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Budoshin Ju-Jitsu™ Facts

Budoshin Ju-Jitsu is the gentle art of self-defense. It incorporates Judo [throws, pins & matwork], Aikido [leverage, momentum, pressure points & joint locks] and Karate [hits & kicks] into an extremely effective self-defense system. Budoshin Ju-Jitsu will allow you to have absolute control over your attacker[s] in a wide variety of situations. All techniques are taught for self-defense situations with one or more attackers; there are no katas or forms practice in which you are dealing with an imaginary enemy. Budoshin Ju-Jitsu also teaches the art of Ju-Jitsu. As you progress you learn the intricacies of the art and why techniques work as they do. Not only will you acquire technical expertise but you will also develop a sound theoretical and philosophical background in the art.

Most dojo that have Budoshin Ju-Jitsu trained sensei teach a common core of basic techniques for testing purposes. However, this core only touches the surface of what a Budoshin Ju-Jitsu student or sensei knows. Many sensei teach a wide variety of additional techniques that compose the Budoshin ryu [over 850 techniques & variations] including the core techniques. This allows students to find additional techniques that work best for them. Students thus develop an extremely effective and personalized self-defense system that is individualized to their abilities. As a result the defensive techniques of Budoshin Ju-Jitsu, students or black belts in any street situation is completely unpredictable.

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The history of the martial art of Ju-Jitsu (Gentle Art) can be traced back over 2,500 years. Ju-Jitsu developed from many individual teachings that either started in Japan or found their way to Japan from other oriental countries. Going far back into Japanese mythology it is possible to trace Ju-Jitsu to the ancient Japanese gods, Kajima, and Kadori, who supposedly used Ju-Jitsu to punish the lawless inhabitants of an eastern province of Japan.

The first dated mention of Jujitsu was during the period of 772-481 B.C., when open-hand techniques were used during the Choon Chu era in China. In 230 B.C. the wrestling sport of Chikura Kurabe developed in Japan and was integrated in Ju­Jitsu training. A number of Jujitsu schools started from 230 B.C. on. During the time period around the B.C.-A.D. change in dating, it is also noted that wrestling and related techniques served as the origin of Ju-Jitsu. There is also evidence that empty-hand techniques were used during the Heian period (ca. 784 A.D.) in Japan, but included with weapon training as part of the samurai warrior's training. In 880 A.D. Prince Teijun founded the Daito Ryu Aiki Ju-Jitsu Dojo.

Most of the actual credit for founding the formal art of Ju­Jitsu goes to Tenenuchi (or Takenouche) Hisamori, who founded the school of Jujitsu in Japan in 1532. In 1559, Chin Gen Pinh (a monk) migrated to Japan, from china, bringing Kempo (China Hand) with him. Parts of Kempo were integrated into Ju-Jitsu . Hideyoshi Toyotomi, also Chinese, migrated to Japan shortly thereafter. He brought Ch-an Fa and Korean T'ang Su (punching and nerve striking skills) to Japan, both of which became part of Ju-Jitsu. During the Tokugawa era, (ca. 1650 and on), Ju-Jitsu continued to flourish as part of the samurai warrior's training.

With the passing of the Tokugawa era, (ca. 1650-1800), Japan became somewhat united and there were many changes in Japanese society. One of the results was the reduction of the samurai warrior to the status of the common citizen. In his new position the samurai could no longer carry a sword. He was forced to rely solely on empty-hand techniques as a means of defending himself.

The next mention of Ju-Jitsu is in 1882, when Dr. Jigaro Kano developed the sport of Judo (Gentle-Way) from Ju-Jitsu. He did this to increase the popularity of the martial arts and to provide a safe sport using selected techniques taken from the effective self-defense system of Ju-Jitsu.

Although Jack Seki's father, Sanzo Seki [1888 - d:?], was a Ju-Jitsu master himself, he sent Jack to study directly under the legendary Dr. Jigaro Kano, an expert in Kitoryo [a.k.a. Kito Ryu] and Tenshishinyo [a.k.a. Tenjin-Shinyo Ryu] Jiu-Jitsu. After studying under Kano, Seki returned to master the art as taught by his father. Prior to World War II, Seki was given the option of being drafted into the Japanese army or emigrating to the United States. Fortunately he chose the latter and returned to the U.S. in the mid-1930's. With his martial arts training current information says that he worked for the U.S. Army Air Force as a weaponless defense instructor.

Prof. Seki eventually settled in the southern California area after the war. In the 1960's Seki started a ju-jitsu program at the Burbank YMCA. He then started another program at Los Angeles Valley College which became extremely popular. Although I started at the Burbank YMCA I soon also began classes directly under Seki at Valley College. In the fall of 1967, the sensei at the Burbank YMCA had to leave. Seki, in his usual manner, approached William Fromm and myself [George Kirby], both 1st degree brown belts at the time. He called both of us aside at one class and told us that we would take over the Burbank YMCA program. We both protested as we were only Brown Belts. Seki's response was, "Now you are black belts. Act like it." Both Bill and I took over the Burbank YMCA program without any further comments. Our sensei had spoken.

There are different paths up the mountain. Many times they cross and parallel each other. But the ultimate goal is the same. Both Profs. Seki and Brosious taught every technique from a street situation. Ju-Jitsu was taught for self-defense. As students progressed and their technique improved both Professors helped the students make Ju-Jitsu an art; to understand the theory and mechanics behind every move, how the human body acted and reacted, and incorporate that understanding into an extremely effective personalized self-defense system. Budoshin Ju-Jitsu will teach you the art of Ju-Jitsu as well as how to effectively defend yourself in any situation.

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The history of Budoshin Ju-Jitsu itself is rather unique and recent. When Profs. William Fromm & I took over the Burbank YMCA Jujitsu program for our instructor, Prof. Sanzo "Jack" Seki, in 1967 it was a relatively small program. Within a couple of years we had an extremely large and solid program which took up an entire gymnasium. By this time other martial artists wanted to know what "style" of Ju-Jitsu we taught. Prof. Seki’s attitude was that there was only Ju-Jitsu and that ultimately there weren’t any styles -- just variations on the theme. With that thought in mind we came up with the name Budoshin, which means to conduct oneself in an honorable and respectable manner. The concept of "Budoshin" is covered in much greater detail in the Black Belt Handbook and my two Ohara books. This was acceptable to Prof. Seki as "Budoshin" was seen as an appropriate attitude and not a "style". In the mid 1970’s I had the opportunity to also study under Prof. Harold Brosious who taught Ketsugo Ju-Jitsu. Although Prof. Brosious had a radically different approach to teaching the art, many of his techniques supplemented enriched what I had learned from Prof. Seki. Both Prof. Seki’s and Prof. Brosious’s teachings have been effectively incorporated into Budoshin Ju-Jitsu.


Starting in 1983, with the publication of Jujitsu: Basic Techniques of the Gentle Art, Budoshin Jujitsu began it's formalization as a distinct ryu of the art although that was not the book's purpose. However, since that time, with the publication of nine more books [through 2019] plus the Budoshin Jujitsu Black Belt Home Study Course, Budoshin Jujitsu has become more of a distinct style [or ryu] for two main reasons. First, there are more and mor instructors and practitioners that refer to it as a ryu. Second, it has a  generally established belt promotion procedure and an instructional approach that is oriented towards that application of the traditional martial art to current street self-defense situations.

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The Budoshin Ju-Jitsu logo [a registered trademark] was designed with the philosphy of the art in mind rather than just the physical aspects. "Budoshin" means to conduct onself in an honorable & respectable manner. The symbolism of the logo should help you along this path. The information below is a summary of the symbolism of the Budoshin Ju-Jitsu logo.

The four colors on the colored logo represent traditional concepts: WHITE— purity & truth; BLACK— death; RED— life; BLUE— serenity & peace.

The first design [red] symbolizes the five spiral steps of learning: patience, repetition, understanding, experimentation, & evaluation. These five steps form a continuous spiral as the last step leads back to the first while, at the same time not returning to the point of origin because what has been gained from the learning process expands the base from which to learn more. Think of a "slinky" toy if you want to visualize this concept. It also incidentally symbolizes the lotus blossom. The lotus blossom symbolizes the inseparability of cause and effect, the provision and reality, and the source and manifestation of enlightenment.  It helps bring the interrelationships of the Ying-Yang together.

If you wish to be more esoteric it could be said that the five petals of the lotus blossom also represent the five basic elements of gojo-goyoku: earth [chi], air/wind [fu], fire [la], water [sui] and void [ku]. This brings us back full circle [pardon the pun] to the five steps of learning and the circle in the center.

The second design, located in the center, is the Ying-Yang or Tao [Chinese], which represents the duality or interrelationships of good-evil, light-dark, mind-body, male-female, etc.-etc. Within the framework of Ju-Jitsu techniques this symbol also illustrates the circular flow of ki & motion, as well as the flowing nature of the art. This symbol is located in the center of the above spiral & is the center circle created by the spiral.

If you look at the design carefully you will notice a 6th circle created by the spiral for the obvious Ying-Yang symbol. But at a higher level it indicates the concept of the "sixth sense" that martial artists develop — which some call "mushin".

One could write a book about all of the philosophical relationships mentioned, but that's not my purpose here. It is only to help you understand the interrelationship of ideas and how one thing affects another; the infinity of the ying-yang.

The background color of blue, behind the spiral, is to indicate the sky which is indicative of peace and serenity.

The term "Budoshin Ju-Jitsu" was first formally copyrighted in 1973 by George Kirby as a title of the book, Budoshin Ju-Jitsu: Instructor's Manual. "Budoshin Ju-Jitsu" officially became a registered trademark name in 1995. 

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