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Old 04-03-2005, 03:06 AM   #1
Dojo: Kim's Hapkido
Location: California
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 86
Jui-Jitsu or ju-justu

I once had someone in a martial arts chat room correct me that jui-jitsu is an incorrect spelling and means something about fruit, where jujutsu is propper. My knowledge of Japanese is very minimal, does anyone know if he was right?
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Old 04-03-2005, 04:51 AM   #2
Dojo: Tenshin
Location: Higashihiroshima
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 106
Re: Jui-Jitsu or ju-justu

Jiujitsu is the popular grappling art, commonly known as brazilian jiujitsu and some offshoots. Jujutsu is a martial system, developed in japan that encompasses weapons and weaponless forms. I am sure someone can elaborate more but that is the general idea as I understand it.
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Old 04-03-2005, 05:01 AM   #3
Peter Goldsbury
Peter Goldsbury's Avatar
Dojo: Hiroshima Kokusai Dojo
Location: Hiroshima, Japan
Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 2,249
Re: Jui-Jitsu or ju-justu

Keith Kolb wrote:
I once had someone in a martial arts chat room correct me that jui-jitsu is an incorrect spelling and means something about fruit, where jujutsu is propper. My knowledge of Japanese is very minimal, does anyone know if he was right?
Mr Kolb,

I should really write this reply in Japanese, since you would then see the differences in the various expressions more clearly. The problem you allude to relates to how Japanese was transcribed in Roman/English letters.

There are three terms in Japanese that could be transcribed as jujitsu:
充実: じゅうじつ = fruitful, replete, fulfilled
柔術: じゅうじゅつ = the martial art
呪術: じゅじゅつ = incantation, enchantment, magic.
If we were to romanize the words exactly in accordance with the hiragana, they would be juu-jitsu, juu-jutsu, and ju-jutsu, respectively.

However, there is no double 'u' in English and the English missionaries like Hepburn, who devised the earliest romanization system, devised a system for the sake of English speakers (since he was a man of his time). In addition, 'jutsu' sounds very much like 'jitsu' in English, rather like hombu/honbu and shinbun/shimbun.

So, the correctness of the (English) spelling depends on the romanization system you are following.

It is somewhat like the debate about the training suit worn by practitioners of Japanese martial arts. Is it 'gi' or 'dogi' or 'keikogi'? The debates about this are about as interesting and relevant to training as the religious debates that led to the Reformation.

PS. Eric Roku's post adds a further dimension, since he is talking about a non-Japanese martial art, which was presumably spelled correctly by its inventors.

Best regards,

Last edited by Peter Goldsbury : 04-03-2005 at 05:06 AM.

P A Goldsbury
Kokusai Dojo,
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Old 04-03-2005, 10:40 AM   #4
Location: Frederick, MD
Join Date: Sep 2000
Posts: 509
Re: Jui-Jitsu or ju-justu

Neither jiu jitsu or jujutsu are actually correct. Japanese characters must be 'Romanized' to transliterate them into English text.

The commonly agreed upon scheme currentl maintains that the characters referring to a the generic term that labels Japanese unarmed (or lightly armed) combat, is 'jujutsu.'

Jiu jitsu is an older form, based on a different system of Romanization. That particular spelling has survived, however, and is encountered today, especially as a prior poster said, in reference to the judo-derivative combat sport based largely in Brazil.

It also can be found as a label for several western syntheses of karate and judo, or other arts, that were created by folks who hadn't access to good langauge resources.

Jujutsu is a sort of commonly accepted standard.


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