Founder Professor Jacob's love affair with the martial arts began when he was only nine years old, growing up on the rough streets of a Port of Spain ghetto on the small island of Trinidad in the West Indies. A fighter by nature, the young Don Jacob badly needed a positive outlet for his energetic and aggressive personality, and he found it - in the form of judo lessons from Sensei Clyde Thomas. He quickly became one of his teacher's best students and after earning his Black Belt, he got the opportunity to travel to New York where he met and trained with jiu-jitsu practitioner Grandmaster Moses Powell.
Professor Jacob spent several years teaching, traveling and studying various styles of martial arts, including traditional styles like karate, which he learned from his second teacher, MASTER Tusui Yoshitaker.
In 1969, at the age of 15, Professor Jacob set about realizing his dream of turning his special talent into a rewarding career. In the humble neighborhood of Westbury Lane in Belmont, Trinidad, he founded his first Martial Arts academy, under the name which was to become, over the years, a household word, and synonymous with a school of competitors unparalleled in Caribbean history - PURPLE DRAGON. In the years following the opening of his first school, Professor Jacob traveled extensively all over the world, performing and teaching Don Jitsu-Ryu.
What is most noteworthy about Purple Dragon's early beginning is that it was accomplished at a time when non-Orientals were virtually forbidden to open any new systems of martial arts - even more so in the Third World. Despite the initial opposition and disapproval of his innovative system, Professor Jacob forged ahead, making a name for himself and for Purple Dragon. His persistence and determination have not failed him. Purple Dragon now operates a growing number of schools in Trinidad, and is thriving internationally in other Caribbean islands such as the Cayman, Tortola, Antigua, Ireland and Grenada, as well as in the US, Canada and Australia. The video entitled "Unstoppable Force" is one of the best sellers bearing the success story of the life and times of this awesome warrior.
Here are just some of his most outstanding achievements:
- Won the Canadian National Exhibition for the best martial arts demonstration
- 1980 - Became the first Trinidadian to perform at the Madison Square Gardens Oriental World of Self-Defense in front of 28,000 cheering spectators
- Became the first Black martial artist to be featured on the cover of an English magazine:"Karate and Oriental Arts"
- Became the first known Black martial artist to publish a book on the art of nontraditional jiu-jitsu – "High Impact Jiu-jitsu"
- Was featured on the cover of SMASH Sport Karate Magazine as "World Champion Coach"
- Featured in "Black Heroes of the Martial Arts" - by Ron Van Clief
- Featured with Professor Wally Jay in "World of Martial Arts" magazine (May-June 1997).
- Featured on PanAm Airline in-flight entertainment to over 90 countries
What's on the agenda for PURPLE DRAGON in the near future? As Professor Jacob would say, "The Best Is Yet To Come." Check the News & Events page for upcoming visits, seminars, as well as some of the many events held in Trinidad and the Caribbean.