Jiu Jitsu – or the more accurate spelling, Ju Jutsu ( 柔術 ) – is an antiquated Martial Art practised by the warriors of feudal japan, the Samurai.
Ju Jutsu ( 柔術 ) translates to: “the Yielding Way”. “Ju” can be translated as “gentle, soft, supple, flexible, pliable, or yielding”, and “jutsu” can be translated as “art or technique”.
Ju Jutsu is often characterised as a Martial Art used by unarmed defenders against armed and/or multiple attackers. It is often practised as a defensive, counter attack martial art.
It has influenced many modern and mixed martial arts styles through out the world, such as; BJJ, Judo, Krav Maga, Sambo and many CQC Systems (Close Quarter Combat).
Ju Jutsu involves a variety of techniques, including;
- Break falls
- Disengaging mechanics
- Counter strikes
- Striking mechanics
- Body movements
- Unbalancing principles
- Hand grips & clothes holds
- Ground attacks
- Weapon defences
- Body holds
- Holds & locks
- Pressure points
- Weapon defence
- Strategies for dealing with multiple attackers
Ju Jutsu focuses on using your opponents force against them through the use of grappling, throws, joint locks, chokes and other submission techniques. The techniques practised in Ju Jutsu are developed to be used by the physically “weaker” or “smaller” person against a “stronger” or “larger” person.
As with many martial arts, the teachings of Ju Jutsu go beyond fighting. Those who practise any Martial Art, know that if you apply the teachings to day today life, you’ll become better for it.
Understanding how your body works, learning physical & psychological concepts and spiritualism/philosophy are critical in understanding the deeper workings of Ju Jutsu.
The study of your own body and that of your opponent is fundamental in the teaching of Ju Jutsu.
Fundamental Movement, Strength and Conditioning exercises are part of Ju Jutsu training. Practitioners should keep their bodies strong and healthy. This doesn’t just benefit your Ju Jutsu practise it also translates to everyday life.
A practitioner who understands how to apply the anatomy and physics behind their practise have an advantage against those who do not.
Body language is one of the most underrated Psychological concepts in Martial Arts. Good Ju Jutsu should teach practitioners how to carry themselves, be confident and avoid dangerous situations.
Learning the difference between positive and negative body language in others can help you to avoid dangerous situations. Positive body language in yourself can improve your mental health and make you more confident.
Morals and being a good role model for others are important for Ju Jutsu practitioners to study and understand.
The difference between a “Martial Artist” and a “Fighter” can be summed up in how they use the techniques and teachings of martial arts to influence the life of themselves and others. Some Martial Artists are Fighters but not all Fighters are Martial Artist.
Ju Jutsu has a long history in Japan, it has its roots in Sumo Wrestling and Battlefield Techniques utilised by the Samurai.
Originating as a concept of fighting than a rather than formal martial art. Ju Jutsu was the chosen practise for samurai on the Battlefield if they were to become disarmed.
In more recent times Ju Jutsu has inspired the development of many martial arts through out the world, notably Judo, Sambo, Krav Maga, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Bartisu, and Aikido.
The Feudal Era of Japan is one of the most interesting periods of history, from the “Sengoku” or “Waring States” Period (1467-1615) to the Edo Period (1603-1867), plenty of developments in Ju Jutsu and other Japanese Martial Arts arose as well as many prominent figures, Musashi Miyamoto being one of the most notable.
During this time period Ju Jutsu became more a formalised practice many systems came about for use by Samuari on the Battlefield and later during the more peaceful Edo Period to apprehend criminals.
Ju Jutsu has made a significant impact worldwide. Today if you mention Ju Jutsu to someone they’ll instantly have an idea of what you’re talking about.
As Classical Ju Jutsu was a martial art developed for use on the battlefield, it can be dangerous to practise. Jigoro Kano thought that the teachings and physical education were beneficial for young people, during the early 1880s he developed Judo (“The Genital Way”) as a safer, more educational form of Ju Jutsu. One of Kano’s students, Mitsuyo Maeda, travelled to Brazil
Ju Jutsu techniques have been the basis for many military unarmed combat techniques (including British/US/Russian special forces and SO1 police units) for many years. Since the early 1900s, every military service in the world has an unarmed combat course that has been founded on the principal teachings of Ju Jutsu.