Published on February th, 2013

The History of Yang Ki Yin Jiu Jitsu

The emergence of jiu jitsu as a fully developed martial art can be traced to 16th century Japan.  Various elements of the art were in use much earlier.  It flourished during Japan’s feudal era in the days of the samurai and Shogun.  During its golden age from 1700 to 1850, hundreds of jiu jitsu systems thrived there.  Yabe Jiu Jitsu (Yabe Jiu Jutsu), the predecessor of Yang Ki Yin Jiu Jitsu, was brought to the West by Master Sesu Quan Setsu in 1920.  In 1937 custody of this system was passed on to Milton Gowdey.  Gowdey’s training under the Master, although traditional by the standards of the Far East, was quite exceptional when compared to modern methods.  To quote Professor Gowdey, “Basic training was to serve the Sensei, or teacher.  We students cleaned the dojo, cooked his rice—never to his satisfaction—washed his body, for at all times he was testing our humility.  My parents allowed me to stay from Friday after school until Sunday evening.  Sleeping on the tatami (a straw mat), I came to conceive not just by words, but mostly by osmosis, an understanding of The Way.”  Master Gowdey spent most of his life transforming the linear techniques of Yabe into the curve-lined Yang Ki Yin system.