On Saturday, November 20, 2021 the Rutgers Kodenkan Jujitsu Club hosted its annual Fall Jujitsu Seminar. This event has been our dojo’s longstanding tradition that began in 1980 and continues to thrive today. Annually, Professors and Senior Instructors from all over the United States are invited out to Rutgers University – New Brunswick campus to teach Danzan Ryu Jujitsu as well as other martial arts techniques and concepts to all skill levels, ranging from novice to advanced. This year, the College Ave Gym’s Wrestling Room became a centerpiece for this exchange.

The opportunity for the annual regional seminar resurfaced after experiencing a hiatus during the 2020 pandemic. However, operating under COVID-19 restrictions and guidelines, Rutgers University Recreation made the executive decision to keep the 2021 seminar in-person and in-house. The adjustment permitted only Rutgers students, staff, and faculty to engage and participate in the energetic event. The opportunity also presented itself so that the Rutgers Kodenkan’s instructors could teach the entire schedule of classes throughout the day. Professor Barb Gessner, Hachidan (AJJF Rokudan), along with Nidan Senseis: Scott Kennedy, Edy de Leon and Vikram Sarath, organized workshops on fundamental concepts including: balancing, strikes, Shime Waza, Nage, Yawara, and Goshin Jitsu.

As these modifications came to fruition, certain traditions tend to strengthen with change. The annual post seminar dinner was no exception. All attendees were invited to learn about the real “secrets of jujitsu” afterwards. Instructors and club members gathered together for a delicious Chinese-inspired feast at the Flaming Grill & Supreme Buffet. Yet, it was not the food that kept everyone seated for over an hour after paying the bill. Great company entertains the heart and spirit, which is far more fulfilling than any meal could offer. This group is more than just a bunch of belts.

The successful turnout of this year’s interaction gives prospective hope to the club of re-instituting the event at the regional level for the following year. Rutgers Kodenkan Jujitsu thanks everyone who attended and looks forward to hosting the 2022 Northeast Region Fall Seminar.