Lineage Matters!

Get the most from your training

by James Eke

In the martial arts these days people seem to forget just how important lineage is in their training.

When we are looking for a martial arts school to train at we really need to do our due diligence in finding out everything that we can about the school, the systems and the instructors. Invest for success — both with our dollars and with our time.

Most of us wouldn’t take our cars to be repaired from someone who taught themselves from the internet. We wouldn’t go to a doctor who didn’t attend a decent school and knew what they were talking about. We don’t go to the barber to get a tooth pulled.

The same too should go for the martial arts — or anything.

We need to ask ourselves where the person we are devoting so much time and effort to learn a martial art from got or is getting their education, direction and mentoring from. Are they still actively training? Are they devoting themselves to get the highest level of martial art education that they can get? Are they investing in themselves so that they are investing in their school and their students?

Let’s be honest, martial arts is hard work, it is effort, it is sacrifice, loyalty and dedication — for a long time. It doesn’t end. Doesn’t it make sense to put all of this hard work behind efforts and people that make sense?

Any decent educator understand that they need to continue to seek out and be dedicated to learning first and this learning needs to come from the best that they can find.

Yes, this devotion to research and development takes time and investment. It means life-long learning. It also means an acceptance that you, the teacher, are simply and forever a student.

The easiest thing is to give in to your own ego and believe that you have all the answers. That you don’t need to spend any more time learning. That you deserve…something. This is egotistical, backwards and wrong. Worst of all it sets your students up for failure.

Picture yourself training for years in Bob’s Big McDojo of Martial Arts Awesomeness and you decide you want to teach. The problem is that Sensei Bob didn’t care too much about lineage or who he trained under or devoting himself to getting the best from his own training and as a result has no lineage to pass on. He trained with Sensei Bill and they don’t really get together anymore or maybe he paid some money and got a certificate and it means about as much as the frame he picked up for it from the dollar store.

Even though this student who spent years at the art, loves training and really wants to teach has all the best intentions, he unfortunately learned how to pull teeth from the barber instead of going to a good university, doing the work required, getting himself into a decent dentistry school and truly understands his craft from a line of similarly well educated people.

The martial arts are incredible. They are powerful and change our lives for the best.

In today’s world there are so many opportunities for training that didn’t exist even a few decades ago. Your martial arts school should reflect that — it should have instructors and leaders who are invested not just in building a business but in building a community and of fostering the very best in everyone who trains there. This starts at the top. Every martial arts instructor owes it to their students to devote themselves to learning from the very best, to putting effort in their own martial arts education, to doing the work that is required.

Unfortunately in this day and age there is always someone out there that will sell you anything. We need to understand the true meaning of caveat emptor — buyer beware — that the buyer assumes the risk that a product may fail to meet expectations or have defects. Don’t let these defects be what you are investing your time, your efforts and your love in.

So what does this all mean? Simply that we need to have eyes wide open to what we do and who it is that we are doing it with.

If we teach, we have to learn. We have to grow. We have to lead by example. We have to inspire our students to rise above and take risks and grow alongside other amazing people.

If we are students (and we all are), we have to seek out the very best that we can find. It means hard work. It means investing time, money and effort and an understanding that lineage — the people we train with and the places we train at actually matter. A lot.

You can train at Bob’s Big McDojo of Martial Arts Awesomeness if you want. You can get your teeth pulled by Joe, the neighbourhood barber. You can get open-heart surgery from someone who bought their degree online. It is your life. Do as you wish. For myself however, I want to learn, grow, be amazed, be inspired, feel blessed, humbled, honoured and at times overwhelmed. Training under and with amazing people, the best that you can find does that. And when the best that you can find smile at you, nod their head and acknowledge the work you have done (and have yet to do) it means the world. That certificate, that rank, that belt, that honour means the world because you know who it came from and what that really means.

Be the best that you can be. Train with the best. Realize that lineage matters. Realize that hard work matters.

Work hard.

Have fun.

Be humble.

Keep going!

James Eke is the chief instructor of the Eke Academy of Martial Arts. He has been training in the martial arts for over 36 years, has black belts and/or teaching certifications in eight martial arts and has trained in many others. He counts himself very lucky to be a student under legendary martial artists, Guro Dan Inosanto (studying and certified to teach: Jeet Kune Do, Kali, Maphilindo Silat and Madjapahit Martial Arts) and Professors Jean Jacques Machado and Jay Zeballos (of the Jean Jacques Machado Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Association); all of whom he trains with throughout the year.
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Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in Victoria, BC


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Start Jiu-Jitsu now at EAMA — $30 first 3 months!

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We believe in our Jiu-Jitsu program so much that we are giving the local community the chance to see what this incredible martial art can do for your life with a special introductory price of $30 for the first three months for all new students.

Eke Academy of Martial Arts is the only Western Canadian affiliate school of Jiu-Jitsu legend, Professor Jean Jacques Machado and our program offers five days a week of Jiu-Jitsu that is second to none.

There are no hidden fees. No gimmicks. Just real Jiu-Jitsu under the direct mentorship and direction of the Jean Jacques Machado Jiu-Jitsu Association.

Email us at or call us at 250-216-2801.

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Purple, blue and everything Jiu-Jitsu

No, we aren’t talking about bruises

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The Eke Academy of Martial Arts held its annual Fall BJJ Camp the weekend of 22 & 23 September, 2017 with Prof Jay Zeballos.

The weekend was special already in that it was the first official camp with the Eke Academy being the only Western Canadian Affiliate of the Jean Jacques Machado Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Association and the association’s director on the mats showing us what true Jiu-Jitsu is all about.

We were also blessed by having Oregon’s Prof Boaz Brizman up again helping Prof Jay enlighten everyone and our Guro James Eke’s training partner — and incredible purple belt — from California, Guro Brenda King on the mats as well.

At the end of the camp Prof Jay surprised everyone with four students (Mel Kaltsidis, Matt Fong, Robert Lepage and Joseph Dolan) being promoted to blue belt, stripes on the belts of many of our white belts and our school’s chief instructor, James Eke, earning his purple belt.

Next up for the Academy is the Jean Jacques Machado Affiliate Camp in October.

There are amazing things happening at our school. If you have an interest in learning Jiu-Jitsu the way it is supposed to be, from a lineage that is second to none, come by and try us out — all new students get their first month for only $20.

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Victoria Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Martial Arts like no other


Eke Academy of Martial Arts is THE place to train in Jiu-Jitsu in Victoria, BC as the only affiliate in Western Canada of legendary BJJ pioneer and world champion, Jean Jacques Machado.

Our chief instructor and founder, James Eke has been dedicated to seeking out the best in martial arts for well over 30 years and has trained for years with Prof Machado as well as JJM black belts, Prof Jay Zeballos, Prof Boaz Brizman, Prof Gary Padilla and others.

James Eke is also a certified instructor under legendary martial artist, Dan Inosanto and brings not just high-level Jiu-Jitsu to Victoria, BC but also Jeet Kune Do, Kali, Silat, Madjapahit Martial Arts and Kickboxing.

Check out our JJM Affiliate page at: .


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Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in Victoria, BC


We would like to welcome you to the best martial arts academy in Victoria, BC to train in Jiu-Jitsu.

Eke Academy of Martial Arts is the official affiliate representative of legendary BJJ pioneer, Jean Jacques Machado here in Victoria — as well as the only Jean Jacques Machado Affiliate in Western Canada!

We offer the public high quality Jiu-Jitsu directly under the mentorship of both Professor Jean Jacques Machado, seventh degree red/black ‘coral’ belt and Professor Jay Zeballos, world champion competitor and Prof Machado’s right hand man and Executive Director of the JJM Affiliate Program.

We have Jiu-Jitsu classes five days a week and all classes are suitable for both men and women of all ages. Kids classes are also available. A month of classes is as low as $60 a month for our Jiu-Jitsu program.

Our Jiu-Jitsu program is perfect for both the competitive and non-competitive practitioner.

We host seminars and training camps with black belts from JJM HQ in Los Angeles twice a year and hope to expand as time goes on.

If you are looking for top quality Jiu-Jitsu with a lineage that is second to none, look no further than Eke Academy of Martial Arts.

Check out our JJM Affiliate page at:


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Jean Jacques Machado Jiu-Jitsu officially lands in Victoria, BC at Eke Academy of Martial Arts



In the landscape of Jiu-Jitsu there are legends. Few come close to a living legend the likes of Jean Jacques Machado who is not only a pioneer in bringing BJJ to North America and trains a ‘who’s who’ of A-list martial artists and celebrities but is renowned for producing some of the best Jiu-Jitsu students and black-belts around.

Victoria, BC’s Eke Academy of Martial Arts is honoured and pleased to announce that the school which already brings Jeet Kune Do, Kali, Silat, Madjapahit Martial Arts and Kickboxing to British Columbia’s Capital is now the only affiliate of the living legend in Western Canada.

“This is a huge honour for not only our Academy but for our city and our province,” James Eke, chief instructor and founder of the Eke Academy said. “This brings legitimacy to Jiu-Jitsu in our city and really puts us on the map in a very real way. It has been years in the making and today is a very big day and one worth celebrating for our school, our students and for Jiu-Jitsu in Canada and North America. It is great to be part of seeing Jiu-Jitsu of an incredible lineage like Professor Machado spread here in our beautiful city on Vancouver Island.”

Twice a year the Eke Academy has been hosting Prof Jay Zeballos, full-time instructor at both Jean Jacques Machado Academies (Tarzana HQ and Malibu) and Executive Director of the Jean Jacques Machado Affiliate Program as well as a world champion competitor and Machado BJJ Third Degree Black Belt, and has been working closely with him to create and maintain a top-notch Jiu-Jitsu program at EAMA. On top of this James Eke has been travelling and training with both Professor Jean Jacques Machado and Professor Jay Zeballos regularly.

If you would like to learn more please contact our school at or check out our affiliate website at



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