Facts of Japan - Martial Arts Part II
Jujustsu of Japan has an interesting meaning and technique. Ju means flexible or gentle and Jutsu means art. In other words, this martial art emphasizes the technique of using the force of the opponent against himself rather than combating him with one’s own force. In actually means using one’s aggressive energy against him and not directly opposing him.
This martial art has quite a number of variations as well. All forms of grappling techniques are being used in jujutsu. They are trapping, throwing, holds, joint locks, gouging, disengagements, biting, striking and kicking. Some schools also teach the use of weapons along these techniques.
Dan - master's degrees (black with golden beams)
Shodan - Sensei okuden - black
Nidan - Sensei Tashi - black with 2 bars
Sandan - Sensei renshi - black with a third bars
Yodan - Sensei kyoshi - black with fourth bars
Godan - Sensei kyoshi - white / red or black with 5 bars
Rokudan - Shihan - white-red
Shichidan - dai shihan - white-red
Hachidan - Hanshi - white-red
Kudan - soke - red
Jūdan - soke dai - red
There are several theories of its origin available. One claims that it is a traditional Japanese art that existed in the age of Gods, the other claims that it was imported from China and the last one claims that it has been invented by a Japanese man from Nagasaki. But the word has references in 17th century itself. The art was supposed to have been practiced by the Samurai extensively.
Jujutsu has five arts of training. The first one is the Art of Blocking. It teaches the defensive techniques. The second is fulcrum throw. It is almost like the modern Judo. The third is the art of non-fulcrum throw. It employs a throw that almost has little or completely no contact with the opponent. The fourth is escaping. It is the crucial form of Jujutsu. The fifth is striking the opponent.
The jujutsu system employs the principles of leverage, momentum and balancing to conquer the opponent. The system therefore emphasizes the development of speed, power and strength. In fact, many other martial arts have used these jujutsu techniques effectively in their styles.
The term Gendai Budo practically means modern martial way. These arts were formed after the Meijo Restoration. The major difference between the techniques of those Koryu arts and Gendai Budo is that Koryu art was formed and practiced during the war times and so all of them was having an inherent application to using great force in war while Gendai Budo art was mostly developed in modern times and they concentrated mostly on self improvement and so the attack was a secondary purpose only.
Judo means gentle way and it is a grappling technique developed from the martial arts. It stresses on physical and personal improvement. Judo was created by Dr Jigoro Kano, who is known as the father of Judo, studied all the martial arts and using the best of those techniques created Judo in 1882.
He actually pulled out the best jujutsu techniques of grappling and throws and added some of his own techniques to create Judo. In 1886, the rivalry between Jujutsu and judo peaked and a contest was held to determine the superiority of each technique in which Kano’s students won and established the superiority of Judo.
Then it gradually underwent many changes over the time and introduction of weight categories was the last development in Judo. And it entered Olympics in 1964.
Kendo means the way of the sword. It is all about sword fighting and it has developed using the art of kenjutsu. In kendo, points are allotted to participants and judgment is made on points only. One who scores two points over the opponent is declared as winner. One point is allotted to a successful strike that should have been properly executed at targets specified the rules. The targets include a strike on the top of head, or the sides, forearms of sides of body. a good trust to the throat. In the competitions a blunted metal or wooden swords are being used.
Aikido is a form of modern grappling only. It is based on martial arts of Japan and is developed by Morihei Ueshiba. The main grappling techniques in this art consist of throwing, joint locking and striking techniques. The main emphasis is focused on the rhythm and intent of joining the competitor to find the best position and perfect timing to apply the final force. It is mainly concentrating on the philosophical and spiritual development of the students. The founder had strong religious background.
This arts has the best techniques of jujutsu and the movements used in spear. Kenjutsu has the best influence on Aikido and it is based on swordsmen’s movement with an empty hand.
Kyudo actually means way of bow. It is the modernized name for archery in Japan. Though the bows were used initially in the war, it slowly lost its charm when firearms were introduced. But under the influence of Shinto, Buddhism, Confucianism and Daoism the archery evolved into Kyudo.
Karate truly means empty hand. The modern day karate developed in Okinawa, which was originally known as Ryukyu Kingdom. The modern day Karate is a fusion of Okinawan martial arts, which is known as ‘te’, and the Chinese martial arts. Honshu adopted and developed this art.
Gichin Funakoshi is known as the father of modern karate. Funakoshi gave a public demonstration in Tokyo, in 1917 and also in 1922. It was then karate was recognized and incorporated in Japan’s school system as well.
Karate is focusing on the linear punching and great kicking methods executed from a distance. It concentrates on mental perfection.
Other than these martial arts, Japan also had developed quite a number of strategic and philosophical martial art concepts as well.
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