Jitsu Toronto is a group of Jiu Jitsu clubs in the GTA .
Our style of Jiu Jitsu comes to us by way of the Jiu Jitsu Foundation in the UK. Over 20 years ago it was brought to Canada, and since then the style has spread across the country. Around the world there are thousands of practitioners who share a deep passion for martial arts and Jiu Jitsu.
HISTORY OF JIU JITSU IN TORONTO (or, who was where and when)
In April 2004, Alex Fairweather set up shop in a nin-jitsu dojo called Kageyama Dojo. Master Greg Tremblay graciously allowed him teach Jiu Jitsu amidst many weapons and artifacts of the lovely space. A number of years later Fairweather sensei left for Vancouver. He ceded "Kageyama" to Joanna Yu in 2007, until the dojo's space was redeveloped in 2011. Much credit is deserved by these two instructors for laying the groundwork for a community of Shorinji Kan jitsuka in Toronto, as during this time most of the instructors now active in the region trained at Kageyama as students.
One such student was Jennifer Higgs, who founded the York University Jiu Jitsu Club in September of 2010 with Mark Yourkevich. Shortly thereafter Yourkevich sensei became a free agent until being pulled back into service as one half of the Hart House Jiu Jitsu Club at University of Toronto. Jon Thompson had laid started a Jiu Jitsu program at Hart House in 2011 after Jitsu Toronto at Alexandra Park Elementary School had proved a difficult location to sustain. It is now one of Toronto's busiest clubs.
Around this time Toronto gained a seasoned instructor from Vancouver care of Ottawa, Jonathan Jamnik. He saw the growth in Toronto and continued what Joanna started, encouraging the regional community to work together. He began leading sessions specifically aimed at more senior students and instructors.
At the same time, two new clubs emerged: Toronto East Jiu Jitsu was established by Yourkevich and Thompson senseis and Ryerson Jiu Jitsu Club was established by Joanna Yu and Denis Coyne, both in September of 2013.
In 2014 Coyne sensei established a club at the Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre, however it was short-lived - the dojo space was repurposed after the Pan Am Games in 2015. Dave Comartin also took over Toronto East Jiu Jitsu. Later in 2015 Jon Thompson would hand Hart House teaching duties to Jamnik Sensei.
Now, in 2016, we welcome Mark Yourkevich and Robin Tomarchio's new club in Oshawa, Durham Community Jiu Jitsu, while Kia Dunn takes over teaching duties at Hart House from Jon Jamnik.
Jitsu Toronto has quickly become a major centre for Shorinji Kan Jiu Jitsu. When things are running smoothly there's training every day of the week (except, Fridays, for now!).