It is said the Buddha, born in India, brought self-defence to the East when he was spreading his teachings, as the monks were not allowed to carry weapons, so had to rely on their skills to protect themselves. The holds and throws of this defence were most probably learnt from the Greeks who practised the art of pankration which included wrestling and boxing, and the only rules were no biting, no eye-gouging and no testicle grabbing! Ju-Jitsu is based on the laws of physics – momentum, leverage, the centre of gravity with the awareness of the human anatomy.
This unnamed form of defence was later refined given the name of Ju-Jitsu and adopted by the Samurai class of the Japanese, accomplished fighters of many skills so that combatants could defend themselves if they were parted from their weapons. The name means “gentle art” however, this does not imply it is a soft sport but rather refers to the yielding to the opponent to throw them off their balance. The use of armour, which restricted the fighters movements lead to the throwing of the opponent using their knowledge of the centre of gravity, headlocks (strangling) and joint locks and also the surprising moves of the other martial arts.
In the 1800s Ju-Jitsu evolved to include moves to use against skilled opponents and was named Judo which became one of the most popular martial arts in the world. Sport Ju-Jitsu has developed and evolved in Brazil where the painting was taken in 1914 by a Japanese student of Kano who was the leading exponent of the modern Judo.
The Ultimate Fighting Championships
The first Ultimate Fighting Championships (UFC), allowed fighters of different martial arts styles to compete to showcase their abilities and to prove that their sport was superior. Royce Gracie, from a Brazilian family of Judo masters, who were not of great stature, dominated in the UFC fights because of his ability to “ground” fight. Today Ju-Jitsu is the fastest growing martial arts fight form in the world, and schools and academies are springing up across the globe. Ju-Jitsu becomes and evolves almost daily, and opponents from other martial arts must have a working knowledge of the different moves if they wish to compete against Jui Jitsu fighters.
People have always debated which of the martial arts was the most effective with this in mind, Muhammed Ali, a boxer, fought Antonio Inoki, a wrestler, in 1975. The fight lasted 15 rounds and ended in a draw although Ali was admitted to hospital because of the damage to his legs. Both opponents stuck to their fighting styles, and if they had incorporated each other’s techniques, the outcome might have been different.
It seems that the best fighter in mixed styles of fighting will always be the contestant who can understand and adopt the methods of the opponent.