It has been said that the origin of Japanese wrestling dates back 1,960 years ago when a certain Nomino Sukune grappled with Taimano Kehaya in the seventh month of the seventh year of the eleventh emperor Suinin. In view of the recorded statements, this incident may be regarded as the origin of jujitsu.
Then during the first year of Temmon in the reign of emperor Gonara at the end of the period of civil war (400 years ago), the Takenouchi school of jujitsu was systemized. Again during the Keicho era (340 years ago) a Chinese came to Japan and taught an art of boxing; about 40 years later another Chinese visited Japan and introduced an art of seizing ones opponent. In the course of time some of the forms and techniques were eliminated, while others harmonized with the art of the old jujitsu. Though the process of elimination and harmonization, a new art known as "yawara" was created and was extensively popularized. This is the origin of the present day judo.
During the edo period various schools of judo were brought into
existence, of which the following were leading ones:
Judo and Jujitsu
Judo and jujitsu are generic terms that have been applied, at different times, to the whole of the ancient Japanese national art of unarmed self defense practiced by the samurai or "warrior class of Japan". The basic principle of this art is to avoid or give way before an opponents superior weight and strength in order to overcome him by using his weight and strength to his disadvantage.
The other term jujitsu, or "gentle art" gave way in the Meiji era to the word judo, or "gentle way", which stressed the ethical and philosophical concept of "do", or a "way" in harmony with natural law. However, when the Japanese ministry of education adopted a limited form of the national art---kodokan judo---for sports instruction in secondary schools, the word judo came in time to denote only the sport based on jujitsu, and the word jujitsu remained only the word to denote the entire art.
We stress the importance of both aspects of the art; the jujitsu techniques of defense and of restoration, embodying the ancient philosophical and moral training aimed at perfection of character, in addition to the sport directed system of physical culture and mental cultivation now known as judo.
This page last updated on Wednesday, June 16, 1999