Jujitsu Conquers Rome

Last weekend, Ostia (RM) hosted the 40th International Meeting of the World Jujitsu Federation and the World Jujitsu Kobudo Organization, gathering masters from all over the world.

What is Jujitsu (柔術) or Jujutsu? It's one of Japan's oldest martial arts, first attested in documents from around 1500 but probably far older than that. Jujitsu actually gathers a variety of disciplines, from swordfighting to the use of Sai, Nunchaku, Bo staff and bare hands. The use of such peculiar weapons can be traced to the prohibition, in feudal times, to carry a weapon unless a samurai: peasants got creative and defended themselves by repurposing defense instruments as everyday implements. Bo staves were used to carry water, the Nunchaku to ground rice, the Sai to kindle embers in a fireplace.

The gathering focused mostly on hand to hand combat. Jujitsu puts a premium on using the opponent's strength against her, a well known principle of most martial arts. While Jujitsu (柔術, gentle art) and judo (柔道, gentle way) have many points in common, the latter is an Olympic sport aimed at disabling the opponent, while the former is a fighting art which is designed to kill.

Ostia saw a gathering of masters under the supervision of Giacomo Spartaco Bartoletti and Giancarlo Bagnulo. Also attending were world-renowned athlete Machado, shihan Stefano Draghi and a few Japanese masters. The gathering has been a chance to bring over knowledgeable practitioners of martial arts, and an event that surely inspired all the students who were present. Three days of tough training that surely paid off. おす!