Welcome to Zenyo Online! We’re excited to have you as part of our team.

Zenyo is focused on learning Jiu Jitsu, but it is much more than that. We build a pathway to become skilled in anything you pursue. Our revolutionary approach centers on your unique path to strength and confidence. 

At Zenyo, we take a different approach to Jiu Jitsu training. (See rules of training below). We use the best ideas from continuously developing learning research to guide our practice. What you get is a fun, fast-paced class that brings out the best in each individual.

Zenyo means best. So that is the goal.


“A black belt is a white belt who never quit.” 

A Higher Purpose

Generations of martial artists have crafted the guidelines we use at Zenyo. Through them, we aim for a higher purpose in training. We strive to be strong, gentle and helpful. 


Ju-No-Ri means “gentleness” or “flowing with things.” The main idea of Ju-No-Ri is that you should not fight against your opponent’s strength but use that to your advantage. Gentleness also teaches us how to apply techniques safely.


Seiryoku Zenyo means “maximum efficiency, minimal effort,” or “best use of physical and mental energy.” When you apply the goal of being gentle with the goal of being strong, you will learn to use the right amount of force – not too much, not too little.


Jita Kyoei means “mutual welfare and benefit.” This means that everyone should benefit from training and learn something in the process. The way to accomplish this is to work to help not just yourself but also your teammates. 

“Be gentle, kind and beautiful, yet firm and strong, both physically and mentally.”

Keiko Fukuda, 10th dan Judo

Zenyo Jiu Jitsu Historical Photo

Rules Of Training

Zenyo means best use. At Zenyo, we are creating an environment for the best of Jiu Jitsu. 

The most important rule of Jiu Jitsu is to keep yourself and your partners safe. The goal of all training is to make sure that no one gets hurt. 

This attitude leads to the best of training. Everyone is expected to train in a way that fosters a safe and friendly training room at all times.

— All actions must be done in a controlled and progressive way to maintain safety at all times and to allow time for tapping.

— No action must be extended past a reasonable range, even if your partner does not tap.

— Restrain your body and motion to prevent any uncontrolled crashing.

— Jumping onto your partner in any way, at any time, is prohibited.

— Falling into your partner to create a takedown or to control positions is prohibited.

— Slamming, spiking and stacking are prohibited.

— Standing chokes are prohibited. 

— Cranking or twisting of the neck and spine are prohibited.

— Smothers are prohibited.

Zenyo Jiu Jitsu Historical Photo

History Of Jiu Jitsu

Jiu Jitsu means “the gentle art.” It starts in Japan around 1460. The first Jiu Jitsu school opens in 1532. During the 17th century, Jiu Jitsu  booms in popularity, with more than 2000 Jiu Jitsu schools in Japan. During this time, Jiu Jitsu schools compete in challenge matches. Randori, or free training, is created to practice without risk of breaking Japanese law, which prevents fighting. 

Jigoro Kano Jiu Jitsu Judo

Jiu Jitsu And Judo

One of the most important historical practicioners of Jiu Jitsu is Jigoro Kano. Kano earned three different black belts in Jiu Jitsu. In 1882, Kano takes what he learns in Jiu Jitsu and develops his own style of Jiu Jitsu, called Judo. Judo means the gentle way. Kano calls his school the Kodokan – “a place to study the way.” Twenty years later, Kano helps to spread Jiu Jitsu and Judo from Japan to the world. 

Mitsuyo Maeda

Jiu Jitsu Leaves Japan

1895- 1898 An English engineer named E.W. Barton Wright studies Jiu Jitsu and Kodokan Judo in Tokyo. In 1900 Barton Wright returns to England and opens an academy. He brings Yukio Tani, Tani’s brother Kaneo and Seizo Yamamoto to London to teach. Barton Wright is reported to have asked Kano for instructors and Kano recommended the jujitsukas.

Kano’s student Mitsuyo Maeda travels to the West in the early 1900’s to compete in exhibition matches and prize fights. Maeda visits the United States in 1905. Later, he teams up with the Jiu Jitsu fighters in London. Maeda travels to Brazil in 1914, where he sets up an academy to teach martial arts. 

Carlos Gracie

Jiu Jitsu In Brazil

Carlos Gracie is reported to take classes at Maeda’s academy. (The historical record is not clear.) Gracie and his brothers – especially Helio – start their own style of jiu jitsu. They open the Gracie Academy in 1925 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. 

Royce Gracie

Jiu Jitsu In America

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu comes to attention in America when Helio Gracie’s son, Rorion, starts the Ultimate Fighting Championship in 1993 in Denver, Colorado. Rorion’s brother, Royce, becomes the first UFC champion, winning his fights by chokes from the back. 

John David Emmett Black Belt Promotion

Jiu Jitsu In Baltimore

Zenyo Jiu Jitsu opens in Baltimore in 2015. 

Our lineage can be listed as: Jigoro Kano > Mitsuyo Maeda > Carlos/Helio Gracie > Carlson Gracie > Andre Pederneiras > Marcelo Pereira/Scott Oates > John David Emmett > You

Zenyo Online

Your resource for creating the best use of your physical and mental energy