In Japan, schools of martial arts, called Ryu, were numerous. Many were started by masters of martial arts and became famous. The schools were often handed on, not to the master's son, but to his best student. Some schools had only a handful of students. Most began in the grounds of temples and it was very difficult to get into these schools. Young men became almost slaves, looking after the master and doing menial chores for no wage in exchange for the honour of being taught by him. Goshin-Ryu Ju-Jitsu belongs to the traditional way and Kenseikai instructors today teach short,sharp practical self-defence techniques in the spirit of the teachers.
Goshin-Ryu Ju-Jitsu is composed of five Japanese words: Go, Shin, Ryu, Ju, and Jitsu. As with many Japanese words these have many translations, since the meaning of Japanese words often depends on the order they are put in.
Go means the five virtues of a warrior, according to Bushido, as well as the five virtues of a Goshin-Ryu Ju-Jitsu student. It also represents the five steps to a technique, which are: leave or talk, distract, move in, takedown, & hold-down. Lastly, it can be interpreted as hard techniques and movements. Shin, when combined with Go, creates “self-defence”. Ryu is a term used to indicate a style, or lineage. Ju is often translated into "gentle" or "pliable", and Jitsu to "art". These two words, when put together, become the “way of flexibility”, just as Go and Ju, when put together become the blending of hard and soft movements.
When all the words are put together, they come to mean the blending of hard and soft, flexible self-defence techniques.