Close Window
Our Philosophy

By Stephen B. Moliterno, Shodan - Kihen Ryu Ju Jitsu

Historical records show that Jujitsu is at least 2500 years old. Jujitsu’s origins is not only from ancient Japan but records have been found in China, Persia, Germany and Egypt.

The word Jujitsu (sometimes spelled Ju-Jutsu or Jiu-Jitsu) is made up of two ideograms or kanji which translates into Ju meaning “soft or gentle” and Jitsu meaning “Art” in the sense of Martial Art. When combined, Jujitsu translates as “the gentle art”.

Chikura Kurabe, a wrestling sport that appeared in Japan in 230BC had many techniques that were incorporated into Ju-Jitsu training. During the Heian Period (784 AD), Ju-Jitsu was incorporated into the Samurai Warrior’s training so that he could defend himself against an armed attacker in the event he lost his sword. In 880 AD the first Ju-Jitsu Ryu was formed by Prince Teijun.

One of the first Ryu that used Ju-Jitsu as a primary art was founded in 1532 by Takenouche Hisamori. Legend had it that while on a pilgrimage, Takenouche collapsed from exhaustion after training and meditating for several days. In his delirium he received a vision from a phantom warrior. The warrior taught him five techniques of immobilization, and the advantaged of using short weapons over long ones.

Prior to the foundation of the Takenouche-Ryu, open-handed combat techniques existed solely as a subordinate art to the major weapons system. Most modern Ju-Jitsu Ryu can trace their lineage directly back to Takenouche. In the early 16th century, Hideyoshi Toyotomi introduced the Chinese Art of Ch-an Fa (punching and nerve striking) to Japan and it was adopted by Ju-Jitsu.

Next Page