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Origins of Ju Jitsu/Jiu-Jitsu

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Jiu-Jitsu (or Yawara) is an ancient Japanese Martial Art. Its origins date back to the sixteenth century when legend narrates that its founding father, a young Japanese man called Shirobei Akiyama who was studying medicine in China, witnessed a heavy blizzard. He was able to appreciate how branches of most trees broke while the elastic branches of the Willow tree bent and efficiently freed themselves from the snow.
The Gentle Art or Art of Subtleness (for this is the meaning of Jiu-Jitsu) would not aim to neutralize power with power but rationally absorb an attack and convert that energy to the opponent's own detriment. This basic principle became the heart of the teaching of the Yoshin ryu school, founded by the Akiyama and considered to be the foremost Jiu-Jitsu dojo.
The Art developed throughout the Sengoki Era and continued through the Kanei, the Munnji and the Kanbun (1624-1673) periods. In the years of civil disorder the Samurai class (Aristocratic warriors / Bushi) came to dominate. It is during this period that Jiu-Jitsu first developed as an open-field art of combat and then more and more as a physical and mental study. The Golden Age of Jiu-Jitsu lasted until 1869, date in which the Emperor's return to Japan and the subsequent abolition of Feudalism made the Samurai lose their status of privileged class. Samurai radition nevertheless kept Jiu-Jitsu alive and travellers brought the Art to all four corners of the world.
In more recent years the essence of some Martial Arts, such as Judo and Aikido, has developed from Jiu-jitsu concentrating on specific aspects of their Martial Art forefather. Its international governing body was established in 1977 - based on a document originated by Italy, Germany and Sweden in order to develop the sport aspect of Jiu-jitsu. Since then the Jiu-Jitsu International Federation (JJIF) has become a structured federation organised in Continental Unions, coordinated by a central Board and supported by specialised Committees.
JJIF organises World Championships every two years and Continental Championships every other year. International Camps, Seminars, Congress and General Assembly are called every year. Nowadays there is two main forms of Jiu-Jitsu: the traditional and modern styles; the first one is former, the second is recent and gets competitions.
JJIF African Union AASC