Loyola University Maryland

Loyola Ju-Jitsu Club

About Us


The Maru Dojo was started September 1987. It was established with help from Anne McCaffrey the Director of the Lifetime Sports Program and students at Loyola College. The Maru Dojo at Loyola works to promote physical safety and mental awareness among it students. Through our Self-Defense classes students have learned to protect themselves not only with defensive techniques but how to be more aware of their surroundings so as to prevent the attack before it happens. The Maru Dojo is fully certified by the American Ju-Jitsu Association and is dedicated to the teachings and standards of the American Ju-Jitsu Association. The style of Ju Jitsu taught at Loyola is Maru Ketsugo Ju-Jitsu and comes from several different styles of Ju-Jitsu. Among them is Samurai Combat Ju-Jitsu, Small Circle Ju-Jitsu, Taiho Jitsu (Styles before 1882), Kodokan Judo, Budoshin Ju-Jitsu, Haddo Ryu Ju-Jitsu, Ketsugo Ju-Jitsu, Seibukan Ninhon Ryu Ju-Jitsu. We also study techniques from some of the ancient art form from Shuai Chiou a Chinese version of Ju-Jitsu in the Kung Fu system.

Maru is also involved in other Loyola activities. Students participating in demonstrations and help teach at self-defense seminars held in individual dorms all over campus. Over the years Maru has competed in area tournaments and the Maryland State Games. Many of the participating students have done well enough to take home first, second and third place trophies. In September of 1997 Maru and it's students celebrated it's ten year anniversary with a total of twenty-one AJA registered students. In September 1997 Maru/Loyola Ju-Jitsu Dojo web page was up and running giving perspective and current students up to date information on all belt requirements, Dojo activities and background on Ju-Jitsu and self-defense. The web page was created not only for the Loyola Ju-Jitsu students, but for anyone interested in the art of Ju-Jitsu. Some of the articles, information, questions etc. on this site e submitted by the students.

The first Ju-Jitsu classes, taught at Loyola, were taught by Sensei Donna Mathews and Sensei Peter Chimm. The first class started September 1987. Both instructors hold teaching certificates from the American Ju-Jitsu Association. Sensei Chhim holds the rank of Nidan ( second black ). and left Maru in 1991.

Hanshi Donna Mathews is also a member of Seibukan-Kai Hombu dojo of Chubu-Shorin-Ryu Japan and holds a Kudan (9th Black )in that System. Hanshi Mathews is the only female in the United States to hold the rank of Hanshi. She also holds a Hachidan (8th Black) from the American Ju-Jitsu Association. Both Sensei's trained and were promoted under Mejin (tenth degree) Dennis McCurdy. Mejin McCurdy is also the President or the AJA. and is the head instructor for the Daitobukan Dojo at the Towson Y.M.C.A.. In 2002 Maru Martial Arts and the Ju-Jitsu Club came together and became the Loyola Ju-Jitsu Club under the certification of the Maru Martial Arts Dojo. Maru Martial Arts holds a Dojo certification under the American Ju-Jitsu Association. All of the black belts promoted from the Loyola Ju-Jitsu Club are certified by the American Ju-Jitsu Association through the Maru Martial Arts dojo.

This year 2011 Maru Martial Arts and it's founder Hanshi Donna Mathews begins it 25th year at Loyola. Assistant instructors are Phillip Browning, Kevin Dougherty and Jennifer McNamara. All assistant instructors are Loyola graduates.

The Way to Japan

The Maru Dojo is a sanctioned dojo of the America Ju-Jitsu Association. Maru have been a sanctioned dojo since 1987. All AJA dojo's are owned and run by AJA certified black belts who have also gained their instructor certificate.

The American Ju-Jitsu Association is an internationally recognized governing body for Ju-Jitsu in the United States. The AJA is recognized by the Nippon Seibukan in Japan and the European Jujitsu Union. The AJA was offered these ties because it developed as a reputable and credible governing body. All certificates from Maru are recognized by the American Ju-Jitsu Association.

Some schools do not have a large organization behind them. Many are not connected to their origin country. When picking a school/dojo, this should not be used as a factor in making your decision. Some instructors learn from having it passed down to them through the family. Others take courses offered in classes givin by the recreation centers. These instructors can and usually are as good at what they do as another who is certified by a large organization.  Once you become a black belt you can join organizations with connections all over the world. You can also belong to more than one. 

It was in the teachings of Sanzo Seki that there are no styles of Ju-jitsu; there is only Ju-jitsu. The differences are in terminology and/or sequence in which various parts of the art are taught.