Ju Jitsu History

Samoerai / Samurai
Nationaal Archief / Foter.com

Jujitsu’s originated in 16th Century Japan to satisfy the need for soldiers to be effective in hand to hand combat situations, where the range made some weapons ineffective and the prevalence of body armour made striking with hands and feet also ineffective.

By replacing the principle of “head-on” force, and pure destructive power using punches and kicks, Jujitsu’s emphasis was more on leveraging the opponent’s movement and force, employing tactics such as throwing, locks and holds where damage and compliance could be achieved, even if the opponent was armed and armoured.

As time progressed, Jujitsu moved out of the military world and was developed as a martial art for civilians as well, with increasing introduction of punching and kicking as well but often with the emphasis being that the strikes would provide distraction or openings that could be exploited by take downs or throws.

It is quite common to find martial arts across history that have branched off or morphed into other styles, either due to the perceived limitations in the original art or just personal preferences of the adapter who wished to take the system in a different direction. Into the late 1800’s the system of Jujitsu formed the basis of another style that is still very common today, that of Judo. 

The basic philosophy in Jujitsu is that almost everything is allowed as a technique which is a bow to its origins as a military system.  However for teaching purposes and also to allow condensed, more rapid learning, initially Judo took parts of Jujitsu, the stand up work, mainly the throws and grappling and created something that whilst it has a different name was arguably a sub-set of Jujitsu which by then was continually evolving and changing into its own “styles” under the influence of different practitioners and schools.

Over the years, knowledge of martial arts from eastern countries like Japan, Philippines, Korea and China have made their way to the West, especially after World War II where soldiers whom fought in the various military campaigns in the east were exposed to the styles.

Jujitsu has continued to develop around its basic principles creating more offshoots including Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu which is said to have initially developed more from Judo than Jujitsu, and has developed more focus on ground work. 

The Jujitsu as taught by the Cheshire Budo Federation will teach the student the how to be effective at many different levels i.e. standing up, defending against attack when stood, taking down and defending against being taken down and then work on the ground, both attacking and defending.  Please see our syllabus pages for more details.