History of the Academy

In 1960, Soke Morton and Major James Laughlin started the Jishukan Ryu Australia, initially training in Turner in the Australian Capital Territory. Soke Morton held the position of Chief Instructor, a position he held until 1980.

Also in 1960, Soke Morton travelled to Japan and trained at the Jishukan Honbu under the guidance of Soke Sugita, the Principal and Founder of the Jishukan Ryu. After returning to Australia, Soke Morton was awarded his Shodan (1st Dan Black Belt) by the Jishukan Honbu.

In September 1962, Soke Morton, with the help of Graham Gordon, founded Peter Morton’s Judo and Jujitsu School in Queanbeyan, New South Wales, Australia. The school taught the Jishukan Ryu Jujitsu and Kodokan Judo and Soke Morton’s main aim was to keep the youngsters of Queanbeyan off the streets and give them some self-discipline and an interest in life.

Initially the school was opened to cater for junior students but, as interest grew, senior classes soon began. The Academy has always operated as an independent club under its own name, teaching the original Jishukan Ryu style as well as judo, boxing and Australian jujitsu techniques.

In 1965 the school outgrew its initial training hall and Mr Allan Bray, Secretary Manager of the Queanbeyan Returned Services League (RSL) Club, offered the RSL facilities. In exchange for support and use of the RSL Memorial Hall in Queanbeyan, the school changed its name to The Queanbeyan RSL Judo and Jujitsu Club.

By the end of 1966, the Academy had grown to about 500 junior members and 90 senior members.

By 1977, the Academy had established an excellent reputation for its work and was asked to provide self-defence training to the Australian hostesses and the Australian police contingent going to Expo 77 (Tokyo).

In 1979, Soke Morton received a certificate from Soke Sugita which, unfortunately, wasn’t translated until the late-1980s. It appointed Soke Morton the undisputed person in charge of the Jishukan Ryu in Australia. However, by this time a rift had occurred between the Academy and the Jishukan Ryu Australia and, in 1983 the Academy and all of its branches broke their affiliation with the Jishukan Ryu so that they could stay loyal to the teachings of Soke Sugita. (After Soke Sugita retired, in 1983, the Jishukan Ryu deviated from his original teachings and became more karate-orientated.)

In 1984, the Academy became an associate affiliate member of the Australian Society of Jujitsuans.

In 1988, the school changed its name to the Queanbeyan RSL Jujitsu Club and the South Australian branches celebrated their 10th anniversary.

In 1989, a Women’s Self-Defence Course was introduced, providing women with the basic tools to defend themselves. Thousands of women throughout Australia have since participated in the course.

In 1995, in honour of Soke Morton, the school changed its name to the Peter Morton Academy of Self Defence. Blitz, a martial arts magazine, ran a four-page feature on Soke Morton entitled Standing the Test of Time (Vol 10 No 4).

In 1997, Soke Morton was inducted into the Australasian Martial Arts Hall of Fame / World Karate Union Hall of Fame as “The Most Distinguished Martial Artist of 1997” and was also nominated as a board member of the AMAHOF Sokeship Council. The Academy also became associated with the Australian Shihan Kai, the international body of the Australian Jiu-Jitsu, Judo & Chinese Boxing Federation of Instructors. Since 1997, more members of the Academy have been inducted into the AMAHOF/WKUHAF

In 2001, the Academy changed its name again, to the Peter Morton Academy of Judo Jujitsu Karate. This change is to clarify that the Academy is a martial arts club that teaches the Jishukan Ryu Jujitsu, encompassing Kenpo Karate, Jujitsu and Kodokan Judo.

In 2002, the Academy celebrated its 40th anniversary and Soke Morton officially declared Shihan David Rowley as Principal and Shihan Eddie Scharrer as Deputy Principal of the Academy. Shihan Rowley and Shihan Scharrer now have complete control over the direction of the Academy’s development.

For a more complete history, see Many Mountain Summits, the 40th anniversary commemorative history of the Peter Morton Academy of Judo Jujitsu Karate.