President & CEO, United States Ju-Jitsu Federation (USJJF)
Shihan Bruce R. Bethers is the President of the United States Ju-Jitsu Federation (USJJF), the North American Ju-Jitsu Union (NAJJU) , the Shihan-Ryu Institute of Martial Arts and is on the Board of Directors of the USA Karate Federation (USAKF) and the Ju-Jitsu International Federation (JJIF). He also serves as the Secretary General of the Martial Arts International Federation (MAIF).
Shihan Bethers “first stepped on the mat” in 1963 at the age of 13 and began his Martial Arts training in Ju-Jitsu & Kodokan Judo under his first Instructor Shihan Sensei John J. Chaffin, Chief Instructor & Founder of the American Martial Arts Society and Sensei Koichi Kobayashi, Hirosaki, Japan Buddhist Ju-Jitsu Academy. He was promoted to the rank of Shodan, 1 st Degree Black Belt in Ju-Jitsu & Judo in 1965. He also began his Karate training in 1964 under Sensei Guy Poos. At that point in Shihan Bethers’ life, he was working as a physical education instructor for the YMCA where he taught Ju-Jitsu, Karate & Judo at three different “Y” branches in Oklahoma City, OK.
He was promoted to the rank of Shodan, 1 st Degree Black Belt in Shihan-Ryu Karate in 1967. He began his Kendo training in 1970. He taught Martial Arts in the YMCA from 1965 to 1989, with only a four-year break due to active duty in the U.S. Army. During his college years (1968-1973), he also trained in Ching-Yi Kung Fu under Dr. Herr Yue Wong & was promoted to Black Belt in Kung Fu in 1973. While serving in Europe, (1974-1977) Shihan Bethers organized the European Armed Forces Martial Arts Association. During his four-year tour of duty in Europe, the EAFMAA held many seminars & tournaments in Germany, France, England & Greece (to include the Bi-Centennial Armed Forces Karate Championships in 1976). In 1977, Shihan Bethers trained & served as the Official U.S. Armed Forces Coach for the “American Team” at the European Tae Kwon Do Championships held in Rotterdam, Holland. He trained in Tae Kwon Do under Kim Kwang IL in Stuttgart, Germany. He received his 2 nd Degree Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do in 1976.
Shihan Bethers’ Current Martial Art Ranks:
– Hachidan, (8 th Degree Black Belt) in US Ju-Jitsu, USJJF
– Hachidan, (8 th Degree Black Belt), Ju-Jitsu International Federation (JJIF)
– Hachidan, (8 th Degree Black Belt) in Shihan-Ryu Ju-Jitsu
– Hachidan, (8 th Degree Black Belt) in Kito Ryu Ju-Jitsu, Hirosaki Ju-Jitsu Academy, Japan
– Shichidan, (7 th Degree Black Belt) in Tenshin Shinyo Ryu Ju-Jitsu, Hirosaki Ju-Jitsu Academy
– 7 th Dan, Yudo, United States Yudo Association (USYA)
– 7 th Dan, Tae Kwon Do, Central Tae Kwon Do Association of the USA (CTA-USA)
– Shichidan, (7 th Degree Black Belt) in Shihan-Ryu Karate, USAKF / USMAF
– Rokudan, (6 th Degree Black Belt) in Kodokan Judo
– Godan, (5 th Degree Black Belt) in Shihan-Ryu Kendo