The University of York Samurai Jiu Jitsu Club (as it was originally called) was started in the late eighties at the University of York by Sensei Michael Lycett. The club ran for a year 'unofficially' without funding from the University's Athletic Union, but since then has been one of the strongest club's in the University.

After three years of instruction Sensei Lycett took his leave and the club was then run by Sensei Julian Straker-Jones (who later went on to become a founding member of Aiuchi Jitsu) for a year before control was passed on once more to Sensei Richard Harrop. Sensei Harrop was assisted during this time by Sensei Rod Chapman, and it was during this period that the club first swelled to be the biggest martial arts club at the University.

When Sensei Harrop departed for pastures south a new instructor to the area, Sensei Graham Smith, took over the running of the club for a single university term. After this Sensei Smith left to start-up York Town Jitsu Club in the city's centre, and the university club was then instructed by the recently graded to ikkyu Sensei Clare Sadler. After approximately a year of instruction Sensei Sadler left the University and the club was effectively left without an instructor, and the number of members fell to an all time-low.

The return of the club's founder (Sensei Lycett) heralded a re-birth for the club and the number of members once again grew in number.  During this time Sensei Lycett was assisted by a number of other instructors including Sensei Tom Heseltine, Sensei Pete Dodd, Sensei Stephen Millard and Sensei Jess Young.

Sensei Lycett continued to instruct the club until mid-2011 when he stepped down and the teaching of the club was taken over by a former York Jitsu Club student Sensei Jess Young.  Sensei Young taught the club for a little over a year with support from Sensei Mags Godderidge and Sensei Stephen Millard.

In late 2012, Sensei Jonathan Edward took over the day to day teaching of the club with Sensei Dodd returning to full time teaching of the club soon after.