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The Art of Jujutsu


The Origins and Foundations of Jujutsu: A Martial Art with a Legacy in Japan and Beyond

Jujutsu, often referred to as “dirty jujitsu,” is a martial art with deep historical roots in Japan. This combat system, known for its straightforward practicality and adaptability, it has a fascinating history that spans centuries and has had a significant influence on all modern martial arts and combat systems. Let’s go into the origins and foundations of Jujutsu and see how it was adopted, adapted, and used by combat legends like Fairbairn and Sykes in the 20th century.


Origins of Jujutsu

Jujutsu’s origins can be traced back to feudal Japan, in a time when samurai warriors needed effective methods of unarmed Close quarter combat skills for personal self-protection and battlefield situations. During this violent era, the samurai faced innumerable challenges, such as armed confrontations, assassination attempts, and hostile encounters and ambushes. Jujutsu emerged as a response to these deadly threats.


Jujutsu, which basically translates to “gentle art,” is recognised primly by its ability to break the opponents balance (Kuzushi) joint locks, throws, and strikes, allowing smaller individuals to defend and overcome much larger and stronger enemies. It is often seen as a perfect dule training system to complement other traditional Japanese martial arts like judo and aikido, emphasizing practical combat techniques over ritualistic forms in Wado Ryu Karate for instance the founder made no secret of the importance of Jujutsu in the Wado Ryu system.

“Wado Ryu is not Karate, Wado Ryu is not Jujutsu, Wado Ryu is an efficient system of martial arts that is an amalgam of both…

As karate stances got lower and slower, Wado stances got higher and faster. Wado, a system of its own.”

The Founder of Wado Ryu, Hironori Ohtsuka Meijin, said himself; “If Wado Ryu was soup, then the karate part was a pinch a salt!”


Foundations of Jujutsu

The foundational principles of Jujutsu are founded in several key concepts:


Yielding to Force: Jujutsu practitioners learn to redirect an opponent’s energy and attacks rather than opposing them directly. By using an opponent’s strength and momentum against them, a Jujutsu practitioner can neutralize threats efficiently.

Noru – To ride a wave of energy.


Joint Locks and Manipulation.

Jujutsu places significant emphasis on manipulating an opponent’s joints, such as wrists, elbows, and knees. Joint locks can incapacitate an adversary without causing severe injury or if needed in a real situation against an attacker breaking the joint completely.


Throws and Takedowns.

Jujutsu incorporates a wide range of throws and takedowns designed to unbalance (Kuzushi) and subdue opponents. These techniques allow practitioners to control and dominate an attacker.


Strikes and Vital Points.

While Jujutsu primarily focuses on grappling and joint manipulation, striking techniques, and targeting vital points are also included for self-defence for rendering opponents incapable of continuing their attack.

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