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Jujitsu – The Gentle Art

Jujitsu – The Gentle
To a person not conversant with this art,
Jujitsu may be considered as a foul or derogatory term in Japanese.

However, Jujitsu us one of the most effective and deadly forms of martial
arts taught today. Unique among other forms of combat, Jujitsu holds
the position of a “parent art”, of from which other forms of martial arts
such as Aikido, Judo and several Karate styles were extracted. Jujitsu
is a combination of all levels of combat. It incorporates chokes,
striking, grappling, nerve and pressure point attacks, joint locks, redirection
of momentum and throws.

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The exact origins of Jujitsu are
unclear, as most of its history was passed on in the oral tradition.

The few early written references show that its origins date back to Japanese
mythology, where it is said that the gods, Kajima and Kadori, used Jujitsu
to discipline the lawless and wild inhabitants of the Eastern provinces.

Therefore, by definition, the art is nearly 2000 years old, however records
do exist which show that the art was being practiced as far back as the
8th Century, over twelve hundred years ago. Jujitsu was formalised and
most popular during the Edo period of Japan. This was the era of
the Samurai. Jujitsu was the Samurai’s main set of combat techniques,
after the sword. Jujitsu was a part of the Samurai’s fighting skills,
something he could use when he was unable to use his favourite weapon.

There are many different styles
of Jujitsu that exist around the world, and many different ways to actually
spell the name. The original spelling derived directly from the Japanese
was Jujitsu. As the popularity and practice of this martial art spread
across Europe, the spelling and pronunciation was forced to change.

This occurred during World War II, when the name Jujitsu had to be changed
to Jiu-jitsu (pronounced Jeeu-jitsu). This name-change occurred because
the Germans occupying the area at the time claimed that the name resembled
the word “Jew”, which was illegal to be spoken. Therefore the name
was slightly altered so that the art could continue to exist and be taught
throughout Europe.

Despite the difference is spelling,
the meaning of the words is basically the same. The literal meaning of
the name is “the gentle art”, however, since there can be many different
translations of Japanese words, “Ju” can also mean soft, yielding, pliant
and flexible, which are all important fundamental principles in this dangerous
art. Jujitsu operates on the notion that force should never be met
with force. Instead, to avoid an incoming attack, Jujitsu teaches
to redirect the energy created by the attack into a counter move, rather
than working against the attacking force.

Jujitsu is sometimes referred to
as a complete and more rounded art. This is because it utilises all
aspects of different martial arts, combining both standing and ground fighting.

Certainly a puncher or kicker is at a disadvantage if they allow themselves
to be taken to the ground. The grappler, or ground-fighter, is at
a disadvantage to stay outside and try to use strikes with a “striker”.

Therefore, a martial artist with both standing and grappling skills has
a better, and some may consider unfair, advantage over his opponent. Another
advantage of Jujitsu is the ability to modify techniques to meet the needs
of the situation and abilities of the student, as some techniques work
better than others based on height, weight and physical capabilities and
limitations. Jujitsu
In addition, Jujitsu students are
taught to do anything in their power to overcome an opponent, a practice
that causes a lot of controversy in the martial arts community. It is certainly
not uncommon to see a Jujitsu student being taught to gouge the eyeball,
break or dislocate a limb, crush the windpipe or even break the neck of
an opponent. These techniques are taught to be used only in extreme
circumstances, however they illustrate well the lethal nature of the art
to defeat an opponent with as little time and energy spent as possible.

It is no wonder that Jujitsu is taught to American and Russian Special
Forces, as well as armies and police units around the world.

For me, Jujitsu has become a most
valued part of my life. It is not only about learning how to overcome
an opponent, it is a way of life. It has taught me discipline and self-confidence,
while helping me protect myself and avert possible injury in those circumstances
where my friends or I have been under threat of, or in the midst of actual
attack. Though I have only begun


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