Bu-Jutsu (The Warring Arts)
Japanese mythology tells us that Their Martial Arts was first practised some two thousand years ago having been created by the gods, Kashima and Kadori with the purpose of developing an art by which they could chastise the lawless inhabitants of the eastern provinces of Japan. Others believe that the art was brought to the Japanese mainland from China by Chuen Yuan-pin during the Ming dynasty.
This theory cannot be accepted as records show that fighting arts using techniques similar to those still used in modern systems existed as far back as 22 B.C. Many names have been associated with this system of civilian defence; kempo, yavara, kugusoki, kumiuchi and taiho Jutsu to name a few, but it was not until the foundation of Daitoryu Aiki Ju Jutsu by the samurai Shinra Suburo Yoshimitsu in around 1100 A.D that the term Ju Jutsu first appears.
The Japanese national records and the many manuscripts from various schools of martial arts refer to ancient methods of combat codified long before actual records were kept. The first records are said to have been introduced sometime in the sixth century. Between the 8th and 11th century (Heian era) Japan had evolved it’s political organisation, social and clan structures.
The samurai class appeared around 11th century
Kamakura period : (1192-1336) Minamato Yoriiomo Shogun.
Muromachi period : The Age of the country at war.
(1336-1573} Ashikaga Takauji Shogun, (1873-1882} Oda Nobunaga Shogun.
Azuchimomoyama period: (1582-1598) Toyotomi Hideyoshi Shogun.
Edo period: (1603-1868) Takugawa Shogun.
History Of Ju-Jitsu in Japan
Up until the 11th century Ju Jitsu (as it is now known) was the popular system of combat for the aristocracy, the nobility and in 1156 the beginning of the feudal era saw Ju Jitsu being monopolised by the elite Bushi ([which means to serve] More commonly known as Samurai) warriors as their training programmes.
During the Hojo and Muromachi periods (1100 to 1600) many different types or styles of Ju Jutsu developed, each with it’s own emphasis on individual techniques. Kito Ryu known for its throwing techniques, Takenouchi Ryu (one of the earliest documented as 1532) for immobilisation, Tenjin (Tenshin) — Shin’yo Ryu for Atemi (Striking to Vital points) and grappling, Yoshin Ryu for body shift and yielding, to name a few.
In the 16th century, there was litte to distinguish primitive Ju-Jitsu from indigenous Sumo, or Kusmi-uchi (battlefield combat) but by the end of the Muromachi period (AD 1600) there was a clear separation between the two. The fighting systems which where taught had developed out of battlefield survival techniques and was known by other names, including we (harmony) and yewara (hand to hand fighting). Given that in battle the majority of opponents were armoured, arm locks, throws and strangles were considered to be more practical than Kicks and punches. The throwing techniques of Ju-Jitsu developed from fighting techniques rather than from sport. Hand to hand techniques were developed for close combat, with throwing and grappling being used in order to disarm and immobilise an enemy, which was particularity vital.
Another factor, which affected the development of techniques, was the type of weapon the warrior was likely to find himself confronted with. The control of the arm holding the weapon was favoured as the way to deal with stabbing attacks, which can be attributed to need to disarm swordsmen or warriors armed with knives. The wearing of annour and the muddy, siippery nature of most battiefiekis alsa explain the surprising number of sacrifice throws, or sufermn? waza, which are often regarded as inherently perilous techniques in combat sport. On a blood-soaked, muddy battlefield, where it was difficult for the combatants to keep their balance, it was important to go to the ground with an advantage, and sutem/! waza provided the means of tuming the tables before impact, and so getting on top of an enemy. 120 years later other names were given to what was being taught, including Tal ftsu (body techniques} and Kempo (meaning fist way). Many of those practicing Jutsu were Bushi, warriors who were not samurai aristocrats, and who were increasingly interested in striking techniques, which could be used against unarmed attackers, such as peasant robbers or belligerent drunks. Killing people in brawis was illegal then, as it is now, so less than lethal techniques were needed for dealing with such confrontations. Ju-Jitsu expanded in this period and the techniques, which grew in popularity then, have more in common with those being practiced today, as they were intended for self protection rather that a battlefield fight to the death. These techniques work just as well in the car park or the pub as they did on the street of medieval Japan.
The format known as Jitsu has shared many names over the years: Wa jutsu, Tajutsu, Yawara, Kogusoku, Chikara kurabe, Hakushi, Torite. Towards the end of the seventeenth century as a new modernism appeared in Japan, Ju-fitsu began to develop into a more complex art. By the Meiji period, with the end of the Samurai rule, a number of private schools (Dojos) had become well established and Ju-Jitsu began to be taught and practiced in a more systematic fashion.
During the reign of emperor Meiji was a period of restoration in Japan including the legalisation of Christianity, the dissolve of the samurai class and the opening of trading links with the western world, opposed to those held by the black ships. The dissolving of the samurai class left the government with a huge problem. Thousands of highly trained fighting men whose talents were now superfluous, twinned with the westem demands for the Japanese race to become more tolerant and less barbaric in the eyes of the westemers. The solution took many years to come to, essentially it involved the cultural development of everything Japanese, which of course included the martial arts whose schools by now were highly specialised.
The government’s ultimatum was resisted by many traditionalists, who felt the only way for them was to flee the country and become exdes, remaining true to their individual values. This is how in fact martial arts methods arrived in the west. Many of these masters became seamen to escape and taught their skill wherever their ship landed at port.
For those who stayed and faced the Cultural Revolution, they had to endure the reshaping of martia systems, which we now know today.
In 1905, some of the diverse systems and main stream jujitsu schools were merged and synthesised together under the auspices of professor Jigaro Kano to produce the method of combat then inown as Juido later to be known as Kodokan Judo.
Jigaro Kano started Tenshin-Shin’yo Ryu at the age of seventeen under Hachinosuke Fuluuda (1829-1880) and Masamoto Iso (1818-1881) the son of the founder. When Iso died Kano continued his studies under Tsunstoshi Bubo (1895-1889), leaming Kito Ryu as well as studying Takenouchi Ryu and Sosuishitsu Ryu.
In 1882 Kano opened his own Dojo, the Kodokan, at the Eisho-ji Temple.
With Kano’s aid, a Ju Jutsu competition was arranged to be held in the great hall of the University. Kano was still a student at this time, when he represented the Tenshin-Shin’yo Ryu (which means pre 1881). At this time Kano and his fellow students lacked the skill to overcome their opponents, as the results of the match not one of the young men, not even Kano, could cope with the police officers who had been trained by Totsuka.
It is possible that this defeat spurred Kano to re-access his Ju Jutsu taining and study in depth the principles behind the techniques. in 1886 a re-match was held between the Kodokan and the Students of Totsuka, in this instance the Kodokan came out victorious winning thirteen matches and drawing two.
From this early start evolved modern Judo.
Judo had been developed further towards the sporting element, moving away from the self-defence aspects which were left from the old Ju-Jitsu styles, as striking techniques were still apart of the original Kodokan Judo.
Many of the students of the Kodakan who represented the school in challenges, such as Shiro Saigo, were previously trained in other styles of Ju-Jitsu.