traditional Jiujitsu?

What do you guys think of it as an ADJUNCT TO YOUR BJJ? - (not a replacement)
Are there any JJJ schools that are good? Or is it all just practising without sparring?


I've taken traditional Japanese Jiu-jitsu and I think it's of marginal utility for the most part. You'll learn some cool wristlocks and such, but most of it is similar to aikido and karate.

If there are girls in the JJ class, and there's randori where you can show off you BJJ, you might take it, but otherwise you'd be better off with judo, Muay Thai, or just general physical conditioning.

I teach a Japanese/American hybrid style of JJ that uses progressively increasing resistance in both the standup, and on the ground.

There is a reason why most wristlocks don't work the way they are taught, but there are also ways to MAKE some of them work - but you HAVE to be training "alive" to discover what those ways are.  Having said that, I think the JJJ schools that focus on wristlocks are putting WAY TOO MUCH emphasis and time on them in their training.

As an adjunct to BJJ, I think JJJ can be cool......... but ONLY if they are using real resistance.  Otherwise, you might as well do Tai Chi.

My .02

It depends on your attitudes.

If you are training in BJJ in order to be a better mixed martial arts fighter, you are better off training in boxing, Muay Thai or some other combat sport.

If you are training for self defense purposes, it will depend on the type of traditional jjujitsu that you train in. It is very difficult to find a "good" traditional Japanese martial art. For instance, Michael J. LaMonica was the first non-Japanese to be awarded a rank higher than Shihan in Hakko Ryu jujitsu - (fifth degree). He was told for years that was the highest rank. After many years of training in Japan, they revealed a whole new level of training and technique. The point being, the Japanese like to hide the true technique from foreigners. Therefore, a lot of so called traditional systems have only watered down technique.

With traditional Japanese jujitsu, there is the same dicotomy as in BJJ. The higher the rank and the more technical the curriculm, the less practical the techniques are.

Some have stated that old jiu-jitsu teacher such as Takeda of Daito Ryu taught different techniques depending on your body type. For instance, for strong, stocky body types, he taught jujitsu. For others, more slender body types, he taught Aikijitsu.

Other argue that one should learn jujitsu (BJJ) first and then later learn Aikijitsu - they argue that the Aikijitsu arts are more refined and should only be taught to one who understands basic jujitsu technique.

That's been my experience -

I hate it when I kill a thread like this!


You might have "killed" the post, but you made some good points.  I too have heard the jujitsu to aikijujitsu/aikijitsu progression suggestion, as well.


I checked out a Danzen Ryu Jujitsu school several years ago when I was livig in Colorado. They practiced some throws, and breakfalls, and standing joint locks but they didn't really spar at all. They told me that they didn't show any ground stuff until you were there for about a year. The only good thing was they had a massage technique class taught once a week by this really hot chick. :)

I have been taking a traditional japanese ju jitsu for about 2.5 years, and am now cross training in BJJ.

How we trained in the JJJ class was heavily dependent on who was instructing it. The head instructor has a preference for throws, joint locks, and stick work. Others prefer doing ground work, others striking. They try to mix it up.

It's a really diverse art!

There was a lack of sparring and resistance training, but we have a shootfighting offshoot, so if you want the resistance training thats a good place to do it at.

I think it really comes down to how you train.

The curriculum covers the whole gamut except for the use of weapons.

I like it and will keep doing it. There is so much in Ju Jitsu, but you need to find out what parts work for you and try and perfect those. I believe thats pretty much the same for BJJ.

Jacare use's wrist lock's in competiton and is pretty damn successful.

There are certainly some good aspects of JJJ that can improve your self defense. It all depends on the circle you train with. A lot of people don't like pain, along with getting slammed around learning breakfalls. It does toughen you up a little bit though. If you train with people that use a myriad of attacks (boxing and wrestling in addition to things you might encounter in a self defense situation) and levels of resistance when training you might be on to a good thing. IMO the main obstacle in training TMA's is that people tend to attack and defend in a predictable way based on the limited arsenal of offensive techniques that their own style teaches.

If you are talking about TRADITIONAL JJ...unless you are really interested in a very static, antiquated, traditional style on MA, you should look elsewhere.

People who are adding modern boxing, progressive resistance and free grappling to their JJJ are no longer practicing Traditional JJ. These guys are doing their own thing (not a bad thing, just no longer traditional).

After several years in a Traditional JJ style, I can say that it has very little to offer someone already training in a modern system, except maybe a cultural thing.

The problem with just saying Traditional JJ or Japanese JJ is that there are many many JJJs and they can be quite different from each other. And just like any other martial art, quality of teacher can vary greatly.

I haven't met many Aikido guys who are any good, but I have gotten my ass kicked by a Bujinkan guy (that's right- a ninja!). Now- I've met many "ninja" who are downright terrible. One guy I met in London has my vote as the single worst martial arts teacher I have ever seen (he couldn't even roll properly). Some of these guys know how to cause serious pain though.

I can say I've met a few karate and silat guys I wouldn't sneer at either. It's a matter of percentages- I have never seen an incompetent BJJ purple or above but I've seen plenty of terrible TMA "black belts". That doesn't mean some of those guys can't kick ass or their arts don't have some really cool techniques.

Prik Khee Noo has just punched, kicked, thrown, and submitted the correct!  The correct is now mutilated, please send flowers and well wishes for a speedy recovery.  :-)

I have done just about every TMA out there, and I have a black belt in Kenpo Karate. I also did a traditional style of jujutsu up to brown belt.

Kenpo is not a bad system in itself, but many people just learn to memorize and demonstrate curriculum requirements without sparring or training in an alive manner. The strikes used in sparring are pretty decent, but the defense is the usual karate blocks etc. that will get you knocked silly by a decent boxer. Now that I have spent time starting to fix my defenses and integrate the clinch range, I feel that my sparring is pretty good.

Similarly, the JJJ I was doing didn't have "bad techniques" per se, but the instructor was adamantly against "sparring JJ vs JJ" because he thought it was tremendously dangerous. He said when he was young he used to train that way, but there were too many injuries and he would never allow/encourage his students to do that. His throws were exactly identical to the common throws of Judo, just without the randori training.

In the end, BJJ is my favorite style to practice, because it's so gosh-darn fun, as well as being amazingly complex (due, of course, to the emphasis on live practice). I am also really enjoying Kalis Ilustrisimo, which I am beginning to learn from Roy Harris. It is helping me develop a good sparring game with a blade (I've done Modern Arnis since 1990, but again, without sparring).


The techniques in JJJ are sound. And alot of them can't be done safely without some compliance from your partner.


I think you need to be able to train with resistance to improve your skills, so you have to remove the nasty techniques when training this way. This is the problem.

Submission techniques on the ground can be practiced fairly safely as their is more control. Striking can be practiced relatively safely with proper padding.

I think some traditionalists believe that when you practice this way you are veering away from true ju-jitsu.

Personally I think that you have to train safely with resistance to develop skills, and you also need to train with compliance to develop the nastier more dangerous techniques.

Thanks for taking the time to read my rant. In short I think the traditional still has to be respected.

There was a time when JJJ used to look alot like BJJ, then it got watered down.

This has been the most intelligent and mature thread I've seen in a BJJ forum about another MA style.

I agree with most of you. Jiu Jitsu is jiu-jitsu. It is the application of leverage on the body in order to throw or dislocate joints. BJJ does it on the ground, while JJJ mostly advocates staying on the feet. The reasoning for this is simple, on the battlefield, you'd be dead if you stayed on the ground (think of a scene in The Last Samurai), while BJJ was develop for 1 on 1 challenge matches. Both have benefits and drawbacks.

The cool thing is that when you train them together, you fill the gaps as a martial artist. Imagine it as learning to become an awesome guitar player. If you only played modern heavy metal licks and powerchords, you'd become good at that limited style. If you also learned how to play classical guitar, your understanding of music theory and technique, would fill the void in your goal to become a great guitarist.

I agree that the standards in JJJ are generally lower than BJJ, which is not to say that there aren't incredible masters of JJJ. I have studied under many. But I recommend that you BJJrs check out a quality stand-up jiu jitsu school to cross train. It's great stuff.



The problem with trad. JJ or JJJ is that you really have to define what you are talking about.

A great deal of "JJJ" here in the States is simply a combination of judo, karate, aikido and whatnot tossed together and given a Japanese sounding name in an attempt at sounding "traditional. It often actually sounds utterly ridiculous to anyone familiar with actual trad. JJJ. Stuff like "Ronin-ha Bushi Yama Te Ryu" - which would translate as "Unemployed Warrior branch of the Warrior Mountain Hand School." Silliness.

Then you have actual traditional JJJ - some of which is modern, but heavily influenced by the classical methods, and some of which is classical (old school or "koryu") which tends to be combination of handed down traditional and revised or recreated elements of the tradition that were lost.

SOME of the silly named systems may actually be better fighting systems, its just that someone is attempting to add a veneer of Japaneseness that does not exist and has no bearing on the system.

MOST of the traditional or classical systems do ONLY kata. The kata look much the same as the traditional kata within the Judo curriculum. In fact, some of the Judo kata are actual classical kata (Kime-no-Kata (Tenjin Shinyo-ryu) Koshiki-no-Kata (Kito-ryu) and others.)

Some of those that still have randori do it aikido style - in other words uke is free to attack tori, tori is free to respond how he wants, but uke cooperates with tori's responses.

Aikijujutsu methods may or may not be classical, but almost all are traditionally taught. Aiki as a "grappling" concept is pretty much confined to these arts. There is not a continuum within all JJ arts that goes from jujutsu to aikijujutsu, although WITHIN aikijujutsu systems themselves that is often the case.


There is no traditional JJ system that really does anything like the groundwork you see in BJJ. Talk to people who have lived and trained in classical systems in Japan for decades and they will tell you they have never seen it. You will see individual techniques here and there, but not put together or trained in a freestyle manner as in BJJ - except of course, in Judo. Even Fusen-ryu no longer has it.

A big difference is that a lot of the trad. JJ systems include a focus on weapons. Some offer a more realistic focus than others. The main reason for the emphasis on wrist locks and standing arm bars is because they are trying to keep the guy from drawing his sword or trying to control the sword arm of the guy that already has it out.

Now, something I have long argued with traditional JJ people is for them to take a training knife and get in a BJJ guys gaurd, then roll. The BJJ guy, if he pays attention to defending against the knife, will come up with all sorts of stuff that looks amazingly like a lot of traditional JJ finishing moves.

Why? Because the JJ principles and the basic physical strategies are the same. The combative focus has changed, that is all.

I think JJJ, standing and on the ground, offers a lot of insight to the BJJ-er. It shows where some of the stategies and tactics are based and adds a whole new dimension to training with the introduction of weapons.

Someone mentioned the ninjas - they do several trad. JJJ systems wrapped up in one package. Most have moved away from the black suits and cheesy 80's stuff. While quality varies, and some spar and others don't, they seem to explore a lot more variations on their kata and some schools have a lot of focus on updating their methods for modern weapons usage (a lot of ninja trained people are spec ops, rangers, etc.) They might be a good bet for BJJ-ers wanting to experience weapons oriented trad. JJ that they want to get something out of.