Ju-Jutsu was the main unarmed combat system used by the Samurai in ancient Japan. Today there are many variants of the Ju-Jutsu theme. Most modern systems involve variations of Judo, Karate, Aikido and wrestling amalgamated into a self-defence style.
Traditional Ju-Jutsu is not, however, a mixture of modern martial arts, but is an original form from which many of these modern arts evolved. Even the name is seen spelled in variations of Jiu-Jitsu, Ju-Jitsu, Jui-Jitsu and Ju-Jutsu. Historical researchers of Japanese culture (eg Don Draeger, EJ Harrison) suggests that any spelling other than “Ju-Jutsu” is a trans-literal corruption of the language and is incorrect.
Traditional Ju-Jutsu had its beginnings possibly as early as 23BC. It was not known as Ju-Jutsu until many centuries later (about 1630AD) and was in fact known by many names in the interim, depending on the specialisation adopted. It was often closely aligned to weapon arts both minor and major, and many styles used concealed weapons as part of their training. One of the names used for hand to hand combat (prior to the term “Ju-Jutsu”) was Kumiuchi.
The two main branches of Kumiuchi were those that involved fighting in armour (Yaroi Kumiuchi or battlefield Ju-Jutsu) and those developed in more peaceful times for civil applications (Heifuku Kumiuchi, or fighting in normal clothing).
Samurai-Arts style of Ju-Jutsu is more akin to those adapted for civil applications and is thus a modern form of Heifuku Kumiuchi. Students therefore practice Ju-Jutsu with a standard cotton martial arts uniform.
To study traditional Ju-Jutsu it is necessary to understand that the samurai was the foundation of law and order in feudal Japan. The high level of martial arts expertise gained by the samurai was used to protect the population and master he served, and to suppress violence. Ju-Jutsu was very often used not only as a means of self defence, but as a means of protecting others.
Martial arts, then, when used in their original form, are used as a means to suppress violence and to restore equilibrium.
This is why such notable martial arts organisations as Kokusai Budoin (the International Martial Arts Federation based in Japan) suggest that the spread of budo will assist in the attainment of world peace.
Ju-Jutsu is both art and science. It involves knowledge of balance, bio-mechanics, leverage, momentum and physiology to place a victim at an advantage when confronted by an aggressor.
Overcoming an opponent is achieved by using striking to vital points, joint locking, throwing, avoiding or immobilising the attacker. Some moves are simple, and some are complex, but with time anybody can achieve a high degree of skill. Throwing techniques are learned slowly and progressively, only after correctly learning how to fall safely
Who does Ju-Jutsu Suit?
Generally martial arts are considered suitable for fit, strong and healthy people. The fact is that while these categories often enjoy hard, physical training, they are not always the ones who stand to gain most.
Ju-Jutsu is highly suitable for most able-bodied people and has even been taught to those in wheelchairs.
Girls, women, elderly folk, frail people as well as fit and strong people will all benefit from Ju-Jutsu training.
For this reason, Samurai Arts Inc. create a training environment that enables fit and healthy to train vigorously while those with limited ability can train at a slower pace.
Although less intensive training is permissible, concentration, perseverance, dedication and positive attitude are still expected and required. That is, each student is expected to do the best they can, given their individual circumstances.
In summary, Ju-Jutsu is highly suitable for most people.
Samurai Arts Inc have short courses and long courses.
While most people start out wanting a short self-defence course, those who continue do so because they enjoy it. Also, many students have unrealistic expectations and apply unnecessary pressure on themselves. It is better to take it slower and learn thoroughly.
There are many principles to learn and apply so longer-term students naturally achieve more.
What do I need?
Mostly – a “can-do” attitude.
In terms of equipment, initial lessons simply require clean, loose fitting clothes. Later, a training costume called a judogi will be needed. We can help with advice on this.
Health & Safety
As a precaution we advise all new students to obtain medical advice before commencing training. Nothing is more important than safety and for this reason we have strict rules that apply to all members. It is possible to train vigorously and still maintain safety. We work with the understanding that a fast and effective response together with outstanding ability come together to create respons-ability. We train with these factors in mind at all times. Please see our “Dojo Rules” page.
What does it cost?
Less than most other activities – please see “Fees” page on this website.
At your own pace.
Those who understand dojo etiquette and have previous experience may progress a little quicker, but completely new students often do not need to undo bad habits.
The first 2 months are the most difficult. After this the student has a solid platform on which to build.
Students who want to get a black belt in two years should try another art. Samurai Arts is an organisation for those who believe they have capacity to continue learning forever.
Our chief instructor has studied for 40 years and is learning faster now than when he started.
For more historical information and to meet some of the amazing martial artists we have been involved with please see our “about -Us” page.