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Wally Jay’s 10 Principles for Execution of Small-Circle Jujitsu Techniques (Part 3 of 3)

Wally Jay’s 10 Principles for Execution of Small-Circle Jujitsu Techniques (Part 3 of 3)

This article is the third of three excerpts from the Wally Jay book Small-Circle Jujitsu, in which the late founder describes the foundational ideas of his system of jujitsu techniques. These concepts are essential reading for anyone looking to get started in the art — or, on the opposite end of the spectrum, to get back to basics and address negative habits that may have developed over the years.

Read Wally Jay’s 10 Principles for Execution of Small-Circle Jujitsu Techniques (Part 1 of 3)!

Read Wally Jay’s 10 Principles for Execution of Small-Circle Jujitsu Techniques (Part 2 of 3)!


Wally Jay’s Small-Circle Jujitsu Techniques — Principle #9: Rotational Momentum

Rotational momentum is one of the major types of movement in small-circle jujitsu techniques. Henry Okazaki demonstrated this back in 1944. It is a method of creating strong off-balancing moves as a preliminary to throwing the opponent.

By holding the opponent with both hands, you circle both hands in the same direction. One hand pulls while the other pushes. As the opponent leans to oppose your influence, you circle back, adding your force to his own body momentum to shift him off-balance.

Wally Jay’s Small-Circle Jujitsu Techniques — Principle #10: Transitional Flow

The purpose of learning the art of transitional flow for your jujitsu techniques is to enable you to counterattack any intentions of your adversary by fluidly moving from one technique to another.

Watching a polished technician change jujitsu techniques is an impressive experience. He moves like a dancer instead of a brawler. He is relaxed, confident, calm, quick and mobile. His change of counter-techniques is dependent on what his attacker does. Normally, the first transitional change is sufficient to subdue the opponent. If necessary, he moves into a second transitional change.


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Before you can do this, however, you must be able to apply each individual technique proficiently. You must be able to focus efficiently, stick to your opponent and distract your opponent’s concentration effectively. The transitional flow is the most advanced art of the entire system.

By the time you begin to develop the ability to apply this principle, you should be able to read your attacker‘s intentions, through your fingers, palms, forearms, upper arms and shoulders.

In applying most finger and wrist locks, your ring finger or your pinkie are the most sensitive parts of contact. Grip firmly but do not tighten your grip. Otherwise, your opponent will be able to sense your intentions. This is why in the application of any lock it is not necessary to go into a fighting stance. It takes so little effort to create pain. Relax, stand straight and prepare to be mobile. This is the time you do not need stability.

Mastering transitional changes enables you to constantly flow from one technique to another and still maintain total control. By cultivating a sensitivity to your opponent’s slightest movement, you will be able to react spontaneously in unforeseen situations, especially when you meet resistance to your original technique.

The principles of transitional changes in jujitsu techniques are as follows:

  • Exert continual pain during transitions. This not only will deter retaliation, but by increasing the pain as needed, also will discourage any escape attempt, which must be anticipated because your opponent is bound to sense that the transition is his best opportunity to escape.
  • Create maximum pain without dislocating the joint. This will show the attacker that you can injure him, if necessary, just by adding a little more pressure. This will cause him to fear you.
  • Mobility is needed during transitions rather than stability.

Editor’s Note: This piece was adapted for online presentation from a previous version published in Wally Jay’s acclaimed book Small-Circle Jujitsu. The five-volume DVD series by Wally Jay based on his book is available in our online store.

Professor Wally Jay passed away May 29, 2011, at the age of 93. To read tributes and learn more about Wally Jay, visit smallcirclejujitsu.com.

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