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Jujutsu - Jujitsu
A Warrior Martial Art

Jujitsu, also written jujutsu, ju jitsu, ju jutsu, or jiu jitsu; is a gentle,yielding,compliant and flexible Japanese Martial Art. It is believed to be the ancient hand-to-hand fighting art of Samurai Warriors.

Jujutsu has seen the gradual evolution from weapon styles to more weaponless styles, and hundreds of ryu (styles/Schools) have flourished, each emphasizing different techniques.

Ju jitsu/jujutsu specializes in close quarter combat techniques and may include joint locks, chokes, throws, holds, and/or grappling techniques, it may also include strikes, kicks, blocks, and explores efficient movements designed to elude and/or counter attacks.

There is a wide range of spellings used in English for this Japanese martial art. In the native Japanese, jūjutsu is written in kanji(Chinese ideograms) as 柔術, but the romanization of the Japanese word into the English language has been performed several times using several different systems since Japan from isolation in 1854.

Since words can often lend meaning to a given martial art, I will attempt to break down the different words used for this grappling art.

    Jutsu often refers to the art or the skills; in general it determines physical and/or technical level, contrary to do, which generally means 'way' with some sort of personal enlightenment as it's goal
    Jitsu refers to, and in this context is translated as, techniques or training skill.
    Ju/Jiu like many words translated from another language to english, have many meanings. These words often have the refer to flexibility, yielding, and gentle compliance. Ju is also the #10 in Japanese.

Jujutsu, the current standard, is derived using the Hepburn romanization system. Before the first half of the century, however, jiu-jitsu and then jujitsu were preferred.

Since this corresponded to a period of time when Japanese martial arts first became widely known of in the West, these earlier spellings are still common in many places, though the romanization of the second kanji as jitsu is unfaithful to the Japanese pronunciation, especially since jujitsu can mean "military preparedness".

Jujitsu, like other warrior martial arts, can be characterized
in many different ways here are a few..

1. jujutsu, jujitsu, jiujitsu can be a method of self-defense without weapons and is believed to have been developed in China and Japan; It uses holds and blows that are supplemented by a clever use of the attacker's own weight and strength.

2. Jujutsu and similar jujitsu related arts are often defined as "unarmed" close combat fighting systems used to defeat or control an enemy who is also unarmed.

3. However, based on many of the classical Japanese arts themselves, jujitsu arts are more accurately defined as unarmed methods of dealing with an enemy who was armed.

4. While many jujitsu methods also use minor weapons to defeat both armed or unarmed opponents.

A few examples of such weapons are:
    The jutte (truncheon), the tanto or knife, and kakushi buki, which can be classified as any hidden weapon. For example:

      The ryofundo kusari (a weighted chain),
      the bankokuchoki (a type of knuckle-duster)
Basic methods of attack can include:

  • hitting
  • striking
  • thrusting
  • punching
  • kicking
  • throwing
  • pinning
  • immobilizing
  • strangling
  • joint-locking or joint manipulation

  • Great pains were also taken by many ancient warriors to develop effective methods of defense, including parrying, blocking strikes, thrusts and kicks.

    Jujitsu/jujutsu concentrates on receiving throws or joint lock techniques by learning to fall safely and knowing how to "blend in to the technique " in order to neutralize the technique's effectiveness.

    Thus, releasing oneself from an enemy's grasp, and changing or shifting one's position to evade or neutralize an attack.

    Furthermore, the term jujutsu was also sometimes used to refer to tactics for infighting used with the warrior's major weapons like the:

        katana or tachi (sword),
        yari (spear),
        naginata (glaive),
        and the bo staff.
    These close combat methods were a very important part of the different warrior martial systems that were developed for use on the battlefield.

    Recorded as early as 230 BC, Jujitsu had its renaissance during the Edo period of Japan (1603-1868) after Tokugawa Ieyasu formed the Tokugawa Shogunate and brought unification and peace to Japan.

    After the collapse of the Shogunate and the restoration of the Empire after the Edo period, samurai were outlawed and Jujitsu almost disappeared.

    A few schools still practiced in secret, however, and in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, aikido (stressing spiritual and less destructive aspects) and judo (emphasizing health and sport aspects) were created from the study of various schools of Jujitsu.

    Jujitsu warrior arts can generally be characterized as either Sengoku Jidai (Sengoku Period, 1467-1603) katchu bujutsu or yoroi kumiuchi (fighting with weapons or grappling while clad in armor).

    Or Edo Jidai (Edo Period, 1603-1867) suhada bujutsu (fighting while dressed in the normal street clothing of the period, kimono and/or hakama).

    The beginning

    Fighting forms have existed in Japan for centuries. The first references to such unarmed combat arts or systems can be found in the earliest purported historical records of Japan, the Kojiki (Record of Ancient Matters) and the Nihon Shoki (Chronicles of Japan), which relate the mythological creation of the country and the establishment of the Imperial family.

    Other glimpses can be found in the older records and pictures depicting sumai (or sumo) no sechie, a rite of the Imperial Court in Nara and Kyoto performed for purposes of divination and to help ensure a bountiful harvest.

    There is a famous story of a warrior Nomi no Sekuni of Izumo who defeated and killed Tajima no Kehaya in Shimane prefecture while in the presence of Emperor Suinin. Descriptions of the techniques used during this encounter included striking, throwing, restraining and weaponry.

    These systems of unarmed combat began to be known as Nihon koryu jujutsu (japanese old-style jujutsu), among other related terms, during the Muromachi period (1333-1573), according to densho (transmission scrolls) of the various ryu-ha (martial traditions, "styles or schools") and historical records.

    Most of these were battlefield-based systems to be practiced as companion arts to the more common and vital weapon systems. These fighting arts actually used many different names. Kogusoku, yawara, kumiuchi, and hakuda are just a few, but all of these systems fall under the general description of Sengoku jujutsu.

    In reality, these grappling systems were not really unarmed systems of combat, but are more accurately described as means whereby an unarmed or lightly armed warrior could defeat a heavily armed and armored enemy on the battlefield.

    Methods of combat (as just mentioned above) included:
      striking (kicking, punching)
      throwing (body throws, joint-lock throws, unbalance throws)
      restraining (pinning, strangulating, grappling, wrestling)
      and different forms of weaponry

    Defensive tactics included:

    blocking, evading, off balancing, blending and escaping.

    Minor weapons such as the:

    tanto (dagger),
    ryufundo kusari (weighted chain),
    jutte (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).

    These systems generally designed to deal with opponents neither wearing armor nor in a battlefield environment.

    For this reason, most systems of Edo jujutsu include extensive use of atemi waza or vital-striking. These tactics would obviously be of little use against an armored opponent on a battlefield.

    They would, however, be quite valuable to anyone confronting an enemy or opponent during peacetime dressed in normal street attire.

    Occasionally, inconspicuous weapons such as tanto (daggers) or tessen (iron fans) were included in the curriculum of Edo jujutsu.

    Another seldom seen but interesting historical aside is a series of techniques originally included in both Sengoku and Edo jujutsu systems.

    Referred to as hojo waza (捕縄術 hojojutsu, nawa jutsu 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 today 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.

    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 are founded after or towards the end of the Tokugawa period (1603-1868). Various traditional ryu and ryuha that are commonly thought of as koryu jujutsu are actually gendai jujutsu.

    These include Hakko Ryu, Kaze Arashi Ryu, Daito Ryu, and many others. Although modern in formation, gendai jujutsu systems have direct historical links to ancient traditions and are correctly 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 obvious 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 "Keisatsujutsu" (police art) Taiho jutsu (arresting art) system formulated and employed by the Tokyo Police Department.

    Today, the very few traditional jujutsu systems that still exist are in regular use by both law enforcement and civilians alike. Some people claim Himizu Ryu (火水流 Fire-Water School) as one such school.

    Himizu Ryu is also alleged to be one of the most comprehensive martial systems still in practice today. They have a large curriculum consisting of all four kinds of combat including striking, throwing, restraining and weaponry.

    If a Japanese based martial system is formulated in modern times (post Tokugawa) but is only partially influenced by traditional Nihon jujutsu, it may be correctly referred to as goshin (self defense) jujutsu.

    Goshin jujutsu is usually formulated outside Japan and may include influences from other martial traditions. The popular Gracie jujutsu system, (heavily influenced by modern judo) and Brazilian jujutsu in general are excellent examples of Goshin Jujutsu.

    Technical characteristics

    Although there is some diversity in the actual look and techniques of various jujutsu/Jujitsu warrior systems, there are significant technical similarities:

    • If a student is studying traditional jujutsu, then h/she will learn primarily by observation and imitation as patterned by the ryu's kata or prearranged forms.

    • Most kata emphasize joint-locking techniques, that is threatening a joint's integrity by placing pressure on it in a direction contrary to its normal function, or take-down or throwing techniques, or a combination of take-downs and joint-locks.

    • Very occasionally a strike (atemi) targeted to some particularly vulnerable area will be used to help create kuzushi (break in balance) or otherwise set-up the opponent for a lock, take-down or throw.

    • Force essentially never meets force directly, nor do most jujitsu/jujutsu techniques need to be strong-armed to be effective.

      Rather, there is great emphasis placed on flow and technical mastery. This is evident in the name of the art, whereas 'ju' connotes pliability and suppleness.

    • Movements tend to emphasize circularity, and capitalize on an attacker's momentum and openings in order to place a joint in a compromised position or to break balance as preparatory for a take-down or throw.

    • The defender's own body is positioned so as to take optimal advantage of the attacker's weaknesses while simultaneously presenting as few openings and weaknesses of its own.

    • A common inclusion in any given ryu is the addition of weapons training, which also uses kata as the primary instructional method, and stemming from the historical development of jujutsu and other koryu when active battles were waged.

      These weapons may include, for example, the roku shaku bo (long staff), han bo (short staff), katana (long sword), kodachi (short sword), and tanto (knife).

    Jujitsu as sport

    Jujitsu as a competitive sport is somewhat controversial. According to most practitioners, what makes jujitsu jujitsu, is the fact that every conceivable technique to win in combat is allowed - there are no rules or limitations, surviving the fight is what counts.

    In order to safely compete in jujitsu, rules have to be made and techniques limited. According to many, this takes away the very heart of what jujitsu is. They claim this would turn jujitsu into a combination of judo and karate, while it is so much more.

    This includes some very dangerous techniques, which will result in serious injuries. Such techniques include; throwing a person from a standing position while having their arm in a joint lock.

    The most popular competition method is called 'fighting system'. This system consist of one round of combat with different phases.

    In the first phase, only atemi (striking) are allowed.

    In the next phase, grappling and throwing are added, but continuing on the ground (ne-waza) is not allowed.

    In the last phase, ground fighting is allowed, including chokeholds.

    There is only what is called 'half-contact' between opponents, which means it is allowed to actually hit your opponent, but you're not supposed to hit for a knockout (like boxing).

    Judges award points for techniques used and the fighter with the most points wins.

    An other, less known system, is called 'practical'. In this system, 2 defenders will take their places in the center of the mat (tatami), surrounded by 4 attackers, 1 on each corner of the mat.

    The attackers will choose who and how to attack. A defender can therefore be faced with 0 to 4 opponents. Attacks must be straightforward, without feints.

    This is also 'half-contact'. Combat is one round of 2 minutes. There are 3 judges who will indicate at the end of the round which defender did the best job of defending himself.

    The judges watch not only for effectiveness of individual techniques, but also how the defender keeps oversight and control of the situation when faced with multiple attackers.

    Taking down one opponent with a difficult technique but leaving yourself open for the other attackers will not score very well, while using a simple one throwing your attacker in the way of the other(s) will.

    A third competition method is called 'duo system'. During such a competition, a couple of fighters (same sex or mixed) has to present defenses for different predetermined attacks.

    These de fences can be freely chosen and are awarded with points from judges. The attacks are divided into 4 groups of 5 attacks each. The 4 attack groups are gripping, embracing/neck locks, punches/kicks and weapons.

    This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
    It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Jujutsu / jujitsu".



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