Vee Arnis Jitsu

From The Martial Arts Encyclopedia


Vee Arnis Jitsu and its numerous affiliates primarily focus on the application of pressure tested techniques from various fighting styles in a self-defense context. Specifically, Vee Arnis Jitsu combines Vee Jitsu (a combination of Jiu-jitsu and Judo developed by Professor Florendo Visitacion), Muay Thai, and Arnis to provide a system of self-defense that can be adapted to fit an individual’s needs and abilities. Some affiliations display influences of Kenpo Karate and/or some influence from various styles of Chinese Kung Fu, which Professor Vee studied later in his life.

The techniques of Vee Jitsu, the foundation of the system, are comprised of various joint locks, manipulations, breaks, throws, and ground control techniques. The throws are founded in Kodokan Judo while the joint locks, manipulations, breaks, and ground control go beyond typical Judo ne-waza training and approach the technical depth of modern jiu-jitsu and submission grappling styles.

While it may be true that the vast majority of street confrontations end up on the ground, most, if not all, street confrontations begin standing up. This is where the Kenpo, Muay Thai and Arnis influences on Professor Vee’s System come into play to compliment the grappling aspects of the system.

The essential principles of the Visitacion Arts are:

  • Attack the attacker, not the attack;
  • Utilize the closest weapon to the closest target;
  • Attack weakness, not strength;
  • Maximum effectiveness with minimum effort;
  • Inflict as little damage as possible, but as much as is necessary;
  • No set pattern in deflections, strikes, locks or responses - each situation requires its own unique approach and the student must recognize and adapt to each situation.


The exact training regimen will depend upon which school in the Vee Arnis Jitsu family a practitioner wishes to study. Some schools focus more on the ground fighting and jiu-jitsu aspects, some schools combine the judo and jiu-jitsu aspects, and others focus equally on all three and their use and application in street defense situations.

Regardless, all of the Vee Jitsu schools rely on non-compliant, actively resistant, or “alive” training to hone the technical skill of the individual practitioner in each phase of combat to prepare the practitioner for the violence of an actual street encounter. If you wish to train at a Vee Arnis Jitsu school or affiliated school, regardless of that particular schools training focus, expect to roll, get hit, and get thrown hard and often.


Vee Arnis Jitsu a/k/a Vee Jitsu Ryu (“hereinafter “Vee Jitsu”) is a martial art that was developed by the late Professor Vee. Professor Vee was born June 7, 1910 in Barrio of Bacarra, Illocos, in the North Philippine Islands. The core of the system revolves around simplicity and economy of movement to effectively react to self-defense situations. Prof. Vee recognized that every person is unique and one concrete technique or static theory of fighting or self-defense does not fit every individual. Thus, Prof. Vee was adamant in his research and training to develop a fighting system that, while having core concepts and theories, could evolve with the practitioner; i.e., use what works for you, discard what doesn’t. The overall mindset to any situation where a confrontation is inevitable is “get in, get out, get home safe.”

Prof. Vee’s system evolved from decades of training in the following systems which make up the core of this style:

  • Arnis/Kali - Raymond Tabosa, Master Amante Mariñas and Grandmaster Remy Presas
  • Japanese Jiu-jitsu and Judo - Kiyose Nakae, with some influence provided by Professor Vee’s close friendship with Professor Wally Jay

During the mid-1960’s Prof. Vee added certain aspects of Kenpo Karate to further develop the stand up aspects of his system of self defense. The influence of Kenpo Karate is seen through the addition of two-person self defense forms which Prof. Vee added to his system in 1965. These forms are known in the system as Vee Jitsu Te’s. In 1983, Prof. Vee discarded the Kenpo aspects (though retaining the developed two man Vee Jitsu Te’s) in favor of Arnis and later added Muay Thai boxing.

At present, Prof. Vee’s system, Vee Arnis Jitsu, is headed by Professor David James, in Brooklyn, New York. Professor James was specifically named by Professor Vee to serve as the system’s successor and has been a driving force in the system’s continued evolution since the passing of Professor Vee on January 10, 1999. Professor James is well known for his acclaimed “1-2-3 Hit” self-defense system and training where the self-defense aspects of Vee Arnis Jitsu are drilled at full contact with fully resistant partners to mimic the violence of a street confrontation. The students wear protective gear for their safety but are encouraged to drill at 110% to learn and identify the techniques that work for them.

Affiliated Styles/Head Instructors

  • Vee Arnis Jitsu: Grandmaster David James –10th Dan
  • Sanuces Ryu: The Late Doctor Moses Powell – 10th Dan (January 22, 2005)
  • Vee Jitsu Ryu: Grandmaster Rick Riccardi –10th Dan
  • Vee Do Kwan: Grandmaster Danny Paulo – 10th Dan
  • Ju Kido Kai Ryu: Grandmaster Jose Velez – 10th Dan
  • Vee Jitsu ’75: Grandmaster Frank Edwards, Sr. – 10th Dan
  • Atemi Ryu Jujitsu: Professor Philip Chenique – 10th Dan
  • Dantor Ryu Jujitsu: Professor Daniel Torres – 8th Dan

By no means is this list proffered as a complete list of all Visitacion Arts. The arts listed are simply those presently known to this author as being directly affiliated or considerably influenced by the teachings of the late Professor Vee.

The Good

  • Full range of resistant training.
  • Regular full contact sparring.
  • Strong ground game (integrates aspects of Judo and Jiu-jitsu).
  • Depending upon school, stand-up game may have a heavy Muay Thai influence.
  • Complete opportunity to learn what works and what does not work in as “real” an environment as one can get outside actual street fighting or stepping in the octagon.
  • While core fighting theory is consistent, the emphasis is for the art to fit the student, i.e., use what works for you, your body type, your mind set.

The Bad

  • Training focus can vary greatly between affiliated schools, i.e., stand-up vs. grappling, sport MMA/Submission Grappling vs. Self-Defense, judo vs. jujitsu, weapons (knife/kali sticks) vs. no weapons.
  • Training intensity can vary greatly between affiliated schools.
  • Schools which emphasize stand-up or throwing may under-emphasize the importance of the ground game.
  • Schools which emphasize throwing and the ground game may under-emphasize the need for stand-up training.