Jai Yen Yen System
Martial Arts &
Self Defense

Our Past to Present

Jeff Nielands' Gift

History 1973 - 2007 Video
(Turn up your volume, for fullscreen double click the image)

Our Black Belts

Jai Yen Yen a Philosophy
Jai Yen Yen is not just the name of our art it is our philosophy,
"For it can only be comprehended after a long hard study, by practicing that which is most difficult to practice, and by enduring that which is most difficult to endure." Duke Ali Shariff-Bey

The name "Jai Yen Yen" originates from Thailand. Meaning literally ~ Jai:Heart and Yen Yen:Cool Calm ~ simply put... during conflict you must fight with your Heart and remain Cool and Calm regardless how desperate the situation becomes. Jeff Nieland came up with the name and referred to it as "Let your heart be cool - go as you need to go and do as you need to do."

This art is called a System... as opposed to being called a Style. This is because the System has been created by combining many different styles and changed by different stylists. As a System it is all inclusive meaning all are welcome!

What is The Jai Yen Yen System?
Jai Yen Yen is a basic simplistic system created strictly for Self Defense and designed to meet the needs of each individual student. Since 1973, when the System was originally put together, it has been developed to combine some of the most common known Martial Art Styles... Some of these are Goju Ryu, Isshin Ryu, Judo, Goshin Jutsu, Hakko Ryu JuJitsu, Kyokushinkai, Aikido, Tae Kwon Do, Tang Soo Do, Moo Duk Kwan, Do Hap Sool, Praying Mantis, Hap Ki Do, Shotokan, Muay Thai Kickboxing, as well as others. The 6 Founders of the Art were Blackbelts each in their own respective arts and together removed the techniques used for flashy tournaments and applied their techniques to create One Simple Idea:


Jai Yen Yen began it's history at Randolph, AFB in San Antonio, TX. As it has always been in military circles, guys were being assigned here and there and always having change of duty stations. Many of these men were returning or heading into south east Asia due to the Viet Nam war. Basically you had many different practitioners from many different styles and philosophies. The conceptual goal of Jai Yen Yen was to gather as a collective club, train together and help improve their individual abilities, as well as, understand and reapply what they have already learned. This idea still holds true today. Tournament fighting was all the rage in the late '60s and early '70's with the likes of Chuck Norris, Mike Stone, etc. making their way around the circuits. Many of these guys enjoyed competing in these tournaments. But as they trained together and the techniques improved the group soon realized that their new system was beyond the normal tournament style training or fighting. A greater emphasis was placed on developing true life saving techniques and the work to perfect ones-self as a person through the martial arts. So as the art developed over time it went from a tournament focused sport to a basic simple karate to what we consider today as a formidable school for warriors or Budo Ryu. The Blackbelts of today who teach and study this art have also brought knowledge of other arts along with them which has been applied to the applications. Martial Arts is like the World of Mankind... an Infant evolving everyday with every breath... So as we Train and Evolve so does

The Jai Yen Yen System!

Who were the Jai Yen Yen Founders?
Although there were lots of Black Belts who came and went during those early days, there were 6 men who are truly accredited with being the nucleus of the group and today we recognize these men as our original Founders. These men were all black belts in various arts and were well versed in teaching their arts as well.
Some of the Founders
Jai Yen Yen, Nov 1973, San Antonio, Texas
top row l-r Jeff Nieland*, Duke Ali Shariff-Bey*
bottom row l-r Otis Williams, Johnny Miller, Fernando Franco*, Danny Quevedo.
(* denotes founders)

Our Founders
Developed the art from 1973 - 1982

Jeff Nieland - 9th Degree Blackbelt
Founder of Jai Yen Yen Began studying the martial arts in 1954.
Additional Training: Judo, Wrestling, Shotokan, Isshin Ryu, Tae Kwon Do - Ji Do Kwon & Kang Duk Won, Cha Yon Taekwon (Chayon Ryu), Hapkido, Shito-ryu, GoJu Ryu, Muay Thai Kickboxing, Shutokan, Aikido, Yoshu Shin Kai, Tae Chi Chuan, Kali,and Wing Chun.
Lago Vista, TX

Duke Ali Shariff-Bey - 9th Degree Blackbelt
Founder of Jai Yen Yen Began studying the martial arts in 1965.
Additional Training: Goju Ryu, Isshin Ryu, Tae Kwon Do AFKO, Judo, Yudo, Kyokushinkai, Su Jung Do Karate, Sanuces Ryu, Tang Soo Do, Hakko Ryu Jujitsu, Aikido, Do Hap Sool, Sil Lum, Jeet Kun Do, Drunken Monkey, Krav Maga, Founder of Uhuru Budo Kai.
Prairie View, TX

Andrew Harrison - 9th Degree Blackbelt
Founder of Jai Yen Yen Began studying the martial arts in 1947.
Additional Training: Boxing, Wrestling, Hakko Ryu Jujitsu, Judo, Goshin Jujitsu.
San Antonio, TX

Jack Gridley - 9th Degree Blackbelt
Founder of Jai Yen Yen Began studying the martial arts in 1963.
Additional Training: Aikido, Shotokan, Judo.
Dunedin, FL

Fernando Franco Jr. - 9th Degree Blackbelt
Founder of Jai Yen Yen Began studying the martial arts in 1968.
Additional Training: Kyokushinkai, Judo, Aikido, Tae Kwon Do, Goju Ryu, Tang Soo Do, American Kickboxing, Mui Tai Boxing, Boxing, USABA certified coach, Krav Maga.
San Antonio, TX

Randy Ames - 9th Degree Blackbelt
Founder of Jai Yen Yen Began studying the martial arts in 19??.
Additional Training: Tang Soo Do
Whereabouts Unknown

Danny Quevedo - 1st Generation Blackbelt
Sensei of Jai Yen Yen 1982 - 2003

Danny 1990

The Jai Yen Yen System was handed down from the Founders to Danny Quevedo in 1982 by Duke Ali Shariff-Bey, the last of the Original Founders to retire from the system. Danny built the System of today along with his black belts. In 2002 Danny sufferrred a major stroke, during the fall of 2003, after 30 years of Jai Yen Yen he passed the System down to his first black belt Michael Zang. Danny officially retired on June 19, 2004. Danny's Background: Began studying the martial arts in 1964. Additional Training: Kenpo, Shotokan, MooDukKwan TaeKwonDo, Modern Arnis(Presas), Northern Praying Mantis Kung Fu(Germany), Boxing(Germany), Muay Thai Kickboxing(Germany), Chinese Boxing, through his vast experience he Enhanced the Jai Yen Yen System and taught others to do the same.

Michael Zang - 2nd Generation Blackbelt
Chief Instructor of Jai Yen Yen 1989 - 2003
Sensei of Jai Yen Yen 2003 - present

Michael 2010

Michael was promoted by the active members of JYY and Kyoshintankai to 10th Degree Black Belt in 2010
signified by the Red Belt they presented him

Michael has been studying and teaching Jai Yen Yen since 1989. Began studying the martial arts in 1975. Additional Training: Jujutsu, Kai Ki Do, Kuk Sool Won(Korea), Hap Ki Do, Pressure Point Control Tactics-PPCT instructor, Muso Jikeden Eishin Ryu(Iaido), Adaptive Combat Tactics-Knife Fighting, Founder of Kyoshintankai.

Michael maintains contact with Duke, Jeff, Andrew, Jack, Franco, and Danny. He is still looking to make contact with Randy, please email us if you know of Randy Ames' whereabouts.


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11319 Golden Oak Trl, San Antonio, Texas
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