Ju Jitsu is jui Jitsu is jujutsu

Denoaikido

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Old sensei seke used to say them words meaning they all are the same ppl just took it in slightly different focused directions and I agree much can be learned from any style imho
 

Oily Dragon

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i dont know about ju jitsu or jui jitsu, but jujutsu and jiu jitsu are pretty different now.
Yes and no, IMHO.

I watched a terrible movie the other day. It was a war movie that involved a lot of Japanese angst, right around July 1945.

Brazilian jiu jitsu is great. But Japanese jujutsu was once employed to drive Kaiten torpedoes.

For those not aware, those were manned torpedoes. An abomination now, sure, but once upon a time they were the epitome of jujutsu.
 
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Steve

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Yes and no, IMHO.

I watched a terrible movie the other day. It was a war movie that involved a lot of Japanese angst, right around July 1945.

Brazilian jiu jitsu is great. But Japanese jujutsu was once employed to drive Kaiten torpedoes.

For those not aware, those were manned torpedoes. An abomination now, sure, but once upon a time they were the epitome of jujutsu.
I think what they were is one thing. What they are is another.
 

skribs

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For one, I feel all three of these are just different romanizations of the Japanese characters. 銵 doesn't necessarily translate 1-to-1 in the same way that a Romance language would. Different people transcribed the sounds as best they could. Some used Ju, some used Jiu. Some used Jitsu, some used Jutsu. Some had a space, a hyphen, or made it all one word.

However, if you want to talk about Japanese Jujutsu vs. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, I would say two things. First, they are definitely different arts. JJJ is more of a traditional art. From my experience, it would be closer in line with Hapkido or a more traditional Taekwondo school, or maybe Krav Maga. Some folks wanted to make it more of a sport, and thus Judo was born. Some Judo folks wanted to spend more time horizontal, and thus BJJ was born. This is of course a gross oversimplification, but I do believe that's the general progress of things.

Second, I think it's more about the school, teacher, and student than it is about the art. BJJ definitely has better quality control. But would you rather learn BJJ from me (a 1-stripe white belt) or learn JJJ from a black belt?
 

Chris Parker

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Yeah... there is no difference (on a technical level) between "jujutsu", "jiu-jitsu", "ju-jitsu", or other iterations. The older "jiu-jitsu" was a popular transliteration in the early 20th Century, before much was settled in terms of standardisation. Later, the Hepburn romanization took precedence as the most universally accepted form for transliterating Japanese symbolic written language (hiragana, katakana, kanji) into a form that could be pronounced easily by English speakers. In this sense, the only accurate transliteration/pronunciation is "ju-jutsu".

There are a number of Western arts who maintain the older pronunciation, but the word is still the same one, as a result, any differences are between individual systems, not the specific pronunciation of the word itself.
 

Oily Dragon

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I think what they were is one thing. What they are is another.
I think the pacification of Japan had a big influence (the No More War For You! Theory), but then again judo and it's offspring like BJJ have flourished as far as living sports.

Life finds a way.
 

Oily Dragon

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Linguistics wise, the only big deal here is Japanese language puts more emphasis on spoken consonants and in this case, vowels. There's domo arigato and then there's domo arigato

The IPA key sums it up.

d = Badge, giant, Ju. You might not catch the i in U, but it's always there.
 

Tony Dismukes

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Yeah... there is no difference (on a technical level) between "jujutsu", "jiu-jitsu", "ju-jitsu", or other iterations. The older "jiu-jitsu" was a popular transliteration in the early 20th Century, before much was settled in terms of standardisation. Later, the Hepburn romanization took precedence as the most universally accepted form for transliterating Japanese symbolic written language (hiragana, katakana, kanji) into a form that could be pronounced easily by English speakers. In this sense, the only accurate transliteration/pronunciation is "ju-jutsu".

There are a number of Western arts who maintain the older pronunciation, but the word is still the same one, as a result, any differences are between individual systems, not the specific pronunciation of the word itself.

Linguistics wise, the only big deal here is Japanese language puts more emphasis on spoken consonants and in this case, vowels. There's domo arigato and then there's domo arigato

The IPA key sums it up.

d = Badge, giant, Ju. You might not catch the i in U, but it's always there.
If were going to be picky about accurate phonetic spelling based on pronunciation in the country which originated an art, then the proper spelling of BJJ should be something like zhoo zhitz.
 

Cynik75

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If you want phonetic spelling (with polish letters) of brazilian pronunciation of japanese words - here it is: 驍u 驍icu
The old polish transcriptions of JJ were "d髒u-d髒itsu" or " dziu-dziutsu".
You are welcome
;).
 

Chris Parker

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If were going to be picky about accurate phonetic spelling based on pronunciation in the country which originated an art, then the proper spelling of BJJ should be something like zhoo zhitz.
Well.... no, actually.

There's a few issues to cover. Firstly, it's more about the origin of the language that provides the terminology, not the origin of the art... secondly, if we look at the term as being a corrupted Japanese term introduced into Portuguese in Brazil, rather than a strict loan-word (which is what it should be), then we need to ask whether or not Portuguese is a phonetic language, which it isn't. So, we have an art developed in Brazil, based in a Japanese art (let's be clear on that, it's a highly refined and specialised art based on a relatively minor aspect of a larger Japanese art, being Judo and it's ne-waza), who apply an older transliteration of a Japanese term to what they do, introducing the term and incorporating it into their Portuguese lexicon, which is not a phonetic language... so... no.

When they do apply the Japanese, though, they universally use the kanji 銵... which, written phonetically in Japanese (in hiragana) is written (taken bit by bit, that would be read "j(y)u-u j(y)u-tsu"). The argument for the first kanji being read as "jiu" is not far off, but is missing the extended vowel sound of the additional "u", and transliterates the character "" as "iu" instead of the more standard "yu", giving "jyu"... but the second kanji cannot be read "jitsu" at all. For that to be correct, the hiragana would read 扎, instead of , and would be most commonly in kanji 摰 instead of 銵. Completely different words.

So, if we're going to be picky and accurate, then the phonetic spelling can only be based on the Japanese term, as Portuguese is not a phonetic-based language... South American accents don't change that. If we're being picky and accurate, that is...
 

Steve

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Well.... no, actually.

There's a few issues to cover. Firstly, it's more about the origin of the language that provides the terminology, not the origin of the art... secondly, if we look at the term as being a corrupted Japanese term introduced into Portuguese in Brazil, rather than a strict loan-word (which is what it should be), then we need to ask whether or not Portuguese is a phonetic language, which it isn't. So, we have an art developed in Brazil, based in a Japanese art (let's be clear on that, it's a highly refined and specialised art based on a relatively minor aspect of a larger Japanese art, being Judo and it's ne-waza), who apply an older transliteration of a Japanese term to what they do, introducing the term and incorporating it into their Portuguese lexicon, which is not a phonetic language... so... no.

When they do apply the Japanese, though, they universally use the kanji 銵... which, written phonetically in Japanese (in hiragana) is written (taken bit by bit, that would be read "j(y)u-u j(y)u-tsu"). The argument for the first kanji being read as "jiu" is not far off, but is missing the extended vowel sound of the additional "u", and transliterates the character "" as "iu" instead of the more standard "yu", giving "jyu"... but the second kanji cannot be read "jitsu" at all. For that to be correct, the hiragana would read 扎, instead of , and would be most commonly in kanji 摰 instead of 銵. Completely different words.

So, if we're going to be picky and accurate, then the phonetic spelling can only be based on the Japanese term, as Portuguese is not a phonetic-based language... South American accents don't change that. If we're being picky and accurate, that is...

We can save folks a lot of time by just referring them to this thread which very quickly turns to this very subject.

 
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Denoaikido

Denoaikido

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His main point sensei seke was that it's all the same you can only do so many things to the body alot ppl want to differentiate the art to there liking or maybe region teaching or maybe sport rule set they compete frequently under but it's all the same esp if that's how you as a individual decide to train just my opinion or take on it
 

Chris Parker

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His main point sensei seke was that it's all the same you can only do so many things to the body alot ppl want to differentiate the art to there liking or maybe region teaching or maybe sport rule set they compete frequently under but it's all the same esp if that's how you as a individual decide to train just my opinion or take on it
Hmm... that's both correct, and not correct at the same time.

It's true that we all share relatively similar body structures and similar ranges of motion, and utilise the same scope of potential body mechanics, but that's kinda where it ends... different systems are differentiated more in how they approach these consistencies, which is influenced by the cultural packaging and environment, the context in which it is aiming to be used, the aims of the system itself, certain philosophical and social influences from the history, personalities, and culture the art comes from (time and place), and so on.

I was asked today how I manage to avoid cross-over in two Japanese sword arts I teach and study, and the answer was that it's actually fairly easy with those two particular systems, as they are, in many ways, almost directly opposite each other. Sure, they're both sword arts from pre-modern Japan, using very similarly designed and built weapons, however they are separated by approximately 200 years in their founding, one is geared up for armoured and non-armoured fighting, emphasises footwork based on leading with the toes/ball of the foot, relies on moving first to gain an advantage, seeks to prevent an opponent from attacking by controlling the mid-line, uses one step at a time, has a wide array of other weapons, and so on... the other is almost entirely unarmoured one-on-one combat (duelling), emphasises footwork based on the heel, relies on the opponent attacking first, so controls them by providing particular openings, takes two steps at a time each time, and has a limited array of other weapons... are they the same? Sure, but only in a few, more superficial ways... in other ways, they could not be further apart... and it's even more pronounced when we look at the variety of arts that use the body rather than a weapon or other tool.
 

isshinryuronin

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Hmm... that's both correct, and not correct at the same time.

It's true that we all share relatively similar body structures and similar ranges of motion, and utilise the same scope of potential body mechanics, but that's kinda where it ends... different systems are differentiated more in how they approach these consistencies, which is influenced by the cultural packaging and environment, the context in which it is aiming to be used, the aims of the system itself, certain philosophical and social influences from the history, personalities, and culture the art comes from (time and place), and so on.

I was asked today how I manage to avoid cross-over in two Japanese sword arts I teach and study, and the answer was that it's actually fairly easy with those two particular systems, as they are, in many ways, almost directly opposite each other. Sure, they're both sword arts from pre-modern Japan, using very similarly designed and built weapons, however they are separated by approximately 200 years in their founding, one is geared up for armoured and non-armoured fighting, emphasises footwork based on leading with the toes/ball of the foot, relies on moving first to gain an advantage, seeks to prevent an opponent from attacking by controlling the mid-line, uses one step at a time, has a wide array of other weapons, and so on... the other is almost entirely unarmoured one-on-one combat (duelling), emphasises footwork based on the heel, relies on the opponent attacking first, so controls them by providing particular openings, takes two steps at a time each time, and has a limited array of other weapons... are they the same? Sure, but only in a few, more superficial ways... in other ways, they could not be further apart... and it's even more pronounced when we look at the variety of arts that use the body rather than a weapon or other tool.
To the lay person, both styles you describe would be indistinguishable from each other. At first glance, the differences may appear very subtle. Yet, as you clearly explain, the fundamental approach and tactics are very different. Would you go so far as saying they are two different arts or are they just two different applications of the same art based on the combat situation?

I have a few other questions I'd like to ask you. I'm curious as to the practical usage of toe vs heel stepping; how one may be better for battle vs dueling. Also, is there a difference in the manner of cut execution? And lastly, is there a difference in the mental/spiritual attitude one has between the two?

I found the subject interesting. Thanks for your post and response.
 

Chris Parker

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There's a bit to break down in this, so I'm going to take it all piece by piece, if you don't mind.

To the lay person, both styles you describe would be indistinguishable from each other.

I suppose it may depend just how "lay" the person is, but I would hope not! They're pretty easily distinguishable when seen back to back... of course, I wouldn't expect a lay-person to necessarily be able to name the two specific systems, but they also should be able to see that they are quite different... let's see, shall we?



For reference, these are the systems I was discussing, and the particular factions I am a member of.

At first glance, the differences may appear very subtle.

I wouldn't say so... I'd say the differences are far more pronounced than, say, the differences between Goju Ryu and, say, Shito Ryu Karate. Of course, those are largely surface differences... the reality is a bit different...

Yet, as you clearly explain, the fundamental approach and tactics are very different. Would you go so far as saying they are two different arts or are they just two different applications of the same art based on the combat situation?

To be honest, this question throws me... they are completely different systems. They both use a Japanese sword, but that's about it... you might as well as if I consider BJJ and boxing to be different systems, as they both are unarmed...

These two schools developed on opposite sides of Japan, 200 years apart, with very little connection (the founder of the younger art is listed as having trained in the older one for a time, but it's influence on his school is practically non-existent... more than anything, he was critical of a number of aspects surrounding the practice and development/promotion of the older school in his day... but that's a whole can of worms we don't need to go into here). One developed during a time of constant war, the other at the beginning of an extended period of peacetime. And this is only the beginning of the differences in simply how the schools came to be.

To be frank, though, and this may be a bit of a rant (not necessarily directed towards yourself, but more at the martial community at large, really), this comment/question is, to me, symptomatic of some of the bigger issues I see in the wider martial community; namely a huge degree of ignorance when it comes to martial arts, in terms of the scope and range, as well as what makes something a distinct system, and why, and a lack of any real depth of understanding, looking purely to surface-level superficial aspects. This, along with an unwillingness, or inability, to look beyond the small exposure most have to martial systems, or a context they feel some assuredness with, regardless of how little they understand it, or other contexts (often being completely ignorant of them existing in the first place).

There is a tendency to see all martial arts through the same filter, which is not realistic, useful, or accurate, and to only see the very basic surface-level of any art, and try to assess it from there. This leads to things like "oh, it's a wrist lock, that means it's Aikido", or "they're going for submissions on the ground, that means it's BJJ", or, even less accurately, "they're on the ground, that means it's grappling"... or, in this case, they're both sword arts, so aren't they the same?

I'm probably going to cover this in another thread as well, but it's worthwhile covering in different areas. Martial arts are not their techniques. Martial arts are not simple mechanical actions. They are not simply the usage of a particular weapon, range, or set of skills. These are all simply how a martial art is expressed. In a very real sense, a martial art is more about how you interact with someone... this is typically represented by a set of physical, combatively-themed (although not necessarily combative) actions, within a defined set of parameters that complement the art itself (this takes into account the history, culture, context, application, and so on of the system). Often, these methods are selected as they are the consistent and purest way to get to the underlying approach of the school itself, but are, at the end of the day, almost the least important factor. In other words, wrist locks aren't Aikido, but Aikido is easiest to express via things like wrist locks. And, of course, just because something does a wrist lock doesn't make it Aikido, unless it's applying Aikido via that wrist lock.

Same with kenjutsu... that's just the name for the skills of using a Japanese sword... it's not a specific, codified system, anymore than "writing" is a specific language, with it's own spelling, grammar, punctuation, structure, and so on. You can "write" in English, French, German, Japanese, Hindi, Arabic... they're all "writing", but they certainly aren't the same thing, other than the superficial marking on a surface of symbols to represent words and other elements of language and communication (my favourite description of writing is from The Dark Crystal, where they're described as "words that stay"). So, just because two schools are kenjutsu schools doesn't mean they're anything alike... and anyone telling you they teach "kenjutsu", without being able to name the system itself, simply isn't.

Okay, rant over. But, really, techniques are the entry point. Getting fixated on them, or on the type of skill being applied, is to stay a beginner and amateur in martial arts... and, frankly, that's the majority... even some of the most experienced are still basically amateur beginners as far as I'm concerned, as they have never gone past this surface level basic understanding and appreciation.

I have a few other questions I'd like to ask you.

Sure.

I'm curious as to the practical usage of toe vs heel stepping; how one may be better for battle vs dueling.

Hmm... not exactly how that works. It's more that the more battlefield oriented system I study has an emphasis on toe-leading sliding footwork (suri-ashi), and the duelling-influenced school I study emphasises driving from the heel... other duelling/non-battlefield systems also use the suri-ashi style footwork, such as many Iai schools (Muso Shinden Ryu, another school I study, does this), as do some sports-style systems, such as Kendo... some battlefield oriented schools use heel-based stepping, such as Kashima Shinden Jikishinkage Ryu, Yagyu Shinkage Ryu, and so on. What's more of an influence is how the footwork in the school is applied, as each has their benefits and limitations.

Driving with the heel is more direct, and faster, however limits the directions available, essentially giving you forwards, or forwards at a slight angle. This is used in a school where retreating is not a good option, as the context is largely based around duelling an opponent in front of you; retreating tends to lead to you being overwhelmed pretty quickly, which results in being dead. As a result, that school works on employing footwork that puts you just in range of the opponent, then giving an opening in order to encourage the opponent to attack. When they do, you exploit the small opening created in their movement, moving in to counter... this requires you to move in the most direct way possible, as any shift of weight takes time that might not get you out of the way of an attack in time.

The suri-ashi action is good to maintain contact with the ground, so helping to avoid tripping or slipping, giving more adaptability and stability, especially on uneven ground. It also enables you to change direction easily, by being able to push back or forward as easily as each other. This is used in a school which emphasises options, changes of direction, new lines of attack, and so on.

Also, is there a difference in the manner of cut execution?

Yeah, there are differences... they're harder to enunciate, though... Shinto Ryu is more "big circles", while Niten Ichi Ryu is more extension towards the opponent... but even that doesn't really explain the difference in "feel"... and that's evolving as I get more experience with the schools. The grips are different, the body structures are different, and so on... that naturally extends to the cutting mechanics... but more as a natural result of the rest, rather than the cutting mechanics being different in a vacuum, so to speak.

And lastly, is there a difference in the mental/spiritual attitude one has between the two?

Yeah, there's quite a lot of difference there as well... Shinto Ryu is, well, a Shinto school... classes begin with a form of Shinto bowing ritual, some of the kata are overtly ritualistic (making forms of exorcism rituals, or purification rites, and so on), the naming and teachings regarding the names links with various deities, there are aspects of Mikkyo, and more. Then we get the symbolic usage of a sword to "cut away evil" and similar, we start to look at old stories of the founder using non-violent ways to avoid conflict but maintain a dominance, essentially making it pointless to even consider launching an attack (which is reflected in the waza themselves), through to the first teaching of the first scroll awarded, being heiho wa heiho nari (the methods of war/soldiers give rise to the methods of attaining and preserving peace), there's a lot of attention to mental and spiritual teachings.

Niten Ichi Ryu, on the other hand, is fairly unique in classical Japanese arts, in that there is no particular deity that the school ascribes to (Shinto Ryu is linked with Futsunushi no Kami, enshrined at Katori Jingu), with Musashi writing "Respect Buddha and the gods, but do not rely upon them". The combative attitude is also quite different, with Shinto Ryu seeking to preserve peace through positioning yourself where you are difficult to attack, Niten Ichi Ryu seeks to tempt, or provoke, the opponent to attack, and Musashi taught that, when you take up a sword, your only thought should be of cutting down your opponent... this leads to a more "combative" mind-set, one might say...

At the end of the day, of course, this is really where the difference between two martial systems lives... it's in how they approach engaging with an opponent. Context will influence it, obviously (when dealing with lethal weapons, that will lend itself to a particular set of approaches, if it's a sports/competitive system, that will lead to another set of approaches, and so on), but the first part is the mental attitude and approach... everything else follows. If you can't see how your art differentiates itself in this way, and identify how it approaches engaging an opponent, then you're not doing a martial art. You're learning moves.

I found the subject interesting. Thanks for your post and response.

No problem. I hope you got something out of these answers as well. I think we've gone a bit off-topic, though, ha!
 
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