Frequently Asked Questions

What is Jujitsu?

Jujitsu is the Japanese martial art of unarmed self defense. Jujitsu utilizes joint locks, pins, and throws, in addition to strikes, to neutralize an attacker. “Jujitsu” in Japanese translates into “the gentle art.”

What style of Jujitsu do you teach?

Our school teaches Jujitsu for practical and effective self defense. We frame self defense within an understanding and appreciation of law and the criminal justice system, to ensure that our students will act in a responsible and legal manner if they ever have to defend themselves. We teach defenses against both unarmed and armed attacks. Our style is traditional stand-up Japanese Jujitsu, with an emphasis on soft-style Aiki elements. At higher ranks, we introduce the defensive use of short sticks, batons, and staffs. All practice in our class is safe and controlled; there is no full-speed, full-contact practice.

Do you offer free trial classes?

You can try one class free; just ask the YMCA front desk staff when you check in.

Please note: our classes are only open to those who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

What is a typical class like?

We start with a light warm-up, then practice Tai sabaki – evasive body movements. Next, we practice ukemi – safe falling and rolls. The Sensei (instructor) will assign and demonstrate techniques based on student ranks, and high belts will work with low belts to teach and practice the techniques. After this mixed session, students will practice their techniques with others of the same rank. We end the class with a high-tempo group activity that integrates all aspects of self defense – awareness, technique, voice commands, and effective resolution.

Can I bring my kids? What ages are appropriate?

We welcome coachable teens (13 and up) who can follow safety instructions for the duration of a 2-hour class. We have a safe, family-friendly environment where we welcome parents to train alongside their teenagers.

What shall I wear and bring to my first class?

Bring comfortable clothes you can move around in – e.g., sweatpants and t-shirt. We practice barefoot on mats, but you may wear socks if you prefer. Bring a water bottle. The YMCA provides towels.

Do you wear uniforms? How do I get one?

If you try out our class and decide to stay with us, you should get a uniform. We wear standard martial arts uniforms — gi’s. We do not sell them, but you can easily order one online for about $40. We recommend a single-weave white judo gi, something like this.

What equipment do I need?

To start, consider an athletic cup. As you progress in rank, you will have to acquire training weapons like a rubber knife, training baton, and a wooden staff. Loaners will be available.

I have a physical injury or disability or other physical limitation. Can I still participate?

Most likely, depending on your condition. We will work with you to assess what you can safely perform, and modify techniques and/or customize the curriculum to suit your physical limits.

What’s the difference between YMCA Full Members and Program Members?

Full members of the YMCA pay the following per 8-week session:

  • One class a week- $80
  • Two classes a week- $110

Program members pay an annual Program Membership fee of $50, and then pay the following per 8-week session:

  • One class a week- $100
  • Two classes a week- $140

What are your organizational affiliations?

We are affiliated with the American Jujitsu Association (AJA), an amateur national association of Jujitsu schools. We are AJA Dojo #1900.

Who are your instructors?

Sensei Howard Kee , 6th degree black belt, Shihan, is the head instructor. He also holds a 1st degree black belt in Aikido. He has 28 years of experience in martial arts.
Assistant instructors are Valerie (3rd degree black belt) and Jess (3rd degree black belt).
What is the history of the school?

The Reston Jujitsu Dojo was officially founded 9 April, 1992, established under the AJA as Dojo #1900. The founding instructor is Bruce Jones, 8th degree black belt in Jujitsu. Initially, the school trained out of Brown’s Chapel in Reston, and eventually became an established program at the Reston YMCA around 2000. Jones Sensei retired from the school in 2014.