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What is Ju Jitsu?

How does a club coach explain to novices the way?

There is a great deal more to achieving the skills than simply training every week. Here is one persons perspective:

Samurai Sitting Under A Tree"Ju Jitsu is a method of defence and offence without weapons in personal encounter. For many centuries in Japan it was practised as a military art together with fencing, archery and the use of the spear.

Ju Jitsu is not a contest of muscular strength. Nor is its prime purpose to damage or maim, but merely to incapacitate one's opponent for the time being by means of simple techniques and holds. Ju Jitsu techniques and holds can be very simple.

A thorough knowledge of them, gained only with constant practice, should develop in one a feeling of strong self-confidence. This confidence causes a Ju Jitsu expert to react almost instinctively in the event of sudden attack and to manoeuvre any situation to his or her own advantage".


George G. Yoshida, Secaucus, New Jersey, USA - 1958.

The Ju Jitsu coach must have a thorough and detailed knowledge of the human body; its strong and weak areas, where the balance (centre of gravity) lies, and how to respond calmly in a potentially stressful or confrontational situation.

The Instructor will be well versed in, and able to teach:

Body Mechanics; the way in which the musculature and skeleton work together in the human body, and how to manipulate this in order to provide a defensive system
Anatomy; where the organs are positioned in the human body, pressure points, nerve points, "soft" areas of the body for striking
Spacial Awareness and Physical Awareness; to be able to recognise the likelihood of an attack, and how to use both the weight, momentum and direction of the opponent, and be in a position to redirect the force (or indeed meet it) in order to overcome a physical attack
Conflict Management; to be able to manage confrontation, assessing the actual threat, dealing with threats of physical violence, how to stand when threatened, confrontation awareness tactics and much, much more.

The requirements of a Ju Jitsu coach do not end here. For instance the coach may be called upon to give advice, to tend to any minor injuries sustained in training, to teach competition skills, and to meet the many and varied needs of the student, without fear or favour.

This is the essence of Ju Jitsu.

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