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Jutte: Japanese Power-Of-Ten
Hands Weapon Book Review

Jutte: Japanese Power-of-Ten Hands Weapon,
by George Kirby.  (Ohara Publications 1987)

To the best of this reviewer's knowledge, this book is the only English language work on this ancient weapon. For those wishing additional knowledge on this weapon, the reader is directed to the article on this website titled The Jutte: Traditional Weapon of Taiho-Jutsu, by this reviewer.

The author of this text is the George Kirby, a well-known, high-ranking jujutsu practitioner. From the jujutsu books Kirby has published, along with his training, his jujutsu style may be considered a "soft" style. The reason this is relevant is that the techniques shown in this book are "softer" than those this reviewer was taught by Naraki Hara, a martial arts legend now 92 years old, of samurai heritage. This is not to say the techniques presented are more or less effective than those taught to the reviewer -- merely different.

The text is 255 pages, and filled with large, clear photographs, in eight chapters. Well-written instruction accompanies the photos. Chapter titles are: Origins of the Jutte; Theory Behind Use of the Jutte; Holding and drawing the Jutte; Blocks and Strikes; Techniques for Grabs, Chokes, and Holds; Techniques for Hits, Kicks, and Weapon Attacks; Sword Draw Counters; Jutte Grab Defenses.



Just as there are differences between Shotokan, Taekwondo, and Hsing I, for example, there are stylistic differences in the use of the Jutte. However, there are some techniques this reviewer finds problematic. To elaborate, there are some photos which show the author kneeling over the attacker from the waist.  In terms of balance and control, this is a dangerous position for the defender to be. Additionally, there are techniques which require the defender to move close to the attacker to either throw or use a joint block, without protecting against the right-handed attacker's left hand. These techniques are "valid" because they are part of Kirby's style and system. From a Taiho-Jutsu perspective, they are not recommended.

Overall, despite the negatives mentioned, this book is recommended because of its uniqueness and instruction in an art rarely seen and taught today. The book is out of print, but may be purchased through book sellers as Alibris, some Amazon book sellers, and occasionally, it is found on eBay.


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