The founding of Ju-jitsu

Ju-Jitsu has an interesting and diverse history spanning back hundreds of years in Japan. The exact origins of Ju-Jitsu are somewhat unclear, however the first publicly recognized Ju-Jitsu Ryu, or system, was formed by Hisamori Takenouchi in 1532. This initial Ryu consisted of techniques with various weapons, including a sword, jo-stick, and dagger, as well as unarmed techniques. Takenouchi-Ryu can be considered the primordial branch from which Ju-Jitsu was derived.

Over time, there was a shift from weapon forms of fighting to weaponless styles. These weaponless styles were developed from grappling techniques of the weapon styles and collectively became known as Ju-Jitsu. In the middle of the 17th century, Fukuno Schichiroemon of Temba founded Kito-Ryu, which gained great prestige and popularity with its art of throwing and form practice. A contemporary of Fukono, Terada Kanemon, founded Jikishin-Ryu, which established two separate Ju-Jitsu systems.

Judo comes from Ju-jitsu

It has been estimated that over 750 systems of Ju-Jitsu were in existence in Japan from 1603 to 1868, growing during the feudal period. Jigoro Kano, using his knowledge and experience of Ju-Jitsu, created Judo in the early 1880s. By 1882, Kano had established the Kodokan Judo Institute, which would become the worldwide headquarters for the judo community. During the Kodokan’s years, Judo almost completely smothered the prevailing Ju-Jitsu traditions of the area, perhaps due to Judo’s success in direct competitions with various Ju-Jitsu forms.

Ju-jitsu in the United States

In America, the United States Ju-Jitsu Federation (USJJF) was founded in 1971, acting as the National Governing Body for Ju-Jitsu in the United States with the Ju-Jitsu International Federation (JJIF). The United States Sport Jujitsu Association (USSJA) acts as the governing body of Sport Ju-Jitsu in America, being a member of the International Sport Jujitsu Association (ISJA). Sport Ju-Jitsu is unique in that it encompasses all fighting ranges, challenging fighters to have the versatility and skill to go into grappling using takedowns, throws, and submissions while developing hand and foot speed. The U.S. National Championship takes place every year, and the World Championship is held every two years.

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