Jiu jitsu

Related Terms

Fudoshin, gentle skill, grappling, jiu jitsu, ju jutsu, ju jitsu, judo, jujutsu, martial arts, Mushin, Zanshin.


Jujitsu was developed in Japan during the feudal period. Jujitsu is an ancient Japanese martial art that involves grappling, joint lock techniques, strikes and sweeps and ground fighting. In Japanese, the word jujutsu means "gentle skill". The word is a broad term including Judo and a few other martial arts. All jujitsu includes a courteous and respectful atmosphere, a uniform, which generally consists of a plain white robe and pants, and the abstinence of ostentatious display. Jujitsu also involves no trophies, contracts, tags or badges.
Jujitsu involves the incorporation of three different states of mind. These states of mind are Zanshin, Mushin, and Fudoshin. The combination of these elements is said to lead to power, preparation and the potential to excel in this martial art. Zanshin means remaining spirit. The principle of Zanshin is to be ready for anything at any given time. Mushin means no mind and allows for spontaneity and instantaneous action. Finally, Fudoshin means immovable mind.

Theory / Evidence

While the effects of jujitsu have not been studied, jujitsu is practiced by millions of people across the world today.

Author information

This information has been edited and peer-reviewed by contributors to the Natural Standard Research Collaboration (www.naturalstandard.com).


American Ju-Jitsu Association.
Jiu Jitsu.
Royal, G. Jujitsu: History, Philosophy, and Methods. 12 May 2006.


People generally learn jujitsu by observing people that already practice it and imitating their form. These forms include joint locking techniques, take-down techniques, throwing techniques or a combination of take-downs and joint-locks. The strikes are usually targeted to a vulnerable area of the body to make the opponent lose their balance.
The movements of jujitsu tend to be of a circular in nature. The movements attempt to take advantage of the opponents' openings or weaknesses.
Jujitsu is primarily a martial art that does not emphasize the use of weapons. However, small weapons such as the Jitte (truncheon), Tanto (knife), Ryofundo Kusari (weighted chain) and Bankokuchoki (knuckle-duster) can be used in combat.
There are four different systems of jujitsu: the fighting system, the practical system, the duo system and finally combat jujitsu. The fighting system is the most popular system practiced. This system includes three phases: striking only, striking, grappling, and throwing and finally ground-fighting such as chokeholds. In the practical system, two defenders are surrounded by four attackers from four corners. The defenders are given points based upon their effectiveness, oversight, and control of the situation. The defender with the highest amount of points at the end of the match is the winner. The duo system involves contestants demonstrating their defensive techniques. The participants are given points for their effectiveness. There are four groups of five attacks. Combat jujitsu is the system that has been most recently developed in the United States. In this system of jujitsu, two opponents compete and the winner is determined by who fails to defend themselves or rather who is less successful at warding off their attacker. These matches generally last approximately two to three minutes.