Jiu-jitsu is a Japanese martial art and a method of close combat for defeating an opponent in which one uses either a short weapon or none at all.

The underlying principle in this discipline is that if one goes up against an armed opponent, the likeliness that your effort would be going totally futile is high, hence you ought to use different technique to neutralize the enemy.

Here, practitioners learned that the most efficient methods for neutralizing an enemy took the form of pins, joint locks, and throws.

"Jutsu" can be translated to mean "art" or "technique" and represents manipulating the opponent's force against themselves rather than confronting it with one's own force. "Jū" can be translated to mean "gentle, soft, supple, flexible, pliable, or yielding".

Jujutsu developed to combat the samurai of feudal Japan as a method for defeating an armed and armored opponent in which one uses no weapon, or only a short weapon. These techniques were developed around the principle of using an attacker's energy against him, rather than directly opposing it.

There are many variations of the art, which leads to a diversity of approaches. Jujutsu schools (ryū) may utilize all forms of grappling techniques to some degree (i.e. throwing, trapping, joint locks, holds, gouging, biting, disengagements, striking, and kicking).

In addition to jujutsu, many schools teach the use of weapons. Today, Jujutsu is practiced in both traditional and modern sports forms.

Derived sport forms include the Olympic sport and martial art of judo, which was developed by Kanō Jigorō in the late 19th century from several traditional styles of jujutsu, and Brazilian jiu-jitsu, which was derived from earlier (pre–World War II) versions of Kodokan judo.

The original forms of jujutsu such as Takenouchi-ryū also extensively taught parrying and counterattacking long weapons such as swords or spears via a dagger or other small weapons.

The term jūjutsu was not coined until the 17th century, after which time it became a blanket term for a wide variety of grappling-related disciplines and techniques.

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