Each people have developed in the course of their history their own martial art. Through the passing of time this may eventually have been forgotten, or it may have evolved into religious rituals or into more modern fighting-techniques.
the Science of Softness, are
originally Chinese fighting techniques
founded by the Bushi during the Kamakura period (1185 - 1333) in Japan. They
allowed an unarmed warrior to defend himself against armed adversaries. The
art developed from old Yawara
or Kumi-tachi techniques as found mentioned in an old Boudhist manuscript
from the 13th century.
One of the oldest known schools
is the Tenshin Shoden Katori Shinto
Ryu, which used the principles of Zen in its swordfighting. They also used other
weapons like the staf, the naginata, etc. During that time the Kashima Shinto Ryu was also well-known.
Through the ages different
schools developed from this Yawara style, like Wa-jutsu, Yawara,
Kogusoku, Kempo and Hakuda.
Those first simple Shaolintechniques gradually grew more advanced and melted together with the martial combattechniques used by the local farmers in and around Okinawa. Those altered techniques were then re-exported to China around 1638 by the Chinese poet and diplomat Chen Yuanbin as he returned to his place of birth.
Ju-Jitsu became an martial art
during the Edo period around the 16th and 17th century, a time of peace in
Japan. Tradition tells that Akiyama
Sinobu, a doctor from Nagasaki founded the Yoshin-ryu
in 1732. The name literally means Willow Kernel School. During a visit in
China he had studied "Naked Hand" fighting. After his return to Japan
he put together 300 Ju-Jutsu movements based on the principle of Yield
to Force, like the branch of the willow that will bend under the pressure of
the collected snow so as not to break. Another story attributes the style to a
doctor from Nagasaki, Miura Yoshin. This is probably one and the same man.
Innumerable schools were
founded by Ronin or masterless Samurai. They weren't legalized until the Meiji
period (1868 - 1912). During that period the Caste-system was outlawed, the
Samurai were not allowed to wear their swords and the murderous feuds between
families were forbidden.
The original Jutsu-Art concentrated itself on dangerous and often deadly techniques to eliminate an enemy. Ju-Jutsu was first pursued by Samurai, later by the Ninja. The latter were recruited from the lower castes and trained in special assault-techniques. Their main mercenary activities, especially at the beginning of the 15th century, were espionage and murder. After the second World War and with the sudden rise in interest for those miraculous oriental martial sports, Ninjitsu was introduced into the Western world. The focus had shifted from deadly techniques towards unarmed combat, swordfighting and survival techniques. Unfortunately the 1980s were a time with many fake schools trying to profit financially from the sudden rise in interest for karate and Kung-Fu. With the quickly fading popularity of Ninjitsu however these schools disappeared fairly quickly.
Ju-Jutsu continued to integrate
with the rest of the population, especially as an offensive technique used by
bandits and outlaws. Here originates the negative reputation of Ju-Jutsu which
it never could get rid of any more until now. This is also one of the reasons
why Kano Jigoro called his from
Ju-Jutsu developed sport Judo, to make a clear distinction from the infamous
About 1882, the official date
of foundation of the kodokan, only
Ju-Jutsu was recognized and taught in innumerable Ryu in Japan and the rest of
the world. Even now is the influence of Ju-Jutsu noticeable in some Close
Combat techniques used by army- and police-units all over the world.
Ju-Jutsu is at this time largely dethroned by Judo, Karate and Aikido and is seldom considered a sport, but rather a system of actual fighting and defense techniques. Here and there, but especially in the West tournements are held with specific rules and scoringmethodes. Gradually a revaluation of Ju-Jutsu has set in, making it gradually better known as a sport.