Online article with Chris Gillies

Chris, what are the core principles of the martial arts you teach?

I teach four separate martial arts within a unique curriculum: jujutsu (as learned at Hakkoryu So-hombu in Japan); karate (primarily Koryu Uchinadi Kenpo-jutsu); judo; and Shooto (Japanese MMA). Apart from perhaps Shooto, these schools are strictly governed by core principles.

The core principle of Hakkoryu jujutsu is its philosophy: ‘Don’t challenge, don’t oppose and don’t injure’. The techniques and strategies all conform to this philosophy. No attacking movements (such as punches, chokes or bone-breaks) are taught. All movements are defensive and aim to control an attacker without injuring him. Hakkoryu jujutsu teaches a noble, sophisticated approach to effective self-defence, aiming to protect rather than hurt an attacker.

Koryu Uchinadi Kenpo-jutsu (KU) is based on the historical research and training of members of the International Ryukyu Karate Jutsu Research Society, headed by Hanshi Patrick McCarthy. KU combines Eastern traditions with Western innovation and breathes life into classical karate practices. KU keeps the flame of tradition alight rather than worship its ashes.

Judo has many facets: sport, kata, fitness and self-defence, which trace the lifelong development of a marital artist. All facets are part of a larger goal of education and cultivation of character. The core principals of judo are mutual benefit — finding the win/win outcome; and minimum energy, maximum efficiency.

Chief instructor of Adelaide’s Sobukan Japanese Martial Arts dojo and editor of SA Martial Arts Newsletter, Chris Gillies has been training daily since the mid-1980s. He has studied numerous martial arts and spent six years in Japan training at the Hakkoryu Jujutsu hombu, Kyokushin karate HQ, Oguni Muay Thai gym, and Paraestra and Purebred Shooto dojos. He has also trained in Okinawa and Thailand. Gillies currently holds 4th Dan rank in Hakkoryu jujutsu and Arjukanpo karate, 1st Dan in Shito-ryu karate and Doce Pares Pangamot, a Brown-belt in judo, Blue-belt in BJJ and Practitioner 5 level in Krav Maga. He recently returned from Japan and established Sobukan dojo in Mitcham, SA, the motto of which is ‘Healthier, happier, safer’.

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