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Jujitsu or Jujutsu is a traditional Japanese Martial Art that seeks to integrate the mind, body and spirit into an effective vehicle for the protection of self and others.

Jujutsu strengthens the body through vigorous exercise. The mind is exercised through forcing the individual to maintain a calm center and think under pressure, choosing an appropriate course of action.

As the body and mind are being trained to respond in new ways the spirit becomes elevated as fear is reduced, c
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Jujutsu is the samurai art of grappling, including throwing, joint locking, chokes, and striking. The techniques of Jujutsu are highly effective for your personal protection. The system is adapted to modern day self-defense concerns.

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Jujitsu Description

* This article is updated daily from Wikipedia. It may contain minor formatting errors.
For the original content and references, click here. Last update: 8/18/2013.

Jujutsu (; , ) is a Japanese martial art and a method of close combat for defeating an armed and armored opponent in which one uses no weapon or only a short weapon.* The word jujutsu is often spelled as jujitsu or ju-jitsu. It is also known as Japanese ju-jitsu.

":wikt:?|Ju" can be translated to mean "gentle, soft, supple, flexible, pliable, or yielding." ":wikt:?|Jutsu" can be translated to mean "art" or "technique" and represents manipulating the opponent's force against himself rather than confronting it with one's own force.* Jujutsu developed among the samurai of feudal Japan as a method for defeating an armed and armored opponent in which one uses no weapon, or only a short weapon.* Because striking against an armored opponent proved ineffective, practitioners learned that the most efficient methods for neutralizing an enemy took the form of pins, joint locks, and throws. These techniques were developed around the principle of using an attacker's energy against him, rather than directly opposing it.*There are many variations of the art, which leads to a diversity of approaches. Jujutsu schools (ryu (school)|ryu) may utilize all forms of grappling techniques to some degree (i.e. throw (grappling)|throwing, trapping, joint locks, grappling hold|holds, gouging, biting, disengagements, strike (attack)|striking, and kicking). In addition to jujutsu, many schools teach the use of weapons.

Today, jujutsu is practiced in both traditional and modern sport forms. Derived sport forms include the Olympic sport and martial art of judo, which was developed by Kano Jigoro in the late 19th century from several traditional styles of jujutsu, and Brazilian jiu-jitsu, which was in turn derived from earlier (preWorld War II) versions of Kodokan judo.



Jujutsu first began during the Sengoku period of the Muromachi period in 1532 and was founded by Takenouchi Hisamori, a military tactician and lord from Mimasaka Province. Takenouchi combined various Japanese martial arts which were used on the battlefield for close combat in situations where weapons were ineffective. In contrast to the neighbouring nations of Chinese martial arts|China and Okinawan martial arts|Okinawa whose martial arts were centered around strike (attack)|striking techniques, Japanese hand to hand combat forms focused heavily upon throw (grappling)|throwing, immobilising, joint-locks and choking as striking techniques were ineffective towards someone wearing armor on the battlefield. The original forms of jujutsu such as Takenouchi-ryu also extensively taught parrying and counterattacking long weapons such as swords or spears via a dagger or other small weapon. In the early 17th century during the Edo period, jujutsu would continue to evolve due to the strict laws which were imposed by the Tokugawa shogunate to reduce war as influenced by the Chinese social philosophy of Neo-Confucianism which was obtained during Japanese invasions of Korea (15921598)|Hideyoshi's invasions of Korea and spread throughout Japan via scholars such as Fujiwara Seika.* During this new ideology weapons and armor became unused decorative items, so hand to hand combat flourished as a form of self-defense and new techniques were created to adapt to the changing situation of unarmored opponents. This included the development of various striking techniques in jujutsu which expanded upon the limited striking previously found in jujutsu which targeted vital areas above the shoulders such as the eyes, throat and back of the neck. However towards the 18th century the number of striking techniques was severely reduced as they were considered less effective and exert too much energy; instead striking in jujutsu primarily became used as a way to distract your opponent or to unbalance them in lead up to a joint-lock, strangle or throw. During the same period the numerous jujutsu schools would challenge each other to duels which became a popular pastime for warriors under a peaceful unified government, from these challenges randori was created to practice without risk of breaking the law and the various styles of each school evolved from combating each other without intention to kill.*The term jujutsu was not coined until the 17th century, after which time it became a blanket term for a wide variety of grappling-related disciplines and techniques. Prior to that time, these skills had names such as , , , , , , and even the (as early as 1724, almost two centuries before Kano Jigoro founded the modern art of Kodokan Judo).*Today, the systems of unarmed combat that were developed and practiced during the Muromachi period (1333–1573) are referred to collectively as . At this period in history, the systems practiced were not systems of unarmed combat, but rather means for an unarmed or lightly armed warrior to fight a heavily armed and armored enemy on the battlefield. In battle, it was often impossible for a samurai to use his long sword, and would therefore be forced to rely on his short sword, dagger, or bare hands. When fully armored, the effective use of such "minor" weapons necessitated the employment of grappling skills.

Methods of combat (as mentioned above) included striking (kicking and punching), throwing (body throws, joint-lock throws, unbalance throws), restraining (pinning, strangling, grappling, wrestling) and weaponry. Defensive tactics included blocking, evading, off-balancing, blending and escaping. Minor weapons such as the tanto (knife), Manriki-gusari|ryofundo kusari (weighted chain), Hachiwara|kabuto wari (helmet smasher), and kakushi buki (secret or disguised weapons) were almost always included in Sengoku jujutsu.


In later times, other koryu developed into systems more familiar to the practitioners of Nihon jujutsu commonly seen today. These are correctly classified as Edo jujutsu (founded during the Edo period): they are generally designed to deal with opponents neither wearing armor nor in a battlefield environment. Most systems of Edo jujutsu include extensive use of atemi waza (vital-striking technique), which would be of little use against an armored opponent on a battlefield. They would, however, be quite valuable in confronting an enemy or opponent during peacetime dressed in normal street attire (referred to as "suhada bujutsu"). Occasionally, inconspicuous weapons such as tanto (daggers) or tessen (iron fans) were included in the curriculum of Edo jujutsu.

Another seldom-seen historical side is a series of techniques originally included in both Sengoku and Edojujutsu systems. Referred to as hojo waza ( hojojutsu, torinawa jutsu, nawa jutsu, hayanawa and others), it involves the use of a hojo cord, (sometimes the sageo or tasuke) to restrain or strangle an attacker. These techniques have for the most part faded from use in modern times, but Tokyo police units still train in their use and continue to carry a hojo cord in addition to handcuffs. The very old Takenouchi-ryu is one of the better-recognized systems that continue extensive training in hojo waza. Since the establishment of the Meiji period with the abolishment of the Samurai and the wearing of swords, the ancient tradition of Yagyu Shingan Ryu (Sendai and Edo lines) has focused much towards the jujutsu (Yawara) contained in its syllabus.

Many other legitimate Nihon jujutsu ryu exist but are not considered koryu (ancient traditions). These are called either Gendai Jujutsu or modern jujutsu. Modern jujutsu traditions were founded after or towards the end of the Edo Period|Tokugawa period (1868), when more than 2000 schools (ryu) of jujutsu existed. Various traditional ryu and ryuha that are commonly thought of as koryu jujutsu are actually Gendai Budo|gendai jujutsu. Although modern in formation, very few gendai jujutsu systems have direct historical links to ancient traditions and are incorrectly referred to as traditional martial systems or ryu. Their curriculum reflects an obvious bias towards Edo jujutsu systems as opposed to the Sengoku jujutsu systems. The improbability of confronting an armor-clad attacker is the reason for this bias.

Over time, Gendai jujutsu has been embraced by law enforcement officials worldwide and continues to be the foundation for many specialized systems used by police. Perhaps the most famous of these specialized police systems is the Police system of Japan|Keisatsujutsu (police art) Taiho jutsu (arresting art) system formulated and employed by the Tokyo Police Department.

Jujutsu techniques have been the basis for many military unarmed combat techniques (including British/US/Russian special forces and SO1 police units) for many years.

There are many forms of sport jujutsu, the original and most popular being judo, now an Olympic sport. One of the most common is mixed-style competitions, where competitors apply a variety of strikes, throws, and holds to score points. There are also kata competitions, where competitors of the same style perform techniques and are judged on their performance. There are also freestyle competitions, where competitors take turns attacking each other, and the defender is judged on performance. Another more recent form of competition growing much more popular in Europe is the Random Attack form of competition, which is similar to Randori but more formalised.


Japanese jujutsu systems typically place more emphasis on throw (grappling)|throwing, immobilizing and Grappling hold#Pinning hold|pinning, Joint lock|joint-locking, chokehold|choking, and strangling techniques as compared with other martial arts systems such as karate. Atemi-waza (strike (attack)|striking techniques) were seen as less important in most older Japanese martial arts|Japanese systems, since samurai body armor protected against many striking techniques. The China|Chinese quanfa/chuan fa|ch'uan-fa (kenpo or kung fu) systems focus on punch (strike)|punching, striking, and kicking more than jujutsu.

The Japanese systems of hakuda, kenpo, and shubaku display some degree of Chinese influence in their emphasis on striking techniques. In comparison, systems that derive more directly from Japanese sources show less preference for such techniques. However, a few jujutsu schools likely have some Chinese influence in their development. Jujutsu ryu vary widely in their techniques, and many do include significant emphasis on striking techniques, though in some styles only as set-ups for their grappling techniques.

In jujutsu, practitioners train in the use of many potentially fatal moves. However, because students mostly train in a non-competitive environment, risk is minimized. Students are taught break falling skills to allow them to safely practice otherwise dangerous throw (grappling)|throws.

The word Jujutsu can be broken down into two parts. "Ju" is a concept. The idea behind this meaning of Ju is "to be gentle", "to give way", "to yield", "to blend", "to move out of harm's way". "Jutsu" is the principle or "the action" part of Ju-Jutsu. In Japanese this word means science or art.*

Schools and derivatives and others

Because jujutsu contains so many facets, it has become the foundation for a variety of styles and derivations today. As each instructor incorporated new techniques and tactics into what was taught to him originally, he could codify and create his own ryu (school)|ryu (school) or Federation to help other instructors, schools and clubs. Some of these schools modified the source material so much that they no longer considered themselves a style of jujutsu.

Old schools

In around 1600 there were over 2000 Japanese jujutsu Ryu (school)|ryu, and common features characterized most of them. Specific technical characteristics varied from school to school. Many of the generalizations noted above do not hold true for some schools of jujutsu. Old schools of Japanese jujutsu include:
  • Hontai Yoshin-ryu
  • Kashima Shin-ryu
  • Kito-ryu
  • Kukishin-ryu*
  • Kyushin Ryu
  • Sekiguchi Shinshin-ryu
  • Sosuishitsu-ryu
  • Takenouchi-ryu
  • Tatsumi-ryu
  • Tenjin Shinyo-ryu
  • Yagyu Shingan Ryu
  • Yoshin Ryu

    Derivatives and influences

    Some examples of martial arts that have developed from or have been influenced by jujutsu are: aikido, bartitsu,* hapkido, judo (and thence Brazilian jiu-jitsu and Sambo (martial art)|sambo), kajukenbo, kapap, and kenpo.

    Some schools also went on to influence modern Japanese karate and Aiki (martial arts principle)|aiki styles. A major Japanese divergence occurred in 1905 when a number of jujutsu schools joined the Kodokan. The syllabi of those schools were unified under Kano Jigoro to form Judo. The relationships between schools and styles can be complex. For example, the Wado-ryu school of karate is partially descended from Shindo Yoshin-ryu jujutsu, itself in turn influenced by Okinawan karate.*


    Aikido is a modern martial art developed in the 1910s and 1930s by Morihei Ueshiba from the system of Daito-ryu Aiki-jujutsu techniques to focus on the spiritual principle of harmony which distinguishes Budo from Bujutsu. Ueshiba was an accomplished student of Takeda Sokaku. Aikido is a systemic refinement of defensive techniques from Aiki-Jujutsu in ways that are intended to prevent harm to either the attacker (Uke) or the defender (Nage). Aikido evolved quite a bit during Ueshiba's lifetime, and earlier styles (Yoshinkan, Yoseikan, for example) differ less from the original Aiki-Jujutsu than what Ueshiba stressed towards the end of his life in what is now known as taught by the Aikikai organization, and other styles such as Iwama Ryu Aikido.


    Jujutsu was first introduced to Europe in 1898 by Edward William Barton-Wright, who had studied Tenjin Shinyo-ryu and Shinden Fudo Ryu in Yokohama and Kobe, respectively. He had also trained briefly at the Kodokan in Tokyo. Upon returning to England he folded the basics of all of these styles, as well as boxing, savate French kick boxing, and forms of stick fighting, into an eclectic self-defence system called Bartitsu.*


    Modern judo is the classic example of a sport that derived from jujutsu and became distinct - (although many who study judo still believe as Kano did, that judo isn't a sport but a self defense system creating a pathway towards peace and universal harmony through the art and physical exercise). Another layer removed, some popular arts had instructors who studied one of these jujutsu derivatives and later made their own derivative succeed in competition. This created an extensive family of martial arts and sports that can trace their lineage to jujutsu in some part.

    The way an opponent is dealt with also depends on the teacher's philosophy with regard to combat. This translates also in different styles or schools of jujutsu. Because in jujutsu every conceivable technique (including biting, hair-pulling, eye-gouging, striking the groin, etc.) is allowed (unlike judo, for instance, which does not place emphasis on punching or kicking tactics, and karate, which does not heavily emphasize grappling and throwing), practitioners have an unlimited choice of techniques.

    Not all jujutsu was used in sporting contests, but the practical use in the samurai world ended circa 1890. Techniques like hair-pulling and eye-poking were and are not considered conventionally acceptable to use in sport, thus they are not included in judo competitions or randori. Judo did, however, preserve the more lethal, dangerous techniques in its kata. The kata were intended to be practiced by students of all grades, but now are mostly practiced formally as complete set-routines for performance, kata competition, and grading, rather than as individual self-defense techniques in class. However, judo retained the full set of choking and strangling techniques for its sporting form, and all manner of joint locks. Even judo's pinning techniques have pain-generating, spine-and-rib-squeezing and smothering aspects. A submission induced by a legal pin is considered a fully legitimate way to win. Kano viewed the safe 'contest' aspect of judo as an important part of learning how to actually control an opponent's body in a real fight. Kano always considered judo to be a form of, and a development of, jujutsu.

    A judo technique starts with gripping your opponent followed by off-balancing the opponent and using his momentum against him, and then applying the technique. Kuzushi (the art of breaking balance) is also used in jujutsu, where the opponent's attack is deflected using his/her momentum against them in order to arrest their movements then throw them or pin them with a technique—thus controlling the opponent. In both systems, kuzushi is essential in order to use as little energy as possible. Jujutsu differs from judo in a number of ways. In some circumstances, jutsuka generate kuzushi by striking one's opponent along his weak line. Other methods of generating kuzushi include grabbing, twisting, or poking areas of the body known as atemi points or pressure points (see kyusho-jitsu) (areas of the body where nerves are close to the skin).
    Brazilian jiu-jitsu
    Brazilian jiu-jitsu (BJJ) was developed after Mitsuyo Maeda brought judo to Brazil in 1914. Maeda agreed to teach the art to Carlos Gracie, son of his friend, Businessman and politician Gasto Gracie. After Carlos learned the art from Maeda, he passed his knowledge to his brothers Oswaldo, Gasto Jr., and George, meanwhile Hlio Gracie would peak in and practice the techniques, although he was told he was too small to practice the art. At the time, judo was still often commonly referred to as Kano jiu-jitsu (from its founder Kano Jigoro), which explains why this derivative of judo is called Brazilian jiu-jitsu rather than Brazilian judo. Its emphasis gradually shifted towards ground grappling when Helio Gracie was too small and weak to perform a lot of the standard moves and helped the development of this art through fights, competition and experimentation. BJJ dominated the first large modern mixed martial arts competitions, causing the emerging field to adopt many of its practices. Less-practiced stand-up techniques in Gracie Jiu Jitsu remain from its judo and jujutsu heritage (knife defense, gun defense, throws, blocking, striking etc.).
    Sambo (martial art)|Sambo is a Russian martial art and combat sport that has its roots in Japanese Judo and traditional Russian styles of folk wrestling. One of Sambo's founders, Vasili Oschepkov was one of the first foreigners to learn Judo in Japan and earned a second degree black belt awarded from Judo founder, Kano Jigoro. Modern sport Sambo is similar in nature to sport Judo or sport Brazilian jiu-jutsu, with differences including use of a jacket and shorts rather than a full Keikogi, as well as a higher occurrence of leglocks.

    Modern schools

    After the transplantation of traditional Japanese jujutsu to the West, many of these more traditional styles underwent a process of adaptation at the hands of Western practitioners, molding the art of jujutsu to suit western culture in its myriad varieties. There are today many distinctly westernized styles of jujutsu, that stick to their Japanese roots to varying degrees.

    Some of the largest post-reformation (founded post 1905) jujutsu schools include (but are certainly not limited to these in that there are hundreds (possibly thousands), of new branches of "jujutsu"):
  • Danzan Ryu
  • German Ju-Jutsu
  • Jigo Tensin Ryu| Jigo Tensin-Ryu (USA)
  • Atemi Ju-Jitsu (French Jiu-Jitsu)
  • Hakko Ryu
  • The Jitsu Foundation|Shorinji Kan Jiu Jitsu (The Jitsu Foundation)
  • Small Circle JuJitsu
  • Nordic Jiu-jitsu (NJJ) (Norway)
  • Hokutoryu Jujutsu (Finland)

    Sport jujutsu

    There are many types of Sport Jujutsu. One version of Sport jujutsu is known as "JJIF Rules Sport Ju-Jitsu", organized by Ju-Jitsu International Federation (JJIF), and has been recognized an official sport of the World Games.

    Sport Jujutsu comes in two main variants: Duo (self-defense demonstration) where both the tori (martial arts)|tori (attacker) and the uke (martial arts)|uke (defender) come from the same team and demonstrate self defense techniques. In this variant, we have a special system named 'Random Attacks': the tori (martial arts)|tori and the uke (martial arts)|uke are also from the same team but here they don't know what the attack will be. The attack is given by the judges.

    The second variant is the Fighting System (freefighting) where competitors combine striking, grappling and submissions under rules which emphasise safety. Many of the potentially dangerous techniques such as scissor takedowns, necklocks and digital choking and locking are prohibited in Sport Jujutsu. There are a number of other styles of sport jujutsu with varying rules*


    Jujutsu, the current standard spelling, is derived using the Hepburn romanization system. Before the first half of the 20th century, however, jiu-jitsu and then jujitsu were preferred, even though the romanization of the second kanji as jitsu is unfaithful to the standard Japanese pronunciation. Since Japanese martial arts first became widely known of in the West in that time period, these earlier spellings are still common in many places. Ju-Jitsu is still a common spelling in France, Canada and the United States while Jiu-Jitsu is most widely used in Germany and Brazil.

    Some define jujutsu and similar arts rather narrowly as "unarmed" close combat systems used to defeat or control an enemy who is similarly unarmed. Basic methods of attack include hitting or striking, thrusting or punching, kicking, throwing, pinning or immobilizing, strangling, and joint-locking. Great pains were also taken by the Samurai#Etymology of samurai and related words|bushi (classic warriors) to develop effective methods of defense, including parrying or blocking strikes, thrusts and kicks, receiving throws or joint-locking techniques (i.e., falling safely and knowing how to "blend" to neutralize a technique's effect), releasing oneself from an enemy's grasp, and changing or shifting one's position to evade or neutralize an attack. As jujutsu is a collective term, some schools or Ryu (school)|ryu adopted The Principle of Ju|the principle of ju more than others.

    From a broader point of view, based on the curricula of many of the classical Japanese arts themselves, however, these arts may perhaps be more accurately defined as unarmed methods of dealing with an enemy who was armed, together with methods of using minor weapons such as the jutte (truncheon; also called jitte), tanto (knife), or kakushi buki (hidden weapons), such as the Manriki-gusari|ryofundo kusari (weighted chain) or the Tekko|bankokuchoki (a type of knuckle-duster), to defeat both armed or unarmed opponents.

    Furthermore, the term jujutsu was also sometimes used to refer to tactics for infighting used with the warrior's major weapons: katana or tachi (sword), yari (spear), naginata (glaive), and Jo (weapon)|jo (short staff), Bo (weapon)|bo (quarterstaff). These close combat methods were an important part of the different martial systems that were developed for use on the battlefield. They can be generally characterized as either Sengoku Jidai (Sengoku Period, 14671603) katchu bujutsu or yoroi kumiuchi (fighting with weapons or grappling while clad in armor), or Edo|Edo Jidai (Edo Period, 16031867) suhada bujutsu (fighting while dressed in the normal street clothing of the period, kimono and hakama).

    The Chinese character ? (Chinese language|Mandarin: ru; ; ) is the same as the first one in ?/judo (Mandarin: rudo; Japanese: judo; Korean: Judo|Yudo). The Chinese character ? (Mandarin: sh; Japanese: jutsu; Korean: sul) is the same as the second one in ? (Mandarin: Wushu (term)|wush; Japanese: bujutsu; Korean: musul)

    Heritage and philosophy

    Japanese culture and religion have become intertwined into the martial arts. Buddhism, Shinto, Taoism and Confucianism|Confucian philosophy co-exist in Japan, and people generally mix and match to suit. This reflects the variety of outlook one finds in the different schools.

    Jujutsu expresses the philosophy of yielding to an opponent's force rather than trying to oppose force with force. Manipulating an opponent's attack using his force and direction allows jujutsuka to control the balance of their opponent and hence prevent the opponent from resisting the counter attack. This is therefore a defensive mechanism.
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    * This article is updated daily from Wikipedia. It may contain minor formatting errors.
    For the original content and references, click here. Last update: 8/18/2013.

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