Jiu-Jitsu is a form of martial arts commonly used in close combat. The focus is to defeat an armed or unarmed opponent or attacker using no weapons or short weapons.

In Jiu-Jitsu throwing, immobilizing and pinning, joint-locking, choking, and strangling techniques are very significant and make up a large part of the discipline. Much more than in other martial arts such as Karate.

Jiu-Jitsu is commonly used and taught in the modern world as a form of self-defence. Even modern police and armed forces are often trained in aspects of Jiu-Jitsu the world over.

Jiu-Jitsu has many spellings the world over Jujutsuju-jitsuju-jutsu.

History of Jiu-Jitsu

Jiu-Jitsu was reported to have originated on the battlefields of ancient Japan, and it is from this that the present day martial arts such as Judo, Karate and Aikido have developed. Because of these arts, Jiu-Jitsu was overlooked.  However, it has now become a highly popular discipline with its combination of self-defence skills and fitness training.

The name Jiu-Jitsu is said to be split into two characters.  “Jiu” is normally defined as gentleness and “Jitsu” meaning method of art, thus Jiu-Jitsu is generally described as the gentle art.

These Jiu-Jitsu techniques were based on abstract Taoist philosophical concepts which, had in fact originated, in China. The basic principle underlying all Jiu-Jitsu techniques is that force should not be directly opposed, but given way to and re-directed.

Modern day Jiu-Jitsu is a combination of martial art and self-defence. The nature of Jiu-Jitsu techniques and training as well as its different orientation (towards self-defence, rather than sport) makes physical power a less crucial factor than in other martial arts making it more accessible to almost everyone.

More recently Jiu-Jitsu has enjoyed a considerable revival of crucial interest.  This would seem to be due to a number of factors including the following: the apparent rise in the incidence of threats of, or actual physical violence against the person in recent years and the perceived increased need to be able to defend oneself. The obvious effectiveness of Jiu-Jitsu as an effective self-defence system is suitable for virtually all ages and physical ability.

What is the difference between Traditional Jiu-Jitsu and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu?

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) is becoming very popular as it is heavily used in Mixed Martial Arts (MMA), such as UFC. BJJ is a variation of Traditional (Japanese) Jiu-Jitsu, it has a strong focus on grappling and focus mainly on training on the ground.

Whereas with Traditional Jiu-Jitsu, we focus more on standing techniques and how these techniques can help you in real life, such as how to defend against being attacked with a knife, defence against multiple attackers and defence against chokeholds.

Jiu-Jitsu Grades

Red Belt

This is your introductory grade, from here you will train towards your white belt.


White Belt

To achieve this grade you will learn the etiquette of the Dojo, breakfalls, kicks, your first kata, and some basic defensive techniques.


Yellow Belt

Whilst training for your yellow belt there is a strong focus on locks and holds, you will also be introduced to defending against two attackers. Throws are also covered in this grade for the first time!


Orange Belt

Two new Kata are taught at this level. Along with several fundamental throws. Along with your throws, you will learn some new kicks and more training will be given on defence against multiple attackers.


Green Belt

Whilst training for your Green Belt Grade you will begin to cover some more advanced defence techniques and more complex throws. You will also have to demonstrate a combination of methods without direction from the sensei.


Blue Belt

To achieve your Blue Belt, you will be able to demonstrate advanced variations of the fundamental throws you learned in earlier grades, and you will also be introduced to defending attackers with weapons.

N.B. For Juniors, this grade is split into two grades Blue & White and Blue.


Purple Belt

This is the first time you will be introduced to countering, in addition to defending against weapon attacks, advanced throws and katas.


Brown Belt

To achieve your Brown Belt, you will be able to defend against four attackers, without direction from the sensei, using all the techniques you have learnt in your previous grades. You will also cover the most advanced throws and advanced variations of the throws you have learnt in previous grades.

N.B. For Juniors, this grade is split into two grades Brown & White and Brown.


Black Belt

Junior Black Belt

Our Juniors will gain their Junior Black Belt and move onto the 10 Kobudo Grades where they focus mainly on weapons, and revision of previous grades. This generally takes them to the point that they are old enough to join the senior classes.


Shodan

The 1st Dan grading will focus on using the techniques you used in your coloured belts in combinations, that you must decide on yourself. You will also learn several new Kata, begin your work with weapons and be able to answer questions about the human body.


Nidan

For your 2nd Dan, you must show a greater understanding of the human body and the effects of training on it. You will also be able to spar and your weapon training will advance to include more weapons.


Sandan

You will learn advanced strikes, advanced countering, and how to use another weapon whilst training for your 3rd Dan.


Yondan

To achieve your 4th Dan there is a large focus on defending against multiple attackers and for this grade, you will really hone your defences and escapes.


Godan

This is the 5th Dan, for this Dan, you must be able to defend against large groups of attackers, you will learn Hojōjutsu, and also add another weapon to your collection. Finally, for this Dan there is also a theory element to the grading.


Rokudan

To be awarded your 6th Dan you must be able to demonstrate advanced combinations of the techniques you have previously learnt.


Sichidan

7th Dan! To achieve this you will be able to defend against prolonged multiple attackers attacks. By this point your skills and techniques will be perfect.

Glossary

Dojo

A room or hall where Jiu-Jitsu or other martial arts are practised.

Gi

The training uniform that is worn for Jiu-Jitsu training and gradings.

Obi

The belt that is worn in with the Gi, the colour of the Obi indicates the grade.

Uki

Your training partner, including for gradings.

Kata

An exercise consisting of several specific movements, focusing on defending.

Embo

An exercise consisting of several throws, locks, and counters.

Bo staff

The bo is a wooden staff approximately 6ft in length. The basic concept behind the bo is increasing the force delivered in a strike, this is achieved through leverage and extra length.

Katana

Katana is Japanese for sword, it is mainly used for cutting, and is intended for use with a two-handed grip. It is traditionally worn edge up.

Bokken

A Bokken is a wooden training sword typically used in most martial arts. It is usually a replica of a Katana.

Tonfa

The Tonfa is a wooden stick approximately 18″ long with a side handle approximately 5″ long traditionally made of hardwood. It originates from Okinawa and is now used by police forces worldwide.

Nunchaku

Nunchaku are two sticks approximately 12″ long attached by a piece of chain or rope.

Sai

Sai are a pair of unsharpened daggers, with two long, unsharpened projections. Traditionally they were carried as a trio, rather than a pair.

Hojōjutsu

The art of tying an opponent up with a rope or other similar material.