Ju-Jutsu 柔術 is a method of combat with or without weapons which the exponents utilize Atemi Waza 当て身業 (striking, punching, kicking and blocking techniques), Nage Waza 投げ業 (sweeping, takedown and throwing techniques) and Katame Waza 固め業 (grappling using hold-down, choke and joint lock techniques).
The term Ju-Jutsu was coined during the Tokugawa era (1615 – 1867) of Japanese history corresponding with the earliest part of the Ming Dynasty of China (1386 – 1644). Ju-Jutsu translates as the art of pliability. Ju 柔 literally translates as soft, tender, mild or mellow. Some people mistakenly translate this to mean gentle. In reality Ju 柔 takes on more of an abstract meaning and is more apropos to the heart of pliability, flexibility or to give way. There is really nothing gentle about Ju-Jutsu at all. There is a strong indication that historically Ju-Jutsu came from or evolved from the Chinese system of Ch’in-na 檎拿 (seizing art) and probably went to Japan as an adjunct of Shuai Jiao (grappling art).
Ju-Jutsu is very similar to Karate-Do and may be it first cousin. The primary difference is where the emphasis of training is and the fact that Ju-Jutsu puts more emphasis on Nage Waza (sweep, take-down and throw techniques) and Katame Waza (grappling techniques). Whereas, Karate-Do, while including Nage Waza and some Katame Waza, puts more emphasis on Atemi Waza (striking, punching, kicking and blocking techniques).