where is the depth of jujitsu?

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where is the depth of jujitsu?

Postby mikemurphy » Wed Jul 24, 2002 8:40 pm

As I peruse the other forums, and occasionally pop in on a few, I really like to check out the threads on self-defense from a jitsu way of thinking. Van Canna sensei has this "street way" of looking at things, Joe Pomfret has his BBJ and NHB way of seeing things, Rory, Tracy, Jim..... me, the list goes on.

I like to think that I teach a "traditional" style of Jujitsu, but what is that really? Oh, I suppose I could get 45 different answers from very knowledgable people and never really get a comprehensive and complete answer. Jujitsu is the mother of all Japanese arts and was trained widely over the four major islands; however, like karate-do, when peace broke out in the 1600s or so, the jistu part of the training was replaced by the "do" aspect. Ahh, bujitsu for budo. What a trade off. Reality for perfection of movement for the sake of movement. Is it still effective? Sure! Would I recommend it to anyone? Sure! But does it really have any depth to it? I'm not talking about religious-type of depth, just stylish.

There are many out there who have trained the grappling arts for many years and have obtained a great level of understanding, not to mention achievement. Some have competed on levels I'll only dream about, but what makes you (us) different than the boxer, sports judoka, or even Van Canna style steet fighter (no offense here to anyone)?

Just pondering.....

mike
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where is the depth of jujitsu?

Postby Norm Abrahamson » Fri Jul 26, 2002 7:15 pm

Dear Mike,
What do you mean by depth? Are you referring to an underlying philosophy behind a jujitsu style or completeness of a system from a fighting/technique point of view?

(I could have asked you in private, but then nobody else would get your answer.)

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where is the depth of jujitsu?

Postby Joe P » Fri Jul 26, 2002 8:01 pm

Mike, could you expand more on the thrust of your question?

I believe you are questioning the stylistic--traditional, fashion of your training.

You ask, "does it really have any depth to it?" Depth to what, the ritualistic and artistic manner of traditional martial arts training?

Sounds like outstanding questions for us to persue.

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where is the depth of jujitsu?

Postby mikemurphy » Fri Jul 26, 2002 8:56 pm

Norm and Joe,

I was really looking at the technique aspect of the art. Sort of how we look at Sanchin being the answer to all in Uechi and how we can relate everything to it, do we do that in Jujitsu?

Where is the depth of our techniques in the jitsu arts? Do we just do the movements because some Samurai decided this was the best way to defend from a sword when you are weaponless? How do we relate what we do with why we do it (except for...Hey that works, let's use it)?

mike
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where is the depth of jujitsu?

Postby Norm Abrahamson » Sun Jul 28, 2002 3:22 am

Mike,
Seems to me the closest thing to a kata or exercise to find the "answers" within Nihon Jujitsu would be tai sabaki. That is the basis for all of the stepping angles, a demonstration of balance and movement, and the basic hand positions to parry, strike and even grab for throws and locks. Many of the ground techniques, chokes and throws may not show up in an obvious way in tai sabaki, but those techniques are not as important. Presumably, if someone was skilled enough with the basics taught in the tai sabaki exercise, that would be enough. Because that is a standard few of us will ever reach, we need to learn other techniques to defend ourselves.

Therefore, I think the depth, or at least the heart of ju jitsu lies in tai sabaki.

Sincerely,
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where is the depth of jujitsu?

Postby maxwell ainley » Sun Jul 28, 2002 9:11 am

Hi Mike,

From the uechi sanchin perspective, we within the ryu have a source . that source as been identified for its practioners ,and handed down in a simple looking statement ,and further reinforced by individual sensei over the years.

But its still difficult to keep relating back to that source ,but that's a part of the puzzel process ,in other words its made difficult in degree's .Mike for about five years my first objective was to identify all seisans motion back to sanchin ,spotting the odd application en route ,as stylistic awareness increased .

Having a chat with a martial artist on subject of technique source ,that source maybe two person sets , or kata .
Or the sets or the kata pool may be from other style source re pooled given [HA] expresson , or re modelled , it can be a mine field to get the source .

max.

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where is the depth of jujitsu?

Postby mikemurphy » Mon Jul 29, 2002 1:31 pm

Norm and Max,

Thanks for the reply. Norm, do you really think Tai Sabaki is the key to everything we do? It's a simple exercise we use to learn balance shift and direction. Can we really look to it as the end all when we start to do the kneeling techniques, or floor techniques, etc.

Max, I agree that it can be perplexing. In my 26 years of Uechi, looking back at Sanchin has been as useful as any other tool I have when I need explanation on something. Even when I ask of my sensei a question, he inevitably looks to Sanchin. But we still do it because it has been instilled in us as to that is where the answers are. In Jujitsu, which to me is more technique orientated, where is that base of answers?

mike
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where is the depth of jujitsu?

Postby Norm Abrahamson » Mon Jul 29, 2002 8:26 pm

Dear Mike,
Sure, I think Tai Sabaki relates well to the kneeling techniques. The same basic angles and parries are used kneeling as sitting. The follow up or finishing techniques throughout (hold downs, pins, etc.) would be difficult to find in tai sabaki, but the basic principles to get you to that point are there.

By the way, if you think I am way off base, you should blame my sensei. Image

Sincerely,
Norm
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where is the depth of jujitsu?

Postby maxwell ainley » Mon Jul 29, 2002 8:42 pm

Mike ,

Maybe the base of answers ,isnt like the sanchin concept ,but very strategically spread within the schools .Such as you dont focus all back to one specific source ,each area of technique catagory as its own archetype concept that each on going concept relates back to its own group .

max.
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where is the depth of jujitsu?

Postby mikemurphy » Mon Jul 29, 2002 9:29 pm

Norma and Max:

Norm, you're perfectly correct about your sensei ;-)

But...I don't think I can relate the idori techniques to the taisabaki so easily. If the taisabaki is concentrating on quick shifts of balance and keeping that center of balance, how does the idori techniques fit into that. I've seen you move buddy and it would be a tough time if someone was coming in on you with a sword and you were kneeling or sitting. :-)

Max,

I think you may have the right thought there. Maybe there is no simple "Sanchin"-type answer here. But does that make the system(s) any less traditional? We know it's effective, but what about the depth again? Is it all just superficial technique in all these grappling arts?

mike
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where is the depth of jujitsu?

Postby maxwell ainley » Mon Jul 29, 2002 11:33 pm

Mike,

First of all if the base structure of a school/school's is spread into catergories ,just a different methodology at work . It can still be traditional or ultra modern,and I think the technique's are rich and not superfical .
To me depth is the ability to penetrate first of all that base structure of a school or series of base's , and be capable of projecting outwards from those base's,in a spontaenous on the spot way ,free of doubt and knowing each techniques source .In whatever catergory ,its symbolic shape springs from .
To intuitivly know how to extract further information from your schools knowledge .

max.


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where is the depth of jujitsu?

Postby Yawara » Wed Aug 14, 2002 4:28 am

Mike,

Though you may not realize it yet, you are really asking the old, "What is the sound of one hand clapping?" Zen riddle here.

An old legend, recounted in the book "Japan's Ultimate Martial Art" by Darrell Max Craig attributes the following quote--which you might find useful--to jujitsu master Komto-Akuda;

"Before you get into the water you must first learn to swim. Remember, if you are going to be my student and search for the answer of one hand, I can only show you the way. I cannot teach you; you must teach yourself. The sound of two hands clapping is one of the most vital elements in the art of Jujitsu as well as in Zen. Always remember, when the hands are clapped, the sound is heard without a moment's deliberation. If there is any room left even for a breath of air between these two actions, there is interruption. The sound does not wait and think before it issues; one movement follows another without being interrupted by one's conscious mind."

I know this is probably an esoteric and unsatisfying answer, so I'll put it in practical terms...

The depth in Jujitsu training is found in its ability to train the Jujitsuka to become his/her own teacher (a Learning Observer) and interact with the world in an intuitive and instinctive way. This intuition and instinct can only be gained through constant training (living in the moment of 'two hands clapping') so that, eventually, the student becomes so adept that he/she can ANTICIPATE events before they actually occur and live in the moment of 'one hand clapping' (which is the moment before the 'two hands' come together).

A high attainment, to be sure! However, just take a look at any Jujitsu master in action and you will see that they live to the beat of 'one hand clapping'. This is why their techniques are so fast, decisive, and effective. They jump to the top of the mountain in one leap while the rest of us are searching for a good path upward.

Sanchin is great, but the absence of a similar reference point doesn't limit the various Jujitsu ryu--it expands them.

However, if you really must have something like Sanchin to find depth and relevance in Jujitsu, then stand alone in a quiet room and then suddenly clap your two hands together. There you have your equivalent.

Naturally, this is just where I find the depth in my Jujitsu training. Ask another Jujitsuka and you'll get another answer! :-)

Regards,
Tim
Ni Dan - Ryukyu Kempo/Yawara Jujitsu
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Postby kempo-jujitsu » Sat Dec 07, 2002 4:29 am

personally, i think the depth of jujitsu is in its simplicity of learning, getting better and better at the techniques, understanding why and how they work the way they work. to me its more open than some other styles ive seen, less rules maybe...i like the fact that i am not worried about which kata this or that technique came from, does it matter? when your life is on the line, do what works, who cares if its "technically" a movement from a particular style.
just my two cents.
thx
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FOR ME IT IS:

Postby Halford » Fri Oct 10, 2003 3:32 pm

historical depth, long history rather than a short one,preferably going back to the 20th century early 1900's,as far as the US is concerned,and curriculum depth,which means more than a simple syllabus, and with some cultural aspects thrown in,no doubt. But this is my personal preference for jiu-jitsu and has nothing to do with any particular group or practitioner's expertise or lineage,etc. :D
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Postby Stryke » Sat Oct 11, 2003 1:14 am

the depth of any art lies in the individual , the person before the art .

i know , not what you meant but just another opinion :D

Stryke
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