A method of shearing sheep which draws from martial arts and yoga practices, to provide physical and mental training for the shearers and to teach them how to work with sheep rather than fighting them. In shear-jitsu all the processes involved in shearing are reanalysed in order to find the method with the least stress to the sheep and the shearer, and the least amount of lifting and dragging which put strain on the shearer’s body. Everything should be done in an unhurried and stress-free fashion, and breaks should be spent doing yoga to keep the muscles stretched and the mind calm.
The method was developed by a New Zealand shearer, Pera Davies, who, like so many shearers, developed back problems early in his career and had to work a way around it. He had the advantage of a brother who is now a karate instructor and a son who is a graduate in sport and exercise science.