Jujitsu or Jujutsu?

I have been accused of being somewhat pedantic and I guess I am, and in that light I want to get things right. For instance, I want to use the most correct Romanisation of kanji characters. When it comes to deciding whether to use Jujitsu or Jujutsu in writing on the topic there is always the toss up between what is correct and what is popular. In this case, as with much in life, what is popular is not what is correct.

So what is Jujitsu or Jujutsu? If you asked most people vaguely familiar with this martial art to translate the works in English, then they would say that it is the gentle art or gentle method. But if you search “jitsu” using www.chinalaguage.com (which provides translations in Japanese also) you would not find any reference to “Art” or “Method”. Jitsu really means truth or light and not method or art. However, if you were to search for the kanji associated with the “gentle art” you would find that the Japanse word jutsu.

The trouble is that the correct pronunciation for “ju’ is joo, while the correct pronunciation of “jutsu” is jitsu. In addition, the correct pronunciation for “jujutsu” is joojitsu. You can then see how it is that the most popluar rendering of the spelling is “jujitsu”.

If that is the case, and since I have already stated that I am rather pendantic about the correct Romanisation of kanji, then you might ask what is the reason for us using term Atemi-Jujitsu and not Atemi-Jujutsu. Well there are two reasons. The first is that it is how the founders of this system spell Atemi-Jujitsu. And the second reason is that since Jujitsu is the most popular spelling it is also the most propular spelling used when people search for information on the art, and I obviously want people to read our blog. It is one small compromise we have made in order to increase readership of our blog.

Source: Philip’s post on www.jujutsu.co.za

The History of Jujutsu

The History of Jujutsu

The roots of Jujutsu can be traced back to the earliest historical records of Japan, the Kojiki (Record of Ancient Matters) and the Nihon Shoki (Chronicles of Japan – 8th century). The sumo tradition, thought to have common origins with the ancestor systems of Jujutsu, is said to be validated by these Chronicles. The ancestor systems of Jujutsu can be classified into two broad categories. Those systems developed during the Sengoku Jidai or Warring States period (1467-1568), and those developed during the Edo Jidai or Edo period (1600-1868).

During the Sengoku Jidai, many of the Bujutsu Ryu (Martial Art Schools) developed grappling systems to supplement their weapons systems, and these earlier systems generally included the use of some sort of minor weapon, such as the jutte (truncheon), tanto (knife), and ryofundo kusari (weighted chain). These methods were generally classified as the katchu bujutsu or yoroi kumiuchi (fighting with weapons or grappling while clad in armour).

The Edo Jidai was one of peace. With the establishment of the Tokugawa bakafu, a long period of war was halted, and consequently martial arts became increasingly available to the common people. During this period, many schools were founded that focused on unarmed combat techniques for civilians. These schools were classified as: Suhada bujutsu or fighting while dressed in the normal street clothing of the period, kimono and hakama.

Although these grappling arts are commonly referred to as “Jujutsu”, the art has been known by different names, during different periods, at different ryu (school or tradition): Hakuda, yawarra jitsu, and wa jitsu to name a few. The style of Jujutsu also differed from school to school, some schools focusing on many kanetsu waza (joint-locking techniques), or nage waza (throwing techniques), others focusing on many atemi waza (hitting vital-point techniques). Compared with the martial arts of China, Korea and Okinawa, Japanese Jujutsu systems place more emphasis on nage and kanetsu waza than on atemi waza. But some schools – such as the SAIUC’s Atemi-Jujitsu and the schools of Hakuda, Kempo, Tenjin Shinyo Ryu – also emphasise atemi waza.

The History of Jujutsu in South Africa

Jujutsu was brought to South Africa by a Japanese sailor, Seishi Teppi, who formed the Kodokwan Jujutsu school in 1928. The school became the South African Jujutsu Association, the oldest Japanese martial arts association in South Africa. The school taught Tenshin Shinyo Ryu Jujutsu or “School of the Natural Way”. Tenjin Shinyo Ryu was famous for atemi (hitting vital-points), kanetsu (joint-immobilization), and shime waza (strangulation). The founder of the Ryu was Iso Mataemon who created Tenjin Shinyo Ryu from the Jujutsu of Akiyama Shirobei Yoshitoki (physician) and Yamamoto Tamizaemon (police officer). Iso Mataemon fought many Jujutsu masters and was NEVER defeated. In 1822 – at the Kyoto Temple (the foremost Zen Buddhism Temple in Japan) – Iso Mataemon taught his skills to students for the first time influencing both the development of judo and aikido. When Seishi Teppi returned to Japan in 1948 he handed the kwan (school) to Charles Johnson. Soke Mängels studied Kodokwan Jujutsu.

Jujutsu is the ideal art to study for self-defence purposes. It is suited to all types of hand-to-hand situations, and is used by military forces in its original meaning as a close combat system, and is used by police forces to fulfil certain police tasks, or is taught as a civilian method of self-defence.

Source: Philip’s post on www.jujutsu.co.za