JUJUTSU is a Japanese martial art. It began as the empty handed defense of the Samurai to back up their primary method of fighting
with weapons of the battlefield.
The culture and politics of Japan brought many societal changes over the years which affected the
evolution of jujutsu. Jujutsu moved from a battlefield necessity in feudal Japan, to a flourishing art studied in relative peace during
the Edo period (1603-1868), to a skill that was looked down upon by the mid-19th century as an activity of ruffians and bullies.
jujutsu owes much to Kano Jigoro, the founder of Kodokan Judo. It was his desire to preserve jujutsu that led to the development of
judo. Kano recognized the value jujutsu afforded its practitioners and placed emphasis on practical training methods and character
development. Kano's jujutsu (judo) is the basis for most of today's various modern jujutsu styles.
Jujutsu has evolved into an art
of self-defense appropriate for people from all walks of life and any age. At Arkansas Goshinkan we stress not only the physical techniques
of jujutsu but also the philosophies and moral tenets of both jujutsu and judo. Our jujutsu is based on the goshin waza (self-defense
techniques) of Kodokan judo and draws heavily from other modern jujutsu styles such as Danzan Ryu and aikijutsu.
Our style of jujutsu
at Arkansas Goshinkan is called Hoshin Ryuha which means a school of thought or philosophy encompassing "Self-Protection". Most styles
and schools view jujutsu as "Self Defense" with the emphasis on defense. By definition defense means you are defending against an
attack that someone has initiated.
Many of us for years have been taught, and have taught, that a good martial artist will never attack
first. This concept seems to be relatively new with the advent of Do or Ways of martial arts. It certainly was not part of the ancient
principles and concepts that jujutsu was originally based on. Nor is it a wise practice to adhere to in this modern day and age of
Heiho - Our Guiding Principles or Strategy for Self-Protection.
As implied by the name, Hoshin or Protection
of our self and others is our guiding philosophy. Self-protection implies offensive along with defensive actions. So it seems that
self-defense, Goshin, is only half of the equation. In order to protect ourselves we do not need to wait to be attacked. When danger
is imminent we learn to take the initiative and preempt an attack – go on the offensive. This is an old martial art principle called
Sen no Sen. Which means you perceive or sense that an attack is imminent and 100% sure to occur. This is the point where a good jujutsuka
will then "steal the initiative" and attack before the perceived attacker has a chance to hurt him.
What does attack mean? Does it
mean we have to actually hit someone or be hit by someone? Does it mean we have to take total physical control of someone? Not at
all. While an attack can be presumed to be made with the intent of controlling someone else that control may be achieved by verbal
commands or slight physical contact such as simply grabbing an arm for control. This may often times be sufficient to defuse the situation.
Hoshin ryu uses many other basic jujutsu principles in its overall self-protection concept. Principles such as taisabaki, maai, ashi
sabaki, kamai, kuzushi, and tsukuri, among others, are practiced routinely and are incorporated in all of our techniques. Beyond the
physical practice we also study and practice kokoro gamae, having the proper mental attitude and outlook to protect ourselves and