Journal of Martial Arts Anthropology

Abstract - Jujutsu yesterday and today. From research on the institutionalization of martial arts

The theoretical perspective is co-created by the Humanistic Martial Arts’ Theory (HMAT) and the sociology of martial arts, including the sociological categories of institutions and institutionalization [Cynarski 2004]. The object of research is the old-Japanese martial art jūjutsu in the process of adaptive changes, curriculum and organizational development. This work is only a sketch, preliminary to the in-depth monographic study.
Scientific problem. Description and explanation of the process of adaptation of traditional Asian martial arts to changing conditions (socio-cultural context) and the institutionalization of martial arts in Europe – based on the example of jūjutsu. Selected examples of this institutionalization and adaptation are analysed.
Methodology. Practical knowledge1, observations by the author, a long-term participant (since 1977) and accounts obtained from 11 jūjutsu highest rank masters, constitute a major source and method of (qualitative) research. Additionally, the author takes into account the literature (content analysis) and analysis of documents from several organizations, in which he has been involved for approximately 30 years (Idokan, Tenshin Shōden Katori Shinto-ryū, Takeda-ryū, Idōkan Poland Association, IMAF / Kokusai Budō Renmei, DDBV and others).
Results / observations. Adaptive changes to jūjutsu have constantly occurred. There have been changes in the system of education and certification. This system is formalized, and sometimes complex, and at other times it has been simplified and adapted to commercial needs for relatively easy and rapid progress. Evolution of applications and changing curricula (technical sphere) are accompanied by evolution of the ideological sphere. The manifestations of humanization and regression in a polymorphous reality of jūjutsu and related systems are intertwined here.

1The author has a degree 8 dan in jūjutsu and title of master kaiden shihan of the Idōkan Yōshin-ryū (school).