history of the don jitsu ryu system

Purple Dragon Karate in Conyers. Grandmaster Jacob
Grandmaster Professor Don Jacob

Professor Jacob’s love affair with the Martial Arts began when he was only nine years old, growing up on the rough streets of a Port of Spain ghetto on the small island of Trinidad in the West Indies.

A fighter by nature, the young Don Jacob badly needed a positive outlet for his energetic and aggressive personality, and he found it – in the form of judo lessons from Sensei Clyde Thomas. He quickly became one of his teacher’s best students, and after earning his black belt, he got the opportunity to travel to New York where he met and trained with Jiu-Jitsu practitioner, the Late Grandmaster Moses Powell.

Professor Jacob spent several years teaching, traveling, and studying various styles of martial arts, including traditional styles like karate, which he learned from his second teacher.

A young Don Jacob appreciates his teachers the late MASTER Tusui Yoshitaka, the late Grand Master Clyde Thomas, the late Professor Moses Powell and the late Professor Wally Jay his teacher and dear friend.   

In 1969, at the tender age of sixteen Professor Jacob set about realizing his dream of turning his special talent into a rewarding career.

In the humble neighborhood of Belmont, Trinidad, he founded his first Martial Arts school, at 14A Westbury Lane, under the unofficial name, “HELL YARD”. This nickname was given due to the rigorous training which took place there. It was not until 1970, that the school got its official name, Purple Dragon International, which was to become synonymous with a school of champions unparalleled in Caribbean history.

In the years following the opening of his first school, Professor Jacob traveled extensively all over the world, performing and teaching.

Purple Dragon Karate in Conyers. Grandmaster Jacob
Grandmaster Professor Don Jacob

What is most noteworthy about Purple Dragon’s early beginning is that it was accomplished at a time when non-Orientals were virtually forbidden to open any new systems of martial arts – even more so in the Third World. Despite the initial opposition and disapproval of his innovative system, Professor Jacob forged ahead, making a name for Trinidad & Tobago, Purple Dragon and for himself.

His persistence and determination has not failed him. Purple Dragon now operates a growing number of schools in Trinidad and Tobago. The organization is thriving and growing in other Caribbean islands such as the Cayman Islands, Tortola, Antigua, Grenada and Dominica as well as internationally in the U.S.A, Canada, Europe and Australia.

The DVD entitled “Unstoppable Force” is one of the best sellers bearing the success story of the life and times of this awesome warrior. This DVD is a must-see for all students.

A snippet of Professor Don Jacob life journey in building the Purple Dragon and the Don Jitsu Ryu:

Professor Anthony Don Jacob was born in San Fernando Hospital, Trinidad and Tobago on 16th October 1954 of humble parentage. history of the don jitsu ryu system

He has studied Martial Arts for over four decades. He holds a 9th Degree Black Belt and the title (Hanshi) Grandmaster or Professor. history of the don jitsu ryu system

He has competed in many parts of the world and is a recognized international champion in various Divisions – e.g. Fighting, Forms, emphatic weaponry, Self Defense and multiple demonstrations.

He has appeared both on National and International television on several of the world’s most influential Channels, including ABC’s Wide World of Sports (US) and Trans World Sports (UK).

He has enjoyed being featured in many sports Martial Arts and Cultural magazines, such as NBL Sport Karate International and Black Diaspora magazine (US). His presence on the cover of the British magazine ‘Oriental Arts – Karate’ of August 1980 was an achievement that will long be remembered. history of the don jitsu ryu system

 He has done videos and starred in the leading roles. Some of these are: ‘Enter the Purple Dragon,’ Battle of the Pro Am Champions,’ Australian Tour 1, 2 &3 and ‘Don Jacob’s Fighting Techniques’ among many others.

Purple Dragon Karate in Conyers. Grandmaster Jacob, Flesh & Bone
Don Jitsu Ryu Flesh & Bone: The soul of a Don Jitsu Ryu Black Belt Warrior


He has authored several books – the most outstanding ‘High Impact Jiu-Jitsu,’ ‘Purple Dragon Don Jitsu Ryu System Manuals 1&2,’ ‘Fighting Man’s Bible,’ ‘Purple Dragon Franchise Marketing Warfare’, ‘Rape Prevention For Women” and “The Purple Dragon Rules of Martial Arts Competition Handbook”. 

 He has had the benefit of being featured in ‘The Official History of Karate in America’ (The Golden Age 1968-1986) and Black Heroes of the Martial Arts; as well as in thousands of newspaper articles, talk shows and live appearances across the globe. history of the don jitsu ryu system

The late  Grand Master Clyde Thomas  encouraged him to  travel and his travels around the world have brought him into contact with some of the leading and legendary personalities of his time;   the late Dr. Moses Powell,  Professor Wally Jay Master the late  Tusui Yoshitaka and Billy Blanks of the United States too name a few. history of the don jitsu ryu system

Pride filled him when he was one of the first three Caribbean men to be made an Honorary Citizen of Alameda, California, USA in 1984, the others being his students Anthony Thompson and Herbert Norville. 

He was given the keys to the city of Honolulu, Hawaii and to Melbourne, Australia. He was honored as ‘The Unsung Hero’ by the U.N.C. Government who came into power in 1995.

Over two hundred standing ovations for his work have not spoilt him. He has not been overshadowed by all his acclaim even though he truly relished the ones at Madison Square Gardens, the Canadian National Exhibition, and London England and in the Middle East. history of the don jitsu ryu system

 The testimonials he has received and the commendations that have come are witness to the fact that he is indisputably the Caribbean’s most decorated athlete, and is ranked among the top performers and lecturers in the world.

 Professor Don Jacob was inducted into the World Martial Arts “Hall of Fame” in Akron, Ohio USA in 1991. He was inducted into the World Head of Family Sokeship Council “Hall of Fame” May 23rd-24th, 2008 in San Antonio Texas.

Purple Dragon Karate in Conyers. Grandmaster Jacob
Grandmaster Professor Don Jacob

Professor Don Jacob in the same year was inducted in the Kuroshi-do “Hall of Fame” in Atlanta Georgia.

Professor Jacob the Founder (Soke) and CEO of the world famous Don Jitsu Ryu System, manages, operates and teaches one of the finest, largest and most disciplined Martial Arts institutions in the world.

 He has twenty-eight (28) Purple Dragon (Dojos) schools in Trinidad & Tobago, eight (8) of these are actually at Academic Institutions (schools) where the children are given the Don Jitsu Ryu discipline on afternoons after school. He also has twenty-two (22) more Dojos at international locations worldwide.

 Professor Don Jacob is Trinidad and Tobago’s finest Martial Arts practitioner and therapist. He is an Author, Instructor, Teacher, Lecturer, Motivator, Counselor and Father. He has taught over 40 thousand students in the Martial Arts. He belongs to the rich institution of Mother Purple Dragon, the Secret Order of the Oriental and African Arts and Science. He is a Martial Arts Scientist and an inspiration to us all.  

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