Jujitsu is one of the oldest forms of hand-to-hand combat in Japan.
Records of Jujitsu date back over 2,500 years.
Ju, translated means flexible or gentle.
Jitsu means art or technique.
The beginnings of Jitsu can be traced to the turbulent period of Japanese history between the 8th and 16th Century. During
this time, there was almost constant civil war in Japan and the classical weaponery systems were developed and honed on the
battlefield. Close fighting techniques were developed as part of these systems to be used in conjunction with weapons against
armoured, armed opponents.
The birth of jitsu probably coincided with the origins of the Samurai class in 792 AD. The army at that time consisted
of foot soldiers armed with spears. Officers were recruited from the young sons of the high families and schooled in archery,
swordsmanship, and unarmed combat. The Emperor Kammu built the Butokuden (Hall of the Virtues of War) as a formal school for
these officers who became known as Samurai. Their name comes from the Japanese word for service, saburaui. To be a samurai
you had to be born into a family that had samurai history. The samurai worked for their masters, called shogun, who dominated
political life from 1185 until 1868. Medieval samurai were generally illiterate, rural landowners who farmed between battles.
The progression from rural workers to 'samurai' took many centuries as they were increasingly called and relied on to defend
the ruling classes. The word samurai means 'those who serve' and had come into use by the end of the 8th century.
Jujitsu is the term which has been applied, at different times, to the whole of the ancient Japanese national art of unarmed
self-defense practiced by the Samurai or Warrior Class of Japan.
The basic principle of Jujitsu is to avoid or give way before an opponent's superior weight and strength in order to overcome
him by using his weight and strength to his disadvantage, you learn to use leverage, balance, and continuous motion to maximize
your effectiveness against an attacker. Jujitsu uses principles of leverage against force, redirection of an opponents energy
and harmony of motion. It consists of throws, holds, chokes, joint locks and grappling.