Jujutsu in itself is an umbrella term used to describe a number of different fighting styles originating from Japan. It is not correct therefore to say Jujutsu is this, or Jujutsu is that, as different schools of Jujutsu will differ greatly in their approach to fighting.
There are nowadays many schools of fighting who use the term Jujutsu, or often Jiu Jitsu or Ju Jitsu, however beyond an initial look, these schools are very different in nature.
We now also have Brazilian Jiu Jitsu which is very popular, but also very different to the martial art we study in our Dojo.
The Japanese word Jujutsu is made up of two characters;
Ju 柔 - Supple, Gentle, Flexible
Jutsu 術 - Method, Art
Jujutsu therefore is a term used to describe schools of Japanese Martial Arts that have a common theme of not opposing force but finding a way to go with it and take control.
These schools however are separated with their own unique history, customs, techniques, principles and strategies, and are referred to as Ryu. Those originating in the Samurai era of Japan's history are called Koryu.
Jujutsu as we consider it is a method of total body fighting, using everything at your disposal to overcome your enemy, including strikes, joint manipulation, throws, chokes, strangles and even weapons, but without the need to pit strength against strength, or force against force...
This is done using natural body mechanics and principles of movement, which when manipulated correctly can render an attack useless and allow the practitioner to overcome and unbalanced opponent.
Mindset is also of equal, if not more importance, as it is this that will often dictate success or failure, regardless of physical prowess or technical ability.
Jujutsu is often referred to as 'Unarmed Fighting of the Samurai' however we do not use this description. Samurai were virtually always armed, therefore Jujutsu has to be able to deal with the threats associated with this, while also allowing the practitioner to execute techniques while wearing weapons themselves, or even enable them to use their own weapons.
This may seem a trivial point, but it is of great importance when you consider the mindset mentioned above, rather than just thinking of a modern brawl or a boxing match, as most do when they think of fighting, when weapons are involved everything becomes a life or death situation.
Jujutsu is generally taught and learned through the practice of Kata, which are formalised fight sequences designed to transmit the system, but unlike the solo Kata often seen in Okinawan Karate, Chinese Kung Fu, or similar martial arts, Jujutsu Kata are paired, with both parties having clearly defined roles and points of focus.
The purpose of these Kata is to transmit the key principles, mindset and techniques of the school to students in a safe manner. This is very important as many of the techniques practiced are designed to seriously injure or even kill your opponent, Kata should include correct focus on how to safely receive these techniques, and even counter them.
Once the core principles have been transmitted, they can be applied to real fighting application with countless variations to prepare for any situation.
It can be quite difficult to find authentic Japanese Jujutsu in the UK. Much harder than an initial internet search would have you believe.
Many of the Jujutsu schools here in the UK have actually been created here, and bear little to no resemblance to Nihon Jujutsu beyond superficial elements, and no valid connections to Japan.
Most schools using the term Jujutsu or one of the above variants, even of Western origin, use Japanese names for their systems, Japanese words to describe techniques, Japanese titles for their instructors, and also apply a degree of Japanese style etiquette.
Often this comes from the strong influence of Judo, Aikido and Karate on Western Jujutsu mentioned above, so is by no means an indication of the school's heritage or confirmation of any Japanese link.
For anyone looking specifically for authentic Japanese Jujutsu (especially the traditional schools) you should always check the lineage of the school, and the credentials of the Instructor. Where Japanese links are claimed, can they be verified? Internet searches will not always give you the answers, but may be a good place to start, Instructors will usually be happy to discuss this with you, and should be able to show you documentation highlighting rank and/or giving them authorisation to teach the claimed school.
Iaijutsu is a Japanese sword art based on the idea of being present in the moment, able to recognise a threat, draw and attack in an instant.
A key component of the system is that it deals with situations where the sword is sheathed, and has to be drawn to defend or attack. Rather than other systems of Kenjutsu, where the sword is already drawn and ready. This is a product of the environment and changing times within Japan's rich history.
Also referred to as Iaido, Batto-do or simply Iai. There are slight variances in the meanings of these names but the general idea remains the same.
The word Iai is made up of two characters;
I 居 - To exist, live, reside
Ai 合 - Harmonise, join, fit together
Giving the idea of existing in contact with the world, in harmony with surroundings - a state of mental presence.
The majority of training in Iaido is performed through short solo Kata. With practitioners visualising an opponent, and performing the Kata with a strong mindset in order to overcome them.
There is also a Kumitachi, or Kenjutsu element to training, which involves paired practiced and strategy of battle.
Muso Shinden Ryu, originated from an earlier school of Iaijutsu/Kenjutsu. Shinmei Muso Ryu founded by Hayashizaki Jinsuke Minamoto no Shigenobu who lived from 1546 to 1621.
This school was known by a number of names following it's creation and received a number of adaptations over time, but perhaps the most notable was Hasegawa Eishin-ryu under the 7th Soke Hasegawa Chikaranosuke Eishin in the early 1700's.
Nakayama Hakudo inherited the Shimomura-ha or Muso Shinden Eishin Ryu and using his high level of skill and experience, made subtle changes to the system to produce what we now practice as Muso Shinden Ryu.
Friday's 18:30 - 20:30
The Old Gym
Crondall, Farnham, Surrey
Please note, we do not accept 'walk in' students.
If you would like to attend practice please make contact first to introduce yourself and discuss your requirements.