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Ron Tisdale
12-29-2006, 08:28 AM
Hi all,

Question here for the Japanese speakers. After reading this post:
Someone like Ellis Amdur is probably more qualified to expound on this than me, but the distinction between jujutsu and Brazillian jiu-jitsu is not about looking down on anything. It's a historical distinction. "Jujutsu" in Japanese encompasses the varieties of unarmed combat systems created in Japan before the Meiji Restoration. Judo, created in the Meiji Era, is not now considered jujutsu (although at the time the terms were basically interchangable), nor is aikido, which as an independent art is definitely dated to the 20th century. BJJ is a 20th century descendant of Judo, and has been largely refined and developed in a foreign country, so from a nomenclature POV it simply can't be classified with jujutsu. It's methods of training and transmission are also different from jujutsu ryuha. It's not a matter of looking down on BJJ.
In this thread: http://www.aikiweb.com/forums/showthread.php?t=11497&page=1&pp=25

I went back to an e-budo thread here: http://www.e-budo.com/forum/showthread.php?t=34296&page=1&pp=15&highlight=jujutsu

and wondered about past and present ussages of these words. In my previous posts on this topic, I've always stated that jujutsu is a general category, and pretty much included a whole host of gendai and koryu arts in the broad category. I'm interested in both previous and current usage of the terms jujutsu and yawara in Japanese language.

If someone wants to add their understanding of the broader international use of the terms (especially jujutsu) that would be fine as well.

Thanks, and Best,
Ron (especially hoping Ellis, Peter, Jun will post... ;))

DonMagee
12-29-2006, 09:13 AM
Interesting read.

I am interested in this as well. In my local area there are many discussions on if bjj is really jiujitsu. Most of the local non bjj guys say that it isn't, because there is as they put it "no focus on killing". I find the argument silly. I've tried pointing at the Fusen ryu guys, the Kosen judo guys, etc. But they have a solidified mindset on what jiujitsu is. Personally, I agree with you that it is a generic term like kung-fu.

I also wonder about the statement made that bjj training methods are different then classical jiujitsu. Judo has similar methods, and was not judo derived from jiujitsu? Also was not judo concidered a form of jiujitsu? Beyond that, I'm sure Kano did not invent the idea of actually resisting and training in the 'alive' mindset. So that had to come from his experience in jiujitsu. He simply refined the idea to remove or change, the 'too deadly' techniques to allow you to train this way more frequently. I would have to say that this training method is in line with classical jiujitsu. However it is not inline with the modern take on what a traditional martial art is. I of course thing focus on kata and departure from sparing is really a creation of the last 50-60 years.

However, I'm not really qualified to talk about it. I'm just posting so I can see what other people answer.

Josh Reyer
12-29-2006, 02:34 PM
I also wonder about the statement made that bjj training methods are different then classical jiujitsu. Judo has similar methods, and was not judo derived from jiujitsu? Also was not judo concidered a form of jiujitsu?

As I said, at the time (Meiji Era), judo and jujutsu were used interchangably. That is not the case now. From a descriptivist standpoint, in modern Japan one cannot say, "I do judo," and mean "I practice traditional jujutsu." Nor can one say, "I do jujutsu," and mean "I do judo," particularly among budoka.

Beyond that, I'm sure Kano did not invent the idea of actually resisting and training in the 'alive' mindset. So that had to come from his experience in jiujitsu. He simply refined the idea to remove or change, the 'too deadly' techniques to allow you to train this way more frequently. I would have to say that this training method is in line with classical jiujitsu. However it is not inline with the modern take on what a traditional martial art is. I of course thing focus on kata and departure from sparing is really a creation of the last 50-60 years.

Again, a koryu specialist would know more about this than I, but it is my understanding that kata was a significant part of training in the old arts, and indeed where the various levels of koryu training (e.g. hiden, okuden, menkyo kaiden) get their names. The kata were drawn out and explained on scrolls, copies of which the student received when he had mastered that level. Looking on koryu.com, I found this, written by Stephen Fabian:

Technical characteristics.
Although there is some diversity in the actual look and techniques of the various traditional jujutsu systems, there are significant technical similarities:

* students learn traditional jujutsu primarily by observation and imitation as patterned by the ryu's kata or prearranged forms;
* most kata emphasize joint-locking techniques, that is threatening a joint's integrity by placing pressure on it in a direction contrary to its normal function, or take-down or throwing techniques, or a combination of take-downs and joint-locks;
* very occasionally a strike (atemi ) targeted to some particularly vulnerable area will be used to help create kuzushi (break in balance) or otherwise set-up the opponent for a lock, take-down or throw;
* force essentially never meets force directly, nor should techniques need to be strong-armed to be effective: rather, there is great emphasis placed on flow (which follows from the art's name, in which ju connotes pliability and suppleness) and technical mastery;
* movements tend to emphasize circularity, and capitalize on an attacker's momentum and openings in order to place a joint in a compromised position or to break balance as preparatory for a take-down or throw;
* the defender's own body is positioned so as to take optimal advantage of the attacker's weaknesses while simultaneously presenting as few openings or weaknesses of its own; and
* the common inclusion in the ryu of cognate weapons training (also using kata as a primary instructional method), stemming from the historical development of jujutsu and other koryu when active battles were waged. Weapons might include, for example, the roku shaku bo (long staff), han bo (short staff), katana (long sword), kodachi (short sword), and tanto (knife), some of the main repertoire of traditional weaponry.

I've bolded where I believe Kano made the significant departures from traditional jujutsu that made judo a thing unto itself. To be sure, there was sparring before judo, and judo has it's own kata (and I suppose, in its way, so does BJJ). But the change of emphasis from kata to randori/rolling is a significant departure. The sport aspect, also, is a departure, and while certainly no judoka or BJJ-roller needs to engage in any kind of sports competition, that aspect in the art as a whole is something that distinguishes it from traditional jujutsu. At least in the eyes of many Japanese budoka.

Any correction or refinement by koryu practioners is heartily welcomed.

Josh Reyer
12-29-2006, 03:28 PM
These are some relevant parts of the Japanese Wikipedia entry on Jujutsu, translated by me. I provide them not as any kind of final word on the matter (Wikipedia must be taken with a grain of salt or two in any language), but as an example of how some Japanese budoka see the issue.
----------------
Intro
Jujutsu is an unarmed martial technique (bujutsu) unique to Japan. It is classified as either an armored fighting technique (katchuu bujutsu/yoroi-kumi-uchi) developed for battle in the Warring States period, or as an unarmed fighting technique (suhada bujutsu) developed after the start of the Edo Period. The large number of styles that place an emphasis on capturing the opponent without injuring him is a unique characteristic not seen in the bujutsu of other countries.

Naming
Recently from greater exposure in the media, there are many cases of "jujutsu" being used to refer to Brazillian Jiu-jitsu, which was developed in Brazil. Even among those studying karate and other martial arts, there's often the idea that jujutsu = Brazillian Jiu-jitsu = newaza. As result, sometimes the expression "koryu jujutsu" is used to indicate the original jujutsu. What is called "Brazillian Jiu-jitsu" is not considered directly descended from koryu, but is a descendant of judo which spread to the world in the Meiji Era. It is generally said that it advocates "jiu-jitsu" as an expression of emphasis away from a "do" style to a "jutsu" style. But this is a misunderstanding. The Brazillians, who did not understand Japanese, adopted "jiu-jitsu", not "judo". This is because the man who brought judo/jujutsu to Brazil, Maeda Mitsuyo, himself referred to his techniques as "jujutsu". In the Meiji Era, people referred to even judoka from the Kodokan using "jujutsu". For a domestic example, Natsume Soseki's books "Botchan" and "Sanshiro" (1908) used "jujutsu" exclusively. In the United Kingdom, a Japanese deshi of Kano Jigoro and an Englishman co-authored a book called "The Complete Kano Jiujitsu", published in 1905.

Ellis Amdur
12-29-2006, 05:19 PM
Gosh, truly a tempest in a teapot. Had the Brazilians called it "Brazilian judo," people would be upset at the sacriliage - "That's not judo. They've changed the rules! They continue to change the waza! There's no ippon!!!! They denigrate Kano and the Japanese". (There's an article reproduced from the '50's where they are quoted as doing just that.). They had to call it something, for goodness sake, and they did learn what Maeda probably called jujutsu, so as NOT to offend the Kodokan when he had deviated from their rules, including fighting professionally and engaging in exhibitions. Calling it jujutsu could be viewed as a mark of respect. Not ripping off the Kodokan's "trademark" name, recognizing the clear and complete Japanese origins, and making it a generic name.
Yeah, classic jujutsu had kata as a central training method and often used weapons. BUT - they clearly had freestyle training. Kano just developed a superior way of training freestyle.
There were other Meiji and Taisho and early Showa jujutsu schools - lots of wrist and arm locks, it's true, but they also had randori - and no weapons or killing practice.
Finally, the most important point. I puzzle out ("read" is too complimentary a word) Japanese martial arts magazines on occasion. The Japanese writers have never ONCE, to my knowledge, complained about BJJ or GJJ using "JJ" in their name. It seems perfectly natural, not even worth commenting on among Japanese folks. Why is this a big deal among Westerners - particularly as there are probably not even 100 people in the entire world outside of Japan practicing a true koryu jujutsu (FWIW that they do).
Finally, I won't even teach Araki-ryu (primordial jujutsu, so to speak) to anyone who can't roll freestyle. Without that ability, they can't learn the kata. Back in the day, so to speak, everyone knew a lot of this from childhood cause they all did freestyle - called sumo.

Best

DonMagee
12-29-2006, 08:31 PM
The sport aspect, also, is a departure, and while certainly no judoka or BJJ-roller needs to engage in any kind of sports competition, that aspect in the art as a whole is something that distinguishes it from traditional jujutsu. At least in the eyes of many Japanese budoka.


Didn't kano use Judo to win a jiujitsu competition? Isn't that one of the things that helped solidify his training methods?

xuzen
12-30-2006, 12:37 AM
...<snip>... Back in the day, so to speak, everyone knew a lot of this from childhood cause they all did freestyle - called sumo.Best

Ellis-sama,

I am curious about this statement. Do you mean that sumo is something like folk wrestling to the Japanese?

Boon.

Ellis Amdur
12-30-2006, 09:00 AM
Boon - please don't call me "sama." That's weird. Just Ellis.

Anyway, the answer is yes. Just like folk-wrestling. Sumo was probably the primary recreation of young boys (and many pre-teen girls, actually) in earlier Japan.

Best

Toby Threadgill
12-30-2006, 10:24 PM
Hello,

Ellis and I have discussed this topic before and I admit to being a bit pedantic on the subject but I must confess that whether I like it or not, jujutsu has evolved into a generic term for jacket wrestling of Japanese origin. In its original use it was more specific but it was always a rather generic term encompassing various combat systems like kogusoku, hakuda, yawara, wate and many others.

Also like Ellis I've never heard any Japanese upset or offended by the BJJ people using the term jujutsu. My teacher Yukio Takamura never seemed bothered by BJJ.

It is important to remember that the name judo did not originate with Jigoro Kano but was used by the Kito ryu in the mid to late Edo period. I also have seen a Shindo Yoshin ryu menjo issued in the Taisho era referring to Shindo Yoshin ryu as judo. It seems in Japan the terms were quite interchangeable.

Now...Call your art koryu jujutsu or classical jujutsu and that infers a completely different thing.

Respecfully,

Toby Threadgill / TSYR
www.shinyokai.com

Ron Tisdale
01-02-2007, 07:15 AM
Thanks for the answers all!

Best,
Ron (Happy Gnu Year) ;)

Cady Goldfield
01-02-2007, 08:51 AM
Best,
Ron (Happy Gnu Year) ;)

Wildebeest to you, too! :D

odudog
01-09-2007, 11:00 AM
One thing to keep in mind is the seperatism from the old days. People would be talking about the same thing, yet they used different words to describe it. How you say "thank you" I believe in Osaka is different than Tokyo. So they were doing the same types of martial art back then {using ki, attacking balance, attacking the soft parts, etc...} yet they used different monikers hence jujitsu, hakuda, yawara, etc... For whatever reason, jujitsu became the dominant moniker used to describe the art being applied today.

Ellis Amdur
01-09-2007, 07:31 PM
Not exactly true. Hakuda indicated a method that emphasized striking (like kempo). Yawara usually meant wrist/arm lock stuff, kogusoku or koshi no mawari meant grappling in armor, and torite meant taking initiative from start to finish. Jujutsu definitely became a more generic term and it was used from south to north.

Best

Ron Tisdale
01-10-2007, 06:58 AM
Thanks again for the answers and thoughts, keep them coming! I think I'm going to bookmark this thread, it gives many perspectives, quite a few well thought out.

Best,
Ron

odudog
01-10-2007, 10:30 AM
Ellis gives the exact distinctions between the monikers used such as yawara, hakuda, etc... However, Japanese love to name/label everything. So while torite is an art that takes the iniative from start to finish, koshi no mawari is grappling in armor, and yawara is using joint & wrist locks isn't all of those same things still contained in the moniker under jujitsu? In my mind how you grapple in jujitsu should be the same if only slightly different on how you grapple in koshi no mawari only because of the armor being imployed. Taking the iniative in torite is also imployed in jujitsu or aikido. Sen and sen sen no sen. To me the are just monikers so that you know exactly what is involved {armor worn vs. no armor worn} while they are still doing the basically the same thing such as using ki, taking balance, etc...

Ron Tisdale
01-10-2007, 10:33 AM
I think that is what Ellis just stated...

Ketsan
01-17-2007, 03:38 AM
Finally, I won't even teach Araki-ryu (primordial jujutsu, so to speak) to anyone who can't roll freestyle. Without that ability, they can't learn the kata. Back in the day, so to speak, everyone knew a lot of this from childhood cause they all did freestyle - called sumo.
Best

You've just put a piece in a big mental puzzle I've been mulling over for a while, thanks. :D

DH
02-04-2007, 01:13 PM
In my mind how you grapple in jujitsu should be the same if only slightly different on how you grapple in koshi no mawari only because of the armor being imployed. Taking the iniative in torite is also imployed in jujitsu or aikido. Sen and sen sen no sen. To me the are just monikers so that you know exactly what is involved {armor worn vs. no armor worn} while they are still doing the basically the same thing such as using ki, taking balance, etc...

Well not really. For starters lets take your first assertion that armored fightnig is only slightly different from unarmed jujutsu.
No...it isn't.
1. Many of the throws and set ups of jujutsu or Judo simply won't work. You would never get in on them in that way-various pieces of amror would prevent it. So would areas to get kuzushi be altered in armor. In fact both his body and yours would behave and feel different in armor. There a reason Koryu jujutsu sometimes looks odd.
2. Many of technical approaches toward hips and chest walls will fail. Chokes will fail. Atemi of most common types are useless.
3. But there are in fact methods to actually grab areas armor and use it-which makes little sense in unarmored jujutsu
4. Yes there can be some cross over

Second lets consider the trump card
Weapons
Whole different approach in maai and body awareness in kogusoku and Koshi no ma Mawari. Some Judo type techniques and approaches would get you killed. So, there remains differences in distance and the reasons for placements of; your body, your hands, displacing HIS body and hand/arms all become relevant when either /or are armed or can access weapons.
And THAT most certainly does effect sen. Both as distance and timing. Or you're once again- dead.
No big deal since we don't fight in armor anymore. But they were what they were for reasons that should not be glossed over.
In my mind its as ignorant as telling someone to just pop a gang banger in the head if he harrassed you. Chances are you'd end up in the morg.
Weapons and weapon awareness is paramount in any age.
Cheers
Dan

ChrisHein
02-04-2007, 02:49 PM
I think people get way to caught up with names. A name is a name.

For myself I brake it down as "Jiu": the study of the principal of yielding. "Do": the practice of a martial art for self development. "Jitsu": the practice of a martial art for practical means.

Now it only becomes confusing because we have large organizations that call themselves "X" (bjj, judo, Japanese jiu jitsu etc.) and everyone thinks that the name is attached to every little thing they (the large orginizations) do, when it should really be attached to the specifics of that school. Like Kodokan judo, Gracie Brazilian jiu jitsu, Cleber Brazilian Jiu jitsu, Iwama Ryu Aikido, Aikikai aikido etc.

Personally I think Aikido as most people practice it should be called Aikijudo (the study of Aiki and jiu for personally development), but that would just confuse everyone wouldn't it.

-Chris

DH
02-04-2007, 03:21 PM
Personally I think Aikido as most people practice it should be called Aikijudo ..snip....but that would just confuse everyone wouldn't it.
-Chris
Mifune "owns" Aikijudo....
Attached to him by many observers...unasked for by him.
A Genius in motion.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WMw_Jtn3Avc
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CUne9Xg55og

I think Aikido should be called -as was many times a man split from a ryu-Ueshiba-ha Daito ryu
Because that is -exactly- what it is. :)
Cheers
Dan

Sreyan
02-04-2007, 03:56 PM
Isn't there a "Go No Kata" in judo designed specifically to preserve armored combat? Any judoka here care to comment?

stan baker
02-04-2007, 08:39 PM
Hi Dan.
that master mifune is amazing I wonder if there is anybody in japan like that.

stan

Franco
02-05-2007, 10:55 AM
Dan Harden:

What martial art do you practice?

DH
02-05-2007, 04:44 PM
Mifune is long gone Stan. But he was amazing by everyone's account.

Dan

Ecosamurai
02-06-2007, 07:27 AM
I think Aikido should be called -as was many times a man split from a ryu-Ueshiba-ha Daito ryu
Because that is -exactly- what it is. :)

As an aikidoka, I have no problem with it being called that. It is worth remembering however that Ueshiba didn't pick the name aikido to refer to his art, up until only maybe half a dozen or so years before his art was named aikido he was still issuing Daito Ryu certificates IIRC...

That and the fact that the name aikido was originally intended to refer to arts other than Ueshiba's too... So you could simply (and perhaps properly) say that Ueshiba-ha Daito Ryu is an aikido, not necessarily the aikido....

Mike