History of Jiu-Jitsu

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Also known as yawara, ju-jutsu, and even tai-jutsu, Jiu-Jitsu is based on one principle; the soft conquers the hard. With origins in feudal Japan, Jiu-Jitsu grew in Asia alongside swordsmanship and archery and was seen as a defensive art when opponents were armed and protected. Today Jiu-Jitsu has grown into one of the greatest sports on the planet. If you are looking for a Tucson BJJ program, Boxing Inc has one of the fastest growing programs in Tucson. Stop by to learn more. 

Jiu-Jitsu Origins

Although most historical records will show Jiu-Jitsu was first seen in Japan, there are some historians that claim its origins came from the Buddhist monks of India. Considered a fighting technique of the battlefield for Japanese samurai, the typical warriors were trained for the worst circumstances. For example, if they were faced with an opponent while on foot and with no weapon. Since fighting in armor can be restrictive, Jiu-Jitsu came to include joint-locks, throwing, and chokes.

Founded by Master Takenouchi Hisamori, the first ever Ryu/school that taught Jiu-Jitsu moves exclusively was opened in 1532. Despite some differences, many believe this is where the foundations were formed for the modern style of fighting. During the Edo period, samurai warriors couldn’t earn money from war and, as swords and weapons became more common, unarmed defense fighting became more popular.

Despite the opening of this school in the 16th century, the term wasn’t actually introduced until one century later where it described grappling disciplines and techniques. When Tokyo welcomed a Chinese priest, Chin Genpin, he started to teach striking and kicking; not long after, three of his students went on to launch their own schools and the techniques we would recognize today continued to spread around the country.

Western Involvement

Tucson BJJ CompetitorWhen it comes to unarmed combat techniques, those seen in Jiu-Jitsu are taught all over the world. For example, special forces and certain police units in Russia, the UK, and the US are shown Jiu-Jitsu techniques. Over the last century, nearly every single military service in the world has introduced unarmed combat courses which contain principles developed in Jiu-Jitsu.

In addition to the military, Jiu-Jitsu has also entered the sporting world in the shape of Judo. As an Olympic sport, Judo participants can score points through throws, and certain holds.

Jiu-Jitsu Today

In truth, there are many facets to Jiu-Jitsu and therefore different schools will have varying beliefs of what’s most important. Many years ago, striking wasn’t considered an important aspect of Jiu-Jitsu because the opponent was likely to have samurai body armor. Therefore, many of the older Japanese systems won’t have an emphasis on striking. As time progressed, the modern schools included striking not only to set up potential further attacks but as a technique in itself.

Without Jiu-Jitsu, we wouldn’t have krav maga, judo, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, kapap, and various other martial arts. With Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, in particular, this has come to be an important sport not only as a martial art but as a fitness activity. For example, you’re likely to find Jiu-Jitsu exercise classes to improve one’s cardiovascular health.

Finally, how can we talk about Jiu-Jitsu without mentioning the Gracie family? As the famous ‘Count of Combat’ Mitsuo Maeda left Japan for Brazil, a local politician, George Gracie helped his movement. As a show of thanks, Maeda promised to teach Carlo, George’s son, Jiu-Jitsu and this got the family involved for the first time. In 1925, around eleven years later, the Gracies launched their first Jiu-Jitsu academy and the brand has grown ever since. Later, the Gracies would come to have an influence on the launch of the UFC. Today Gracie Jiu-Jitsu is known around the globe.

Boxing Inc Jiu-Jitsu

We offer Gi and NoGi Jiu-Jitsu in Tucson. Our instructors teach and compete on a regular basis. What makes Boxing Inc truly unique is that our competitors can train BJJ at our gym in Tucson, and also learn Muay Thai, Kickboxing, and train Crossfit to build a superior endurance over other competitors. We also have MMA classes that incorporate all of these elements together.


Watch the video below to hear directly from one of our instructors why he thinks the Boxing Inc Jiu-Jitsu program in Tucson is the best in town.

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