Jujutsu Derivatives and Schools

The Jujutsu | What is Jujitsu | Jujutsu History | Jujutsu Development | Jujutsu Description | Jujutsu Beginning | Jujutsu Origins | Movement Strategy | Derivatives and Schools | Brazilian Jiujitsu | Judo verses Jujitsu | Jujutsu and Taijutsu | Jujutsu Etymology | Philosophical Dimensions | Principles And Concepts

Because jujutsu contains so many facets, it has become the foundation for a variety of styles and derivations today. As each instructor incorporated new techniques and tactics into what was taught to him originally, he could codify and create his own ryu or school. Some of these schools modified the source material so much that they no longer considered themselves a style of jujutsu.

Circa 1600 AD there were over 2000 ryu (schools) of jujutsu in Japan and there were common features that are characterised of most of them. The technical characteristics varied from school to school. Many of the generalizations noted above do not hold true for some schools of jujutsu.

Jujutsu was first introduced to Europe in 1899 by Edward William Barton-Wright, who had studied the Tenjin-Shinyo and Shinden-Fudu ryu-ha in Yokohama and Kobe, respectively. He had also trained briefly at the Kodokan in Tokyo. Upon returning to England he folded the basics of all of these styles, as well as boxing, savate and French stick fighting, into an eclectic self defence system called Bartitsu.

Some schools went on to diverge into present day Karate, and Aiki styles. The last Japanese divergence occurred in 1905 where a number of jujutsu schools joined the Kodokan. The syllabi of those schools was unified under Jigaro Kano to form judo.

Modern judo is the classic example of a ‘sport’ which derived from jujutsu and became distinct. Another layer removed, some popular arts had instructors who studied one of these jujutsu-derivatives and later made their own derivative succeed in competition. This created an extensive family of martial arts and sports which can trace their lineage to jujutsu in some part. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu dominated the first large mixed martial arts competitions, causing the emerging field to adopt many of its practices.

The way an opponent is dealt with also depends on the teacher’s philosophy with regard to combat. This translates also in different styles or schools of jujutsu. Because in jujutsu every conceivable technique, including biting, hairpulling, eyegouging etc. is allowed (unlike for instance judo, which does not place emphasis on punching or kicking tactics, or karate, which does not heavily emphasize grappling and throwing) practitioners have an unlimited choice of techniques (assuming they are proficient).

Old schools of Japanese jujutsu include:

  • Araki-ryu
  • Daito-ryu aiki-jujutsu
  • Hontai Yoshin-ryu
  • Sekiguchi Shinshin-ryu
  • Sosuishitsu-ryu
  • Takenouchi-ryu
  • Tatsumi-ryu
  • Tenjin Shinyo-ryu
  • Yagyu Shingan Ryu
  • Yoshin Ryu

Judo and jujutsu: Not all jujutsu was used in sporting contests, but the practical use in the samurai world ended circa 1890. Techniques like hairpulling and eye poking were and are not considered conventionally acceptable to use in sport, thus they are not included in judo competitions or randori. Judo did, however, preserve the more lethal, dangerous techniques in its kata. The kata were intended to be practiced by students of all grades, but now are mostly practiced formally as complete set-routines for performance, kata competition, and grading, rather than as individual self-defense techniques in class. However, judo retained the full set of choking and strangling techniques for its sporting form, and all manner of elbow locks. Even judo’s pinning techniques have pain-generating, spine-and-rib-squeezing and smothering aspects. A submission induced by a legal pin is considered a fully legitimate way to win. Kano viewed the safe sport-fighting aspect of Judo an important part of learning how to actually control an opponent’s body in a real fight. Kano always considered judo to be a form of, and a development of, jujutsu.

A judo technique starts with gripping of your opponent followed by off-balancing an opponent, fitting into the space created, and then applying the technique. In contrast, kuzushi (the art of breaking balance) is attained in jujutsu by blocking, parrying or deflecting an opponent’s attack in order to create the space required to apply a throwing technique. In both systems, kuzushi is essential in order to use as little energy as possible during a fight. Jujutsu differs from judo in a number of ways. In some circumstances, jujutsuka generate kuzushi by striking one’s opponent along his weak line. Other methods of generating kuzushi include grabbing, twisting, or poking areas of the body known as atemi points or pressure points (areas of the body where nerves venture close to the surface of the skin).

Modern versions: A Japanese-based martial system formulated in modern times (post Tokugawa) that is only partially influenced by traditional Nihon jujutsu, is correctly referred to as goshin (self defense) jujutsu. Goshin jujutsu is usually formulated outside Japan and may include influences from other martial traditions. The Brazilian Gracie jiu jitsu system, and all Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in general, although derived originally from Maeda’s Judo, have evolved independently for many years, and could be considered examples of Goshin Jutsu.

After the transplantation of traditional Japanese jujutsu to the West, many of these more traditional styles underwent a process of adaptation at the hands of Western practitioners, molding the arts of jujutsu to suit western culture in its myriad varieties. There are today many distinctly westernized styles of jujutsu, that stick to their Japanese roots to varying degrees.

There are a several new martial systems identifying themselves as jujutsu. Some of the largest post-reformation (founded post 1905) jujutsu schools include (but are certainly not limited to these in that there are hundreds, if not thousands, of new branches, etc. of “jujutsu”):

  • Danzan Ryu
  • Goshin Jujitsu
  • Hakko Ryu
  • Hakko Denshin Ryu
  • Jukido Jujitsu
  • Kumite-ryu Jujutsu
  • Sanuces Ryu
  • Shingitai Jujitsu
  • Shorinji Kan Jiu Jitsu
  • Small Circle JuJitsu
  • Real Aikido – “Serbian Jujutsu”

The following martial arts have derived from or are influenced by jujutsu or have founding instructors who studied a derivative of jujutsu: aikijutsu, aikido, Bartitsu, Australian Jiu-Jitsu, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, European Jiu-Jitsu, German Ju-Jutsu, hapkido, Hokutoryu jujutsu, “Serbian Jujutsu” – Real Aikido, Judo, kajukenbo, Kapap, Karate, Kenpo, and sambo.