Principles of JuJitsu and Self Defense

"Become a master of self defense in six weeks."
"Learn the secret fighting art guaranteed to make you the winner."
"In this one hour video we will show you how to bring any black belt to their knees."

These and other such ads have duped the American public into believing that anyone can learn to effectively defend themselves in a very short period of time with devastating techniques. The mere learning of techniques may take a short time and the techniques may be devastating, however, applying them at a time when needed will be almost impossible without proper training and practice. There is much more to learning self defense than just the techniques. To more fully understand the important principles of self defense and JuJitsu you need to study other materials that provide insight into the principles, tactics and strategies of self defense and JuJitsu. Two highly recommended reading are: The Art of War by Sun Tzu, and The Book of Five Rings by Musashi.

The Levels of Force

In the early years of American justice, law enforcement officers ruled through the use of intimidation and physical abuse. Today however, law enforcement officers are held to specific standards of conduct. These standards include what levels of force an officer may use under various situations. What a lot of people don't realize is that these same standards apply to the general public as well. You, as a martial artist, must abide by the same laws that apply to law enforcement officers. All techniques, when applied in real situations must be measured, reasonable, and ethical.

Level Entails
Communication Attempt to initially control or de-escalate unacceptable behavior using verbal or non-verbal  communication skills
Self Defense
If communication attempts fail to control the   situation or the situation escalates unarmed defensive tactics may be used
Non-Lethal Weapons Should previous attempts fail, legally approved non-lethal weapons may be used to regain control.   These weapons include the use of chemical sprays, water, bed sheets, towels, etc. that are used to restrain an assailant.
Lethal Weapons Lethal weapons should only be used in a life threatening situation.   The weapons include guns, knives, sticks, bats, etc.

Y Hand

The Y-hand is a vital success contributor in almost all JuJitsu techniques. It is used for grasping or locking onto the attacker. The Y-hand is achieved by extending the thumb to the side and keeping the fingers together. The Y is formed between your thumb and fingers. The Y-hand is especially useful when an attacker doesn't have a shirt on or if the attacker is wet or sweaty. To illustrate the effectiveness of the Y-hand simply grasp your wrist with fingers and thumb on top. Now slip your grabbed wrist out of your other hand. It's easy to escape. Now grasp your wrist again, but this time, wrap your fingers around one side of your wrist and the thumb around the other. Escape from this grasp is much harder.

Posture of Body - Posture of Mind

The mind and body in JuJitsu are intertwined. How you view, perceive, and approach a situation will determine how you respond to it. For example think of how you psychologically respond to a red flashing light as opposed to a blue one that comes up behind you are your are driving down the road. Your response is different. In one you don't get upset very much while in the other you get very upset and start thinking of what you are doing and will be saying.

In JuJitsu if your mental posture is such that you are thinking of taking out the attacker, the chances are that the situation will escalate to a level where you will use too much force. At the same time a rigid mental posture will cause your mind to have tunnel vision and your body to become rigid and slow in reacting.

Phases of a Physical Attack

In any attack there are three response phases to the attack that you will go through. They are:

Perception (mental) Becoming aware that there is something wrong
Analysis (mental) Deciding how you will respond to the perception
Reaction (physical) Your actual physical response to the situation

Through hard training and practice, the response time for each phase is shortened and becomes more accurate.


Awareness is the foundation of effective combat readiness and is defined as being constantly alert. Awareness or sensitivity to situations of heightened risk reduces the possibility of being taken by surprise. Your perceptive senses, sight, hearing, smell, "feeling of uneasiness," will give you the first warning of danger. Research tells us that the person who is unaware of any danger cannot physically react to an attack within a distance of six feet. Develop the habit of being constantly aware and alert.

Self Defense Factors

Following is a list of many factors involved in self defense and JuJitsu. Study their importance and come to understand their application in JuJitsu. The JuJitsu instructor should discuss these factors throughout the training program.

Broken Rhythm
Cardiovascular Fitness
Energy Systems
Initial Speed
Muscular Endurance
Muscular Strength
Speed Of Reaction
Break falls
Come-along Holds
Direct Attacks
Fighting Stance
Free Sparring
Ground Techniques
Indirect Attacks
Joint Locking
Neck Restraints
Shadow Sparring
Weapons Defenses
Controlled Breathing

Small Circle JuJitsu

  • Balance
  • Mobility and Stability
  • Avoid the Head-on Collision of Force
  • Mental Resistance and Distraction
  • Focus to the Smallest Point Possible
  • Energy Transfer
  • Create a Base
  • Sticking Control and Sensitivity
  • Rotational Momentum
  • Transitional Flow

Vee Jitsu Jujitsu

  • Attack the attacker, not the attack
  • Closest weapon to closest target
  • Attack weakness, not strength
  • Maximum effectiveness with minimum effort
  • As little damage as possible, as much as necessary
  • No set pattern in deflections, strikes, locks or responses - each situation requires it own unique approach

Return  -    -  Main Menu