History of DanZan Ryu Jujitsu

"Seek not to follow in the footsteps of men of old; seek what they sought."

The origin of Japanese JuJitsu is believed to date back some 1960 years ago. JuJitsu is the origin of present day Judo. Judo and JuJitsu are generic terms which have been applied, at different times, to the whole of the ancient Japanese 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 away before an opponent's superior weight and strength in order to overcome him by using his weight and strength to his disadvantage.

About 400 years ago the older term JuJitsu, or "gentle art", gave way to the term 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 the secondary schools, the word Judo came in time to denote only the sport based on JuJitsu, and the word JuJitsu remained the only word to denote the entire art.

DanZan Ryu JuJitsu is a synthesis of several older styles of JuJitsu, including elements of Okinawan Karate, Chinese Kung-Fu, Hawaiian Lua, Filipino Knife Fighting (Escrima), Boxing and Wrestling. DanZan Ryu JuJitsu was developed in the 1920’s by Master Seishiro “Henry” Okazaki (for more information see “http://www.bushidokan.us/history.htm”).

In western literature the spelling of the term JuJitsu is often inconsistent. Although the original spelling is ‘jujutsu’, ‘jujitsu’ has remained an accepted westernization. Another common form of spelling is ‘jiu jitsu’, particularly among British authors. Ju means ‘pliability’, ‘flexibility’, ‘soft’, or ‘to give way’. Jutsu means ‘a form’ or ‘practice’. In that sense JuJutsu means ‘the practice of giving way’.

Nevertheless, to be clear, there is a role for strength in JuJitsu, but only when such strength is not used in excess. A trainee should always be careful to avoid reliance on physical strength, since such reliance will be an obstacle in his training. Only after developing good technique the use of strength becomes acceptable, if not necessary. Although in the martial arts restraint is usually emphasized, it is also recognized that attack or taking the initiative may at times be appropriate. JuJitsu is well suited for these applications.


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If you have any questions about Jujitsu, please contact,
Burkhard Bohm, Sensei (530) 836-2208
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