The USJA believes that all variations of Jujitsu have something to offer
our Jujitsuka. We believe that all styles can peacefully coexist under
one banner. We believe that all styles of Jujitsu should conform to the
basic principles as broadly depicted in the USJA Jujitsu manual. We
welcome variation and innovation, while still preserving the ancient
principles and philosophy of Jujitsu.
This Is The First Jujitsu System Of Its Kind.
Most Jujitsu systems are the work of one outstanding technician, but
this is not the case with our USJA Jujitsu system. USJA Jujitsu is not a
personal system; it is the unique product of nearly 1,000 years of
street and technical experience by more than 30 experts who have taught
thousands of students the Way of Budo. Like so many national USJA
programs, our Jujitsu system is totally unique. There is no doubt that
the philosophy, techniques, and organized training methods of the system
represent a significant event in the history of American Budo.
Three basic premises guided the selection and development of the USJA Jujitsu techniques.
- Each technique could be done by those without a lot of strength.
- Each technique had to be simple to understand and apply.
- Each technique had to be legally defensible in a court of law.
One of the most unique features to the USJA system is that it is not a
static system. The techniques and rank requirements constantly undergo
review and revision. The goal of the USJA system is to maintain a series
of Jujitsu techniques that are applicable to today’s life styles and
needs, not those of 100 to 1,000 years ago.
Other unique characteristics of the USJA Jujitsu system include:
Recognition of Jujitsu Ranks Issued By Other Organizations.
The USJA recognizes Jujitsu ranks awarded by national and regional
Jujitsu organizations accepted by the USJA National Jujitsu Steering
Committee. It is important to understand that the USJA recognizes that
many Jujitsuka and their Instructors may wish to continue to obtain
their Jujitsu ranks from other organizations and still join the USJA to
obtain the many benefits of USJA membership, such as our Comprehensive
Martial Arts Insurance Program.
Registration of Jujitsu Ranks by Current USJA Members.
Current USJA members who wish to register their Jujitsu ranks should
complete the “How to Register All Your Martial Arts (Budo) Ranks with
Our Association” form (see Appendices). They must also attach to this
form, a copy of their Jujitsu rank certificates and the registration fee
for each separate rank being registered. A new membership card showing
their Jujitsu rank and other Budo ranks (if registered) will then be
issued to the member.
Registration of Jujitsu Ranks by New USJA Members.
Members who wish to have their Jujitsu ranks recorded when they first
join the USJA, renew their USJA membership, or become a USJA Life
Member, should indicate on the USJA Membership Application (see
Appendices) the Jujitsu rank that they wish to register. When the new
member’s computer record and file are created, the new member’s Jujitsu
rank will be printed on their new membership card. There is no charge
for this service. A copy of the new member’s Jujitsu rank certificate
must be attached to the USJA Membership Application.
Issuance Of USJA Jujitsu Rank Certificates When Rank Was Issued By Other Organizations.
These cases are handled exactly like a promotion in USJA Jujitsu. A USJA
member who holds a recognized Jujitsu rank issued by any organization
other than the USJA may obtain a USJA certificate for that rank by
completing the USJA Judo and Jujitsu Promotion Recommendation (see
Appendices). The applicant must be examined for the USJA rank by a USJA
Jujitsu Black Belt of higher rank who will sign the form and send it to
the USJA for issuance of the appropriate USJA Jujitsu rank certificate. A
copy of the Jujitsu rank certificate of the issuing organization must
be attached to this application. The promotion fee will be the same as
for all USJA Judo and Jujitsu promotions.
USJA Jujitsu Rank Structure
|Beginner||White Belt||1st Degree Black (Shodan)||Black Belt + Shodan Patch|
|6th Class Rank (Rokyu)||Yellow or White Belt + Rokyu Patch||2nd Degree Black (Nidan)||Black Belt + Nidan Patch|
|5th Class Rank (Gokyu)||Orange Belt + Gokyu Patch||3rd Degree Black (Sandan)||Black Belt + Sandan Patch|
|4th Class Rank (Yonkyu)||Green Belt + Yonkyu Patch||4th Degree Black (Yodan)||Red & Black Belt + Yodan Patch|
|3rd Class Rank (Sankyu)||Brown Belt + Sankyu Patch||5th Degree Black (Godan)||Red & Black Belt + Godan Patch|
|2nd Class Rank (Nikyu)||Brown Belt + Nikyu Patch||6th Degree Black (Rokudan)||Red & White Belt + Rokudan Patch|
|1st Class Rank (Ikkyu)||Brown Belt + Ikkyu Patch||7th Degree Black (Shichidan)||Red & White Belt + Shichidan Patch|
|8th Degree Black (Hachidan)||Red & White Belt + Hachidan Patch|
|9th Degree Black (Kudan)||Red Belt + Kudan Patch|
|10th Degree Black (Judan)||Special White Belt + Judan Patch|
As previously mentioned, the USJA Jujitsu system is unique in many ways.
Like other martial arts, there are beginning levels (Kyu grades) and
black belt levels (Dan grades). In the USJA Jujitsu rank system there
are six beginning and ten black belt levels. USJA Jujitsu ranks and
certificates will be awarded according to this system.
The similarity to other martial arts ranks however ceases at this point.
The basis for the Kyu grades in USJA Jujitsu is the attainment of
Shodan or First Degree Black Belt. To achieve Shodan the student must
learn and become competent in 157 techniques and have knowledge of 6
mental training areas. The order in which the student learns the
techniques for Shodan is not important. Therefore specific techniques
for each rank level have not been identified. Instead, a specific number
of various types of techniques for each rank have been established. By
designing the rank structure for Kyu grades this way, the student and
the instructor both have input in how the student progresses through the
ranks. Also, focus is placed on higher level achievement rather than on
Additional Promotion Requirements for Yodan and Above.
The Jujitsu ranks of Yodan and above are considered higher ranks. These
ranks are reserved for Instructors that are leaders in their dojo,
community, and state. These instructors are considered experts and
their rank should reflect their accomplishments.
It is of the utmost importance to ensure the quality of the candidates
seeking higher rank. Written applications and recommendations alone are
not adequate to testify to the USJA Jujitsu Promotion Board as to the
level of competence in Jujitsu of the candidate.
The candidate should seek to test in front of one of the members of the USJA Promotion Board.
Because of the size of the United States, this may be impractical and expensive.
In lieu of such examination, the USJA Jujitsu Promotion Board is
requesting that the candidate submit a complete Jujitsu history and
copies of the candidates rank certifications. The candidate must also
submit a comprehensive, typed, Jujitsu biography listing Jujitsu
achievements and services in chronological order and detail. Master
Examiner recommendations will be taken into consideration; however, the
USJA Jujitsu Promotion Board will have the final say in the candidate’s
promotion or denial.
The USJA Jujitsu Promotion Board would also like a short 20-30 minute
video of the candidate demonstrating and teaching Jujitsu techniques.
The video may include blocks, strikes, throws, holds, counters,
combinations, submissions and escapes. The demonstrations should be
clear and precise and the candidate may choose to elaborate and include
as details and variations.
The video and paperwork will be a representation of the candidate’s
abilities and should reflect the rank they are requesting to be promoted
to. The candidates should adhere to the philosophy that “The rank
should follow the individual; the individual should not follow the
The promotion paperwork, exam, recommendations and the video should be
submitted to the USJA National Office along with the required fee. The
entire promotion package will be reviewed and assessed by the USJA
Jujitsu Promotion Board before the promotion is approved.