What does the name "jiu-jitsu" mean?

Have you ever wondered why we have this different name for our sport? Despite the history of the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu – developed by Great Master Carlos Gracie, the name “jiu-jitsu” has a Japanese origin. In fact, it is a Japanese term. The name, which is now part of thousands of lives, is the way to pronounce and write the Japanese term formed by ideograms (graphic symbol used to represent a word or an abstract concept in ancient times) “ju-jutsu” which means gentle art.


JJDespite what the guys from bjj may think, the gentle art concept is not strictly linked to jiu-jitsu. It is present in over 90% of the world-famous martial arts. Within the gentle art concept – understood as using the opponent’s strength to your advantage – there are modalities like Korean, Chinese, Russian and even Brazilian indigenous martial arts.

It may sound strange, dear reader, but according to the martial understandings coming from Japan itself, jiu-jitsu is not the name of a sport. This name that we love so much stands for the Japanese set of defense martial arts with or without the use of weapons. “Ju-jutsu”, gentle art, or jiu-jitsu – regardless of the name that is given to this set of techniques, the only certainty that prevails in the world is that this sport becomes a passion for everyone who starts practicing it.


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