|Akron Vee-Jitsu Club
|Brief History and Description of Vee-Jitsu
by Professor Jim Roma
|Grandmaster Florendo M. Visitacion (Vi-zi-tah-she-own) has been a true genius and innovator in the martial art
world. He has proven himself to have those qualities of character and technical abilities that make him a member of
that minority of martial practitioners that we honor as Masters. He was the instructor of some famous martial
artists, such as Master Moses Powell and 'Little John' Davis, as well as many other lesser known instructors from
many different styles. He has made an impact upon thousands throughout the world. His recent Memorial Service
in New York City, for example, was attended by somewhere around 700 people (many of whom are respected
instructors) and he received a full page obituary in the New York Times Newspaper (January 10, 1999).
|Professor Vee, as he was affectionately called, has been a guest of Mr. Aaron Banks at the Oriental World of Self
Defense held at the Madison Square Garden in New York City, NY. He has also been featured in most major martial
art magazines as well as in many colleges and public newspapers. In demonstrations and conventions from coast
to coast Grandmaster Visitacion has been a welcomed performer and instructor. Until his death at the age of 88,
Grandmaster Vee taught regularly in schools on the East Coast and privately tutored instructors in his Bronx, New
|Grandmaster Visitacion was born on June 7, 1910, in a small Barrio (borough) of Bacarra, the Philippine Islands. At a
very young age hes was taught some forms of jujitsu and Arnis by his brother and uncle. Professor Vee then
emigrated to the Hawaiian Islands and survived as a larborer on a sugar cane plantation. He lived there from 1926
until 1928. Moving to California, he served in the American Armed Forces during the Second World War. He arrived
in New York City, New York, in July of 1946. Graduating from high school at Boro Hall Academy in Brooklyn, he then
attended Long Island University for a year. He also took a liberal arts course for a summer at Pace College of
Business in Manhattan.
|Although having had martial art instruction as a boy and some training while in the Army, it wasn't until 1951 that
Professor Vee bagan to study in earnest. He received instruction from Charles Nelson, a former marine Sergeant.
Then also in Manhattan he studied jujitsu at Sigward's Sports Academy; Sigward having taught hand-to-hand
combat techniques to the Armed Forces Military Police. Well-known jujitsu master, Kiyose Nakae, author of the book
Jujitsu Complete, also taught him during this time. Swami Vraygiananda at the Jiu-jitsu School of India taught him
basics of Varmannie; Mr. Ivan Villegas, instructor at the Samurai Judo Club of New York gave him instruction in
Kodokan Judo; Mr. Jerome Mackey had an influence in his studies; and Professor Ogata, an expert in Kendo, Judo
and Jujitsu rounded out his training.
|Then from 1960 on, Professor Vee studied for various lengths of time in schools that taught such arts as Karate,
Gung Fu (mainly Wing Chun and Praying Mantis), Aikido, Tai Chi Ch'uan, and possibly his first love, Arnis (Filipino
knife and stick fighting). He has studied under prestigious masters, such as Mr. Leo Gaje, Mr. Amante Marinas, and
even enjoyed a few sessions with well-known masters Mr. Raymond Tobosa, Mr. Remy Presas and Mr. Dan
Inosanto. He received an Arnis teaching certificate from Mr. Marinas and the coveted Datu Award from the Arnis
America Organization, which reads, For your outstanding contribution in promoting Kali, the Philippine Martial Art. On
August 11, 1971, the American Judo and Jujitsu Federation (AJJF) officially recognized Vee-jitsu and issued
Grandmaster Visitacion its highest rank of Judan (tenth black) dated as of February 26, 1966.
|Professor Visitacion loved to read, which is evidenced by his large martial art and philosophy library. The key to his
success was his ability to not only read, but to be able to identify and extract those principles that formed the
foundation of any system. Then he intelligently incorporated them with principles from other styles, and so on.
Early in his training, Master Vee developed a philosophy that became the foundation of his learning and teaching
process. He reasoned that the martial art world was one. The various arts could be compared to many paths
leading to the same mountain top; or to many instruments playing in the same orchestra. He realized that every art
had merit and that if he approached his studies from thatt perspective then he could gain the most from his efforts.
|He disciplined himself to respect all men and all systems. He chose to embrace them all, to select from them those
techniques and principles that graced his personal development, and to never allow himself to believe that he had
arrived. "When you eat fish, eat what is good and leave the rest on the plate. Don't refuse the fish just because it
contains bones," he would tell his students. And because of this mind set, Grandmaster Visitacion blossomed into a
versatile, outstanding technician as well as a friend to martial artists from all persuasions.
|He has categorized his years of training into a system. As Professor Vee's system evolved, it assumed names that
reflected its forms, such as Vee Jitsu Ryu Jitsu Te, Vee Arnis Jitsu, and the latest, Vee Arnis. The systems has 21
Minor Katas and 9 Major Katas, which are prearranged forms using mostly Karate and Gung Fu There are 7 General
Courses composed of hundreds of techniques from a wide variety of arts. Ukemi (the art of falling and rolling),
pressure points, hard and soft blocking forms, body movements from Tai Chi, Karate, Gung Fu, Pakua, and Aikido, a
great amount of Arnis, a little weaponry, striking techniques from all the major arts, and Kapo (oriental first aid) are
all included in these General Courses. He has a set of techniques that are designed to develop one's ability to
withstand blows to the hands and arms, known as Humanized Makiwara. The Te Groups are a productive and
unique feature of Vee Arnis. These are short katas that are always performed with a partner. When the Te is
completed the defender continues to use any and all techniques from his arsenal until he chooses to stop or
exhausts his possibilities. This part of training is called the follow up. There are at least 50 Te Katas.
|Low kicking (from the solar plexus to the feet) is emphasized and encouraged, but high kicking is acceptable when
used correctly. Free style practice, using a controlled attack and sparring with one or multiple opponents is often
employed. Other than the stick and knife, weapons training is minimal, since Professor Vee's concept is that all
martial art training should be applicable in today's society.
|Since Grandmaster Vee believed in using multiple strikes and because of his follow up approach to practice, Vee-jitsu
practitioners are noted for what is often referred to as over kill. Grandmaster Visitacion considered this a positive
approach to training since it helps the student to be prepared to continue his defense should the opponent move or
block his efforts. He felt that if one gets into the habit of 1, 2, 2 and stop fighting, then that student may be
conditioned to hesitate in real combat. However, he constantly insisted that his students never do more than what
was necessary in an actual conflict. Punishment and vengeance are both condemned.
|The Vee-jitsu System is open ended. This means that new techniques are always welcomed and old ones may be
discarded or refined. Professor Vee himself never stopped experimenting and creating. Martial artists of all styles
were attracted to him for he did not tell them to abandon what they have already accomplished. Rather, his goal
was to help them economize their movements, to build upon and expand upon those techniques that they had
learned elsewhere; to perfect themselves. Although each student is required to imitate the movements of the
instructor while learning a new technique, the end goal is to have the student express his own creativity and
individuality. "This system is not an end in itself, but rather a means to an end," Grandmaster Vee would say.
|The Vee Arnis emblem has an orange sun (to honor Professor Vee's Filipino heritage), a yellow 'V' for Visitacion, the
words Vee Arnis Jitsu: An Expansion of Knowledge, the letters S, M, and P. The letters stand for spiritual, mental and
|Supreme Grandmaster Florendo M. Visitacion told us often, "Train as if every man is your enemy, but live as if every
man is your friend."
|Copyright 2005 by Akron Vee-Jitsu Club