Budoshin Ju-Jitsu™ Facts

Budoshin Ju-Jitsu is the gentle art of self-defense. It incorporates Judo [throws, pins & matwork], Aikido [leverage, momentum, pressure points & joint locks] and Karate [hits & kicks] into an extremely effective self-defense system. Budoshin Ju-Jitsu will allow you to have absolute control over your attacker[s]. All techniques are taught for self-defense situations with one or more attackers; there are no katas or forms practice in which you are dealing with an imaginary enemy. Budoshin Ju-Jitsu will also help you learn the traditonal art of Ju-Jitsu. As you progress you learn the intricacies of the art and why techniques work as they do.

Most dojo that have Budoshin Ju-Jitsu trained sensei teach a common core of basic techniques for testing purposes. However, this core only touches the surface of what a Budoshin Ju-Jitsu student or sensei knows. Many sensei teach a wide variety of additional techniques that compose the Budoshin ryu. This allows you to find additional techniques that work best for you. You will develop an extremely effective and personalized self-defense system that is individualized to your abilities. As a result you will be completely unpredictable in any street situation.

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The history of the martial art of Ju-Jitsu (Gentle Art) can be traced back over 2,500 years. Ju-Jitsu developed from many individual teachings that either started in Japan or found their way to Japan from other oriental countries. Going far back into Japanese mythology it is possible to trace Ju-Jitsu to the ancient Japanese gods, Kajima, and Kadori, who supposedly used Ju-Jitsu to punish the lawless inhabitants of an eastern province of Japan.

The first dated mention of Jujitsu was during the period of 772-481 B.C., when open-hand techniques were used during the Choon Chu era in China. In 230 B.C. the wrestling sport of Chikura Kurabe developed in Japan and was integrated in Ju­Jitsu training. A number of Jujitsu schools started from 230 B.C. on. During the time period around the B.C.-A.D. change in dating, it is also noted that wrestling and related techniques served as the origin of Ju-Jitsu. There is also evidence that empty-hand techniques were used during the Heian period (ca. 784 A.D.) in Japan, but included with weapon training as part of the samurai warrior's training. In 880 A.D. Prince Teijun founded the Daito Ryu Aiki Ju-Jitsu Dojo.

Most of the actual credit for founding the formal art of Ju­Jitsu goes to Tenenuchi (or Takenouche) Hisamori, who founded the school of Jujitsu in Japan in 1532. In 1559, Chin Gen Pinh (a monk) migrated to Japan, from china, bringing Kempo (China Hand) with him. Parts of Kempo were integrated into Ju-Jitsu . Hideyoshi Toyotomi, also Chinese, migrated to Japan shortly thereafter. He brought Ch-an Fa and Korean T'ang Su (punching and nerve striking skills) to Japan, both of which became part of Ju-Jitsu. During the Tokugawa era, (ca. 1650 and on), Ju-Jitsu continued to flourish as part of the samurai warrior's training.

With the passing of the Tokugawa era, (ca. 1650-1800), Japan became somewhat united and there were many changes in Japanese society. One of the results was the reduction of the samurai warrior to the status of the common citizen. In his new position the samurai could no longer carry a sword. He was forced to rely solely on empty-hand techniques as a means of defending himself.

The next mention of Ju-Jitsu is in 1882, when Dr. Jigaro Kano developed the sport of Judo (Gentle-Way) from Ju-Jitsu. He did this to increase the popularity of the martial arts and to provide a safe sport using selected techniques taken from the effective self-defense system of Ju-Jitsu.

Although Jack Seki's father, Sanzo Seki [1888 - d:?], was a Ju-Jitsu master himself, he sent Jack to study directly under the legendary Dr. Jigaro Kano, an expert in Kitoryo [a.k.a. Kito Ryu] and Tenshishinyo [a.k.a. Tenjin-Shinyo Ryu] Jiu-Jitsu. After studying under Kano, Seki returned to master the art as taught by his father. Prior to World War II, Seki was given the option of being drafted into the Japanese army or emigrating to the United States. Fortunately he chose the latter and returned to the U.S. in the mid-1930's. With his martial arts training current information says that he worked for the U.S. Army Air Force as a weaponless defense instructor.

Prof. Seki eventually settled in the southern California area after the war. In the 1960's Seki started a ju-jitsu program at the Burbank YMCA. He then started another program at Los Angeles Valley College which became extremely popular. Although I started at the Burbank YMCA I soon also began classes directly under Seki at Valley College. In the fall of 1967, the sensei at the Burbank YMCA had to leave. Seki, in his usual manner, approached William Fromm and me, both 1st degree brown belts at the time. He called both of us aside at one class and told us that we would take over the Burbank YMCA program. We both protested as we were only Brown Belts. Seki's response was, "Now you are black belts. Act like it." Both Bill and I took over the Burbank YMCA program without any further comments. Our sensei had spoken.

The history of Budoshin Ju-Jitsu itself is rather unique and recent. When Profs. William Fromm & I took over the Burbank YMCA Jujitsu program for our instructor, Prof. Sanzo "Jack" Seki, in 1967 it was a relatively small program. Within a couple of years we had an extremely large and solid program which took up an entire gymnasium. By this time other martial artists wanted to know what "style" of Ju-Jitsu we taught. Prof. Seki’s attitude was that there was only Ju-Jitsu and that ultimately there weren’t any styles -- just variations on the theme. With that thought in mind we came up with the name Budoshin [Bu=martial, do=way, shin=spirit], which means to conduct oneself in an honorable and respectable manner. The concept of "Budoshin" is covered in much greater detail in the Black Belt Handbook and my two Ohara books. This was acceptable to Prof. Seki as "Budoshin" was seen as an appropriate attitude and not a "style". Seki would have objected to the use of “ryu” [Budoshin Ryu, budoshinryu, etc.] in any context as ryu indicates a “style” of a martial art – which Seki was philosophically opposed to – especially with respect to ju-jitsu. In the mid 1970’s I had the opportunity to also study under Prof. Harold Brosious who taught Ketsugo Ju-Jitsu. Although Prof. Brosious had a radically different approach to teaching the art, many of his techniques supplemented enriched what I had learned from Prof. Seki. Both Prof. Seki’s and Prof. Brosious’s teachings have been effectively incorporated into Budoshin Ju-Jitsu.

There are different paths up the mountain. Many times they cross and parallel each other. But the ultimate goal is the same. Both Profs. Seki and Brosious taught every technique from a street situation. Ju-Jitsu was taught for self-defense. As students progressed and their technique improved both Professors helped the students make Ju-Jitsu an art; to understand the theory and mechanics behind every move, how the human body acted and reacted, and incorporate that understanding into an extremely effective personalized self-defense system. Budoshin Ju-Jitsu will teach you the art of Ju-Jitsu as well as how to effectively defend yourself in any situation.

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Budoshin Ju-Jitsu has been going through several stages of formalization in the past decade. This is possible because there is a strong core of dedicated upper belts who are willing to put time into the following projects [as of 2017]:

  • Michael Langewisch [Nidan] redesigned & updated the Student Handbook. Design changes, corrections, and updates will result in more effective student learning, greater retention of students and faster progress for students, especially if they are self-motivated. COMPLETED IN 2005.
  • Marc Kolodziejczyk [Nidan] reformatted the Black Belt Handook into MS Word so that the BJJY black belt consortium can more easily make changes. COMPLETED IN 2005.
  • Advanced Jujitsu: The Science Behind the Gentle Art is published by Black Belt Books in 2006. This is the first book by Prof. Kirby that deals with the theory and physics of jujitsu rather than with specific techniques required for a particular rank. COMPLETED IN 2006.
  • 6th edition of the Budoshin Ju-Jitsu Student Handbook is fully aligned with the 8-DVD series [notably in the nikyu & ikkyu sequence], Shikyu grade is now Yonkyu grade & a Blue Belt has replaced. the Green Belt with a Yellow stripe to give the rank more visual definition. COMPLETED IN 2007.
  • Dave Clark [Shodan] has developed this very useful Quick Cross-Reference Study Guide for all kata up through shodan -- in alphabetical order -- based on my books & DVD series.  COMPLETED IN 2007.
  • The BJJY Consortium [15 of my active black belts & I] completely reworked the Black Belt Handbook, creating the 3rd edition. COMPLETED IN 2007.
  • Kokoro becomes an online publication and all back issues of Kokoro [since 1994], the Student Handbook, Black Belt Handbook, and Budoshin Ju-Jitsu [the "Big Book"] are now all single pdf files available for purchase and download. COMPLETED DECEMBER, 2008.
  • Optional honorary titles and standards for such for higher ranking black belts established after two years of research. Information is available on this website as well as in the Black Belt Handbook. COMPLETED IN 2009.
  • Nidan, Sandan, Yodan & Godan Kata requirements are now in mp4 format & availabe to all BJJY members. Thanks to Michael Langewisch, our resident cinematographer. COMPLETED IN 2009.
  • Jujitsu FIgure-4 Locks: Submission Holds of the Gentle Art is published by Black Belt Books in 2009. This book builds on the concepts presented in Advanced Jujitsu [see above] in providing the theory and application concepts of figure-4 locks, which comprise about 90-95% of the locks and holds in jujitsu. COMPLETED 2009.
  • 7th edition of the Budoshin Ju-Jitsu Student Handbook makes some technique corrections in the brown belt tests. Learning resources are also updated. COMPLETED IN 2010.
  • Jujitsu: Basic Techniques of the Gentle Art -- Expanded Edition is published by Black Belt Books in 2011. This expanded edition brings my first book up-to-date with all current instructional guidelines that appear on this website and the Student Handbook. COMPLETED IN 2011
  • 8th edition of the Budoshin Ju-Jitsu Student Handbook is updated to properly cross-reference with Jujitsu: Basic Techniques of the Gentle Art -- Expanded Edition. COMPLETED IN 2011
  • All dvd sets have been converted to mp4 files for use in almost any video device. Quick downloading to your computer is made possible through the use of Hightail [www.hightail.com]. Thanks to Christiaan Buijsers [Australia] for his inspiration and support as I become technologically adept in this area. COMPLETED IN 2013
  • Advanced Jujitsu: Redirecting Your Opponent's Energy, is published by Ohara Publications in 1915. This book brings to gether many of the theories and ideas presented in earlier books & really goes into their application and practice. Thanks to Sensei's Marc Tucker, Byron Davis, Michael Langewisch for their support and assistance. COMPLETED IN 2015
  • The Budoshin Ju-Jitsu Black Belt Home Study Course 8-DVD set is converted into mp4 format for greater accessibility, thanks to the impetus of Sensei George Cushinanand and the cooperation of Century Martial Arts. This set is now available in both dvd and mp4 formats. COMPLETED IN 2015
  • 10th edition of the Budoshin Ju-Jitsu Student Handbook has minor updates and some "cleaning up" but no major changes. COMPLETED IN 2016
  • All certificates can now be sent as pdf files via the internet, thus bringing international membership rates down to US membership rate levels as excessive postage costs & risks eliminated. Hard copy postage of certificates are still available. COMPLETED IN 2017
  • 11th edition of the Budoshin Ju-Jitsu Student Handbook has some items rearranged to make it more user-friendly to the new student, as well as a section on wear & care of your gi, but no changes in terms of belt rank requirements. COMPLETED IN 2017


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