The art of Jujitsu is geared towards improving one’s self-defence. The martial art was actually developed in 1532 by the Japanese Samurai warriors as a way of combating their enemies at close range, where weapons were not particularly effective. The majority of techniques used in Jujitsu are purely technical, requiring barely any strength, and can even be used to triumph over much stronger opponents.
It is the variety of the techniques involved which makes Jujitsu so effective. As you progress through the belts, you will learn skills in punching, kicking, joint-locking, throwing, ground-fighting and use of weapons, giving you a comprehensive knowledge base of self-defence. As you become more skilled in the art, you will notice your confidence heightening, which will further boost your competence.
Jujitsu academies differ somewhat in the skills they teach. Some opt to educate their students in what many would refer to as “dirty tactics”, including eye-gouging and fish-hooking (putting your finger or thumb in an opponent’s mouth and twisting their head).
The problem with learning these techniques is that you cannot practise them during a training session (without causing substantial harm to a friend). Many Jujitsu trainers will advise you that these dirty techniques are not needed, and you should be able to defeat any opponent using ‘standard’ techniques.
If you are curious about the benefits of Jujitsu compared to other martial arts, such as Karate, you should think about the values they hold and the skills they teach.
Karate, for example, has a heavy focus on striking. Although you will be likely to develop stronger skills in that area, you will be left unprepared should an attacker take you to the ground. In order to ensure you are completely prepared for any given situation, you should practise an art which has a broader benefit, such as Jujitsu or Judo. If you are more interested in the grappling and ground-fighting aspects of martial arts, we would highly recommend cross-training in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, a martial art with a sole focus on ground-fighting and take-downs.