The History of Jiu-Jitsu
Lately, Asian martial arts academies, of the most varied styles, have been cropping up.
Some of these academies are headed by competent teachers, but others are headed by laymen who don’t know exactly what they are teaching. This leads to discussions as to the superiority of one type of combat over another.
However, the truth is that the basis of all types of combat is JIU-JITSU which is composed of 113 styles, of which only 64 are known today. They can be practiced standing or on the floor and wearing any type of clothing. This makes it difficult to understand the comparisons between the whole and a part, as is the case with Judo, for example, which is nothing more than the part of the body projections of JIU-JITSU (JU), or of Karate, Taekwondo and Kung Fu, which comprise the traumatic strikes (ATEMI) and Aikido which is part of the torsions extracted from JIU-JITSU (AIKI).
Despite the contradictory versions, the origin of JIU-JITSU is attributed to India, cradle of civilization and of unparalleled culture. Buddhist monks from faraway monasteries, forced to go on long treks through bandit-infested roads to propagate their faith, were the true creators and disseminators of the greatest Art of Self-Defense in the world, which is undeniably JIU-JITSU.
Prince Sidartha Gauthama, known as Saquia Muni (Solitary Prince) who later became known as Buddha, the Enlightened One, was born 2500 years ago in Northern India a few miles above Benares. His philosophy of life gave way to the religion that carries his name - Buddhism. The monks spread the teachings of Buddha, and therefore had to travel all over Asia to accomplish this religious task. They would travel in pairs but even so the routes were dangerous and a form of self-defense for the monks was indispensable. The problem was that Buddhism is totally opposed to violence or the use of arms, therefore the traditional methods of defense were unacceptable.
A small village in India caught the attention of the monks. The inhabitants of that place also did not use arms and developed a style of self-defense based on the movements of the animals. Thus, a style of self-defense and combat is born to satisfy the monks. Endowed with great knowledge and a perfect familiarity with the human body, the monks perfected the style of defense of that Indian village.
The monks travels took them to China, in the region of the Mekhong River Valley, inhabited by farmers and peasants and overrun by highwaymen. Taking advantage of the technique learned from the Buddhist monks, the Chinese developed Kung-Fu, which is a mixture of the animal movements and the use of Chinese agricultural implements such as scythes, machetes and swords. Kung-Fu was used by the Buddhist monks in China as a form of meditation and to seek knowledge of their inner strength. Each monastery developed a technique adapted to the animal that was closest to the belief of their temple, as the temples of Shao-Lin exemplify. China was always Japan’s cultural ideal, especially when China tried to conquer the islands of the Japanese archipelago. It was at that time that the techniques of the Buddhist monks was introduced to Japan. The Japanese, in turn, developed JIU-JITSU, which has as its main essence self-defense, based on physical laws such as balance, momentum, leverage, inertia, center of gravity, etc.
JIU-JITSU is a sport of intelligent development on the strength of its complexity. Its movements obey an increasing order of control and intelligence. Studying JIU-JITSU is recommended by doctors, psychologists and educators as part of an educational program, as a means of alleviating psychic stress, promoting self-confidence and total self-control, conditioning reflexes and inducing rapid and sure decisions in chaotic situations.
In Brazil JIU-JITSU was introduced by Count Koma (Essai Maeda) to a small group of Brazilian friends as a way of thanking them for their support in establishing a Japanese colony in the state of Para. JIU-JITSU has as its objective the development of all men and has as its goal, especially, the individual protection without the use of violence. Therefore, someone who is physically weak but knows JIU-JITSU will be able to defend himself from any type of aggression by means of movements that rely on leverage, without the use of force or violence. JIU-JITSU aims to develop the personality of the individual, stimulating the positive and intellectual qualities of the practitioner since it is not a form of combat but a SYSTEM OF SELF-DEFENSE which demands, in the first place, using intelligence to complete the strike that he intends to use. A practitioner of JIU-JITSU develops physically and mentally.