Frequenty Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: What is Nihon Jujutsu?

A: Nihon Jujutsu is a modern Japanese martial art that focuses on practical, efficient techniques as originally found in both ancient and contemporary martial arts. Its principles and techniques derive from Japanese unarmed combat and self-defense techniques from pre-1945 judo and aikibujutsu, as well as taihojutsu (Japanese police immobilization and arresting methods). The founder of Nihon Jujutsu, Sato Shizuya, established this system based on his extensive studies with leading Japanese budoka (traditional martial artists), many of whom introduced ancient bujutsu methods into modern budo.

Q: Who is Sato Shizuya?

A: He is the founder of Nihon Jujutsu Founder, born 1929 in Tokyo, Japan. Sato-sensei began his lifetime study of judo during middle school at age 12. His father learned judo while in the Imperial Japanese Navy during World War I, and was a senior judo instructor for the Tokyo Metropolitan Police. Sato Sr. included many preeminent pre-WWII Kodokan instructors as personal friends and judo compatriots included many preeminent pre-WWII Kodokan instructors, such as Mifune Kyuzo, Nagaoka Hidekazu, Sumiyuki Kotani, and Ito Kazuo all of whom lent their personal guidance and lifelong support to Sato-sensei.

Q: How was Nihon Jujutsu Established?

A: The Founder, Sato Shizuya lived through a period of decisive change, both within Japan, and ultimately of worldwide consequence, following the catastrophic end of WWII hostilities in Asia with the surrender of Japan in 1945. During the Allied Occupation of Japan (1945 to 1952), Japan began to rebuild both physically and physiologically as a nation. Based on the vision of prominent pre-WWII martial artists, including proponents such as Mifune Kyuzo, and Ito Kazuo of Judo, Nakayama Hakudo and Takano Hiromasa of Kendo, Otsuka Hironori of Karate-do, and notable others, Sato-sensei developed a system of reliable and efficient self-defense that could be readily utilized by both men and women of all ages and backgrounds.

Q: What are the origins of Nihon Jujutsu?

A: The origins of Nihon Jujtsu can be traced directly to the following world-renown Japanese martial artists who influenced or directly contributed to its development: Ueshiba Morihei, the founder of aikibujutsu and aikido. Mifune Kyuzo, 10th dan Kodokan judo, senior instructor at the Kodokan, and founding member of the International Martial Arts Federation. Nagaoka Hidekazu, 10th dan Kodokan judo. Ito Kazuo, 8th dan Kodokan judo; Founding Member and First Chief Director, Kokusai Budoin, International Martial Arts Federation (IMAF). Kotani Sumiyaki, 10th dan Kodokan judo, Director of the SAC combatives course at the Kodokan, and a foremost expert on judo kata. Hosokawa Kusuo, 9th dan judo, taihojutsu instructor of the SAC combatives course at the Kodokan. Ishikawa Takahiko, Instructor of the SAC combatives course at the Kodokan, 2 time All Japan Judo champion, who dedicated thirty years of his life to establishing judo in North America. Dr. Tomiki Kenji, Founder of the Japan Aikido Association and Shodokan ryu aikido , 8th dan Kodokan judo, 8th dan aikido, chief aikido instructor of the SAC combatives course at the Kodokan.

Q: What is the philosophy of Nihon Jujutsu?

A: The philosophical basis of Nihon Jujutsu can be found in the Japanese axiom, 'seiryoku zenyo jitakyoei', which can be read 'Commit oneself to maximum efficiency, and mutual benefit in all endeavors'. This phrase, first coined by Kano Jigoro, the founder of Kodokan judo, refers both to applications of the physical art during training, and to the larger philosophical concept of utilizing budo as a catalyst for personal growth.

Q: How do I find out more about Nihon Jujutsu?

A: Please contact one of the recognized schools or clubs listed on our website.

Q: As an Instructor, how do I arrange to sponsor a Nihon Jujutsu seminar?

A: International seminars featuring Nihon Jujutsu are held once yearly in Europe and N. America, while national and regional seminars are sponsored at various times throughout the year. Interested organizations, programs, and clubs are invited to send inquiries via our website.

Q: Who are the leading proponents of Nihon Jujutsu?

A: Sato Shizuya is the Founder and definitive source of all technical matters. Also, his personal assistant, John B. Gage, Nihon Jujutsu Kyoshi 7 dan, judo Renshi 5 Dan, Manager of the Embassy Judo Club in Tokyo, Japan, directs training sessions both in Japan, and overseas on a regular basis. Additionally, there are numerous qualified instructors in N. America and Europe. Details available via direct inquiry at our website.

Q: Where can I learn more about the different martial arts?

A: There are lots of resources on the Internet where you can read about the various martial arts. However, we recommend the best-selling martial arts book written by Nicklaus Suino. The book is called BUDO MIND AND BODY, you can order it from the Japan Martial Arts Center Online Store - also, see links on this, and related websites.

Q: What is Jujutsu?

A: Jujutsu (also written "jujitsu" or "jiu jitsu") is a Japanese martial art that is considered the mother art of aikido, and employs many of the same principles as aikido. Like the striking arts karate and kung-fu, jujutsu teaches the effective use of striking methods, as well as the use of vital points as targets for striking in self-defense. Jujutsu also incorporates weapons practice: the tanbo for self-defense, as well as defense against such weapons as the knife, pistol, and jo (staff). Nihon Jujutsu contains techniques also found in a variety of martial arts such as aikido, bagua, hsingi, iaido, jujujtsu, judo, kali, karate, kendo, kickboxing, kungfu, san chuan dao, taekwondo, and tai chi.

Q: What is Judo?

A: Judo is both a martial art and an Olympic sport that focuses on throwing and grappling techniques. Practice comprises both kata (pre-arranged forms) and randori (sparring). The freedom of randori allows for great flexibility of movement when applying a full range of techniques that include throwing, pins, joint locks, and chokes. There is no better martial arts for developing overall strength and balance.

Q: What is aikido?

A: Aikido is a martial art that uses takedowns, throws, and joint locks to defend against attacks. The essence of aikido is the use of the attacker's own force to disable the attack. For example, when an attacker steps forward to punch, the aikido practitioner can pivot and redirect the force of the punch, causing the attacker to lose his or her balance. Aikido is considered an excellent martial art for learning self-discipline and how to harmonize with others.

Q: What is Kendo?

A: Kendo is a martial sport based on Japanese swordsmanship. In kendo, the participants wear padded armor and try to score points by striking one another with bamboo swords called "shinai." The object in kendo is to strike the opponent in one of four vital areas (head, wrist, abdomen, or throat) without being struck at the same time. Besides being a tremendous workout, kendo is really exciting, and it teaches critical distance, timing, and angle principles for the swordsperson.

Q: What is Karate?

A: Karate is a martial art that primarily involves punching, kicking, and blocking skills. Practice methods consist of kata (formal karate forms), kihon (basic karate skills), randori (free practice), and kumite (sparring). It is an excellent martial art for teaching balance, distancing, and timing, and is very useful for self-defense.