What is Jujutsu?

Jujutsu is a martial art that reflects the movements of an attack upon him or herself. Although Jujutsu has its origins in Chinese martial arts, it has been widely practiced in Japan since the sixteenth century. Jujutsu uses a series of techniques involving joint locks, small weaponry, and defensive tactics with an emphasis on conserving energy to neutralize an attacker. Some examples of martial arts that have developed from or have been influenced by jujutsu are aikidobartitsu, hapkidojudo (and thence Brazilian jiu-jitsu and sambo), kajukenbokrav magakapappangamot, and kenpo. Also, some schools went on to influence modern Japanese karate. Jujutsu is differentiated from many other martial arts like Karate because it is not an offensive martial art but assumes a  counteroffensive (defensive) strategy.  

Jujutsu began during the Sengoku period (1467 – 1603) of the Muromachi period combining various Japanese martial arts, which were used on the battlefield for close combat in situations where weapons were ineffective. In contrast to the neighboring nations of China and Okinawa whose martial arts were centered around striking techniques,

Japanese close combat forms focused heavily on throwing, immobilizing, joint locks and choking as striking techniques were ineffective towards someone wearing armor on the battlefield. The original styles of jujutsu also extensively taught parrying and counter-attacking long weapons such as swords or spears via a dagger or other small arms. Jujutsu reached its heyday during the 17th Century when weapons were outlawed for citizens by the Japanese military government. 

The word "Jujutsu" can be translated to mean, “soft, gentle or flexible technique.” The small circular movements create mechanical leverage, as in the manipulation of a joint. The natural movements of Jujutsu are precise, robust and fluid. Many of the moves used in Jujutsu applied while in direct physical contact, in proximity for close-quarters fighting. The various striking techniques of jujutsu target vital areas such as the face, throat, groin, and back of the neck. Philosophically there remains a strong emphasis on fighting the internal enemy, within oneself and incorporating mind, body and spiritual concepts.

Jujutsu includes joint hyperextension, hyperflexion and rotational forces creating uncomfortable locking positions that are extremely useful in weaponless hand-to-hand combat. Grappling, takedowns, throws, and strangulation play a significant role in Jujutsu. Most schools of Jujutsu teach some form of weapon techniques including knives, sticks canes, short swords, and or the use of ropes. When used correctly, it is possible to disarm an opponent and take a weapon away. Many Jujutsu students were trained in healing techniques, resuscitation, and massage.

History of Jujutsu?

Samurai Warrior The exact origins of Jujutsu are unclear because much of the history was passed down by oral teachings; elements of the art can be traced back over 2500 years. Mythical stories of Kajima and Kadori two legendary gods tell of how the inhabitants of an eastern province were punished for their lawlessness using Jujutsu techniques.

Chikura Kurabe, a wrestling sport that appeared in Japan in 230 BC had many techniques that were incorporated into Jujutsu training. During the Heian Period (784 AD), Jujutsu was integrated into the Samurai Warrior's training so that he could defend himself against an armed attacker in the event he lost his sword. In 880 AD Prince Teijun formed the first Jujutsu “Ryu” or school.

In 1532 AD Takenouche Hisamori founded one of the first Ryu that used Jujutsu as original art. Legend has it that while on a pilgrimage, Takenouche collapsed from exhaustion after training and meditating for several days. In his delirium, he received a vision from a phantom warrior. The warrior taught him five techniques of immobilization and the advantages of using short weapons over long ones.

Before the foundation of the Takenouche-Ryu, open-handed combat techniques existed solely as an inferior art to a major weapons system. Most modern Jujutsu Ryu can trace their lineage directly back to Takenouche. In the early 16th century, Hideyoshi Toyotomi introduced the Chinese Art of Ch-an Fa (punching and nerve striking) to Japan, and it was adopted by Jujutsu.

During the Edo Period (1603-1868), under the Tokugawa military government, Japan became a more peaceful area. Weaponless styles began to replace the weapon forms of old. During the Edo Period, it is believed that more than 700 systems of Jujutsu existed.

During the Meiji Restoration, the power of Japan shifted from the Shogun back to the Emperor. Since the Samurai had supported the Shogun, an Imperial Edit was set forth, making it a crime to practice the martial arts of the Samurai. Many of the practitioners became bone setters, as they were well practiced from the injuries sustained in the dojo. Unfortunately, much more used their skills to put on fake wrestling shows for public amusement or became gangsters. Some masters took the art "underground" or practiced in another country until the ban was lifted in the mid-twentieth century.

Jujutsu is the father of some relatively new martial arts. In 1882, Jigaro Kano developed the art of Judo using Jujutsu as the model. In the 1920's Ueshiba Morihei developed Aikido that derived from Jujutsu techniques: rolls, falls and circular movements. In modern times, pure classical Jujutsu is not widely practiced in contrast the multitude of sports style martial arts systems. Although it is more commonly taught to police and special operation military forces, whereas there are few opportunities for the general populace to learn this ancient warfare fighting art in its original form.

The Art of JTR Jujutsu...

The class will teach students the basics of JTR Jujutsu - a martial arts/self-defense system that was developed in Japan over the past 400 years. This jujutsu class teaches techniques for empty-hand defense against both empty hand and weapon attacks. Jujutsu is a very flexible system of self-defense that puts foremost importance to practicality, applicability, and effectiveness in real life situations.

Students taking jujutsu/self-defense classes will learn the essential elements of the martial arts of Jujutsu including effective striking (with the upper and lower extremities), joint locks, and pressure point techniques. Students will rehearse a wide variety of self-defense situations and the appropriate responses to them. Familiarization with basic rules for staying safe and dealing with dangerous situations will complement the teachings of self-defense techniques. The class will aim to enhance overall health and self-discipline.

Our master instructors who have practiced martial arts for over three decades. We currently operate martial arts programs for the federal and local government agencies including the US Department of State, MPD, National Defense University, Fort McNair, U.S. House of Representatives House, and D.C. Government DYRS.

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