History of Ju-Jitsu
Even though the true origins
of Ju-Jitsu are impossible to trace, elements of the art can be traced
back over 2500 years. Mythical stories of Kajima and Kadori two
legendary gods tell of how the inhabitants of an eastern providence
were punished for their lawlessness using Ju-Jitsu techniques.
Chikura Kurabe, a wrestling
sport that appeared in Japan in 230BC had many techniques that were
incorporated into Ju-Jitsu training. During the Heian Period (784
AD), Ju-Jitsu was incorporated into the Samurai Warrior's training so
that he could defend himself against an armed attacker in the event
he lost his sword. In 880 AD the first Ju-Jitsu Ryu was formed
by Prince Teijun.
One of the first Ryu that
used Ju-Jitsu as a primary art was founded in 1532 by Takenouche Hisamori.
Legend has it that while on a pilgrimage, Takenouche collapsed
from exhaustion after training and meditating for several days. In
his delirium he received a vision from a phantom warrior. The
warrior taught him five techniques of immobilization, and the advantages
of using short weapons over long ones.
Prior to the foundation
of the Takenouche-Ryu, open-handed combat techniques existed solely
as a subordinate art to a major weapons system. Most modern Ju-Jitsu
Ryu can trace their lineage directly back to Takenouche. In the early
16th century, Hideyoshi Toyotomi introduced the Chinese Art of Ch-an
Fa (punching and nerve striking) to Japan and it was adopted by Ju-Jitsu.
During the Edo Period (1603-1868),
under the Tokugawa military government, Japan became a more peaceful
area. Weaponless styles began to replace the weaponed forms of
old. During the Edo Period, it is believed that more than 700
systems of Ju-Jitsu existed.
During the Meiji Restoration,
the power of Japan shifted from the Shogun back to the Emperor. Since
the Samurai had supported the Shogun, an Imperial Edit was set forth,
making it a crime to practice the martial arts of the Samurai. Many
of the practitioners became bone-setters, as they were well practiced
from the injuries sustained in the dojo. Unfortunately, many more
used their skills to put on fake wrestling shows for public amusement,
or became gangsters. Some masters took the art "underground" or
practiced in another country until the ban was lifted in the mid-twentieth
Ju-Jitsu is the father of
some fairly new martial arts. In 1882, Jigaro Kano developed the
art of Judo using Ju-Jitsu as the model. In the 1920's Useshiba
Morihei developed Aikido which is based on Ju-Jitsu. In modern
times, true Classical Ju-Jitsu is restricted to a very few. It
is taught to police and special operation military forces, but there
are few opportunities for the general populace to learn this ancient
art of Feudal Japan as it was meant to be taught.
you are interested in Ju-Jitsu or Judo, please visit our dojo at
Pulaski Hwy, Havre De Grace, MD 21078.
410-272-6770 or use our contact form
arrange for a free lesson.