Ju Jutsu (the soft or flexible technique) was in ancient Japan that of the samurai hand-to-hand combat system, a technique developed with the aim of killing an opponent.
There are many disputed theories about its origin. The most basic and common theory is that the history begins with the legend of the Indian monk Boddhidharma (called Daruma in Japanese). He came to China in the 6th century. Boddhidharma was schooled in vajramushti, an indian fighting system. He became active in the Shaolin Monastery and created a fighting system there, with the aim of strengthening the monks’ physical health and defense capabilities. During the Middle Ages, a trade exchange began between Japan and China. The combat system of the monks was thus spread and adopted by the samurai.
However, there are some theories that Ju Jutsu might has a greater domestic origin than previously believed.
During the 17th century, there were over 700 different jujutsu schools in Japan. When the samurai class was abolished in the end of the 19th century the art was dying out. However, some schools were preserved and several other Budō arts evolved from Ju Jutsu, for example aikido, judo, wadoryu karate-do.
The name Ju Jutsu is often translated as ”the soft technique”. Jutsu means technique. Ju, however, can have several different meanings; softness, soft as opposed to hard (as opposed to the sword), noble and flexible.
Flexible is probably the most accurate translation, although soft has become the most widely used. Ju represents a principle, a method in how to use the body as a weapon and a strategy. The most characteristic thing about Ju Jutsu is flexibility, the softness and compliance to able to use the opponent’s power and energy against himself.
Ju Jutsu’s spread to Sweden:
Ju Jutsu was first introduced in Sweden in 1907 by Viking Cronholm (1874–1961), the Swedish Ju Jutsu’s ancestor.