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 forms include throws, chokes, joint-locks, and strikes (kicks and punches) to vital points of the body.
There are many flavors of Jujitsu, called systems or schools; the system taught at the Fox Valley Dojo is called Danzan-Ryu. The Danzan-Ryu is a synthesis of the best techniques of the ancient Jujitsu schools (Yoshin, Kosogabe, Shibukawa-Ryu, Yoshin-Ryu, Namba-Shoshin-Ryu), Okinawan Karate, Chinese Kung-Fu, Hawaiian Lua, Filipino knife fighting, and traditional Japanese restorative massage and healing techniques. It was developed by Professor Henry S. Okazaki whose school, the Kodenkan, was headquartered in Honolulu, Hawaii.
The most focal event of the post-Okazaki era in Danzan-Ryu is the biannual Ohana Celebration. This event includes members from all of the organizations focused on the teachings of Okazaki. The organizations come together for a weekend of clinics, competition, and camaraderie to share the Kodenkan spirit. Ohana was founded in 1990 by the Shoshinryu Yudanshakai, and is hosted by a different organization each time. It is usually held on Labor Day weekend.
The Danzan-Ryu system begins with instruction in exercises, forward and backward rolls, and front, side, and back falls that allow students to be thrown safely. The basic techniques of the system are arranged into eleven lists of 20 to 52 techniques each. There are five fundamental Danzan-Ryu Jujitsu lists taught below the black-belt level. · Yawara – 20 basic holds and escapes · Nage Te – 20 basic throwing arts · Shime Te – 25 grappling arts · Oku No Te – 25 combination techniques · Goshin Jitsu – 28 advanced self-defense arts Additional techniques taught primarily above the rank of black belt, include: defenses against gun, knife, staff & sword; demonstration arts; iron fan and yawara stick arts; blocks; kicks; strikes; and a system of resuscitation (Kappo) arts and restorative/massage (Seifukujitsu) healing techniques.
There are only a few arts which are as good for practical self defense as Jujitsu. Many arts will teach a lot of complicated strikes and high kicks which are impossible to actually use if one was attacked on the street. In Jujitsu students are taught defenses against a wide variety of realistic situations – defense from rear attacks, holds, weapons, punches, kicks, attacks on the ground and many more. Another reason most people find Jujitsu useful is the fact that size and strength is not an issue and because of this Jujitsu is commonly taught in self defense courses to police forces, normal people and to women in particular.