Steven Hiscoe, Soke
Vice-President of the Canadian Jiu-Jitsu, Steven Hiscoe has assume responsibility for the daily operations of the CJJU. He was promoted to 9th Degree Black Belt in Can-Ryu Jiu-Jitsu, as per the wishes of O'Sensei Georges Sylvain, upon his death on December 6th, 2020. The confirmation of the promotion was made by Lynn Sylvain, daughter of Professor Sylvain, on December 31st, 2020.
Steven Hiscoe began his Jiu-Jitsu training in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada at Therien Jiu-Jitsu. He participated in his first class on November 29, 1975 at the age of seven. Subsequently, over the next couple of years, both his father (Ed) and brother (James) also started training at the dojo. Jiu-Jitsu became a way of life and the family was well known in the dojo.
On January 23, 1983, Sensei Steve and Sensei Ed were both promoted to 1st degree black belt (Shodan). The father and son promotion was a historical first in Canadian Jiu-Jitsu. At only fourteen years of age, Sensei Steve was the second youngest black belt the Therien Jiu-Jitsu School had produced. Very active in the dojo, he continued training and participated in numerous seminars and camps. Sensei Steve was in the dojo up to five times a week. He eventually assumed the role of assistant instructor in several classes, which included the kids, teens and adult classes.
At the age of nineteen, his ability to prepare and demonstrate his Jiu-Jitsu skills was recognized when he was invited to showcase his talents at a large gala demonstration in the Madeleine Islands on the Canadian east coast.
In March, 1988, Sensei Steve was encouraged by the parent (Sgt. Jim Good) of a student and applied to become a member of Canada’s famed Royal Canadian Mounted Police. On January 3, 1989, Sensei Steve was hired by the RCMP and attended basic training at Depot, in Regina, Saskatchewan. Upon graduating from the Depot, a letter was placed on this file recommending that once he met the service criteria, he be considered for an instructor position at the police academy. After successful completion of training, Sensei Steve was transferred to Abbotsford, British Columbia. This is where Sensei Steve continued establishing himself in the martial arts.
When Sensei Steve arrived in Abbotsford he discovered there were no local Jiu-Jitsu schools. He therefore joined a local Tae Kwon Do school to continue working on his kicking skills. He subsequently left this school and joined the Abbotsford Karate Club. In 1992, Sensei Steve received an invitation to attend from Sensei Ted Gosling who was a member of the dojo. Sensei Steve started studying Shoto-Ryu Karate under the Gima-Ha organization. The dojo was lead by some excellent karateka, Sensei Joe Worley and Sensei Paul Sexton. The training was new and challenging.
This is where Hiscoe Jiu-Jitsu was eventually launched. Due to the open-mindedness of these instructors Sensei Steve began sharing his Jiu-Jitsu knowledge with them. Several of the Gima-Ha black belts began training in Jiu-Jitsu on a regular basis, Joe Worley, Paul Sexton, Andrew Statz, and Ray Wong to name a few. During his time training in karate, Sensei Steve also had the opportunity to teach at several karate camps and conduct demonstration at several Karate BC tournaments.
While training at the Abbotsford Karate Club, Sensei Steve met Aird Flavelle, who was also a student. Aird had a passion for martial arts and as such the two became friend and became business partners. The open a martial arts supply store in Abbotsford called The Black Belt Shop. The also opened the first full time Hiscoe Jiu-Jitsu Dojo together. The dojo was located right next door to The Black Belt Shop. It was a beautiful dojo but unfortunately due to limited experience running a martial arts business the school was eventually closed. This was a very sad day.
It was during this time that Sensei Steve was acting as the Western Canadian Representative for the World Kobudo Federation. Sensei Steve had the opportunity to travel to several international training camps in Switzerland, United States and Canada. It was during some of these trips that he fostered some long lasting friendship. He was also invited to teach and an international multi-discipline martial arts camp in England. Sensei Steve and Aird also hosted several WKF events in BC, hosting instructors like Jean-Yves Theriault, John Therien and Alain Sailly.
After leaving the WKF, Sensei Steve and Aird decided to create a non-profit provincial Jiu-Jitsu association for the promotion of Jiu-Jitsu in British Columbia. Sensei Steve contacted several black belts such as, Michael Seamark, Allen St-John, Richard Laroche to discuss the possibilities. It was after this meeting in 1997 that the Jiu-Jitsu BC Society (JJBC) was born. The goal was to foster sharing of knowledge and promote the Art.
On October 22, 1997, Sensei Steve and Sensei Ed were both promoted to the rank of 5th degree black belt (Godan) by Professor Georges Sylvain, the Founder of Can-Ryu Jiu-Jitsu. Once again this achievement was unprecedented in Canadian Jiu-Jitsu.
In July, 1999, Sensei Steve successfully completed the RCMP’s 3-week Public and Police Safety Instructor Course, one of the Mounties’ most difficult courses. Since 2001, Sensei Steve has been a lead instructor on the course and has developed over 350-PPS instructors across Canada. He has also certified other instructors to lead the defensive tactics module of the training. As a result of his extensive experience and expertise Sensei Steve now supervises, develops and is consulted on new use of force training programs.
From 2000 to 2007, Sensei was the lead instructor for the University College of the Fraser Valley’s Self-Defense for Law Enforcement Course. This course was based on practical hands on techniques combined with use of force theory. This course was designed to prepare college students for a career in law enforcement.
In 2001, Sensei Steve, who was a constable with the RCMP, took over the training responsibilities for the Upper Fraser Valley Regional Detachment. His duties included delivering in-service police defensive tactics and firearms training to his colleagues. He was also responsible for liaising with the provincial training academy on other training opportunities.
In November 2003, Sensei Steve was a privileged member of the grading panel, which, recognized Professor Georges Sylvain, with his 10th degree black belt (Judan).
In 2006, Sensei Steve transferred to the RCMP's Pacific Region Training Center in Chilliwack, BC. Here was part of a team led by Tim Anctil, responsible for the implementation of what is know as Block Training. This is a 5-day course comprised of mandatory use-of-force topics such as, defensive baton, oc spray, carotid control, firearms and scenario based training. No other province in Canada had such a model to deliver full-time use-of-force training. On April 7, 2007 the first Block Training course was in at PRTC in Chilliwack, BC. Sensei moved through the ranks transitioning from an instructor, team leader and unit manager.
In 2008-2009 he was part of an RCMP national working group responsible for the design of new training surrounding use-of-force training and the articulation required subsequent to a use-of-force encounter. Sensei travel throughout Canada delivering and monitoring this training to other instructors.
On May 5th 2008, just prior to O’Sensei Sylvain’s retirement, Sensei Steve was awarded his 8th degree black belt (Hachidan).
In 2012 he moved internally to the "E" Division Training Research and Development Unit. Here he was tasked with planning, organizing and implementing the rollout of carbine training for "E" Division. This required comprehensive cost analysis and planning around centralized or decentralized training models. As part of this process Sensei successfully completed the RCMP Carbine Operator Trainer Course and later the Instructor Trainer program. He was then given the responsibility of building a team of full-time carbine instructors. In April 2014, the first carbine user course in BC was held at the Hope Rod and Gun Club in Hope, BC.
In September of 2011, Sensei Steve decided to take another chance and relaunch Hiscoe Jiu-Jitsu as a full-time dojo. He had continued to teach part-time since closing the first dojo and built up a solid clientele and reputation in Chilliwack. Sensei is extremely grateful to Sensei Don Sharp, owner of Valley Shidokan, for his support over many years. This really is the reason Sensei Steve was able to re-open Hiscoe Jiu-Jitsu full-time.
Sensei Steve was then tasked with amalgamating the pistol and carbine training teams into one unit. The result was the PRTC Firearm Training Unit being created. The team comprised of 24 individuals. Sensei Steve was then promoted to the rank of Sgt.
On March 4th 2019, he was promoted to the rank of S/Sgt and given the responsibility of overseeing all tactical training program for "E" Division Training. This includes use-of-force and firearms training which is delivered by a team of approximately 60 instructors.
On December 6th, 2020, O'Sensei Sylvain passed away. Upon his passing away, Sensei Steve was given the honour of receiving his iconic red uniform. This passed down by his daughter Lynn Sylvain. The framed uniform and belt now hangs in Sensei's dojo in Chilliwack, BC.
On December 31, 2020, Sensei Steve was promoted to the rank of 9th degree black belt in Can-Ryu Jiu-Jitsu. This rank was awarded based on documentation left by O'Sensei that the promotion would be done after his death.
On March 8th, 2021, Sensei Steve was awarded the title of Soke and the responsibilities of leading the Canadian Jiu-Jitsu Union and keeping O'Sensei Sylvain legacy alive. The awarding was given by Ed Hiscoe, Hanshi who was in the process of retiring from active martial arts training and teaching.
If you would like more information about the Canadian Jiu-Jitsu Union or Hiscoe Jiu-Jitsu please don't hesitate to contact me.