Ju-jitsu (jujutsu, Jiu-jitsu, Ju-jitsu) is above all a practical, defensive martial art. At its core is the principle that aggression can be overcome by seeming to yield to it, by using an attacker’s strength, size and momentum to a defender’s advantage. Men and women of all ages, shapes and sizes can therefore become very good at it. Training is gradual, but as you progress through the belt structure you will learn to defend yourself against increasingly demanding armed and unarmed attacks, using a system of throws, locks and strikes. Jitsu’s practicality consists partly in learning techniques by practicing them together, and this requires a particular kind of trust. The atmosphere in Ju-jitsu clubs is therefore very friendly, and there is often a vibrant social life off the mat.
What does the word Ju-jitsu means?
Jujitsu is formed from two ideograms Ju the various meanings of which are suppleness, flexibility, pliancy, gentleness and Jitsu meaning technique or art. So Ju Jitsu means the art of suppleness or flexibility. As most Ju Jitsuka (a student of Ju-jitsu) know there is nothing "gentle" about the martial art. What Ju is conveying is that Ju-jitsu does not use strength against strength, it uses the opponents strength and force of attack as a weapon against him, thus enabling a stronger or bigger attacker to be subdued.
Ju-jitsu is a 2500 year old unarmed combat discipline that has its roots in ancient Japan. The exact date on the creation of this martial art form is hard to trace but techniques resembling that of Ju-jitsu had already been incorporated into the training methods of the Samurai, from the 8th to the 6th centuries. Earliest Japanese historical records such as the Kojiki (Record of Ancient Matters) and the Nihon Shoki (Chronicles of Japan) also have passages related to unarmed combat systems.
Before this Japanese martial art developed into what we know as Ju-jitsu today, there were many other Japanese combat techniques such as kogusoku, yawara, kumiuchi, and hakuda etc, also collectively known as Sengoku Jujutsu. Traditions finally gave rise to the modern Nihon Jujutsu we know today, which is classified under Edo Jujutsu – the true unarmed Japanese combat system.
Ju-jitsu gained prominence during the reign of Tokugawa in the 1600s but was soon alienated when Emperor Melse regained power. However, towards the mid-20th century, the ban on Ju-jitsu in Japan was lifted, following the Meiji restoration, and the combat art form began to be widely practiced.
• The Fighting System: This is the most popular method,
divided into three phases. The first is for striking
only, the second for striking, grappling and throwing,
and the third includes
ground-fighting such as chokeholds.
• The Practical System: According to this rule, two defenders are surrounded by four attackers from four corners. Highest points go to the best defender judged upon effectiveness, oversight and control of the situation.
• The Duo System: In this system, contestants are randomly chosen and awarded points for effective defences. The attacks are divided into four groups of five attacks each.
• Combat Jujitsu: The most recent system developed in the United States. Victory in the competition is based on submission. The combat round between the two opponents lasts for not more than two minutes.
The JJIF is the international forum for Ju-jitsu where
the National Official Sport Authorities can debate issues
related to the practice of Ju-jitsu in order to establish
International Programmes and activities, and in order
to elect the institutions, which will implement them.
As JJIF is Full Member of GAISF (General Assembly of International Sports Federations) and IWGA (International World Games Association) it is the only governing body of Ju-jitsu worldwide.