Danny Duran instructing students (top) Liam Blankmeier, and Jason Justine (bottom) in a mounted choke escape.
The origins of Ju-Jitsu, a form of self defense without the use of weaponry, are impossible to trace but it is believed to go back as far as 2,500 years.
"Ju-Jitsu is known as the gentle art," said Sensei Danny Duran owner of Tri-City Ju-Jitsu in Chino Valley.
Danny got into martial arts in high school and now has 20 years experience in many different systems of martial Arts, such as Jeet-Kune-Do, Karate, Russian Sambo and more.
"In my opinion this is one of the best self defense systems out there, because leverage and technique is used to stop your attacker. I have had to use this defense at times in my job as a detention officer. Half of self defense is physical and the other half is situational awareness," Danny explained.
Danny shared that his father got him into boxing as a kid to keep him out of trouble. He shares his fathers views on that and enjoys working with young people himself, so six years ago he decided to start teaching Ju Jitsu classes.
"To me it's a shame to see so many of the kids today playing video games versus spending good quality time outside with their friends or playing sports.
One of the things I focus on with the kids is the ABC method (avoid, bargain and control) this helps them learn how to verbally defuse a bad situation," said Danny.
The ages of kids Danny teaches range from age 6 to 18,and of course he also has adult and women's self defense classes.
There are approximately 10-12 kids in each class.
"Although I put my class through a vigorous fitness workout, it is not a boot camp environment. We focus on fun, fitness, and self-defense but the kids also learn respect, integrity, and humility while they gain self confidence," said Danny.
"I have so many success stories from parents on how before taking my class their child was bullied and how now there attitude has changed for the better.
Hearing that means more to me than any championship belt or trophy," he smiled.
Danny and his wife Kristen have six children, and two of his sons are also in his Martial Arts classes.
"Teaching the kids these physical and mental skills helps me to know as they go through life hopefully this will help them overcome challenges easier, both mentally , physically and emotionally," Danny said.
Danny will be having a one week "Summer Camp" for boys and girls age 6 to 18 starting on July 22 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
He will be teaching boxing, Karate, wrestling, and Ju Jitsu. The cost is $100 which also includes camp T-shirts, and snacks, but the kids are required to bring a sack lunch.
Danny's regular classes meet on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, Tri-City Ju Jitsu, 2947 Highway 89 in Chino Valley. He can be reached at 533-0266