Vancouver Institute of Self Defense


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Jutte (Ju-Te): The "Power-of-Ten-Hands" Weapon

  The Jutte (upper-upper-right) is the uniquely distinctive weapon of Jujitsu. It is never used outside of a dojo, but it’s evolutionary daughters such as the ASP baton (lower-upper-right) are.  It is perhaps instructive to learn that an important element of the Samurai warrior tradition of Japan was necessarily defensive in character. In Feudal Japan, it was a crime punishable by death to bring a sword into the palace of the Shogun. This law applied to everyone except the shogun’s sons and Hatemoto (most trusted retainers), including the palace guards. However, palace guards needed some means of dealing with potential assassins, belligerent drunks, etc., who might somehow make their way into the near proximity of the Shogun's person. We know that several kinds of non-sword, mainly defensive weapons were carried by these palace guards, but one was particularly effective at dealing with everything including a katana, the long sword, and ultimately evolved to become the distinguishing symbol of a palace guard's exalted position: the Jutte.

  We know of these elegant but subtle weapons from several sources, including the 300-year-old print to the right. The guard holds between his teeth a Jutte (from "Ju", meaning ten, and "Te", meaning hand or hands), translated as the Power-of-Ten- Hands weapon. The red cord wrapped around the tang indicates that this is a regular guard, not an officer; an officer's Jutte tang would have purple cord wrapped around it. The length of rope in the guard's hands is intended to bind the defeated attacker.

In our school we teach Jutte, primarily to understand where characteristic techniques such as Kote-Gaish evolved from, but also to better frame the historical context of our art - and as a natural lead-in to training with an expandable steel baton, the ultimate knife defense! For more information read:

George Kirby, 1987, “Jutte - Japanese power-of-ten-hands weapon”:Ohara Publications.