Author: Bret Gordon
In my last article, I made the claim that jujutsu may be the most scientifically advanced hand-to-hand combat style. True jujutsu, both koryu (founded pre-1868) and gendai (modern), is an all encompassing form of combat that teaches strikes, joint locks, manipulations and throws. What separates jujutsu (also called yawara and taijutsu) from other unarmed styles that teach similar techniques is that jujutsu uses the systematic study of anatomy and physiology to increase the effectiveness of each technique.
An old teacher of mine, when asked what jujutsu was, answered simply "Pick a body part and bend the s**t out of it." Of course we all laughed, but he's not wrong. Jujutsu is known for its preference of joint manipulations over striking, thereby making karate its polar opposite, or so it seems (which I'll address in my next article). "The Gentle Art" is called such because of this, how it favors "soft" locks and throws over "hard" percussion. Ask anyone who's been on the receiving end, however, and they'll comment how it's anything but "soft."
Author: Bret Gordon
With the craze of MMA, everyone is talking about "Jiu Jitsu." It has become a household word and synonymous with skilled ground fighting. A "Jiu Jitsu" purple belt is often said to be more skilled at fighting than masters of any other martial art as "proven" by the system's dominance in the cage. I think this heightened interest in Jujutsu is great! Unfortunately, most people's only experience with or knowledge of the gentle art comes by way of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
Don't get me wrong. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu has forced a lot of practitioners to step up their game. They have exposed an area of training often neglected by mainstream Western martial artists. Its masters have refined grappling and ground fighting to a science and are amazingly skilled at their craft. However, ground fighting is not the only thing offered by the comprehensive style of Jujutsu. Before I get into the extent of what may possibly be the most scientifically advanced hand-to-hand combat system, let's discuss the etymology of the word Jujutsu and why any other spelling of the word is simply incorrect when referring to the style.
About Our Blog
The articles posted here have been shared from the US Association of Martial Arts website, run by our headmaster Bret Gordon, for their relevance to Aiki Jujutsu. For more of his writings, please click here.