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A History and Style Guide of Japanese Jujutsu

Jujutsu is a form of fighting that uses leverage and body mechanics to overcome larger opponents. Developed by Helio Gracie and Mitsuyo Maeda in Brazil as Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ), it’s now widely practiced.

Jujutsu is an intricate system encompassing grappling and ground fighting techniques as well as weapons training to equip students to deal with street weapons such as sticks or bats.


Jujutsu was initially created to supplement samurai warrior’s swordsmanship by adding close combat techniques. Although its roots date back to medieval times, its development really gained steam during Jigoro Kano’s coinage of the term in order to describe all grappling related martial arts taught to samurais.

Kano believed judo should use an opponent’s momentum and strength against them, redirecting it with throws and joint locks to redirect his strength away from him. Today’s safe contest version still contains painful spine-and-rib-squeezing pin methods called hojo waza designed to force submission in real fights; these painful methods were first employed by him himself when fighting real attackers; hojo waza was originally seen by Kano as being part of, not unlike, jujutsu.

Jujutsu not only offers techniques for throwing and pinning an opponent, but it also teaches soft-point attacks such as attacking eyes, throat or groin soft points – such as attacking eyes, throat or groin soft points can be used to disrupt an enemies balance and distract him making him more susceptible to joint locks or strangle holds.

Jujitsu also utilizes joint manipulation techniques, employing an opponent’s own body against them in order to gain control over his weapons or disarm him. Traditionally, this art included limited striking techniques but never in kata or randori form; rather they focused on using hands as weapons against an adversary, disabling or distracting them and leading into throws or joint locks (just like you focus on online poker on any of the sites mentioned at theĀ

At some point during the Edo period, jujutsu merged with more deadly unarmed martial arts to form what we now recognize as modern judo, aikido and Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Therefore, some refer to Koryu jutsu or old school judo in order to distinguish it from these more combative styles.

Jujutsu remains one of the cornerstones of modern Japanese martial arts and remains practiced today as an integral component. It has found use in wrestling sports around the world as well as mixed martial arts – as an effective and practical form of self-defense, jujutsu is among the best arts available today.


Japan is famous for its art of close combat without weapons known as Jujutsu. This discipline encompasses unarmed combat techniques and weapon-handling as well as using minor weapons such as the jutte (truncheon), tanto (knife) or Kaku Shi Buki (concealed or concealed weapons).

Jujutsu tactics may appear gentle at first glance, but this should not be taken to mean they are an ineffective style of martial arts. Their effectiveness lies in yielding to and redirecting an opponent’s force with your own while taking advantage of his momentum and balance to control your center of gravity and use any attacks to your joint, shoulder or neck as leverage against any counterattack attempts from their attacker. By manipulating an attack by attacking joints, shoulders or necks you gain control of your opponent and can stop him resisting your counterattack

Effective Jujutsu tactics aim to stop an enemy in his tracks, disarm him and throw them on the ground. This is achieved by taking advantage of an attacker’s natural stance and positioning him where he’ll most likely be vulnerable – this could include blocking or deflecting an attack, various takedown and throwing techniques as well as restraint (pinching, strangling, grappling wrestling choking rope tying). Jujutsu techniques also include various takedowns and throwing techniques as well as weaponry restraining (pinning strangling grappling wrestling wrestling choking and rope tying).

Japanese martial arts such as Jujutsu are founded on the idea of sutemi, or all-round training. This means all aspects of their art such as unarmed fighting, weaponry, grappling and weapons-handling are practiced regularly – an approach well suited to an art that originated during Samurai rule where warriors were expected to defeat any opponent who stood before them on foot or horseback.

At the time of Edo period, jujutsu had evolved into numerous martial systems that could be broadly divided into either Sengoku period katchu bu jud (fighting while wearing armor) and suhada bu jud (combatants wearing street clothing like kimono or hakama) categories. Both styles included combat methods including striking, takedowns and throws as well as restraint (pinching, strangling, joint locks or weapons used against an attacker) plus use of body for defense.

After the end of samurai times, jujutsu evolved further, becoming the foundation for many contemporary martial styles. While some styles may depart from its original principles of throwing, grappling, and body striking techniques found within jujutsu, most still incorporate many of its core principles like throwing, grappling, and body striking as part of their practice.


Jujutsu, or Judo in Japan, originated among warriors known as bushi (or samurai). It emerged around the 17th century and served to augment swordsmanship by employing throws, restraint holds, and immobilizing techniques to incapacitate enemies quickly in combat situations. Judo was intended to be ruthlessly effective – designed not only to incapacitate or kill an opponent quickly – and this approach to its practice must remain brutal at all times.

Samurai began using jujutsu as a form of combat when they recognized that their sword could easily be knocked out of their hands by skilled opponents and stolen. They also recognized they needed to be able to fight unarmed or lightly armed; therefore they added grappling, throwing, joint locks and strangles into their arsenal of fighting methods.

Striking was used to distract an enemy and unbalance them before locking, throwing, or choke-hold techniques could take effect. Around 17th century, more fluid and versatile styles of Jujutsu were created – these eventually evolved into what is known today as Nihon Jujutsu (traditional Japanese martial arts).

Nihon jujutsu continued its evolution throughout Japan’s Edo period (1603-1868). Weapons became decorative tools during battle, and hand-to-hand combat became more frequent – ultimately shaping it into what we know today as dynamic, sport-friendly judo.

Although modern judo does not incorporate all aspects of its original martial art form, more lethal techniques remain taught through kata. These include groin attacks, arm-locks, shoulder chokes and back chokes as well as joint locks and throws; this form is commonly practiced during competitions and randori (free-form training).

In 1872, Emperor Meiji established the Imperial Army of Japan comprised of conscripted Samurai trained in modern weaponry and combat tactics, sparking major clashes between old ways and new. To avoid future tensions between traditionalists and newcomers, some samurai began teaching their fighting techniques to other members of society as well as new generations of students; this marked the birth of Gendai Judo today – still practiced worldwide by military and law-enforcement personnel alike.


If you want to learn Japanese Jujutsu, it is wise to seek out an instructor with decades of experience. Many will share their talents by recording video tutorials for public access – this makes learning this traditional art accessible even for those without access to physical schools in their area. This method has proven immensely popular.

Jujutsu’s katas are famed for their precision and subtlety. A subtle change to an angle or foot placement may make the technique work flawlessly, often leaving beginners frustrated at first. Over time however, you will gain the ability to understand what your sensei is doing more clearly, and realize just how little changes can make such a significant impactful difference in performance.

Medieval Japanese Samurai were known for practicing various forms of Jujitsu-based hand-to-hand combat techniques. This was because, unlike kendo and karate, these forms were designed specifically to defeat weapon wielders – meaning skilled Samurais could stop an opponent’s sword strike, throw them down, or immobilize them using joint locks and choke holds to stop momentum from the strike and keep opponents at bay.

Later periods saw some forms of Jujutsu teaching parrying and counterattacks with long weapons such as spears and swords – often designed to knock an opponent’s weapon from their hand or prevent an enemy from striking through a shield or body with spearheads.

Modern day jujutsu schools often prioritize defensive aspects over submission grappling systems, as society has changed and evolved along with it. Police departments around the world have adopted specific forms of jujutsu known as Gendai or Taiho Jujitsu that they teach their officers. Typically these systems use hojo waza moves which involve rope restraints as part of an extensive system for training officers to respond appropriately in emergency situations.