When asking where did jiu-jitsu come from, we must first ask why do martial arts exist at all? Which is an interesting question. Perhaps if we were a group of tribesmen roaming the countryside in search of humongous beasts, then we had no need to learn martial arts, but we needed to know how to fight and strategize. Then again, maybe there was internal turmoil within the group. Any sort of place where there has been dubbed “a civilization.” There has always been a form of martial arts, right?
I spend time on this because it’s a funny thing to think about, just when exactly did martial arts start? Because the movement involved in any martial art is requisite of making specific movements in a specific sequence of events. Martial arts is like language, something passed down, and it grows, it necessitates proper responses to specific circumstances. If fighting is as natural as talking then the origins of jiu-jitsu must reach farther back then its origins claim. As far back as I know in my limited research, jiu-jitsu got its name either from two places which in the span of time are not that far from each other.
Jiu-jitsu as it is called started after Mitsuyo Maeda came to Brazil. There had been levels of Judo and what’s called newaza which emphasized ground fighting. Something that multiples of geographically separate regions from long ago in history all share is ground fighting. In ancient Greece in the first Olympics, wrestling was the sport of warriors who were thrown in front of the procession hall of the gods, to show what capabilities and mastery a man had over the human body. Which now makes me think jiu-jitsu or judo much be far older than anticipated. And has existed before the Gi was considered the traditional training garment.
And perhaps and it’s very likely jiu-jitsu came before the traditional weapon of the Samurai and perhaps the katana was an extension from jiu-jitsu. They both show similar emphasis on the art of “taking limbs.” Which is very curious.