There are many variations of the art, which leads to a diversity of
approaches. Jujutsu schools (ryū) may utilize all forms of grappling
techniques to some degree (i.e. throwing, trapping, joint locks, holds,
gouging, biting, disengagements, striking, and kicking). In addition to
jujutsu, many schools taught the use of weapons.
The term "jūjutsu" was not coined until the 17th century,
after which time it became a blanket term for a wide variety of
grappling-related disciplines. Prior to that time, these skills had names
such as "short sword grappling" (小具足腰之廻 ,kogusoku koshi no mawari),
"grappling" (組討 or 組打 ,kumiuchi), "body art" (体術 ,taijutsu), "softness" (柔
or 和 ,yawara), "art of harmony" (和術 ,wajutsu,yawarajutsu), "catching hand"
(捕手 ,torite), and even the "way of softness" (柔道 ,jūdō) (as early as 1724,
almost two centuries before Kano Jigoro founded the modern art of Kodokan
It is important
to realize that the definition of “ju”, as the Japanese saw it, dealt with
suppleness and flexibility, not of the physical body, but of thought and
response in dealing with aggression. There was and is no pre-conceived
doctrine in jujutsu. An attack is dealt with according to the power,
intent, and method of the attacker. There is no reliance on strength and
size alone. Jujutsu functions according to the basic scientific principles
of physics, anatomy, physiology, and psychology.
An important aspect of jujutsu training is learning how to break
a fall effectively.Practitioners employ a unique method of absorbing force
when being thrown, slapping the ground with their free arm so that the shock
and disorientation of sudden impact is greatly reduced when the rest of the
body makes contact. The movements
and techniques in jujutsu apply timing, leverage, flexibility, balance,
finesse and speed to defeat your assailant. Strikes, throws, locks,
strangles and other movements come from a precise understanding of the human
anatomy and movement. You are taught techniques to
overcome your opponent as quickly and
efficiently as possible.
flourished and grew during the Edo Period commonly measured by historians as
being from 1603-1868 AD. The term “jujutsu” began to be used in Japan in
the 1630s to describe many different unarmed styles of combat that shared
the same principles of attack and defense.
The various unarmed combat arts of the samurai prior to this went by many
names over the centuries. In these earlier centuries, these combat arts
dealt primarily with battlefield combat involving warriors wearing armor.
It was during the Edo period when jujutsu began to be refined into systems
where lethality was not always an option and an opponent could be anywhere.