Colin Kaide originally taught a style called Budo Aikido throughout high school for his sensei in the Chicago suburbs. Budo Aikido's founder, a life long martial arts junkie named John T. Barr, derived his art from many years of study of different disciplines. He was a hardcore fighter in his day and participated in more than a few “dojo wars” that were (apparently) common in the late 60’s and early 70’s in the big city martial arts communities. There were real life turf wars and street fights occurring between dojos. Colin says, "We did sparring like karate students but combined takedowns, submission holds, chokes and other various jujitsu-like techniques…much like mixed martial arts of today. Everything was geared toward techniques that were clearly applicable to real life self-defense situations." After getting to college, he began working out with Doug Musser’s Danzan Ryu based Illini Jujitsu and with the now defunct Illini Martial Arts, a "mixed" style blending taekwondo and shotokan. Colin recalls, "They were great to work with but they missed the certain flavor of what we did in Budo Aikido."
Beginnings in Champaign
Colin, a nidan (second degree blackbelt) didn’t find anything at the U of I that did this kind of non-points, non-competition, purely “fight to win” style of martial art, so he started his own club as a branch of his original style. Colin reflects, "I had no students and nowhere to practice. My friend and roommate was also in Budo Aikido and was a purple belt at the time. We did a self-defense seminar for our dorm, Hopkins Hall, and had about 25 participants. They were really into it and wanted to do more. We had a core of about 10 students who began practicing regularly in the weight room between the three connected dorms in our half of 6 pack." Eventually the club secured space in Huff Gym with practices twice per week. It then became 3 times per week and many students wanted more so the club regularly met with a few people in the old Combat Room, informally, to do extra work. As time went on, we began to incorporate more and more techniques and practice styles into our club.
Colin remembers a time presentient of modern mixed-martial arts, "We developed an open door policy of inviting any practicing martial artist into our sessions to work out and share technique. The stand up fighters from karate and tae kwon do would only last a few workouts because they had no stomach for being thrown repeatedly to the floor and manhandled, choked, and pinned. This was especially true for the purist TKD black belts who would get destroyed on the ground by some of our blue belts! Only a select few liked this stuff and eventually worked out with us full time. We learned a lot from their kicking and striking skills."
Rudy Valente, Eric Olson, Greg Schomburg, James Brennan (standing)
Colin Kaide, Oliver Valente (kneeling)
Goshin Jitsu Genesis
By the time Colin was a senior, he had earned the rank of sandan (third degree blackbelt). At about that time, his group had evolved far enough away from their roots that they no longer could or should share rank and testing with their parent group, Budo Aikido. Colin's Budo Aikido club was increasingly viewed as rebels by the Budo Aikido people in Chicago. When a new freshman, Oliver Valente (a recent shodan in Budo Aikido) joined our club, a new club was born. Colin and Oliver renamed the group to better describe what we do: Goshin Jitsu “protection of the body.” The two founders redesigned the testing requirements and totally revamped the techniques over the summer of 1989. They added insight from other core members and reopened as Goshin Jitsu in August of 1989.
Other instructors such as Rudy Valente, James Brennan, Eric Olson and Greg Schomburg added their insights into the combat arts to the system. They picked apart the martial arts they knew and taught the simplest, most effective elements to each other. Each succeeding generation of students and instructors has modified and improved our art. Under Eric Olson and Greg Schomburg, a more dynamic, boxing-like set of stand up techniques was added, as well as additional jujitsu techniques.
Our previous instructor, Becky Zerlentes, continued the integration of Western boxing and jujitsu into Goshin Jitsu. In order to broaden our exposure to different fighting styles, Becky also brought in a number of seminar speakers among them, Ramon Lono Ancho (Hawai'ian Ryu), Jack McVicker (JKD/BJJ), and numerous boxers and wrestlers.
In 1999 Mike Aref and Joe Tan took over the club. They continued to refine Goshin Jitsu by testing the technique and adding additional material from Danzan Ryu, Jeet Kune Do, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Muay Thai. As time passed it was felt that the belt sheets needed revision, so Mike started a series of annual reviews of material, trying to shape and hone the Goshin Jitsu arsenal. In addition we brought in outside experts like Jack McVicker, Ryan Blackorby, Blauer Tactical, Brian Gassaway, Dean Lessei, "Mr. International" Shonie Carter, Raul Llopis, and Erik Paulson. During this time we also expanded the inventory of training equipment to better meet our training mission.
From 2012 to 2017 the club was run by Peter Roubal who incorporated more boxing and muay thai into the curriculum, particularly by inviting local experts Marty Nunn, Billy Stamp, and Ian Ransburg, respectively.
Mike Aref returned to serve as chief instructor from 2017 until 2020 when the club formally closed during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The last version of the Goshin Jitsu Mokuroku (Instructor Scroll) or fancy way of saying curriculum.