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Jiu Jitsu or Judo?

August 17, 2013

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Navy WAVE Naomi Sue Kleinberg Edmond Tofil, US Marine Corps, demonstrate the art of jiu jitsu during a demonstration at the Hunter College boot camp in 1943. She’s using a circle throw against her opponent.

Both Kleinberg and Tofil were experts in the martial art of jiu jitsu, which itself is a hybrid of judo. The confusion? The terms “judo” and “jiu jitsu” were originally largely interchangeable both inside and outside of Japan, where the martial art originated. But as of 1925, the Japanese government mandated that “judo” was the proper term to be used. Did the Navy use the term jiu jitsu during the war to help differentiate American martial arts fighters from the enemy Japan? Good question – and it’s not clear what the answer is. If anyone knows, let us know in the comments.

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