The foundation of Mamori-jitsu
Jujitsu (The Gentle Art) is a system of combat where a smaller person can defeat a person of greater physical stature. Its history can be traced back 2000 years all the way from China through the age of the Samurai in Japan. It emphasizes striking, throwing, joint manipulation, strangulation, ground techniques and vital and nerve point striking. At MCCA we emphasis the traditional use of Japanese philosophy, language and techniques and blend them with modern practicality.
The Judo/Jujitsu class at MCCA is a mixture of traditional Japanese language and philosophy with modern techniques and training methods. While the emphasis is on practical self-defense students also learn the traditional throws of Kodokan Judo.
Mikel LaChapelle is the New Hampshire representative for the United States Jujitsu Federation. He holds a 4th Dan ranking in US Jujitsu through USJJF and 4th dan in Judo through the United States of America Traditional Kodokan Judo Association. He is also a 3rd degree in Yudo as a result of his time training in Korea.
What is US Ju-Jitsu?
The term "Gentle Art" in no way implies that Ju-Jitsu is a gentle, dainty art. Indeed, Ju-Jitsu was the primary unarmed combat method of the Samurai and could be devastatingly brutal on the field of battle.
The term "Gentle Art" is really a description of the principles and techniques which are the foundation of the art. A more accurate translation of "Ju-Jitsu, would be "Way of Flexibility". The smaller person cannot rely upon brute force and strength to overcome someone who is bigger and stronger. The smaller person must instead use his opponent’s strength and momentum to add to his/her own technique to gain victory in combat. When the opponent pushes, the defender would pull. When pulled, the defender would push. This is the principle of "Ju no ri" as taught in Ju-Jitsu.
Ju-Jitsu, because it was designed as a combative art, relies upon many techniques, some of which are similar to those found in other Martial Arts like Karate, Aikido and Judo. Both Aikido and Judo are modern day descendents of Ju-Jitsu. Some of the techniques found in Ju-Jitsu are:
- Ate-Waza (striking techniques)
- Nage-Waza (throwing techniques)
- Kensetsu-Waza (joint manipulation)
- Shime-Waza (strangulation or choking techniques)
- Katami Waza (ground techniques),
- Atemi-Waza (Vital and nerve point striking and manipulation)
USJJF Philosophy and Guidelines
Technical Excellence in Martial Arts training is one of USJJF's top priorities. As Leaders in the Martial Arts, it is our sacred responsibility to ensure that all of our students receive the best possible "Mentoring" both in technique and philosophy of the Martial Arts.Martial Art Training is the cornerstone of knowledge and the basis for credible self-defense skill and the perfection of human character. Training in a comprehensive taxonomy of Ju-Jitsu Skills is the "Key" by which the USJJF’s Members develop their Martial Art Proficiency and exercise the collective capabilities required in self-defense or competition. Martial Art Training builds Character Development and, when necessary, prepares the Ju-Jitsuka to "Win" if or when confrontation (or combat) cannot be avoided.While Senior Yudansha determine the direction and goals of training, it is the Dojo Sensei (& Assistant Sensei) who ensure that every training activity or class is well planned and rigorously conducted. These Rank Requirements are designed to guide and assist the Sensei to accomplish his or her goals in teaching the US JU-JITSU system. The US JU-JITSU Rank System is divided into sixteen separate divisions of training to include:
1. Posture and Stances
2. Body Movement
3. Striking Techniques
4. Kicking Techniques
5. Blocking Techniques
6. Vital Point Techniques
7. Joint Locking Techniques
8. Combination Techniques
9. Strangulation Techniques
10. Holding Techniques
11. Breakfall Techniques
12. Throwing Techniques
13. Self-Defense Techniques
14. Formal Exercise
15. Free Practice
The United States Ju-Jitsu Federation, along with the Ju-Jitsu International Federation, has established the training doctrine & guidance. The Dojo Sensei should apply these guidelines and assist the USJJF Leadership in the further development & conduct of US JU-JITSU Training. These US JU-JITSU Rank Requirements provide the training & promotion guidelines for USJJF Sensei & students in the areas of martial art history, traditions, techniques, strategy & terminology. From these Rank Requirements, the USJJF will formulate and publish a comprehensive training manual and videos for the US JU-JITSU System.Our duty as USJJF Leaders is to provide challenging and realistic Martial Arts Training for all of our Members. The National Federation will do its part, and I encourage all US JU-JITSU Sensei to study, understand, and teach the techniques, as well as the Budo Philosophy presented in this manual and on the USJJF Official Website. Sensei at every level must redouble their commitment to accurate & comprehensive US JU-JITSU Training, remembering, that Technical Excellence is a "Top Priority" in the United States Ju-Jitsu Federation.
Grappling refers to the gripping, handling and controlling of an opponent without the use of striking, typically through the application of various grappling holds, choke holds, and counters to various hold attempts. Grappling forms an important part of both ground fighting and standing clinch fighting. Sports that use grappling include Judo, wrestling, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, submission wrestling, and mixed martial arts.
Grappling is a mode of fighting used by many different martial arts around the world. It is not a distinct martial art, but rather, similarly to striking, a collection of techniques and strategies aimed at defeating an opponent. The degree to which grappling is utilized in different fighting systems varies. Some systems, such as amateur wrestling,submission wrestling,Judo and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu are exclusively grappling arts, and do not allow striking. Many combat sports such as Shooto and mixed martial art competitions, put much emphasis on grappling, while still retaining striking as part of the sport.
Grappling techniques and defenses to grappling techniques are also considered important in self-defense applications and in law enforcement. The most common grappling techniques for self defense taught are escapes from holds and application of pain compliance techniques.
Stand-up grappling or sometimes clinching (in Judo called tachi-waza, 立技, "standing technique") is arguably an integral part of all grappling and clinch fighting arts, considering that two combatants generally start fighting from a stand-up position. The aim of stand-up grappling varies according to the martial arts or combat sports. Its nature can be defensive such as in Aikido or offensive such as in Judo or wrestling. Defensive stand-up grappling concerns itself with pain compliance holds and escapes from possible grappling holds applied by an opponent, while offensive grappling techniques include submission holds , take downs and throws, all of which can be used to inflict serious damage, or to move the fight to the ground. Stand-up grappling can also be used both offensively and defensively in combination with striking, either to prevent the opponent form obtaining sufficient distance to strike effectively, or to bring the opponent close to apply, for instance, knee strikes such as in Muay Thai.In combat sports, stand-up grappling usually revolves around successful take downs and throws. In Judo a fight is over if one of the judoka score an ippon, and in some sports such as Glima, the fight is over once one of the opponents has fallen down.
Ground grappling (called ne-waza "ground technique" in Judo) refers to all the grappling techniques that are applied while the grapplers are no longer in a standing position. A large feature in most martial arts and combat sports featuring ground grappling is positioning and obtaining a dominant position. A dominant position (usually on top) allows the dominant grappler a variety of options, including: to attempt to escape by standing up, to obtain a pin or hold-down to control and exhaust the opponent, to execute a submission hold, or to strike the opponent. The bottom grappler is on the other hand concerned with escaping the situation and improving his or her positioning, typically by using a sweep or reversal. In disciplines where the guard is used, the bottom grappler may also be able to finish the fight from the bottom by a submission hold.
When unskilled fighters get embroiled in combat, a common reaction is to grab the opponent in an attempt to slow the situation down by holding them still, resulting in an unsystematic struggle that relies on brute force. A skilled fighter, in contrast, can perform takedowns as a way of progressing to a superior position such as a mount or side control, or using clinch holds and ground positions to set up strikes, chokeholds and joint locks. A grappler who has been taken down to the ground can use defensive positions such as the guard, which protects against being mounted or attacked. If a grappler is strong and can utilize leverage well, a takedown itself can be a form of attack -- the impact to the head can render some opponents unconscious. On the other hand, grappling also offers the possibility of controlling an opponent without injuring them. For this reason, most police staff receive some training in grappling. Likewise, grappling sports such as judo have been devised so that their participants can compete using full physical effort without injuring their opponents.
It should be noted, however, that heavier fighters - those with limited mobility, which - use grappling to either pull their opponent close enough for a powerful hit or throw their opponent with enough force to temporarily cripple them.
Grappling is called dumog in Eskrima. The term chin na in Chinese martial arts deals with the use of grappling to achieve submission or incapacitation of the opponent (these may involve the use of acupressure points). Among the styles of Tai Chi Chuan, the Wu style is known for its internal or "soft" style grappling (see pushing hands). Some Chinese martial arts, Aikido and some Eskrima systems practice grappling while one or both participants is armed. This practice is significantly more dangerous than unarmed grappling, and generally requires a great deal of training.
Types of Grappling
Some of the more well known systems of pure grappling are Brazilian Jiu-jutsu, Russian Sambo, Judo, Freestyle wrestling and catch wrestling.In these arts, the object is either to take down and pin the opponent, or to catch the adversary in a specialized choke hold or joint lock which forces him or her to submit and admit defeat. There are two forms of grappling that dictate pace, and style of action: with a gi and without. The gi form is known for its emphasis on grips using the gi, while the "no-gi" form emphasized body control of the torso and head. The use of the gi is compulsory in Judo and some sections of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu competition.
Jujutsu Becomes Judo
by Jigoro Kano
Most people are no doubt familiar with the words jujutsu and judo, but how many can distinguish between them? Here, I will explain the two terms and tell why judo came to take the place of jujutsu.
Many martial arts were practiced in Japan during its feudal age: the use of the lance, archery, swordsmanship and many more. Jujutsu was one such art. Also called taijutsu and yawara, it was a system of attack that involved throwing, hitting, kicking, stabbing, slashing, choking, bending and twisting limbs, pinning an opponent, and defenses against these attacks. Although jujutsu's techniques were known from the earliest times, it was not until the latter half of the sixteenth century that jujutsu was practiced and taught systematically. During the Edo period (1603-1868,) it developed into a complex art taught by the masters of a number of schools. In my youth I studied jujutsu under many eminent masters. Their vast knowledge, the fruit of years of diligent research and rich experience, was of great value to me. At that time, each man presented his art as a collection of techniques. None perceived the guiding principle behind jujutsu. When I encountered differences in the teaching of techniques, I often found myself at a loss to know which was correct. This led me to look for an underlying principle in jujutsu, one that applied when one hit an opponent as well as when one threw him. After a thorough study of the subject, I discerned an a1l-pervasive principle: to make the most efficient use of mental and physical energy. With this principle in mind, I again reviewed all the methods of attack and defense I had learned, retaining only those that were in accordance with the principle. Those not in accord with it I rejected, and in their place I substituted techniques in which the principle was correctly applied. The resulting body of technique, which I named judo to distinguish it from its predecessor, is what is taught at the Kodokan.
The word jujutsu and judo are each written with two Chinese characters. The ju in both is the same and means "gentleness" or "giving way." The meaning of jutsu is "art, practice," and do means "principle" or "way," the Way being the concept of life itself. Jujutsu may be translated as "the gentle art," judo as "the Way of gentleness," with the implication of first giving way to ultimately gain victory. The Kodokan is, literally, "the school for studying the Way." As we shall see in the next chapter, judo is more than an art of attack and defense. It is a way of life.
To understand what is meant by gentleness or giving way, let us say a man is standing before me whose strength is ten, and that my own strength is but seven. If he pushes me as hard as he can, I am sure to be pushed back or knocked down, even if I resist with all my might. This is opposing strength with strength. But if instead of opposing him I give way to the extent he has pushed, withdrawing my body and maintaining my balance, my opponent will lose his balance. Weakened by his awkward position, he will be unable to use all his strength. It will have fallen to three. Because I retain my balance, my strength remains at seven. Now I am stronger than my opponent and can defeat him by using only half my strength, keeping the other half available for some other purpose. Even if you are stronger than your opponent, it is better first to give way. By doing so you conserve energy while exhausting your opponent.
This is but one example of how you can defeat an opponent by giving way. It was because so many techniques made use of this principle that the art was named jujutsu. Let us look at a few other examples of the feats that can be accomplished with jujutsu.
Suppose a man is standing before me. Like a log on end, he can be pushed off balance -- frontward or backward -- with a single finger. If at the moment he leans forward, I apply my arm to his back and quickly slip my hip in front of his, my hip becomes a fulcrum. To throw the man to the ground, even if he greatly outweighs me, all I need do is twist my hip slightly or pull on his arm or sleeve.
Let us say I attempt to break a man's balance to the front, but that he steps forward with one foot. I can still throw him easily by merely pressing the ball of my foot just below the Achilles' tendon of his advancing leg a split second before he places his full weight on that foot. This is a good example of the efficient use of energy. With only slight effort, I can defeat an opponent of considerable strength.
What if a man were to rush up and push me? If instead of pushing back, I were to take hold of his arms or his collar with both hands, place the ball of one foot against his lower abdomen, straighten my leg and sit back, I could make him somersault over my head.
Or suppose that my opponent leans forward a bit and pushes me with one hand. This puts him off balance. If I grab him by the upper sleeve of his outstretched arm, pivot so that my back is close to his chest, clamp my free hand on his shoulder and suddenly bend over, he will go flying over my head and land flat on his back.
As these examples show, for the purpose of throwing an opponent the principle of leverage is sometimes more important than giving way. Jujutsu also includes other forms of direct attack, such as hitting, kicking and choking. In this respect, the "art of giving way" does not convey the true meaning. If we accept jujutsu as the art or practice of making the most efficient use of mental and physical energy, then we can think of judo as the way, the principle, of doing this, and we arrive at a true definition.
In 1882 I founded the Kodokan to teach judo to others. Within a few years, the number of students rapidly increased. They came from all over Japan, many having left jujutsu masters to train with me. Eventually judo displaced jujutsu in Japan, and no one any longer speaks of jujutsu as a contemporary art in Japan, although the word has survived overseas.