It took place in a circular arena, where two opponents would compete against each other. Both competitors wore light protective armor and a helmet that had a solid visor, which effectively blinded the competitor. A staff was used as a weapon, with a proximity sensor on one end and a small spherical cushion on the other. With the help of the proximity sensor, a player could detect, by means of an audio signal, where his/her adversary was.
Commander William Riker used this game in 2365 as a means to settle long-held grudges against his father, Kyle. Kyle Riker considered anbo-jyutsu to be the ultimate form of Human martial arts. Katherine Pulaski considered it highly dangerous. (TNG: "The Icarus Factor")
The move called Hachidan kiritsu was illegal in the 24th century and would give a competitor using it an unfair advantage. Kyle Riker could only defeat his son thanks to this move, until as an adult William Riker discovered his father had "cheated on" him. Kyle defended his attitude by explaining he had to keep the boy interested in anbo-jyutsu by not letting him win.
The writing on the ring and armor are references to Japanese culture.
One reference is to the animated series Urusei Yatsura, the name of which is also used as the name of the SS Urusei Yatsura. The large character in the center, 星 ("Hoshi / sei", star), is used in the title. The words next to 星, in katakana are ラム ("ramu") and アタル ("ataru"), the names of the main characters. The phrases "Urusai" (うるさい, loud/obnoxious) and "Yatsura" (やつら, people) are written on the back corner, which are what the title is said to come from.
Another is probably to The Book of Five Rings, a classic martial arts text. On the front of Will Riker's armor, 地 ("chi", ground), 水 ("mizu", water), and 火 ("hi", fire) are written while on the front of Kyle's 水, 火, and 空 ("sora", sky) are visible. On the back of Kyle's helmet is 空; 水 and 火 are also on the side of the ring. These are names of four of the five chapters of the book (the missing one is 風 ("kaze", wind)).
In addition to these references, ユリ ("yuri", lily) is also written on the ringside.
The Japanese spoken by the Rikers during their fight in this ring is poorly pronounced. What they were trying to say from the text in the script was "Yoroshiku onegaishimasu" (which is a standard "first meeting" phrase in Japanese which literally means "please treat me gently") which, in this situation could be taken to mean "Well met, please do your best." (Instead of the words being romanized, closed captioning says, "ceremonial chant," which is untrue.) When knocked to the ground the competitors would shout "Matte!" which means "Wait!"
It could be theorized that this sport is derived from Japanese martial arts, since competitors speak Japanese phrases before, during, and after a match.
Costume designer Durinda Rice Wood created the outfits of the players by using different types of motorcross suits after she saw them in a motorcross magazine. (TNG Season 2 DVD special feature "Departmental Briefing Year Two: Memorable Missions - The Icarus Factor")