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The art of restraint

This article was published in the Canberra Times on 27 July 2003.

Jujitsu is a method of defence and offence without the use of weapons in personal encounter. Jujitsu is not a contest of muscular strength, but to temporarily incapacitate one's opponent through the use of simple tricks and holds.

It would be almost impossible to include every small detail about the life of the Peter Morton Academy of Judo Jujitsu Karate since its formation in 1962.

Initially, Queanbeyan-born Peter Morton formed the Academy, with the help of Graham Gordon, to cater for junior members. The idea was to create a non-profit club to give the youth of Queanbeyan something to do and to get them off the street, but as interest grew senior classes soon began.

The syllabus taught by the academy has three basic influences: Kodokan Judo, Jujitsu and Kempo Karate, with Australian Jujitsu and boxing being added in later years.

It is designed primarily as a self-defence art. As such, its use can range from simple restraint to physical bodily harm.

The academy teaches its students the art of restraint and this principle is reinforced during every lesson. This serves as a reminder to both students and teachers that the skills gained through the Academy are not to be taken lightly and that they are to be used responsibly.

Self-defence skills are taught to juniors and seniors. It is a practical, non-competitive style of self-defence in which students learn to react instinctively, improve their coordination, reflexes, physical fitness and self-control and through the use of leverage, balance and momentum, learn to manoeuvre any situation to their advantage. Students train at their own pace and grade to the next level when they are ready. There is no pressure to grade at a certain time; in this way students retain an interest in learning and they become more competent and confident.

Of special interest is the women's self-defence course. It is offered to provide women with the basic tools to defend themselves and to give participants some experience in the martial arts taught by the Academy. This is not a graded course but upon completion the student is presented with a certificate and is entitled to wear a white belt with a yellow tip.

The Peter Morton Academy has branches around Australia, classes are conducted in a semi-formal environment and instructors are fully accredited and donate their time freely. It's a style that any person of any age can enjoy.

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