is above all a system of self-defense, in which you learn to use leverage,
balance, and continuous motion to maximize your effectiveness against
an attacker. Although no two Jujitsu styles are exactly alike, most involve
throwing, grappling or ground defense, and joint manipulations such as
locks and chokes.
other grappling arts (e.g. Judo and Aikido),
Jujitsu's movements aim at closing the distance between the Jujitsuka
and his opponent. If attacked, a Jujitsu student would perform a general
series of movements:
- Judge the force of the attack
- Unbalance the opponent using leverage and timing, or redirect and
neutralize the force with a block or throw
- If necessary in #2, use strikes or kicks to distract the opponent
- Evade attack
- If #4 is not possible, joint immobilization is used to disable
defining characteristic of Jujitsu and other grappling arts is that it
offers a choice in the level of response. Immobilization techniques are
always initially performed with the minimum amount of force so that it
is both efficient but not harmful for the attacker. But while pinning
is the extent of immobilization in Aikido or Judo, more injurious and
lethal techniques such as chokes, locks, breaking of limbs, and strikes
are used in Jujitsu. Such combative or self defense techniques are not
taught in Judo until Black Belt level, and even then, they are limited
Jujitsu techniques shown in the following pictures and video clips can
be extremely dangerous and even fatal! Do not practice them unless you
are under the strict supervision of an instructor.
Breakfalls are literally the breaking of falls, or the practice of falling
(ukemi) without injuring oneself. Breakfalls are extremely important in
Jujitsu, and must be learned before practicing throws. The basic breakfalls
are: the side, front, back, and rolling breakfall.
It is safest to practice the side breakfall from crouching position first.
Squatting on the heels, the feet are kept slightly apart, and the body
weight rests evenly on them. The arms are rested in front, on each knee.
In one motion, the right hand is brought to the opposite shoulder, and
the right foot is extended. Falling to the right, the right palm is slapped
down. The head is kept up with the left hand. The left side breakfall
is practiced in the reverse direction, with the left hand. After the side
breakfall is mastered, it can be practiced from a standing position.
This move can be started from crouching position or standing position.
The body should dives forward onto the palms of the hands, resting on
the elbows. The knees stay together to prevent any kicks from the rear
from injuring the groin and the head is turned to protect the nose. The
hands are turned inward.
The backwards breakfall is most commonly practiced in the crouching position.
The feet are kept slightly apart, the chin is slightly tucked in, and
the body resting on the heels. The weight is spread evenly between both
feet. The arms can be extended straight in front, or crossed over the
chest. Rolling backward along the curve of the spine, the hands are slapped
down on the mat (the harder the slap, the easier the landing). The arms
should be at a right angle from the body. After the backwards breakfall
is mastered, it can be practiced from a standing position.
The forward rolling breakfall is more challenging than the previous two,
since it involves rolling the entire body. The body is upright at starting
position, with the right foot is placed in front. The right knee is bent,
and the upper body is bent forward so that the hands are placed in front
(between the legs) on the ground, pointing inward. The right elbow is
bent, bringing the back of the head and right shoulder onto the mat. Using
the left foot to push the body forward, the body is rolled over in a circle.
The right elbow, upper arm, shoulder, and bottom, and left leg and foot
will all hit the ground simultaneously, landing the body in side breakfall
position. The left palm is slapped down onto the mat. The left forward
breakfall is practiced in the reverse direction, with the left hand.
Strikes are blows to the body intended to shock or distract the opponent.
Three of the most popular strikes dealt with the arms are the front snap
punch, reverse twist punch, and elbow strikes.
This is a combination of two simultaneous punches-a strike with the left
fist, and a follow-up strike with the right fist. To give the second punch
greater power, the right hip should be twisted in the direction of the
punch. The front snap punch targets the opponent's face.
Front Snap Punch
The body is turned to the side with the left fist guarding the upper body
and right fist chambered at the hip and back of the hand facing down.
As the body is turned to face the opponent, the right fist is extended
and turned so that its back is facing up. The left fist should also be
chambered. The reverse twist punch targets the opponent's chest.
Reverse Twist Punch
While the left fist is chambered, the right arm's elbow is thrust forwards
and upwards, then across. This strike is used in close-range combat.
Kicks are blows to the body dealt with the legs that are intended to shock,
distract, or unbalance the opponent. Three of the most popular kicks are
the front snap kick, side snap kick, and roundhouse kick.
The right knee is raised to hip level and the foot is quickly snapped
forwards. The toes can also be pulled back so that an additional kick
can be dealt with the ball of the foot. After the contact is made, the
foot is immediately brought back. This technique can be used to attack
the opponent's groin, solar plexus, or chin.
Front Snap Kick
In the side snap kick, the heel explodes on the surface of the target.
The leg is raised to hip level and extended and retracted quickly. The
side of the body should be perpendicular to the target and the arms should
continuously guard the upper body throughout execution of the kick.
Side Snap Kick
This kick is executed in a circular action to attack the opponent's side,
solar plexus, or lower body. The leg is raised to hip level and the body
is turned while the leg is quickly straightened and extended, then retracted.
Blocks are used to prevent and deflect an opponent's strikes, punches,
or kicks. There are two basic blocks: the high parry and the low parry.
Beginning with both forearms raised and pointing upwards, one arm is moved
across the face to the opposite side while the other is chambered to the
side. The high parry is used to block straight punches aimed at the upper
body or head.
Right High Parry (left)
Left High Parry (right)
Beginning with both forearms raised and pointing upwards, one arm is swung
down and towards the opposite side, stopping at the center of the body.
The other arm is chambered to the side. The low parry is used to block
kicks to the lower body.
Right Low Parry (left)
Left Low Parry (right)
Throwing is a matter of leverage and balance, instead of pure strength.
They are typically performed in a small amount of space. Throws are most
efficient when the opponent is gripped tightly, so that he does not fall
away. The person who is throwing is called the Tori, and the one thrown
is called the Uke. Throws performed while standing are called Tachi-waza,
or "standing techniques." The body part he uses determines what
type of tachi-waza he will use.
and arm techniques (Te-waza)
and leg techniques (Ashi-waza)
sacrifice techniques (Ma
sacrifice techniques (Yoko
Otoshi (562 kb)
Once an opponent is thrown down, he must be kept down so that he cannot
attack again. Grappling techniques are used for this purpose. They can
be used while standing or while both opponents have fallen down. There
are three types of Jujitsu grappling techniques: pinning, locking, and
One Hold Down
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of "Front Breakfall", "Back Breakfall", "Side
Breakfall", "Rolling Breakfall",
"Front Snap Punch", "Reverse Twist Punch", "Elbow
"Front Snap Kick", "Side Snap Kick", "Roundhouse
"High Parry", "Low Parry", "One Hold Down",
"Triangle Choke" and "Elbow Lock" from
Ultimate Jujitsu (http://www.ultimatejujitsu.com).
July 2001. Email message.
of "Ippon Seoinage", "Harai Goshi" and "Tai Otoshi"
Judo Information Site: Judo Pictures and Techniques (http://www.judocentral.com).
July 2001. Email message.