A Synopsis of Pacific Judo & Ju Jitsu Academy’s Martial Arts
Ju Jitsu is a term used for a variety of different styles of Japanese hand-to-hand fighting. The word is also spelled jujutsu or jujitsu and more recently jiu jitsu or jiujitsu. The origins, in time and place, of the art are greatly disputed. However, it was in Japan that it was developed and practiced and many of its concepts and methods were incorporated into many forms of martial arts and, of course, Ju Jitsu’s derivatives, Judo and Aikido.
Ju Jitsu is a form of bu jitsu, the classical Japanese military arts used by the samurai. Unlike its other forms, kenjitsu (swordsmanship), kyujitsu (bowmanship), and others, Ju Jitsu takes its name from a principle rather than from a weapon. “ju” which is usually translated as “gentleness” (to mean flexible and pliable) and “jitsu” which translates as “art”, thus, “gentle art”. It was so named because the way of controlling power was the foremost consideration: “meeting force with gentleness”. All Ju Jitsu styles, utilize “hand-to-hand” fighting skills in various combinations; we teach all these: joint-locks, throws and take-downs, blocks, strikes and kicks, strangles/chokes, nerve pressure and more. Traditionally, Ju Jitsu also teaches the healing arts of resuscitation and bone setting. The style of Ju Jitsu taught in our dojo is called “Danzan Ryu“. It was developed by Professor Henry Seishiro Okazaki, a Japanese of samurai descent (see our History page for more information).
Judo translated as “gentle way”, was developed by Professor Jigoro Kano, a man who after having studied Ju Jitsu extensively created a combative art with rules by which competitors must abide. Judo is one of the most popular and practiced sports in the world (over 40 million people). The benefits attained by practicing it are more than just physical; they also extend to one’s psychological well-being. Furthermore, because proper practice of Judo leads to one’s harmonious development, a society is enriched as he or she becomes a more valuable member. In the words of Professor Jigoro Kano: “The aim of Judo is to utilize physical and mental strength most effectively. Its training is to understand the true meaning of life through the mental and physical training of attack and defense. You must develop yourself as a person and become a useful citizen to society”.1 And, “By learning and mastering the Judo’s essence from experience, we can always maintain composure, make decisions clearly, and foster self-esteem throughout our living in this complex society” 2 (see our History page for more information).
Bokendo translates as “the way of the wooden sword” and is a very practical and effective art. It employs a 40″ (approximately) wooden staff that can shatter bones and incapacitate an opponent in seconds. Bokendo is almost always held and used with both hands; training is through a series of “kata” or forms and easily adapted to self-defense scenarios via practical one-on-one training. This art is extremely rare and its training is also applicable to a shorter wooden staff commonly known as the police baton or Keibo (see below).
Keibo refers to the “police officer’s short wooden club”. It is a widely used weapon for police departments worldwide. It was first employed by the Japanese patrolmen in 1946 and changed in length & thickness several times until the new and final version was adopted in 1956, resembling the short stick of the US Navy Shore Patrol. Today, the wooden club is often replaced by the collapsible tubular truncheon made of metal alloy (known in Japanese as tokushu keibo). The actual techniques of keibojitsu are closely allied to “juttejitsu” (the art of using the single-tined iron truncheon) of the Ikaku Ryu, a seventeenth century martial arts tradition. All keibo techniques must be used in conjunction with knowledge of the body’s anatomy as well as proper use of ma-ai (distance judgment). The keibo may be used with both hands or single handed, freeing the other hand for other defensive uses. It may also be used for applying joint locking techniques strangle holds for restraining purpose.
Yawarabo is a very small weapon typically made of wood (though it can be made of metal alloy or even hard plastic) and is about 6″ in length, round or at times more traditionally and ergonomically shaped for the hand. Both ends are rounded and blunt, but pointed enough to cause excruciating pain when applied to nerves. This weapon’s purpose is to incapacitate or at least immobilize an assailant by applying nerve pressure to numerous areas of the body. It is used in conjunction with blocks, strikes, kicks, throws etc…and can actually enhance many of those defensive techniques.
1 Translated by Keiko Fukuda, Born for the Mat, 1973, p. 9
2 Translated by Matsutaro Shibazaki, Judo, 1974, pp. 11-12