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Last Updated: 4th July 2005

Mental vs Physical

Ju-Jitsu is a fighting rather than a sport-oriented art. Techniques generally involve the use of the opponent's strength against themselves.

'Ju' means gentleness, yielding or giving way.

'Jitsu' means art or practice.

Originally developed by Japan 's Samurai warriors, it was used when weapons were lost or damaged and 'empty hand ' techniques were required. Kicking, punching and other types of striking were used to incapacitate an opponent. The grappling throws and joint locks worked whether or not armour was worn. The techniques have evolved for modern day use, and one of the most interesting and popular modern styles is Hakko Ryu JuJitsu. Created by Okuyama Sensei in the 1940's, it uses the vulnerable points of the body to create disabling but not permanently damaging pain , both by applying pressure through various locks and throws, and by striking the opponent.


Many times I've walked around places - relatively safe places - where friends of mine who are untrained in self-defence would never go alone. Equally, I have other untrained friends who, if confronted with potential violence, would become dangerous. The difference is an attitude around being a victim. Sometimes training in a martial art will help change a victim-oriented attitude to one of personal responsibility. Self confidence is a life changing attitude, and it can be nurtured or squelched by a teacher. MENTAL VS. PHYSICAL You've heard it said that 90% of a fight is mental and 10% is physical. I agree. It's comparable to driving a car : the physical movements of steering, braking and accelerating are easy to learn. The hard part is constantly scanning for danger , obeying traffic rules and reacting to changing road conditions. Plus, it's one thing to drive on a quiet country road with little to no traffic, but using the same skills in the bustling traffic of a major city can be daunting. Once you've learnt the fundamentals, it's important to get off the country road and test your skills in the fast lane. You must train for situations that require "compressed decision time". The aim is to produce shorter reaction times, instinctive effective techniques and a reduced shock effect when confronted with the unexpected.

Great fighters don't predict. They train themselves to react to the ebb and flow of combat without attempting to execute complex, predetermined responses. They know that 50% of the fight is out of their control and that if they try to guess what will happen, the odds are they'll be wrong half the time!

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