The school practiced in our Dojo is Motoha Yoshin Ryu Jujutsu, a branch of the well known Koryu, Hontai Yoshin Ryu-Takagi Ryu.
The Motoha Yoshin Ryu branch is headed by Yasumoto Akiyoshi Soke.
More information is available regarding both the school and Soke on their designated pages, this page covers Jujutsu in more general terms.
Yasumoto Sensei performing a Jujutsu technique
The origins of Japanese Jujutsu are thought to date right back into a time of Japanese history that are nowadays more legend than fact.
From even before Samurai were the warriors we see depicted in movies, and who's armour and swords we view in museums, there have been methods of fighting. As times progressed, so did these methods, mainly centered around the use of weapons.
Any skilled warrior would need to be able to use their weapon to good effect in order to survive, but alongside this there has always been a need to be effective if a weapon was ever lost, broken, or they were in a position where they had to react before a weapon could be reached or drawn, etc.
These methods included the ability to control an opponents balance, to throw them to the ground, to strike vital points, to break bones, to dislocate joints and to arrest. They had to be efficient and effective enough to stop someone who is trying to kill you.
As times changed and battle became less frequent, the use of weapons lessened, these largely unarmed methods of fighting came more to the forefront, with large popularity in the Edo period of Japan's history.
Dojo Leader Guy receiving instruction from Yasumoto Sensei in Japan
The meaning of Jujutsu
The actual word Jujutsu began to be used sometime in the 17th century, however the methods it refers to date back centuries.
Previously the grappling arts we now think of as Jujutsu have been known by different names, Kumiuchi (Grappling) Yawara (Softness) Torite (Arresting) among them.
The word Jujutsu itself is made up of two characters;
Ju 柔 - Supple, Gentle, Flexible
Jutsu 術 - Method, Art
Jujutsu therefore is a term used to describe schools of Japanese Martial Arts that have a common theme of not opposing force but finding a way to go with it and take control.
Jujutsu as a Fighting System
Jujutsu as we consider it is a method of total body fighting, using everything at your disposal to overcome your enemy, including strikes, joint manipulation, throws, chokes, strangles and even weapons, but without the need to pit strength against strength, or force against force...
This is done using natural body mechanics and principles of movement, which when manipulated correctly can render an attack useless and allow the practitioner to overcome and unbalance their opponent.
Mindset is also of equal, if not more importance, as it is this that will often dictate success or failure, regardless of physical prowess or technical ability.
Jujutsu is often referred to as 'Unarmed Fighting of the Samurai' however we do not use this description. Samurai were virtually always armed, therefore Jujutsu had to be able to deal with the threats associated with this, while also allowing the practitioner to execute techniques while wearing weapons themselves, or even enable them to use their own weapons.
This may seem a trivial point, but it is of great importance when you consider the mindset mentioned above, rather than just thinking of a modern brawl or a boxing match, as most do when they think of fighting, when weapons are involved everything becomes a life or death situation.
Jujutsu is generally taught and learned through the practice of Kata, which are formalised fight sequences designed to transmit the system, but unlike the solo Kata often seen in Okinawan Karate, Chinese Kung Fu, or similar martial arts, Jujutsu Kata are paired, with both parties having clearly defined roles and points of focus.
The purpose of these Kata is to transmit the key principles, mindset and techniques of the school to students in a safe manner. This is very important as many of the techniques practiced are designed to seriously injure or even kill your opponent, Kata should include correct focus on how to safely receive these techniques, and even counter them.
Once the core principles have been transmitted, they can be applied to real fighting application with countless variations to prepare for any situation.
Jujutsu in the UK
It can be quite difficult to find authentic Japanese Jujutsu in the UK. Much harder than an initial internet search would have you believe.
Most people don't realise that many of the Jujutsu schools here in the UK have actually been created here, and bear little to no resemblance to Japanese or Nihon Jujutsu beyond superficial elements, and no valid connections to Japan.
Most schools using the term Jujutsu or one of the variants, even of Western origin, use Japanese names for their systems, Japanese words to describe techniques, Japanese titles for their instructors, and also apply a degree of Japanese style etiquette. Often this comes from the strong influence of Judo, Aikido and Karate on Western Jujutsu, so is by no means an indication of the school's heritage or confirmation of any Japanese link.
For anyone looking specifically for authentic Japanese Jujutsu (especially the traditional schools) you should always check the lineage of the school, and the credentials of the Instructor. Where Japanese links are claimed, can they be verified? Internet searches will not always give you the answers, but may be a good place to start. Instructors will usually be happy to discuss this with you, and should be able to show you documentation highlighting rank and/or giving them authorisation to teach the claimed school.
Class Times & Location
Tuesday 19:00 - 20:30
Friday 18:30 - 20:00
The Old Gym
Crondall, Farnham, Surrey
Please note, we do not accept 'walk in' students.
If you would like to attend practice please make contact first to introduce yourself and discuss your requirements.
Please contact us for more information