Lori O'Connell has trained in the martial arts for over 30 years and taught for over 27 years. She was the owner and head instructor of Pacific Wave Jiu-jitsu in Richmond, BC, which she ran for 14 years before closing it during the pandemic in 2020. She holds the rank of 5th degree black belt and holds the title of Renshi in a Japanese style of Jiu-jitsu called Can-ryu. In addition to her Jiu-jitsu training, Lori has supplemented her primary style over the years by studying a wide variety of other arts and styles, including Filipino martial arts, boxing/kickboxing, BJJ/MMA, Gong fu, Taichi, Karate, Aikido, Taekwondo, Wing Chun, etc. She has taught Jiu-jitsu/self-defense at martial arts schools and organizations, private companies, and community organizations across North America and internationally.

Can-ryu Jiu-jitsu Instructor & School Owner

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Lori O'Connell started her training under Ed Hiscoe Hanshi (head of style for Can-Ryu Jiu-jitsu) in Ottawa in 1993. During her time in training in Ottawa, she completed instructor training with Professor Georges Sylvain (founder of Can-Ryu) and holds her full instructor's license. As part of her involvement with Professor Georges Sylvain's development of the Can-Ryu 2000 program, Lori was one of the main demonstration models in several of his training videos including The Persuader Key Holder Self-Defense System, Police Pressure Point Techniques and The Use & Application of Pepper Spray Against Dogs.

Lori has taught martial arts for over 27 years in Canada and abroad. She started teaching at her home dojo in Ottawa, moving on to teach at the University of Ottawa. She later moved to Iwaki, Japan, where she lived and worked on the JET Program for 3 years. She started a club there, teaching both Japanese people and foreigners living there. After she finished her teaching contract in Japan, she moved to Vancouver where she eventually founded Pacific Wave Jiu-jitsu and ran it until 2020 when she closed the dojo's doors due to the pandemic. Having moved back to her native Ontario last spring, Lori is now building her new home and dojo in Burnstown, ON, with plans to start operation in early 2024.

Lori has been an instructor at a wide variety of martial arts conferences, for the CJJU (Canadian Jiu-jitsu Union), PAWMA (Pacific Association of Women Martial Artists, NWMAF (National Women's Martial Arts Federation), and most recently at the 1000 Islands Jiu-jitsu Symposium. She has also been welcomed as a guest instructor at various martial arts schools, and has run self-defense sessions for a variety of private businesses and community organizations.

Other Martial Arts Training

In addition to Jiu-jitsu, Lori has trained in a variety of other arts to broaden her perspective, including gong fu (gold sash), Shotokan Karate (brown belt), Brazilian Jiu-jitsu, MMA, Boxing, Kickboxing, Aikido, Taichi, Taekwondo, Wing Chun, several other styles of Jiu-jitsu and more besides. Her original introduction to the world of martial arts pre-dating her Jiu-jitsu training was western fencing, in which she competed at the national level and in the university circuit for 7 years. She firmly believes in continual learning and progress in the martial arts.

Martial Arts Author / Blogger

In addition to her martial arts training and teaching, Lori has published 2 books. Her most recent book, When the Fight Goes to the Ground: Jiu-jitsu Strategies & Tactics for Self-Defense, was written for Tuttle Publishing, an international publisher of martial arts books. She also wrote Weapons of Opportunity, about her personal experiences teaching and training in the martial arts, and wrote regularly on her dojo's martial arts blog for over 13 years.