What is Real Jiu Jitsu?

What is Real Jiu jitsu? Is it Brazilian jiu jitsu, judo, sambo, submission wrestling or something entirely different? 
I think the answer to this question may surprise you?  Why?  Because most consider real jiu jitsu to be Brazilian jiu jitsu?  It is not that at all.  I am not trying to downgrade the effectiveness of the skilled
Real Jiu jitsu at Total Ryu

Real Jiu jitsu at Total Ryu

practitioner in the above arts or Brazilian jiu jitsu.  What I am trying to do is open the readers’ eyes to what is real Jiu Jitsu and, that it is not any of the arts mentioned above.  Though real Jiu Jitsu has aspects of those arts present, it is not what most think it is today. 
So what is real Jiu Jitsu?  First of all, there are lot’s of jiu jitsu schools, of the BJJ type or the school may not even use the BJJ naming style, they just call themselves Jiu jitsu.  In Japan where this all started, there are many different spellings for this martial art.  From what I have been told, these spellings are different because of a few reasons, the area,  the pronunciation, and who was translating?  The spellings are Jujitsu, Jiujitsu, Jiu Jitsu, jutsu and there are a few more but I won’t list them here. 
SEE THIS ARTICLE for more info on this spelling subject. 
Today’s common spelling Jiu Jitsu is almost always associated with the form of martial art that originated in Brazil and was popularized by the Gracie family and other skilled martial arts competitors.  The name jiu jitsu was given to the art that a Japanese man was teaching in Brazil.  His Name was Maeda.  The interesting thing about Maeda is his actual expertise was Judo.  But during his demonstration matches, he found that Judo as he learned it was not as effective against other types of martial arts as he would have liked.  He added some basic strikes, punches, and kicks then used his Judo throwing skills to take the opponent to the ground, then submit them with Ne Waza, or ground techniques that he had learned in Judo.
Maeda had never as far as history tells us, studied actual jiu jitsu as taught in Japan.  He included things that he felt would help win in a competition.
Now to the original question, what is Real Jiu jitsu?  It is not a sport as most think it is.  It was not arranged or created for competition.  It has no rules of engagement other than win and take all who oppose to the state of unresponsiveness (unresponsiveness means they are no longer a threat).  Real Jiu jitsu is also known as traditional jujitsu or Japanese Jiu Jitsu.  There are many different schools of thought in this area as in all studies of fighting arts. However, good schools understand a couple of things.  Striking is just as essential as throws,  sweeps, and locks. 
In today’s world real jiu jitsu is best described as a hand to hand combat system that uses what is necessary to win.  The “what is necessary” includes the following techniques:
  • Sweeps
  • Hip Throws
  • Striking, punches, palms, knees, elbows, etc
  • Kicking
  • Choking
  • Joint locking
  • Joint breaking
  • Ground techniques that include all the above
  • Control or submission techniques

Total Ryu Martial arts, Fort Collin CO

As mentioned previously, it is a combat art.  So self-defense or self-preservation is at its core.  In self-defense or combat there are no rules, and in most instances, there is more than one person to worry about.  So real jiu jitsu includes multiple attacker defenses.  In the traditional sense, it will also include weapons training: Kenjitsu or sword, yari, and naginata, archery or Kudo, and many others.
So you see what one might think is real jiu jitsu is not real jiu jitsu, but an art derived from judo and created to win at completion.  Yes, it can be used for self-defense, but you have to ask the following question about that aspect of BJJ,  Is it the best art for self-defense? 
The answer is no it is not.  Why?  Because it was created from a competition martial art, Judo, and is used in competition today.  It has underlying rules when training, and learning the art.  It doesn’t include compressive striking and striking defense.  It mostly takes place on the ground, which is a terrible place to be in a self-defense situation. 
So ask yourself these questions.  What am I looking for in a martial art? Do I want to compete or do I want a real martial art that is a self-defense system?  If you’re going to compete, then BJJ or Judo may be for you.   If you want to learn real self-defense, then real Jiu jitsu is the real martial art that might be for you.
At Total Ryu Martial Arts, we teach real jiu jitsu, not competition BJJ or Judo.  Try a class for free and see for yourself what we are all about.