The Maru Dojo was started September 1987. It was established with help from Anne McCaffrey the Director of the Lifetime Sports Program and the students at Loyola College. The Maru Dojo at Loyola works to promote physical safety and mental awareness among its students. Through our self-defense classes students have learned to protect themselves not only with defensive techniques but also by learning how to be more aware of their surroundings so as to prevent an attack before it happens. The Maru Dojo is fully certified by the American Ju-Jitsu Association (AJA) and is dedicated to its teachings and standards. The style of Ju-Jitsu taught at Loyola is Maru Ketsugo Ju-Jitsu and comes from several different styles of Ju-Jitsu. Among them are: 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, and Seibukan Ninhon Ryu Ju-Jitsu. We also study techniques from some of the ancient art forms of Shuai Chiou a Chinese version of Ju-Jitsu in the Kung Fu system.
Maru is also involved in other Loyola activities. Students may participate 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 its students celebrated its ten year anniversary with a total of twenty-one AJA registered students. In September 1997 Maru Dojo’s Ju-Jitsu web page was up and running, giving prospective and current students up to date information on all belt requirements, dojo activities, and helpful material on Ju-Jitsu and general 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, and questions on this site were 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 (2nd degree 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 degree 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 degree black) from the American Ju-Jitsu Association. Both Senseis trained and were promoted under Mejin (10th degree black) Dennis McCurdy. Mejin McCurdy is also the President of 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 its founder Hanshi Donna Mathews begins its 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 has been a sanctioned dojo since 1987. All AJA dojos 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 or 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 given by the recreation centers. These instructors are frequently as effective at teaching as those certified by larger organizations. 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.