What Does “OSS” Mean in Jiu Jitsu?


If you’re new to a Jiu Jitsu gym, you might be puzzled by the frequent use of the term “OSS.” It might seem like a secret code or even a magic spell to boost grappling skills. Don’t worry, though. We’re here to explain what “OSS” really means in the world of Jiu Jitsu.

The Origins of “OSS” in Jiu Jitsu

“OSS” is derived from the Japanese phrase “Onegai Shimasu,” which means “please” or “I request.” This phrase is a fundamental part of Japanese culture, symbolizing respect, humility, and a readiness to learn.

In Jiu Jitsu, “OSS” has evolved beyond its original meaning to represent a range of sentiments and virtues. Let’s explore what this term embodies.

Decoding the Layers of “OSS” in Jiu Jitsu

  1. Respect and Acknowledgment In Jiu Jitsu schools around the world, practitioners say “OSS” as a sign of respect. It’s more than just a greeting; it’s an acknowledgment of your training partner, your instructor, and the martial art itself.
  2. Perseverance and Grit Jiu Jitsu is full of challenges, and “OSS” expresses determination and resolve. It’s what you say when you’re ready to face difficulties head-on during training.
  3. Unity and Camaraderie “OSS” also helps strengthen bonds among practitioners, creating a community where everyone supports each other through their Jiu Jitsu journey.

The Unspoken Code of “OSS” in Jiu Jitsu

  1. Humility in Victory and Defeat Whether winning or losing, saying “OSS” shows humility—it’s about celebrating respectfully and seeing every setback as a chance to learn.
  2. Continuous Learning and Open-mindedness Regardless of your belt color, “OSS” signifies a commitment to ongoing learning and improvement.
  3. Mutual Respect Among Practitioners “OSS” is a way to connect with and show respect for all practitioners, regardless of their skill level or background.

Common Scenarios to Say “OSS” in Jiu Jitsu

  • Class Etiquette: At the start and end of class.
  • Sparring Rituals: When bowing to your partner before and after sparring.
  • Receiving Guidance: To thank your instructor for corrections.
  • Encouragement to Peers: During tough drills to motivate your peers.

Conclusion: The Power of “OSS” in Jiu Jitsu

“OSS” is much more than just a word; it embodies the core values of Jiu Jitsu—respect, perseverance, and community. It’s a reminder of the martial art’s ethos and a way to connect deeply with your fellow practitioners.

Commonly Asked Questions about “OSS” in Jiu Jitsu

  • Q1: Is “OSS” unique to Jiu Jitsu?
    • A: No, it’s used in various Japanese martial arts but may have different nuances.
  • Q2: When should I say “OSS”?
    • A: During class openings and closings, sparring, and when receiving or giving guidance.
  • Q3: Can “OSS” be used outside the gym?
    • A: Yes, but be aware of the context as not everyone will understand its significance.
  • Q4: How do you pronounce “OSS”?
    • A: It’s pronounced “oss” with a short, sharp sound. The intent behind it matters more than exact pronunciation.
  • Q5: Can beginners use “OSS”?
    • A: Yes, it’s for everyone in Jiu Jitsu to show commitment and respect.

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