The word jujutsu has been known to the western world for centuries. A contemporary dictionary defines ju-jitsu (or ju-jutsu) as "the Japanese art of defending oneself by grasping or striking an opponent so that his own strength and weight are used against him" P. 2
Jujitsu: Darell Max Craig, Boston, 1995
Jujitsu, Japanese jūjitsu (“gentle art”),
also spelled jujutsu, also called yawara, form of martial artand method of fighting that makes use of few or no weapons and employs holds, throws, and paralyzing blows to subdue an opponent. It evolved among the warrior class (bushi, or samurai) in Japan from about the 17th century. Designed to complement a warrior’s swordsmanship in combat, it was a necessarily ruthless style, with the usual object of warfare: crippling or killing an antagonist. Jujitsu was a general name for many systems of fighting involving techniques of hitting, kicking, kneeing, throwing, choking, immobilizing holds, and use of certain weapons. Central to these systems was the concept jū, from a Chinese character commonly interpreted as “gentle”—gentle, however, in the sense of bending or yielding to an opponent’s direction of attack while attempting to control it. Also involved was the use of hard or tough parts of the body (e.g., knuckles, fists, elbows, and knees) against an enemy’s vulnerable points. Jujitsu declined after the Satsuma Rebellion of 1877, but it has enjoyed renewed popularity since the 1990s.
Ju-Jutsu Historical Research Society © 2018
Kano Jiu-Jitsu / Kodokan Judo
The original Mixed Martial Art
Kano Jiu-Jitsu, the early name for Judo, was created by Professor Jigoro Kano. After mastering several styles of Jiu-Jjitsu in his youth, Professor Kano began to standardize and develop his own system based on modern sports principles. In 1882, he founded the Kodokan Judo Institute in Tokyo where he began teaching and which still is the international authority for Judo. The name Judo was chosen because it means the "gentle way". Kano emphasized the larger educational value of training in attack and defense so that it could be a path or way of life that all people could participate in and benefit from. He de-emphasized some of the traditional jiu-jitsu techniques and changed training methods so that most of the moves could be done with full force to create a decisive victory.
The ability to execute techniques with full force is a key differentiator between a Kodokan Judo / Kano Jiu-Jitsu school and the average Jiu-Jitsu school. Repetitive practice at full speed with full completion of the technique develops better form and requires more skill and conditioning for both the person executing the technique, as well as, the person being practiced upon. Judo schools emphasize how to fully control ones opponent in all situations - standing, as well as, ground fighting. This provides a much finer granularity of control in a self-defense situation when deciding to merely subdue an opponent or to inflict permanent injury.
The popularity of Judo increased dramatically after a famous contest hosted by the Tokyo police in 1886 where the Kodokan Judo team defeated the most well-known jiu-jitsu school of the time. To help spread the word of his new art around the world, Professor Kano sent many of his students around the world. Some of the most influential to modern martial arts were Mitsuyo Maeda, Soishiro Satake, and Mikinosuke Kawaishi.
Mitsuyo Maeda and Soishiro Satake formed the head of the second generation of Kodokan judoka. Mitsuyo Maeda was one of the Kodokan's top groundwork (newaza) experts. Maeda had trained first in sumo as a teenager, and after the interest generated by stories about the success of Kodokan Judo at contests between Kodokan Judo and Jiu-Jjitsu that were occurring at the time, he changed from sumo to Judo. Maeda left Japan in 1904 and visited a number of countries giving "jiu-do" demonstrations and accepting challenges from wrestlers, boxers, savate fighters and various other martial artists. Soishiro Satake, at 175 cm and 80 kg, was unmatched in amateur sumo, but admitted that he himself was not able to match Maeda in judo. Both Maeda and Satake left Japan at a time when judo was still referred to as "Kano Jiu-Jitsu". When they arrived in Brazil in 1914, every newspaper announced their art as being "jiu-jitsu" despite both men being Kodokan judoka. Satake would become the founder of the first historically registered judo academy in Brazil in 1914. Satake and Maeda are considered the pioneers of judo in Brazil. In 1917, after a demonstration by Maeda at the Da Paz Theatre, Carlos Gracie decided to learn Judo. Maeda accepted Carlos Gracie as a Judo student and eventually passed his knowledge on to his brothers, thus forming Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
Kano Jiu-Jitsu became a part of the Japanese physical education system and began to spread its popularity around the world. But it was not until 1925 that the Japanese government itself officially mandated that the correct name for the martial art taught in the Japanese public schools should be "Judo" rather than "jiu-jitsu". In Brazil, however, the art was still called "jiu-jitsu".
Mikinosuke Kawaishi was born in Kyoto in 1899 and moved to Paris 1936 where he taught jujitsu and Judo. Kawaishi came to believe that merely transplanting the teaching methods of Japan to the West was inappropriate. He developed an intuitive style of instruction and a numerical ordering of the techniques that he felt was more suitable for western culture. This became known as the Kawaishi Method. One of the changes he is credited with is the introduction of many colored belts to recognize advancement in Judo. This seemed to catch on in France and there was a rapid growth of interest in Judo. His system of Judo is fully described in his book My Method of Judo written when he was a 7th dan and published in English in 1955. After World War II and through the 1950's, the Kodokan moved more and more towards the sport of Judo; banning techniques from shiai and dropping them from the Kodokan syllabus. Kawaishi, however, continued to teach these techniques.
Kawaishi is credited with being the person most responsible for the spread of Judo throughout France and much of Europe. Coaches Raymond Sasia in Paris, France and Jacques Legrand in New Orleans, Louisiana were products of the Kawaishi method of Judo and Self Defense, and thus all of their students. This spirit lives on today at The Judokai.
Judo is not simply the art of throwing. Rather, it is a complete martial art with combative aspects that cover powerful throwing techniques, extensive ground grappling techniques, and striking techniques. The pop culture term "Judo Chop" actually comes from striking techniques prevalent in early Jiu-Jitsu. Edge of hand blows were used extensively in Jiu-Jitsu, not only to deliver debilitating and possibly lethal strikes, but they were also used to weaken opponents and open them up for locks, chokes and throws.
Judo training has many forms for different interests. Some students train for competition by sparring and entering the many tournaments that are available. Other students study the traditional art and forms (kata) of Judo. Other students train for the traditional Jujitsu self-defense aspects, and yet other students play Judo for fun. Black belts are expected to not only learn, but teach, all of these aspects.
The Judokai embraces the name Kano Jiu-Jitsu to promote the tradition and history of Judo while demonstrating to the masses that Judo is Jiu-Jitsu.
The Judokai believes in strong traditional fundamentals, but a modern safe interpretation of competition rules where there is no differentiation between Jiu-Jitsu, Wrestling, Sambo, Pankration, etc. Certain training methods, names, and contest rules might vary by style and ethnic origins; Japanese, European, Brazilian, etc. However, good technique is good technique no matter what the origin.
That's the way it ought to be
- The Judokai Warriors
- Nage no Kata (投の形) - Forms of Throwing
- Katame no Kata - Forms of Grappling
- Ju no Kata - Forms of Gentleness
- Kime no Kata - Forms of Decision
- Goshin Jutsu no Kata - Forms of Self Defense
- Joshi Goshin Ho - Women's Forms of Self Defense
- Itsutsu no Kata - Forms of Five
- Koshiki no Kata - Ancient Forms / Forms of Antiquity
- Seiryoku Zenyo Kokumin Taiiku - Maximum Efficiency Physical Education