Jiu jitsu, Jiujitsu, jujitsu the likes the differences and more…

This subject comes up often when I get questions about Total Ryu and it’s classes.  I wanted to clear the air, so to speak and let the readers know the differences and the similarities between Jiu jitsu and Jujitsu.

First a couple of caveats:

  1. I am not an expert on the Japanese language, evolution of the language or local derivatives and dialects.
  2. I am also not an expert on Japanese History and the evolution of martial arts.
  3. What I relate in the article, is from my own experience and study.

The Answer according to History

They are both the same.  You see Jujitsu was spelled different ways depending on who was writing the document referencing the art.  The pronunciation is also slightly different in different areas of the country.  So according to history Jujitsu, jiu jitsu, jiujitsu, jujutsu, ju-jitsu, jiu-jitsu, Ju-jutsu was the same, the unarmed combat art of the Samurai.  The above explanation of the pronunciation does not get into the different methods or schools that taught the art and also helped the evolution of the name Jujitsu.  So until very recently all the words mostly meant the same thing not inclusive of methods or schools that are otherwise known as Ryu or (Ryus the English plural version, I don’t know the Japanese plural of RYU).

What techniques does Jiu Jitsu or Jujtisu have present in the art?

Below is a list of the general techniques that are included in traditional Jiujitsu or Jujitsu

Total Ryu Martial arts, Fort Collin CO

  • Throwing techniques or Nage- Waza
    • Hip throws
    • Leg sweeps
    • Ankle Sweeps
    • Hand throws
    • Sacrifice throws
  • Grappling techniques or Katame-Waza.
    • Included is Ground or Ne Waza
    • Hold down techniques or osae-komi-waza
    • Stangling or choking techniques or shime-waza
  • Striking techniques or Atemi- Waza
    • Hand strikes
    • Kicks
    • Elbows

As you can see there is allot to the art, and each section has many sub techniques that are included in the study and practice.

Where is the Confusion between Jiujitsu and Jujitsu?

The confusion starts with the MMA in the early 1990s. Specific figures in the early days of MMA were winning with what they call jiujitsu.  These individuals were from Brazil and had their roots in the sport of Judo.  These individuals were especially good at winning Judo competitions with ground or Ne Waza techniques.  Now let’s go back a little farther in time.  An individual from Japan, named Maeda, taught the head of this family an art Maeda called Jiujitsu. Maeda is the key to this whole confusion between the two terms.  He was tasked with demonstrating and growing Judo worldwide. He found during his demonstration matches that Judo was not as effective as he would have liked. So he reverted to using basic strikes, to set up throws and takedowns, then submit the opponent on the ground. He started calling this art or method jiujitsu or jujitsu. He then began teaching this Jiu jitsu to individuals in Brazil. His students would use it during Judo and other competitions and performed very well with the ground strategy. Eventually, his students started teaching, and their students entered and performed well in these competitions, and their forte the ground submissions, was what helped them win. This summary is the basic brief story of how modern jiujitsu or Brazilian jiujitsu was born.  It is essentially a ground fighting art at its core, while they still have some of the standing techniques present, it’s modern day focus is on the ground and submitting or winning on the ground.

Caveat…… I am also not an expert in the history of Brazilian jiujitsu.

The differences between Jiu jitsu and Jujitsu or Brazilian jujitsu and Traditional Jujitsu.

I have pretty much stated that already but let me clarify.  Traditional Jujitsu includes standing throwing techniques, striking, locking, choking, hold down, and ground techniques that include striking, choking, locking etc.  Brazilian jiujitsu has mostly ground techniques that include locks from the ground, chokes from the ground and submissions from the ground.  While it does have limited throwing, takedown, some standing, and some striking techniques, the focus is on the ground.

In a Nutshell.

Many martial arts have been derived from Jiujitsu or Jujitsu.  They are Judo, Aikido, Brazilian Jiujitsu, and Aikijitsu.  Also, many of the modern military combative systems are based on traditional jujitsu.  Brazilian jiujitsu is a ground fighting art that has its roots in a subset of Judo and traditional Jujitsu.

Total Ryu and Jiujitsu or Jujitsu

At Total Ryu, we focus on real martial arts that encompass the entire area of conflict. From the initial contact to striking and striking defense, throws, takedowns, ground survival, multiple attackers and so much more. Our goal is to have a student extremely proficient at all areas of conflict and self-defense, not just the ground, or striking. We are not a competition martial art, we are a self-defense martial art. I think that is a great thing to keep in mind if you want competition we are not the place. We train for real encounters and real-world situations.