George Kirby, 72, of Valencia, recipient of Black Belt Magazine’s 2007 Hall of Fame Instructor of the Year Award, holds the rank of Judan (10th degree black belt), and is an internationally recognized martial arts instructor and author. He has been teaching Ju-Jitsu through community service agencies since 1967. 2017 will be his 50th year of service. He was the head instructor at the Burbank YMCA from 1968-75, the Burbank Parks Department from 1974-96 and has been teaching Budoshin Ju-Jitsu classes for the City of Santa Clarita-Recreation division since 1996. He was awarded the title of Hanshi (model teacher) in 1997 and his 10th degree black belt in 2000. He has taught Budoshin Ju-Jitsu as a regular elective class at Olive Vista Jr. High School (1976-83), the college level (COC), and has conducted ju-jitsu and law-enforcement seminars throughout the United States, Canada, Europe and Israel.
In 1994, following the Rodney King incident, Sensei Kirby was selected to serve as a Defensive Tactics Consultant for the Los Angeles Police Department, serving their Civilian Martial Arts Advisory Panel through 2007, when the CMAAP was dissolved. He has received two letters of commendation from the city of Los Angeles for his services. He also developed a Defensive Tactics program for the state of Nevada in the 1980s and has taught arrest and control techniques to private security firms and a variety of local and national law-enforcement personnel. In 2006 Sensei Kirby became a certified POST (Police Officer Standards Training) instructor. In 2007 Sensei Kirby was selected to be a member of FLEOA (Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association) and ILEETA (International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association).
Sensei Kirby was a public school teacher for 39 years, from 1967 until his “retirement” in 2006. He has a MA degree in Social Science/Political Science, Standard Secondary Teaching Credential, Standard Jr. College Teaching Credential, and Administrative Services Credential from the state of California. He was the chairman of the Social Science Department at U.S. Grant High School in Van Nuys, from 1992-2006, where he taught advanced Placement U.S. Government and Honors Economics. He also served as a master teacher for numerous student teachers during his 39 year public school teaching career.
Using his skills as an experienced martial artist and professional high school teacher, Sensei Kirby has had the opportunity to write a number of books, magazines, and an 8-DVD video series. His most recent books include Ju-Jitsu Basic Techniques of the Gentle Art– Expanded Edition (Black Belt Books 2011) and Ju-Jitsu: Advanced techniques for Redirecting an Opponent’s Energy (Black Belt Books 2015).
In 1992 Panther Productions released the 8-DVD video instructional series, entitled ‘Black Belt Ju-Jitsu.’ Sensei Kirby has also written numerous articles for Black Belt, Inside Karate and other martial arts magazines as well as numerous additional training videos, many available on YouTube.
In addition to his instructional responsibilities, Sensei Kirby serves as chairman, board of directors for both the Budoshin Ju-Jitsu Dojo Inc. (a non-profit educational and charitable foundation) and, until June 2016, the American Ju-Jitsu association (an amateur athletic association and governing body for Ju-Jitsu and amateur competition in the U.S. as recognized by the U.S. government). He is also the founder of the Budoshin Ju-Jitsu Yudanshakai, an educational foundation.
Sensei Kirby is also active in a number of other martial arts organizations. He is affiliated with the Shorinji Ryu Ju-Jitsu Association, World Head of Family Sokeship Council, Budo Centre International, Dai Nippon Seibukan Budo, and International Federation of Ju-jitsuans.
While Sensei Kirby may have retired from teaching for the LAUSD, he strongly believes that retirement is relative and thus has not retired from teaching ju-jitsu. In addition to teaching his regular jujitsu classes, he continues to run the annual Budoshin Ju-Jitsu summer camp (August of each year) in Santa Clarita.