What is Kempo Jujitsu?



BSKJJA was founded by Shihan Mark Watson and has been established since 2004.At the Academy we teach a modern style of Kempo Jujitsu with focus on real world self-defence. Kempo means "The Way of the Fist", while Jujitsu means "Gentle art" or "Gentle Way" but if the situation calls for it Jujitsu can be anything but gentle and can be quite brutal in its application.In short it’s a combination of arts all rolled into one seamless fighting system. It combines traditional Japanese Jujitsu with many styles of striking from kickboxing to Chinese Kempo, throwing techniques similar to judo, takedowns from wrestling, ground fighting similar to Brazilian Jiu jitsu and weapon defences making it a very well rounded martial art and an excellent system of self-defence.



From the crude wrestling of armoured warriors came a refined and scientific way of throwing, holding and subduing. The opponents weight strength and momentum was used against him and his intent was weakened by blows to vulnerable areas. Some schools of Kempo began teaching the art to non-warriors and a form of competition between schools developed.In Kempo Jujitsu we wear a black heavy weight uniform (gi). There is a ladder of progression against which the Kempo Jujitsu student can measure themselves and each rung on the ladder is identified by a coloured belt. As the student progresses, so the syllabus expands and becomes more technically demanding.



YOROI KUMI UCHI grappling methods used for combat are as old as man on the Asian continent and this is no less true than in Japan. When the warrior class dominated Japan such grappling skill became the foundation of close quarter fighting. Methods of grappling dominated the close quarters combat systems of the warriors simply because those of a purely kick and strike nature proved ineffective against weapons and armour. Note: Many of today’s martial arts like Karate Do, Kung Fu, Aikido and Kickboxing may work well in the dojo, the loose fitting martial arts gi gives a fake freedom of movement, but high kicks have their limitations when wearing tight everyday clothes.This is why many of the world's armed forces train in a Kempo Ju-jitsu type of martial art, E.g. a SAS commando would be hard pressed to kick above knee height and maintain balance with 30-40kg of equipment on his back.

Yoroi Kumi Uchi or grappling in armour is a practical system of combat that became necessary when warriors engaged in single combat and for whatever reason had abandoned their major weapons, however Yoroi Kumi Uchi combat is not necessarily unarmed combat. With weapon in hand this form requires the combatants to use their hips and limbs in a powerful fashion. This is made possible through the Yotsu-gumi, a four handed symmetrical method of gripping by which the combatants lock to each other without actually grasping the armour. Mastering the Yotsu-gumi was essential to effective grappling in armour. Through this manner of locking up the warrior developed the balance, leverage and mobility with which to preserve his position and to hurl his enemy to the ground at any appropriate moment in the standing grappling action. Either Warrior could draw his short blade, the Yori-doshi which was worn at the left hip, but of course great skill was required to maintain one’s own balance and control the struggles of the enemy while one hand sought to unsheathe the short blade and plunge it into vital of his body. A large number of classical combative traditions gave considerable attention to the study of Yoroi Kumi Uchi. On the basis of historical evidence the TSUTSUMI-HOZAN RYU a fifteenth-century martial tradition, appears to have been the first to do so.



Purely empty hand systems are by and large the product of the Meiji and later eras.

HEIAN PERIOD 794 – 1185


EDO PERIOD 1603 – 1868

In order that this important fact may be seen and the true nature of empty hand methods be understood, some background as to the relationship between empty hand combat and the classical weapons system is necessary. The classical warriors had little use for any system of combat that did not use weapons. This was primarily because the opportunity for unarmed combat was rare, being favoured by neither custom nor circumstances. The very rationale and mystique that surrounded the classical warrior revolved around his possession of weapons. The necessities of the time in which he functioned required him to be well armed and trained in the use of deadly weapons. For the warrior to even entertain the idea of success in combat, he could only attack his foe when armed. The fact that armour was worn influenced the manner in which a warrior would deal with his foe. Mere sparring tactics of a boxing nature by striking, punching or kicking to anatomically weak points were hopelessly ineffective and would likely result in more injury to the attacker that the intended victim. It was quite natural then that close quarter combat should be characterised by grappling methods. The general word describing these methods of combat was Kumi Uchi, and expression that suggests the clashing of to two combatants at close range. These methods of grappling included the liberal use of atemi (Strikes) as could be delivered when the opportunity arose. Teachings contained in the TENSHIN SHODEN KATORI SHINTO RYU, a fifteenth century martial tradition from the KAMAKAGA period mention a systematic kind of grappling carried out bet when persons who may or may not be armed in the style of KATORI SHINTO RYU. The TACKENOUCHI RYU, founded in the first half of the 16th century, featured a kind of grappling with the warrior clad in a minimal armour consisting of leggings and gauntlets. It was also a method of restraining an assailant using purely empty handed methods of combat.

ARAKI MUJINSIA(1584-1637) as a youth studied swordsmanship under YAGYU SHIKAGE RYU masters. As the 11th Headmaster of the MUSO JIKIDEN RYU, Mujinsia also studied with Kaganosuke and thereafter founded his own style of combat, which he first called ARAKI RYU, later after adding more weapons and open handed techniques to his system he retitled it BUDO ARAKI RYU KEMPO. The name suggests a synthesis of various arts of combat, a complete system. A clear cut shift in emphasis from weapons to empty hand tactics was revealed in the development of ARAKI RYU KEMPOTRAINING IN KEMPO Jujitsu was "ABOUT BLOOD SWEAT AND TEARS"...Training either makes or breaks a trainee, however by the late 17th century the BUDO ARAKI RYU KEMPO had adapted itself to the Tokuguan society.

 In its Dojo the following injunctions were posted:


The name Kempo, which may be roughly described as a method of killing people, possessed many points of resemblance to Jujitsu but was totally different in practice being a system of self defence against sudden attack with the intent to kill and repaying the attempt in kind. Kempo of course was a system of attack that branched off from Jujitsu into the paths of strenuous endeavour, but apart from the fact it was more scientific than Ju-jitsu, it was declared an illegal practice when the sanctity of human life was recognized under the new regime in Japan. Another analogous system, known as Tori in some parts of Japan, and Shime in others was an extension of Kempo in the department of groundwork. It is possible that many of the holds and locks of Jujitsu were originated by exponents of Tori.It is not wished to imply that the power to dislocate a joint, break a limb or even kill an opponent (which were the cause of prohibition of Kempo) do not exist in Jujitsu, since all Jujitsu experts are well acquainted with them. It does well to point out that these powers are rarely if ever exercised as the locks are so complete that the mere threat of damage with their application implies, is enough for the most obstinate opponent to cry for mercy. 


Kempo Jujitsu is effective and practical; it is the ideal martial art of self-defence necessary for the modern world.




 Budo Shin Ryu Kempo Jujitsu:



Literally, the word, shin, may be translated as “truth,” but may also refer to “heart or spirit,” and “core or marrow.” Budo translates as “the martial Way,” and Ryu means “style” or “organization.” The meaning of shin, in this context, relates more to the idea of being “true of its origin.” It is meant to convey a sense of genuineness as well as a commitment to the “core” or “marrow” of traditional Budo....Whereas Kempo translates "to strike" or "way of the fist" and Jujitsu is translated as "the gentle art" which in return generates a complimentary combined system of combat.

 "Budo" - Martial way/path

 "Shin" - Truth/Spirit/Heart

 "Ryu" - Style

 "Kempo" - Way of the Fist

 "Ju" - Gentle

 "Jitsu" - Art 

"Budo - Shin - Ryu - Kempo Jujitsu" -- "The true path of Martial Arts"...




Following the 7 principles of the Bushido Code at the Academy establishes discipline & decorum.









    "Strength through knowledge"... 

This teaches us the respect & essence to be less arrogant in life as we become nourished on knowledge,not just through training in martial arts;but we are also taught that no matter how much we educate others,we learn by our mistakes where we gain strength & infinite wisdom. 



which translated means to having a "mind like water" - remaining calm in situations that bring strife and aggression,to not show fear but resolve in being courageous & resolute.When ripples appear in a stream it is only the surface that is disturbed leaving the deeper water to flow peacefully.


We adapt our techniques, and some we alter to fit our ever changing environment. Often people find a change to surroundings and can find themselves in unfimiliar territory that makes them feel uncomfortable. At the Academy, We evolve Kempo Jujitsu, while still maintaining the traditional Jujitsu technique lineage, to fit realistic situations so confidence can be retained in dealing with sometimes hostile and violent encounters.

" Like a river,Kempo Jujitsu needs to adapt and alter to its surroundings,ebbing away what has passed,in order to sustain consistency.No man ever steps into the same river,for it is not the same river,and he is not the same man...."


“there is nothing outside of yourself that can ever enable you to get better, stronger, richer, quicker, or smarter. Everything is within. Everything exists. Seek nothing outside of yourself.” 

 Miyamoto Musashi.Book of five rings..


 Kempo Ju Jitsu teaches the practitioner (Known as Ju-jitsuka):

Breakfalling technique (Ukemi Waza) 

Stance technique (Dachi Waza) 

Blocking & parrying technique (Uke Waza)  

Throwing & sweeping technique (Nage Waza)

Lock and use of joint manipulation technique (Kansetsu  waza)

Striking technique (Atemi Waza )

Kicking technique (Geri Waza)

Self defence against armed & unarmed opponent / s (Goshin Jutsu)

Movement (Tai Sabaki)

Balance (Kuzushi) 

Nerve & pressure point manipulation (Kyusho Jutsu)

Ground fighting & Grappling technique (Katame Waza)

Board breaking  (Tameshiwari)

Traditional japanese weapons (Kobudo) 

Confidence,Awareness,Self Defence skills & Discipline. 

 Kata (forms), waza (technique) and kihon (basic) are an intrinsic part of Martial Arts as these teach us the disciplined path of displaying  the exact coordination needed to extend our knowledge.Here is a breakdown including Kata's that are taught at the  Academy vary from body avoidance & movement & ground fighting hold downs to weapons Kata (kobudo).


Tai Sabaki no Kata - Avoidance and body movement. 

Uke Kihon no Kata - Basic blocking forms. 

Geri waza no kata - Kicking forms.

 Nage no Kata - Throwing forms.

 Katame no Kata - Groundwork forms.

Ju Roku Osae Komi ne waza - 16 Hold down & pinning techniques.  

 Kime no Kata (shinobi) - Close quarter Combat forms.

 Bo Kihon no Kata - Long staff basic forms.

Ken and Bo Kihon no Kata - Bokken and staff basic forms. 

 Kokyu Ryuu Jo no Kata - Breathing dragon Short staff forms.

Goshindo kenjutsu - Bokken cutting sequence.

Yuki no Naka de Ashioto Sai no Kata - Footsteps in snow trident forms. 

 Aki Yama Katana no Kata - Autumn mountain sword forms (Kenjutsu).

 Karasu no Hikō Jo no kata - Flight of the crow short staff forms no2.

 Aki no Ochiba Kama no kata - Falling leaves of autumn sickle forms. 

E-bo no Kata - End forms.


 Understanding self defence concepts.

Go no Sen - Counter attack.Block and defend the attack.

Sen no Sen - Simultaneous Response.Attack the attack.

SenSen no Sen - Pre-emptive attack. Defend before the attack. 


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