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At present, there are many clubs and associations of Ju-Jitsu/Jiu-Jitsu in Britain. In my present and admittedly limited understanding of the history (which others may feel free to add to) is as following.

Jiu-Jitsu started in this country around the 1950/60's. This style was Hontai Yoshin-ryu. This is one of the major traditional ryu or styles worldwide.

Following the teachings by a Japanese master, several 'locals' were trained in and around Liverpool. The main organisation to follow in the wake of these teachings is the World Ju-Jitsu Federation (WJJF). This was founded in 1977 by Prof. Robert Clarke (9th Dan).

There are also other practitioners in Liverpool, the most noted of which is headed by Soke Hanoi (10th Dan). I am unclear of the exact links between the two, but I believe there to be some grass roots links to their respective arts.

Following the WJJF, the British Ju-Jitsu Association (BJJA) was founded. They were a direct splinter group of the larger WJJF. The BJJA's main aim seems to be to bring Ju-Jitsu to a sporting forum, in similar ways to which happened to Judo. The BJJA are officially recognised by Sport England, which in turn are recognised by the Olympic Committee.

If anybody has any insider information on the early story of the WJJF / BJJA I would be more than happy to hear from you, a lot of the info. of this early time is heavily guarded as it was largely shaped from internal politics. I believe there is some form of court battle following some of these 'politics'.

Another organisation that is in Britain is the Jitsu Foundation. I will talk about this group separately as they are the only British style I know much about which have no heritage leading back to Hontai Yoshin-ryu.

The figurehead of the Jitsu Foundation is Shihan Brian Graham (7th Dan). This was a taught to Shihan, by a German called Mark Komp who was in turn taught by a Japanese gentleman in Australia; at that time Ju-Jitsu was banned and training was covertly taught under the guise of Judo. The reasons of which I shall not go in to, but might at a latter date.
Well due to popular demand, here is a bit of an insight

The Jitsu Foundation, previously known as Samurai Jitsu is a very traditional style centering on stamina and street weapon defense. At present it is the most prevalent style in British Universities.

Recent Developments in E2
There has been a recent discussionin E2 about what is the 'correct' spelling of this art. Suggestions at present are:

  • Jiu Jitsu
  • Ju Jitsu
  • Ju Jutsu
  • Joo Jitsu
  • Joo Jutsu
  • Further variations are created by hyphenating these words or by making them in to one word. I used Jiu Jitsu as the oldest book about this art I own spells it this way.

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