The Origins of Jiu Jitsu

How Jiu Jitsu was born?

Jiu Jitsu is a martial art that developed in Japan many years ago. Its founder is the military tactician Takenouchi Hisamori, a lord from Mimasaka Province. It began in 1532, during the Sengoku period of the Muromachi period. Its basic idea was to combine various close combat, Japanese martial arts to provide efficient leverage in situations where weapons are ineffective or the enemy is wearing armor.

What differs Japanese hand to hand combat from other martial arts, depending on striking techniques, is its focus on throwing, joint-locks, choking and immobilizing as a whole. Striking an armored warrior on the battlefield was obviously ineffective and for that reason, the focus was elsewhere.

Original forms of Jiu Jitsu taught counterattacking and parrying long weapons with the help of short ones, such as daggers and the like.

The art continued its evolution during the Edo period in the early 17 century. At that time, the Tokugawa shogunate was trying to reduce war by laws that made the use of weapons and armor obsolete. Hand to hand combat was thriving and new techniques, including strikes, were adopted by Jiu Jitsu in order to compensate for the opponents lack of armor. However, their use was severely reduced around the 18th century, since they exerted too much energy and were considered less effective. Strikes remained only to serve as a method for distraction, unbalance, strangling or throwing.

Different schools were often challenging each other to duels. That practice was very popular amongst warriors in peaceful times and became the reason for the creation of randori – a peaceful practicing of a martial art.

The name Jiu Jitsu was given to the art of grappling-related techniques and disciplines in the middle of the 17th century. Until then, they had different names and were practiced as different styles.

Today Jiu Jitsu is widely practiced by millions of people throughout the world. If you are interested and want to achieve a higher state of harmony, Iaido Jiu Jitsu Kendo Club is a dojo, located in New York, NY that will teach you the ways of the art. Contact us on (212) 807-7336 to start exploring this new world, today!