Karate and Jujutsu are both traditional self defence arts using strikes, locks and throws – so how do we tell one from the other?

Pictured: Hironori Ohtsuka was a master of Yoshin Ryu Jujutsu and Wado Ryu Karate

1) Karate is Okinawan; Jujutsu is mainland Japanese

2) Karate uses prescribed stances (ie Zenkutsu Dachi), Jujutsu uses prescribed hand positions (Jodan, Chudan, Gedan Kamae)

3) Karate uses solo forms, Jujutsu uses paired kata

4) Okinawan Bushi (Karateka) were primarily empty-handed; Japanese Bushi (Samurai) were primarily armed

5) Karate kata hides its applications within the form; Jujutsu applications are usually seen and are self evident

6) Karate uses many hand shapes (knife hand, single knuckle punch etc); Jujutsu does not (because Samurai wore restrictive gauntlets)

7) Karate was practiced by bodyguards, officials and civilians; Jujutsu was practiced by professional warriors/knights

8) Karate was developed by a handful (maybe a dozen) pioneers across a few hundred years; Jujutsu was developed by thousands of warriors over a thousand years. Karate was taught by individuals on an informal basis; Jujutsu was taught by professional instructors within each warrior clan and taught in a formal arranged fashion

9) Jujutsu was developed almost solely in Japan. Perhaps around 99% of Jujutsu schools were developed purely by Japanese teachers in an isolated fashion within their Ryu; whereas Karate was developed with direct influences from Okinawa, Japan, China, Thailand, Vietnam and Taiwan. Japan was a nationalistic cultural art; Karate was a mixing pot of influences

10) Jujutsu was designed to be practiced in restrictive clothing from full armour to sandles, riding hakama, kimono, while wearing weapons; Karate may be freely executed in a minimal attire, not much different from today’s gi.hironori_ohtsuka6.jpg

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