What is Ju-Jitsu?

With a history that can be traced back as far as 2,000 years, Ju-Jitsu, as opposed to other arts strived to avoid the lure of the sporting arena and retained its status as a martial art.

Jiu-Jitsu (Japanese for “compliant techniques”) momentarily yields to an attacker’s force, redirects it and returns with a counter attack.

Jiu-Jitsu also incorporates striking and leverage techniques and makes use of the body’s many vulnerable points (kyusho or atemi). Though it is mainly an unarmed combat method, weapons traditionally form part of the syllabus.

Mental awareness and discipline are given as much emphasis as physical training, because Ju-Jitsu utilises skill rather than strength and brute force, this martial art is accessible to all, regardless of age, gender or build.

A Brief History of Jiu-Jitsu

Jiu-Jitsu originated over 2,500 years ago in Japan. It is the basis for many of the modern arts including Judo, Karate and Aikido.

The modern beginnings of Jiu-Jitsu can be traced back to the period of Japanese history between the 8th and 16th Century. During this time, there was almost constant war in Japan and the classical weapon systems were used on the battlefield. Close fighting techniques were developed and used alongside weapons against armoured and armed opponents.

In 1603 Tokugawa Ieyasu brought peace to Japan by forming the Tokugawa Military government. This marked the beginning of the Edo period (1603-1868), during which waring ceased to be a dominant feature of Japanese life.

In the beginning of the Edo period, there was a general shift from weapon forms of fighting to weapon less styles. These weapon less styles were developed from the grappling techniques of the weapon styles and were collectively known as “Jiu-Jitsu”. During the height of the Edo period; there were more than 700 system of Jiu-Jitsu.

Due to the old traditions, Jiu-Jitsu can be seen to draw aspects from many different Martial Arts styles. We are taught to punch, kick, immobilise, throw and direct pressure and force to vulnerable atemi points; though it is mainly an unarmed system various weapons; such as Sai, Rice Flails and staff can be discovered as a part of training.
Unlike many of the more modern styles today, Jiu-Jitsu strived to avoid the lure of the sporting arena therefore making competition into a very minor role.

One of the more prominent styles to Originate from the stylings of Jiu-Jitsu was “Bartitsu”. This was developed in England during the years 1898–1902 by Edward Willian Barton-Wright.

To gain more publication of this system; Edward toured England seeking out street fights to hone and test his skills. Probably as a result of such exhibitions; Jiu-Jitsu clubs were seen to appear and flourish all over the country.