Why does BJJ spell jujitsu/jujutsu as jiu jitsu?

I find it odd that they changed it from the way the japanese spelt it

6 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    I have to disagree with Pugpaws on this one.

    The reason lies in the actual kanji (characters) used in jujutsu which mean "the gentle art". Jujutsu, jujitsu and jiu jitsu are all ways of reading the exact same kanji, so the only difference is in how they are read. First, "jujutsu" is the modern way that those characters are written in English. This is technically the correct way it is written for english speakers. Jujitsu is incorrect when used by English speakers because there is no "I" sound (like in the word "it") in Japanese. Any time you see an "I" in a Japanese word, it is pronounced as "EE" (like in the word "sheet"). The issue is in how the words were originally translated. The "u" sounds in "jutsu" are often said with very little inflection compared to what we use in English. An example is the Japanese word "tsuka" which refers to the handle on a katana, it is pronounced "ska" not "tsOOka". In fact, "jitsu" was the old way that english speakers had romanized that character, but it has long since been updated.

    Jiu jitsu is how the Portugeuse spell the exact same kanji. This is why there is nothing wrong with the term "Brazilian Jiu Jitsu", because that is consistent with how they had romanized those characters. It is likely the popularity of BJJ has led many to think that "jitsu" is correct. In fact you'll not find this mistake in any other Japanese art besides jujutsu, for example there are no kenjitsu, aikijitsu, ninjitsu, or any other -jitsu martial arts. Go to koryu.com and you will see that there are zero arts which use -jitsu.

    Furthermore, at no point in Japanese history has anyone practiced jujitsu/jujEEtsu, and you will not find any record of anyone practicing it. Some suggest that the "jitsu" is in reference to the Japanese word for "truth/reality", which is correct if you just type it into a translator. I think this has compelled many to assume that there is a difference between jujitsu and jujutsu, but what they fail to realize is that the kanji for jitsu is completely different than the kanji for jutsu.

    Interestingly, "jujitsu" actually means fullness/completion/perfection, but it has nothing to do with a style of martial art.

  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    "BJJ is really nothing new, it's just the modification of Kosen Judo (the newaza) for use with less strength. Rather, it's a different application of the same knowledge. So by learning Judo you will inherently learn both BJJ and Jujutsu. I once read a saying: Jujutsu is theory and Judo is the practice. So by training in Judo you will inherently learn Jujutsu." Not right at all. When was the last time you saw a judo guy gogoplata someone? Or use X-guard? Rubber Guard? Monkey Mount? How about ANY leg lock? You are sorely mistaken if you believe that the judo ground game can match that of BJJ. When I was a four stripe white belt in BJJ I arm-barred a Judo black belt and thoroughly dominated him for the times we rolled. I will give him credit though, he usually got the takedown. Every day new and more efficient techniques are being put into practice in BJJ, where Judo has stayed relatively stagnant. Don't think for a second that Judo has a the same groundgame and techniques. Furthermore, concerning being attacked by multiple people, I would say that it doesn't matter what style you practice, you are screwed. Anyway, if I were to use BJJ to defend myself in such a situation I would NOT go to the ground. In fact, I would lift up and slam the attackers as they came at me. Anyway, what happens when they overrun you and bring you to a clinch? Or even overpower you to the ground? Wouldn't you wish you had taken a BJJ class then? As I have said before, regardless of your style, you are probably screwed. All in all, I would suggest you go try out both places a few times. Most schools allow a few free lessons. Whatever one is more fun and interesting to you, take it. Some people dig the tradition of Japanese JJ, while other like the effectiveness and fun rolling of BJJ. Just find out which you prefer, martial arts should be a positive experience, and the important thing is that you like to do it.

  • 1 decade ago

    Jujitsu and Jiujitsu are basically the same thing spelled differently. Anytime the word Jutsu is used it changes things drastically(Assuming that the word is used correctly). A Jutsu refers to a all out combat/life or death art. A jitsu is not the same in that it is not meant to kill, even though it can. An example is Karate Do and Karate-jutsu. Almost all karate regardless of style is taught as Karate-Do. Do mean way or path. After the Samurai era, ,martial arts were not taught for the purpose of killing any attacker. The different mindset also changed the way the art was/is used. Karate-Jutsu would attack the attack. In other words if someone punched the first move would damage or break the attackers arm, then the second would be to kill the attacker. Karate-Do teaches the same techniques but does not teach students to automatically assume that they are to maim, and kill. Although I used Karate to show the differences between a Jitsu and a Jutsu, the same applies to any Japanese or Okinawan art that uses the term. Jujutsu is closer to the art the Samurai used and therefore assumes that it is necessary to maim or kill. Jujitsu (no matter how you spell it) is designed with the attitude that most situations do not require maiming or killing. In some martial arts there will also be the term Ryu, like Shorin-Ryu. Ryu means School/style/...etc. So basically you have Jutsu arts, jitsu arts, arts that are taught as a Do, and those who use the term Ryu. It is confusing to even those who have been in the martial arts many years. Misuse of these terms is common. Lately here on Y/A and other places, the terms are used incorrectly very often. Many people think that Jujutsu and Jujitsu are the same thing. They are similar but not the same. In a Jutsu methods of efficient fighting were taught, but not morals. The more modern arts Jitsu, Do, Ryu tend to teach the students moral codes. The goal is to not only teach self-defense, but to mold the student into a better person and one that uses his art only if necessary. Even then the student is taught to defend themselves using as little force as possible. The idea is to do as little damage to the attacker as possible ,yet defend yourself.

    Source(s): Martial arts training and research over 42 years (Since 1967). Teaching martial arts over 36 years (Since 1973).
  • 1 decade ago

    Not really...

    It was actually a spelling that the Japanese used to seperate Judo from Jujutsu.

    In Japan it was called "Kano's Jiu-jitsu". It was also called Kano Jiu-Do, Kodokan Jiu-Do, and Jiu-Jitsu or Jiu-Do. Later simplified to Judo for Romanji and simplification sake. Japanese like any other language evolves and simplifies.

    BJJ comes from Judo, and as such it carried what Judo was being called at the time or at it's root Kano or Kodokan Jiu-Jitsu. Hence their variation became Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, later widely adopted as Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu as other schools and families came into play.

    But it still all comes from the Japanese way of spelling Judo at the time of Maeda teaching (Jiu-Jitsu and the derivitives above)... which even if you get down to brass tacks, the Japanese spell it: 柔道

    Japanese use Katakana, Kanji or Hiragana and not Romanji.

    But yeah, BJJ has it right as far as it's roots as to how it is spelled. Jiu-jitsu refers to Judo. Not to Jujutsu.

    (EDIT): Oh wow, now Wikipedia has a pretty good write up on it too.. this didn't used to be there but it is there now...


    When Maeda left Japan, Judo was still often referred to as "Kano Jiu-Jitsu",[8] or, even more generically, simply as "Jiu-Jitsu."[9][10]

    Higashi, the co-author of "Kano Jiu-Jitsu"[8] wrote in the foreword

    "Some confusion has arisen over the employment of the term 'jiudo'. To make the matter clear I will state that jiudo is the term selected by Professor Kano as describing his system more accurately than jiu-jitsu does. Professor Kano is one of the leading educators of Japan, and it is natural that he should cast about for the technical word that would most accurately describe his system. But the Japanese people generally still cling to the more popular nomenclature and call it jiu-jitsu."[8]

    Outside Japan, however, this distinction was noted even less. The distinction between a jutsu and a do is subtle, and is still used somewhat arbitrarily to this day. Thus, when Maeda and Satake arrived in Brazil in 1914, every newspaper announced "jiu-jitsu" despite both men being Kodokan Judoka.[5]

    The Japanese government itself did not officially mandate until 1925 that the correct name for the martial art taught in the Japanese public schools should be "judo" rather than "jujutsu".[11] In Brazil, the art is still called "Jiu-Jitsu". When the Gracies went to the United States to spread their art, they renamed this japanese fighting system as "Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu" and "Gracie Jiu-Jitsu." "Jiu-jitsu" is an older romanization that was the original spelling of the art in the West, and it is still in common use, whereas the modern Hepburn romanization is "jūjutsu." Other common spellings are jujitsu and ju-jitsu.

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  • 1 decade ago

    I will hypothesize that both of them are correct (pugpaws and asymnation).

    The explanations are both probably correct in the form they are given. They overlook the fact that people will use language to suit their needs/meaning. Thus, some groups that have remained closer to the traditional ways are more likely to use the older spellings and will often justify their spelling difference.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    different spelling

    its like Gung Fu, kung fu, wushu......all refering to chinese martial arts

    or Sanda and sanshou- both refferring to chinese kickboxing

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