Jujitsu is a system of unarmed self-defense that was practiced by the warrior class of Japan as an auxiliary art to the bow, spear, and sword. It was later practiced by commoners who were by law forbidden to carry arms. Its earliest forms were crude but effective throws, chokes, joint-locks, and strikes (kicks and punches) to vital points of the body.

"As to the origin and native land of Ju Jutsu, there are several opinions, but they are found to be mere assumptions based on narratives relating to the founding of certain schools, or some incidental records or illustrations found in the ancient manuscripts not only in Japan but in China, Persia, Germany, and Egypt. There is no record by which the origins of Ju Jutsu can be definitely established. It would, however, be rational to assume that ever since the creation, with the instinct of self-preservation, man has had to figbt for existence, and was inspired to develop an art or skill to implement the body mechanism for this purpose. In such efforts, the development may have taken various courses according to the condition of life or tribal circumstance, but the object and mechanics of the body being common, the results could not have been so very different from each other. No doubt this is the reason for finding records relating to the practice of arts similar to Ju Jutsu in various parts of the world, and also for the lack of records of its origins."
---- Sensei G. Koizumi, Kodokan 7th Dan

"IT IS SAID that 'ju' is the heart that may be instructed only by another heart. For that reason, until relatively recently jujitsu techniques were not even written down, much less published. Jujitsu has definitely been a living tradition, one handed down for centuries from teacher to student. Since, historically, the method of teaching jujitsu has been more a visual process than a verbal one, I emphasize again the importance of a qualified teacher."
---- Sensei Darrell Craig, Japan's Ultimate Martial Art: Ju Jutsu Before 1882,

JuJutsu or Jiu-Jitsu as taught today encompasses empty-handed self-defense techniques developed from the centuries old military arts (bujutsu) of the Japanese Samurai Warriors. Though the history of Jiu Jitsu may well be considered to have begun in the second or first centuries BC its renaissance or 'golden age' was during the Tokugawan era (1603 - 1867 AD). The term Jiu-Jitsu, formulated in the Tokagawan era, translates to the art (Jiu) of yielding, softness, subtleness or pliability (Jitsu). From Bujutsu and the influence of Zen, Aikido, Judo and Karate-do evolved. From these historical influences

Ju-Jitsu (the Gentle Art) is among the most effective and potentially destructive martial arts. It is one of the most ancient martial arts, dating back over 2500 years. Ju-Jitsu is also the basis for many of the more modern arts, including Judo, Aikido and some Karate styles. A student proficient in the art of Ju-Jitsu has studied techniques that can be described to the layman as a combination of Judo (throws and leverage), Aikido (nerve points and attackers momentum), Karate (striking and kicking), and other Unique martial art techniques. A student proficient in the art has the choice of causing his opponent to sense severe pain and/or disfunction without any lasting injury taking place.

Because of this potential the serious Ju-Jitsuka also accepts a philosophy of non-violence, a physical confrontation should be avoided whenever possible. The Ju-Jitsuka must adopt an attitude of self-respect combined with humbleness and self-confidence combined with restraint. The student must also develop a great deal of patience, understanding, and tolerance of others. The student must develop a great deal of self-control, he must bend like the willow. All of these will help the student become a better person and, at the same time, help him avoid unnecessary confrontations. It is the inner peace and confidence that the student develops that makes this possible. Patience is the key.

A properly trained student will do everything possible to avoid a physical confrontation, not only because he knows that such a confrontation is unnecessary, but also because he knows that he has a better than average chance of successfully defending himself (therefore proving it is unnecessary) and because a physical confrontation is philosophically degrading as it indicates that all other means of avoidance have failed. If it is necessary to use Ju-Jitsu against an adversary the student must still use self-restraint and good judgment. He must use his knowledge only to protect himself from harm and only to the extent to protect and remove himself from the situation.

"The deadliest part of true jujitsu is never seen by the naked eye. Jujitsu is thus very analogous to an iceberg, whose size you cannot readily determine because its greater part lies below the water line. The same principle of appearance masking inner strength applies to jujitsu techniques. The old masters of Japan intentionally designed the techniques so that their deadly aspects would not be easily discernable and thus fall into their enemies' hands. The techniques were probably also taught this way so that only the most dedicated students would learn their real secrets. jujitsu also reminds me of the blister gas we were lectured about in the Marines: it has no odor, yet breathing it would cause large internal blisters and death. Jujitsu is similarly deceptive in that it contains rather harmless looking techniques, which carry enormous hidden potential. In the hands of an experienced martial artist, these techniques can easily cripple or kill."
---- Sensei Darrell Craig, Japan's Ultimate Martial Art: Ju Jutsu Before 1882,.