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Shotokan Karate Academy


The name “Jitte” (十手) or “Jutte” is a combination of the character “十” for the number “Ten” (Ju) and the character (手) for “Hand” (Te) and the meaning would be “Ten Hands” or “Ten Techniques” implying that if mastered one could face ten adversaries.


When using “ten” in this fashion, the Japanese sometimes pronounce the number ten with a” Ji” sound instead of the “Ju” sound. For example, if you do something ten times, the Japanese will say you have done it "Jikkai."  You can call this kata “Jutte” or “Jitte”. It doesn't matter.


“Jutte” also could be written as “術手” and the meaning would be changed to “Technique hands”.


There is also some speculation that the kata name refers to the “Jitte” weapon. A Jitte (十手) literally mean "Ten Hands" is a specialized weapon that was used by police in “Edo” period Japan. It is also spelled “Jutte”.


In “Edo” period in Japan, the “Jitte” was a substitute for a badge and represented someone on official business and was carried by all levels of police officers including high-ranking samurai police officials and low-rank samurai law enforcement officers (Picture 1).

"Jitte" also implying the "Yama-Uke" remind the shape of a “Jitte” (Picture 1).

















Jitte is a kata from Tomari. This kata of intermediate level with only 27 movements in Shotokan is practiced for the defense against the “Bo”.


"Bō" is typically around 1.8 m (5.9 ft) long and used in Japanese martial arts, in particular "Bōjutsu". Other staff-related weapons are the “Jō” which is 1.2 m (47 in) long and the “Hanbō” (half bō) which is 90 cm (35 in) long.


Different interpretations exist among masters because other styles have no defense against the “Bo” (Picture 2).


For more information on “Jitte”, you should probably also read the articles on “Ji’in” and “Jion”.



  • Jitte has 2 parts:

    • “Ji” : Ten

    • “Te” : Hands, techniques

  • Jitte means:  “Ten Hands”

  • Jitte root: “Tomari-Te” school of kata in Okinawa

  • Level: Intermediate

Bo in Karate

Picture 1

Picture 2

Jitte (十手)

Embusen of Jitte
Number of movements : 27
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