Jujutsu is a martial art that originated in ancient Japan and was the empty handed
fighting system of the Samurai, the elite warriors of the feudal era. Jujutsu was both used as a method of self-defence during
times of peace as well as a last resort during battle. Jujutsu unlike many other martial arts saw a great deal of development
during peacetime and eventually became so popular that its practiced bridged the gap between rich and poor so that even farmers
and shopkeepers began to study it. Jujutsu is a martial art that concentrates specifically on throws and joint manipulations
in response to an attack. Although striking and kicking are practiced to produce a comprehensive system of self-defence, the
majority of training time is spent throwing and locking. The term " Jujutsu" can be translated as the "Gentle
Art." One of the most fundamental principles of Jujutsu is that an attack should not be countered by brute force, but
should instead be redirected, damaging ones opponent in the process.The literal translation of the word Jujutsu means, "gentle art". In
Japan, Jujutsu can also be used as a broad umbrella term encompassing all Japanese martial arts such as Jujutsu , Judo and
Aikido (in the same way as the term Gung Fu is used in China to encompass many different schools of martial art). Also it
can have a more specific meaning related to schools that follow the tenets of old school Jujutsu, as opposed to other divergent
specializations such as those denoted by the 'Aiki' 'Karate' or 'Kempo' prefixes.
The prefix 'Ju'
in Jujutsu means softness, suppleness or flexibility. Jujutsu exponents use their techniques to react to an opponent’s
attack rather than using brute strength in order to overcome the enemy. In that way, a smaller person may stand a chance of
overcoming a larger person by means of stratagem and effective technique. A bamboo tree has a flexible trunk that bends in
high winds to avoid being up rooted. Although rather simplified this analogy is a sufficient way to describe how a Jujutsu
exponent conceptualises the art of fighting.
unlike some of the more sport-orientated martial arts allows for a far greater level of combative flexibility in response
to an attack. However, Jujutsu can equally be very passive, nullifying an attack without hurting the attacker. The flip side
of this is that Jujutsu can also be extremely destructive, utilizing all of the practitioner's weight and balance against
a small part of the attacker, such as a joint. This methodology allows a Ju-Jutsuka (Student Of Jujutsu) to respond to any
given situation with an appropriate amount of force, whilst retaining their emotional and physical composure.
A Rose By Any Other Name:
major bone of contention between students of Japanese martial arts is the interchangeable use of the words Jitsu and Jutsu.
In truth the majority of instructors regardless of rank and title do not understand the different meanings of the words and
use the Kanji for Jutsu and read it as Jitsu. This is in large a translational mistake on the part of western martial artists.
Jitsu & Jutsu are not the same!
The problem with the Jitsu vs. Jutsu argument is based around
the use of the written Kanji JUTSU 術. Because the term Jujutsu does not flow as easily as other terms many martial
artists use instead the term Jujitsu, as it is easier to pronounce. When we consider the term JITSU 実 you will find
that it is widely used throughout Japanese language, but almost never in the context of martial arts (Some Chinese internal
martial arts systems practiced in japan use this Kanjiform).
If people insist that the art they practice is Jujitsu
and not Jujutsu, then they should use the appropriate Kanji, and not propagate this mispronunciation to another generation
of martial artists.
JITSU 実 translates as Content, Substance, Truth or Reality. JUTSU 術 translates
as Art, Science, Method or Technique.
Using the correct readings the term Jitsu takes on a meaning far
closer to the word Do 道 indicating a spiritual or philosophical path that one follows. As such all combative arts within
the Junsei Ryu are described as Jutsu whereas all spiritual and philosophical arts are described as Jitsu.
The art that we call Jujutsu is and has been known by numerous names since the earliest records of Ancient Japan. The following
list details just some of the variant names awarded to the art we know as Jujutsu.
For The Art Of Jujutsu:
Jujutsu can be known by many names, including but not limited to:
Jujutsu: 柔術 "The Gentle Art" also written: , Jujitsu,
Jiujitsu, Ju-Jutsu, Ju-Jitsi, Jiu-Jitsu
"The Harmony Art, The Peace Art"
体術 "The Body Movement Art" The application of body movement to defeat an enemy
Taido: 体道 "The Body Movement Way"
Hoshin Jutsu: 保身術 "The Self-Defence Art" also written Goshinjutsu,
Yawara: 柔 "Gentle,
Yielding, Soft" An alternative reading for the Kanji Ju 柔
Yawarajutsu: 柔術 "The Gentle Art"
Yawarado: 柔道 "The Gentle Way"
Torite: 捕手 "The catching Hand"
Kumiuchi: 組打 or 組討 "Grappling, Wrestling"
Judo: 柔道 "The Gentle Way" The first known use of the term Judo to
describe a style of Jujutsu was made in 1724 by the fifth headmaster of the Kito Ryu style 'Terada Kan'emon' predating
the Judo of Kano Jigoro by some 158 years.
"The Gentle Method / The Soft Method" The indirect application of force to defeat an enemy
Kogusoku: 小具足 "The Art Of Seizing, Armoured Grappling"
Aikijutsu: 合気道 "The Art Of
"The Gentle Art Of Spirit Harmony"
But always regardless
of the name that this art is awarded, Jujutsu always remains Jujutsu!