Author: Bret Gordon
The deeper I go in my study of Aiki Jujutsu and internal power, the more styles of internal arts I've encountered. Lately, I seem to have gotten myself immersed in the Chinese internal arts community and have even taken up a cursory study of Baguazhang to help expand and refine my develop of aiki. The more I watch and engage with other internal practitioners, however, the more I notice a rather unsettling trend that's not unlike the rest of the martial arts community... The complete abandonment of practical martial application.
I've written countless articles thus far stressing the importance of maintaining practical and intensive training for self protection as a large part of your martial arts study, and the internal martial arts are not exempt from this. Let's not forget that the word "martial" implies a combative context and to ignore that section of the art (which in this context refers to a skill or discipline) is to do a great disservice to those who came before us and the legacy they left behind.
While it's true that most martial arts are descended from combat systems, the internal martial arts have historically held a place of significance in protecting those of high stature. In Japan, the Minamoto and Takeda clans were charged as Imperial guards. They trained in the art of Oshiki Uchi (also known as Gotenjutsu) to protect the Emperor and/or Shogun for over 700 years according to oral tradition, an art that later became Daito Ryu - the root of all Japanese aiki arts. In China, Dong Haichuan was charged with teaching his art of Baguazhang to the guards after winning patronage by the Imperial court. Even Okinawa has its own internal martial arts tradition, Motobu Udundi, that was used for the same purpose. The internal martial arts were chosen for this purpose because of their superiority in allowing the practitioner to counter conventional fighting techniques through the use of structure and respond with devastating results. So how did the elite fighting system of the historical Secret Service equivalent become the laughing stock of the martial arts today, and how do we fix it?
Author: Bret Gordon
Jujutsu, also commonly spelled "Jiu Jitsu" and "Jujitsu," is quickly becoming one of the most popular martial arts today. When most people think of jujutsu, they think of Brazilian or Gracie Jiu Jitsu, but the truth is that is just one variation in the large pool of jujutsu systems. So first, we must identify what is jujutsu and then we can discuss its numerous benefits!
Simply put, jujutsu (meaning “gentle art”) is any Japanese-based unarmed martial art that focuses heavily on joint manipulation and throwing techniques rather than striking. The Korean equivalent of jujutsu is yusul, and the Chinese equivalent is qin na. Regardless of origin, the idea of using “soft” techniques rather than “hard” striking gives one a great advantage... Jujutsu is one of the most effective self defense styles, because it allows anyone to subdue an attacker regardless of size!
This is why it’s great for children! If an adult is trying to abduct a child, they can use their jujutsu training to break free of the hold and throw their attacker, giving them a chance to escape. Most children do not have enough power to effectively punch or kick an adult to fight them off, but jujutsu does not rely on strength. Instead, all jujutsu techniques rely on biomechanical principles that the body must follow. Regardless of size, a child can easily off-balance an attacker and throw them if they know how to (and have been practicing regularly with training partners of larger size).
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.