The Dojo

Welcome to Ryuuko Dojo, located in Scarborough, Ontario, easily accessible by transit.  As you can see, this is a small facility, but still it is more than enough room to train in. In reality, if we are attacked on the street it is most likely going to be in a small enclosed area, no bigger than in this picture, making this the perfect sized room for private or semi-private lessons. The mats are 1 5/8" thick, which is quite adequate for handling rolls, break-falls and throws.  As well as this training space, we also utilize a large back yard on the property and nature in some of our classes, as it is important to learn how to defend oneself in many different types of spaces, not just the dojo. Therefore some of our classes are in the back yard, the woods, at the beach, etc.


1. Private or Semi-private Lessons (Gogyo Goshin-jitsu, Budo Tai-jutsu, Self-defense, Qi-gong or Fitness)      $60.00 Private, $20.00 Semi-private (4 or more)

2. Online Zoom Morning Qi-gong classes (currently not in place but will set up for interested groups of 4+)   $10.00 each person

3. VIP Special (combo private lesson/therapy session)                                                                                                              $150.00

4. Seminars                                        $25.00 each person (4 person minimum)

5. Qi-gong for Wellness Course (Level 1)                               $150.00 each person (4 hour seminar)

Details on the above list can be found below.  Lessons in Gogyo Goshin-jitsu, Budo Tai-jutsu, Self-defense, Fitness and Qi-gong are at this time taught privately or semi-privately, either in person, or by ZOOM.   Private lessons lets YOU set the schedule. You get more attention, so you get faster results. Private lessons are the way to go for any serious martial artist.



Goshin-jitsu, (or Goshin-jutsu as it was first called), means ‘the truth or essence of self-defense’. It was originally created by Tatsu Tanaka in 1952 in Tokyo. Tanaka found classical jujutsu unsuitable, and developed this system that focused on locking and throwing techniques. Really this style was just jujutsu with the striking and kicking techniques removed, as Tanaka had decided to eliminate injurious techniques and focus more on controlling the opponent. Goshin-jutsu originally had 21 techniques against a knife, a stick, a gun, a grab, or a strike.

However, today in North America there are many versions of Goshin-jitsu, including ours. Somewhere along the line Goshin-jitsu got changed into what it is today, a blend of different martial art styles. Some Goshin-jitsu dojos teach a karate/judo mix, some a jujutsu/karate mix, others a jujutsu/judo mix, and so on. By the time it reached Canada, Goshin-jitsu had become a blend of Karate, Judo and Jiu-jitsu.  My version of Goshin-jitsu also includes a Chinese influence from Shaolin and Okinawan Kempo, as well as Qi-gong.   This new blend, which I call Gogyo Goshin-jitsu, (Japanese for 'Five Element Self Defense' but referencing the Wu Xing), is a mixed hard/soft martial arts style containing techniques and forms from 5 different martial arts styles;

- Karate, (hardstyle strikes, kicks and blocks)

- Judo, (throws and chokes)

- Jiu-jitsu, (grappling, joint locks and controlling)

- Okinawan/Shaolin Kempo, (the five animal forms)

- Qi-Gong, (life-force skills)

Also studied are the combat applications of many different weapons, Gogyo Goshin jitsu is a very well rounded style offering training in all aspects of martial arts listed above and more, (meditation, meridian theory, pressure points, etc.). The training is both indoors and outdoors, using traditional training methods from the above mentioned styles. Very effective for self-defense or personal development on many levels.


The Gogyo Goshin-jitsu system has ten levels, each designated by a coloured belt. The ten belt levels are; white, yellow, orange, green, blue, purple, red, brown, brown with black stripe, and black. There are no 'dan' levels after black. This system is designed to give the student a wide array of skills and exposure to several different styles of martial arts during the course of their studies. Where they go after that is up to them. Perhaps they may decide to specialize in a certain style of Karate, Judo, Jiu-jitsu, or a particular animal style from the five animals we study, for a more in-depth understanding. They may even decide to take the healing path and use the knowledge they gain here to pursue a career in Eastern Medicine. Regardless which style the student moves on to after achieving a black belt in Gogyo Goshin-jitsu, he or she will be well prepared with an arsenal of techniques, knowledge and skills to build on. For some, the black belt is enough. It is the final goal they had in mind in their martial studies. For others, it is just the beginning. Each of us are different and so each of us must follow our own path. The program offered here will help set you well on the way of your path.

A typical Gogyo Goshin-jitsu 1-hour session would include:

10 minutes of warm-up to prepare the body

( joint mobility exercises and dynamic stretches)

10 minutes of sparring

30 minutes  of kata training, techniques, grappling, throws, weapons, etc.

10 minutes of static stretching, (for flexibility)

Cost:        $60/ private lesson session or $20.00 as part of a group class (4 people minimum)


Striking techniques form the majority of our hand-to-hand combat training. In striking we learn to use our whole body as a weapon, utilizing all parts to become weapons of self-defense when needed.


We study many different blocks at Ryuuko Dojo. All are designed to block or deflect incoming attacks from different directions and with different parts of the body, depending on the attack. Blocks can also be used as attacks. All of the blocks we study come from either Shotokan Karate or the Five Animal forms.


Learning kicks and punches is great, but what do you do when your opponent catches your kick, throws you to the ground and then jumps on you? Many martial art systems do not take this into consideration, but it can happen. It is foolish to study a martial art system without addressing grappling, as a great deal of fights or attack situations end up with either you, your opponent, or most likely both you and your opponent on the ground.  One who has spent years studying only stand up techniques will quickly find themselves beaten to a pulp or choked out by their attacker if they are taken to the ground and don’t have a ground game. In grappling, one learns how to control the opponent through a variety of effective body positions, various holds, locks, and chokes, as well as how to escape these forms of attacks. The grappling training offered is focused on Judo and Brazilian Jiu-jitsu techniques.


Stances are different ways of standing, and are meant mainly to strengthen our legs during training. However, these stances do have practical applications as well. They promote balance, coordination of the body as a whole during movement, and proper transfer of power when defending or attacking.

Kyusho (Vital Points)

The study of Kyusho is the study of the weak points of human anatomy in respect to: the muscular system,(skeletal muscles), the nervous system, the organs and the skeletal system,(including cartilage, tendons and ligaments). Not -coincidentally, these same kyusho points are also points of healing in various forms of healing arts that have a background in Traditional Chinese Medicine, (acupuncture, tuina, shiatsu, etc.). To be an effective warrior, one must also know how to be a healer. As such, I teach both the healing, (soft pressure), and damaging, (hard pressure), aspects of these points.

Kyusho, or ‘vital points’, are imperative to learn in the martial arts. Not only is it important for the martial artist learn how to hit, but also where to hit as well. To train for years in any form without also learning about human anatomy and its weaknesses is almost pointless. After all, our attackers are most likely going to be humans, right? It only stands to reason then that humans learning how to to defend themselves against other humans, should understand weaknesses of the human anatomy. Knowing where to attack your opponent and what the effects are of the chosen target(s) can mean the difference between life or death in an attack situation. Kyusho study teaches us which specific targets to use to stun, knock out, paralyze, incapacitate, or kill our opponent,(in extreme cases), depending on the situation.


Chokes can be used to control an opponent, or to make them go unconscious if need be. Not only do I teach how to apply several different chokes, but also how to escape chokes and revive someone that has been choked into unconsciousness.

Joint Locks

All joints of the human body,(shoulders, elbows, wrists, fingers, toes, ankles, knees, hips, etc.), are very easily manipulated if the proper techniques are known. Joint-locks allow the student to easily control the opponent until help arrives or the threat is ended. They can be used to control, cause extreme pain, or disable the opponent by actually breaking the joint. The joint-locks we study come from different styles of judo, jujutsu and jiu-jitsu, and are very effective in combat.


Our self-defense skills are the core of Goshin-jitsu training. It is here that we learn to incorporate all the moves we have learned; strikes, kicks, punches, grappling, throws, chokes, holds and locks, and put them into practice against simulated attacks,(punches, strikes, kicks, grabs or attacks with weapons), that could happen in a real attack situation. We also examine how self-defense is applied in different attire, different environments, and different situations.


Throws are useful for taking our opponent to the ground fast and hard, and if performed correctly, often times a good throw is all it takes to disable an opponent. Most of our throws can be performed against an attack or from a grab. The different types of throws we study come from a Judo background and include various throws, reaps, drops and take-downs.


Kata, (also known as 'forms'), are set patterns of techniques and movements assembled in the form of an imaginary fight. Kata practice provides the student with a base knowledge of techniques as well as a way to apply them in a variety of applications. At Ryuuko Dojo, each belt level has certain kata which must be learned,(in addition to other belt level requirements), before proceeding to the next level. Practicing these kata over time develops proper form, strength, power, speed, balance and timing of the student. The kata/forms we study are from a mix of hard and soft martial art styles to ensure that our students learn a broad base of kata/form knowledge. This way they can develop their skills according to their personal preferences rather than limiting themselves to one particular style of kata training. The majority of our kata/forms are either hard style forms taken from Shotokan karate, or soft style animal forms taken from Kempo and Shaolin Kung fu.


Ukemi helps us to avoid injury when going to the ground, whether falling, being pushed or being thrown. We cover basic as well as advanced versions of these breakfalls and rolls.


The weapons training at Ryuuko Dojo begins at green belt level. It is here that the student begins to focus on a weapon, and learns the strikes, blocks, techniques and kata associated with that weapon. A new weapon is taught at each level after green belt, so that by Shodan level, (First degree black belt), the student will be proficient in six different martial art weapons;

1. Knife

2. Nunchaku

3. Sai

4. Bo staff

5. Kama

6. Kubo/Yawara

Meditation / Qi-gong

Meditation comes in many forms and from a variety of cultures. It is used for spiritual growth, healing, deep thought, relaxation and stress relief, depending on what the user is trying to accomplish. The types of meditation we study are for personal development, and have no religious intentions nor references. From a martial arts perspective, meditation is used to teach us to focus by learning to calm our mind and how to integrate our body, mind and spirit into one. This increases our response time, our self-awareness and awareness of our surroundings. It makes us more attuned and helps us to develop our senses to their fullest. At the very least, meditation is a great way to relax or blow off some steam.

The breathing exercises we do are taken from a variety of eastern cultures, and are done to increase the strength of the lungs and diaphragm muscle, as well as benefiting the other organs and meridians of the body. This promotes good health, as well as teaches the student that proper breathing is a very important part of the martial arts, as well as life. Knowledge of certain inhaling and exhaling techniques can be very beneficial in a self-defense situation, and is essential to proper technique and power, as well to maintain our endurance.

Qi gong is the skillful practice of gathering, circulating, and applying our life-force energy, called qi, (also known as chi, ki, prana, the force, etc.). Qi gong training involves all the physical senses, concentrating on breathing, listening/hearing, visualizing, and muscle relaxation. Massage and movement are also used in order to develop and control the body's intrinsic energy. All of the Chinese animal forms we study, (tiger, crane, leopard, snake and dragon), contain qi building techniques. In addition we study specific Qi gong exercises that benefit the internal organs and all of the body's systems, which promotes good health and thus a longer life


This is authentic Bujinkan Budo/Ninpo Taijutsu, (Ninjutsu), which is a completely different style of martial arts than Gogyo Goshin-jitsu. Classes can be either private or semi-private, and are both indoors and outdoors. Minimum age to train in these classes is 16. Classes take place in Toronto, with tests occurring in Barrie.

In ninjutsu classes you will learn;

- rolls/breakfalls

- striking, kicks, evasion, blocking methods

- joint locks, throws, chokes

- silent movement, invisibility

- weapons, (staves, knives, chain, shuriken, katana)

- meditation/spiritual work

- wilderness survival/first aid

- much, much more....

A typical Budo-Taijutsu 1-hour session would include:

10 minutes of warm-up to prepare the body

( joint mobility exercises and dynamic stretches)

40 minutes of rolling/breakfalls, kata, weapons, techniques, etc.

10 minutes of static stretching, (for flexibility)

Cost:        $60/ private lesson session or $20 each per group session (4 or more)


This course is for those who want to learn to protect themselves, but aren't interested in obtaining belts or meditating. This is very basic information as compared to the regular curriculum, but ideal for security personnel, crisis workers, the elderly, disabled, teenagers, children or women's self-defense.  In these classes you will learn how to defend yourself in the following types of situations;

                1.         One Handed Lapel Grab Escapes

                2.         Two Handed Lapel Grab Escapes

                3.         Rear Wrist Grab Escapes

                4.         Rear One-arm Choke Escapes

                5.         Front Kick Counters

                6.         Outside Wrist Grab Escapes

                7.         Rear Bear Hug Escapes

                8.         Front Bear Hug Escapes

                9.         Rear Choke Escapes

              10.       Chest Push Counters

              11.       Sword Hand Defenses

              12.       Wrist Lock Escapes

              13.       Front Double Wrist Grab Escapes

              14.       Inside Wrist Grab Escapes

              15.       Headlock Escapes

              16.       Hair-grab Escapes

              17.       Side-kick Counters

              18.       Roundhouse-kick Counters

              19.       Two Hands on One Wrist Escapes

              20.       Handshake Escapes

              21.       Overhand Strike Defenses

              22.       Shoulder Grab

              23.         Reverse Punch, (Cross)

              24.         Swinging Punch, (Haymaker)

              25.         Lunge Punch


Do you just want to get fit, but either you don't want to join a gym or you lack the motivation to do it alone at home? Then one-on-one training may be the answer for you! I am also a Certified Fitness Instructor Specialist. Whatever your fitness goals, (weight loss, improved cardio, strength training), we can address them together! Do you have a group that would like to form a fitness class? Contact me and let's set it up.  Available in person at my location or on ZOOM. 

$60/ private lesson session or $20 each per group session (4 or more)


Qi-gong is a powerful internal martial art that makes a fine compliment to any external martial arts study, however, even separate from the external martial arts, it can still be a powerful force. Qi-gong means, 'life-force skills'. With it, we learn to purge, cultivate, regulate and tonify the qi flow in the body. Qi-gong works by using breathing, visualization, and movement to create positive changes in our organs, circulatory system, lymphatic system and nervous system that will promote a healthy way of life.

Cost:      $60/ private lesson session or $20 each per group session (4 or more)

Online Zoom Morning Qi-gong classes

Qi-gong is a great way to keep all of your various systems in check as well as to energize your body to start your day. I am looking for groups of 4+ people. Classes would be early morning and would be on ZOOM, or at my location in Scarborough.  
Cost: $10.00 per person (4 person minimum)

VIP Special (combo private lesson/therapy session)  

For only $150 you can have a VIP combination session which consists of;

1 hour private training in Gogyo Goshin-jitsu, Budo Tai-jutsu, Self-defense, Fitness or Qi-gong


1 hour Shiatsu Therapy session or Foot Reflexology Session

2 great sessions for one great price! Get a physical challenge with a lesson in one of the above disciplines or a balancing of the mind/body/spirit with a lesson in Qi-gong and then top it off with a Shiatsu tune up!  

Call 647-668-1456 for more details


Currently I am offering my services, in the form of seminars, to martial art facilities and other groups that may be interested. I have been doing seminars for over ten years now around Southern Ontario, and I very much enjoy teaching in this way as it lets me meet new people, gives me exposure to different martial arts, and gives me the opportunity to constantly review my material as I pass it on to others. As a young man beginning my martial arts training many years ago, I remember how exciting it was to attend the seminar of someone from outside of the dojo I was training at, and how it gave me new perspectives and fresh ideas of how I could improve my training. Many styles are lacking in something, whether that be ground work, meditation, weapons training, etc., and so I find that bringing in someone from another dojo, whether or not their style is similar to the one you are teaching, is a great way to keep the students excited and motivated about their training, as well as to provide exposure to something different. These are the seminar subjects which I offer;

The 5 Animals: Tiger

The 5 Animals: Leopard

The 5 Animals: Snake

The 5 Animals: Crane

The 5 Animals: Dragon

Ninjutsu! (rolls, breakfalls, line drills, ninja weapons, tactics, etc.)

Weapons, (the practical applications of the knife, bo staff, hanbo, and kusari)

Lohan (ligament/tendon strengthening form)

Meditation (standing and sitting methods)

Traditional Chinese Medicine and the Meridians

Pressure points (both Western anatomy and Eastern meridian targets)

Competition (tips and pointers for tournaments)

Grappling/Groundwork (mount, side-mount and guard – applications and escapes)


Joint locks and Chokes


Stretching (static and dynamic stretching techniques)



The seminars are each 2 hours long. I require $20 per student, with a minimum of 10 students per seminar. The maximum number would depend on your facility of course. Generally the topics I teach are not meant for very young children, as the seminar topics of of a serious nature. Therefore I ask that any students attending the seminars be age 10 +, (use your discretion depending on the topic). If any of the above seminars seem of interest to you, or if you have any questions, please call me at 647-668-1456 or email me at jdempsey1@hotmail.com


In this 4 hour seminar, you will learn techniques to improve circulation, digestion, sleep and general well-being, learn tonification exercises for your heart, lungs, kidneys, liver and other organs, improve your health, reduce stress, and learn how to maintain that renewed health.  Excellent as a group activity or even Team Building.

Location: Ryuuko Dojo, Scarborough, or, your location

Call 647-668-1456 to register your group for this course. Ten person maximum per course.

ONLY $150 for a private seminar, or $40.00 each person (4 person minimum)