The South African Institute of Unarmed Combat (SAIUC) was established by Soke Ben Mängels in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, in 1981. Soke Mängels was a Close Quarters Battle (CQB) instructor to the South African Army Commandos, Naval Marines, and British Special Air Service (SAS). Soke Mängels has moved on to become the president of the ‘International Association of Close Combat Instructors’, and is a close-combat instructor in the United States. Soke Ben handed the SAIUC over to Shihan Thaya Moodaley (7th Dan Atemi-Jujitsu). After many years as the director of training, Shihan Thaya handed the SAIUC over to Sensei Clinton R Frieslaar (5th Dan Atemi-Jujitsu).
Soke Mängels developed a hand-to-hand combat system based on his training in traditional Kodokwan Jujutsu, judo and combat karate. Soke Mängels received black belts in Kodokwan Jujutsu, Judo and Shotokan Karate (as well as training in boxing and wrestling). He eventually began teaching CQB to elite special forces units. The close military background of Atemi-Jujitsu has resulted in a no-nonsense self defence system. Soldiers must be able to subdue the enemy when stressed and fatigued. Atemi-Jujitsu is mindful of the the need for simple, practical and effective self defence techniques.