Jujitsu is literally the art of softness or the way of yielding, can be learned unarmed or armed, and evolved from the ancient Samurai methods of defeating opponents, despite the presence or absence of a weapon on either side of opposition. Because the enemies were usually armored, any kind of striking blow was futile for the feudal attacker. Instead, creative pins, throws, joint locks and other methods of neutralizing were much more effective. The principle of using an enemy's momentum against him is what the whole martial art is centered on.
Varying greatly from school to school and tradition to tradition, jujitsu for the most part hinges on mastering the different grappling techniques. Some schools teach the use of weapons, but primarily it is an open hand art. Originally formed centuries ago, today it comes in many modified forms. For the sporting students, both judo and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu have been derived. In fact, Judo is a recognized and exciting Olympic sport. The Japanese traditions focus on throwing, pinning, choking, and strangling. Striking techniques are still virtually unused because of the traditional samurai body armor usage. Practitioners often train to use potentially deadly moves, but most training is not for competition so students learn ways to break their falls so has not to be injured in a throw.
Jujitsu is known for its five pillars or arts of training. The Art of Blocking is all about defending against an array of attacks. The Art of the Fulcrum Throw is just like in judo, using a point of leverage to throw the opponent. This is in contrast to the Art of the Non-fulcrum Throw which needs no or very little direct contact with the one being thrown. The Art of Escaping is all about getting out of grapples, whereby avoiding being thrown, pinned, locked, choked, or strangled. Lastly, the Art of Striking is taught with the purpose of using punching, kicking and physical blow in combination with the different attacks listed above.