Ju Jutsu v Ju Jitsu v Jiu Jitsu

I’m Paul Willson I am a brown belt in Ju Jutsu, a centuries old Japanese martial art.

Photo by Pavel Danilyuk on Pexels.com

When writing in this blog you will see that I am using the spelling of Ju Jutsu when talking about the martial art I do.

One of the oddities of Ju Jutsu is that you will see different spellings at different dojos. You can see Ju Jutsu, Ju Jitsu and Jiu Jitsu. All of the are correct, just about.

Ju Jutsu and Ju Jitsu are most commonly used. Jiu Jitsu on the other hand isn’t so often though it is sometimes used. Using Jiu Jitsu isn’t right as it really refers to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. I use Ju Jutsu in this blog to differentiate between Ju Jutsu or Brazilian Jiu Jitsu to avoid confusion.

I will mention now that calling Brazilian Jiu Jitsu “Jiu Jitsu” actually annoys me a lot. The reason is that it sometimes causes confusion with people who don’t understand either martial art as they think they do the same. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu – good, BJJ – great but please not just Jiu Jitsu.

I’ve seen people come to my dojo expecting to do Brazilian Jiu Jitsu only to be disappointed when they realise what they are being taught is nothing like Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. I have nothing against Brazilian Jiu Jitsu except when it is called “Jiu Jitsu”. Perhaps some people go to a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu dojo expecting to do Ju Jutsu but probably not as much because it is far more popular and well known than Ju Jutsu.

With Ju Jutsu we are the “jack of all trades, master of none” as we practise throws, strikes and some grappling, whereas Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is the master of grappling with only Wrestling and Judo getting close to it.

If there are there any oddities in your martial art I would love to hear about it in the comments below.


Published by Paul Willson

I am Paul Willson. I have reached the rank of brown belt in Ju Jutsu. Thanks to Coronavirus I not been able to take my black belt grading stopping my martial art's journey in its tracks which the only polite word I can think of as frustrating. I have created this blog to try and help anyone who is thinking of starting a martial art or has just started a martial art.

2 thoughts on “Ju Jutsu v Ju Jitsu v Jiu Jitsu

  1. I think part of the problem is romanization of Asian languages. There was a point in time that it wasn’t as standardized, therefore there are different spelling for the same concept. For example, the word 北京 was once spelled as Peking. Why? Because a British and an American scholar said so. Later on, after 1949 it was spelled as Beijing, the correct pronunciation.

    The part about BJJ vs traditional Jiu-Jutsu reminds of me how a former coworker of mine thought Jiu-Jutsu came from Brazil to which I had to explain how Judo (still called Jiu-Jutsu at the time) was spread to Brazil and modified by Helio Gracie.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Unfortunately the cause of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu now being known as Jiu Jitsu is a combination of those doing it calling it jiu jitsu for short then MMA and UFC calling it jiu jitsu. The popularity of BJJ and drop in popularity of ju jutsu means that, as you said that, people get confused.

      Liked by 1 person

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