Although the term was not coined until the 17th century, jujutsu is famed for being the unarmed combat method of the samurai. The art forms the basis of Judo and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and incorporates pins, joint locks, and throws. It is particularly effective in one-on-one confrontations.
Japanese Jiu jitsu Techniques
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.
Although jujutsu means “the art of softness“, it is a deadly combat-orientated art intended to disable opponents as quickly as possible— often using their own energy, weight, and momentum against them.
The Samurai Connection
In jujutsu’s original form, common samurai battlefield weapons would have been used. The combat style also comes from its samurai past—the grappling techniques enabled a lightly armed warrior to fight an armor-clad enemy.
Law & Order
Modern jujutsu traditions were founded toward the end of the Edo period (1603-1868) when more than 2,000 schools existed in Japan. It was, and remains, an extremely popular art. Forms of the system are employed by many law-enforcement institutions, the most famous being taiho jutsu, which is used by the Tokyo police. Jujutsu is also used by police forces worldwide.
The basis of this modern martial art is best described through the words of its founder,
While teaching Kenjutsu in Northern China, I was inspired with the thought that “eiji happo” the eight rules of calligraphy, could also be applied to the rules of swordsmanship. As I practiced the “ei” character [this is to calligraphy what "doh ray me" is to music], I saw in my mind that these eight strokes of the brush traced the trajectories of the sword when cutting. The first brushstroke, “souk”, is the thrust of the sword tip; the second, “roku”, is the left and right horizontal cuts; the third stroke, “do”, is the vertical cut, and so on.
Nakamura was held in high esteem in Japan. In 1992, 11 years before his death, he was given the highest cultural award in Japan—the status of National Living Treasure.
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