Sensei Teaching Japanese Jiu-Jitsu Based Self-Defense To Jewish Community

A Jewish sensei is teaching members of Brooklyn’s Jewish community a jiu-jitsu based self-defense.

Sensei Steve Isaak, whose grandparents were killed in the Auschwitz death camp, is determined to make sure the Jews in his community know how to defend themselves.

Many people are concerned about the rise of hate crimes in the United States, and as a community who has suffered from violent discrimination for thousands of years, some Jews are especially concerned.

“All we have to do is look in the news, and anti-Semitism is clearly on the rise,” said one of Isaak’s students, Dmitry Goldshtein. “And we’re, you know, a little worried, and we’d like to try to protect ourselves and our families.”

Related: 4 Reasons Your Friends Should Try Jiu-Jitsu

Sensei Steve Isaak shares Goldshtein’s concerns about Nazism.

I’m not going to allow a Nazi-like condition to take me out. As long as there’s two people left on the face of this Earth, there’s a need for self-defense.

The type of self-defense that Sensei Isaak is bringing to his community is called Shima, a Japanese jiu-jitsu based self-defense that, according to its website, is “smarter, faster and more efficient than any martial art or military combat training.”

Steve has been practicing martial arts for 58 years. He is also a former probation warrant officer, serving in an armed probation unit. Sensei Isaak describes some of the situations he was in as “quite hairy.”

Yet his “hairy” situations started much earlier. Isaak was raised in Washington Heights and was beaten up a lot after school.  No one was there to help him as he cried while being beaten up, and he vowed that would be the last time it would happen to him.

You can check out the rest of Vice’s interview with Sensei Steve Isaak below:




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