weekend of August 10-12 2012 the Canadian Jiu-Jitsu Union held its annual summer camp in the community of Sicamous, BC. For the 5th straight year students from both Alberta and British Columbia descended upon the community for a weekend of high level training and socializing.
This year 50 students from a variety of dojos and organizations spent 10 hours of training with very experienced instructors such as Michael Seamark Kaiden Shihan, Andy Dobie Sensei, Steven Hiscoe Shihan, Lori O’Connell Sensei, Ari Knazan Sensei, Phillip Wiebe and Guro Joel Huncar.
As always these instructors provided the students with amazing techniques, theories and enthusiasm. Each instructor brought a different style to the weekend. Since there was some additional time left I also asked Sean Grimes Sensei and Dan Miller.
Although there was a lot of great training the most impressive portion of the weekend was the donation presented to the Eagle Valley Community Support Society. This year the community of Sicamous was hit hard by floods. Many people and businesses were directly affected by the disaster. The CJU students wanted to do something to help a community which for the past 4 years has welcomed us to the community. The group was able to raise $1500.00 for the society.
The representative from the EVCSS was blown away by the amount of the donation. Thank you to everyone who supported this fundraising effort.
Last summer during our summer camp in Sicamous BC, a few of the black belt who are dojo owners suggested that I have a meeting with all the Can-Ryu Jiu-Jitsu black belts who are in the West. Almost all of these black belts have been graded through the Hiscoe Jiu-Jitsu Dojo.
Over the past 15 years, like many other martial arts organizations, some of my black belts have left the dojo to pursue their own journeys. I am alright with that, I am actually very proud of some of these black belts because they have continued to train and teach and some have even applied their training to their real jobs. Now I have been asked by those who are still around and active to try and unite the group under a common umbrella. This of course is going to be a challenge as for many years this as not happened. I think the timing can be right to make this happen, but obviously it cannot happen without the black belts wanting it to happen.
I need to create a vision for what this could look like, what would the benefits to the black belts be, what is there to offer, what is there appetite for this to happen. Because it is not going to happen with them. But if they are asking for it there must be a possibility.
Personally I am excited about the possibility of getting this group together. I have some ideas of what might work and also what is not going to work. This must be a collaborative effort between all of us, not a situation of control where others have no say.
I see this as a real chance to apply the leadership skills I have read about and help others to achieve their goals. This cannot be about me but more about the black belts who all the same desire. The desire to have a unique organization, with common goals and the ability to collaborate and share ideas for the betterment of all members.
Starting in September Hiscoe Jiu-Jitsu (Chilliwack) will begin offering a kids program. The classes will take place on Fridays from 5-6pm.
I see this as an important step in progression for the dojo and for my family. My son Matthew has been expressing an interest in jiu-jitsu for some time. I guess now is the time to get things started. It probably is the right time as I started training when I was six also. I see this as a good time to bond with my son and begin creating some common ground. Growing up my dad was also involved in jiu-jitsu, we taught a kids programs at the dojo we belonged to and got to spend a lot of quality time together. Still to this day jiu-jitsu is the common ground for all of us.
In my 33 plus years of being in the martial arts I have seen a lot of benefits to children who are involved in martial arts. Getting a child into a routine of fitness and discipline will stay with them for a lifetime. I was fortunate to have parents which kept me involved for the long run. I have been able to merge my martial arts life with my professional career in policing. I am a full time use of force trainer and supervisor, I have traveled across Canada developing other use of force instructors more specifically in the defensive tactics area. I am frequently asked to evaluate of DT program for their effectiveness in relation to policing. I have also made many friends and contacts in both Canada and the US. I thank my martial arts training for the things I have been able to accomplish in life.
The time is now right for me to try and pass some of the things I have learned to my son and other kids. My goal is to help them learn how to protect themselves, gain confidence and self esteem. The classes will focus on basic jiu-jitsu, flexibility and coordination.
If you are interested in enrolling your child please contact me at my email address email@example.com