“How I Became a Ju-Jitsu Champion” by Taro Miyake (1905)

This detailed interview with Taro Miyake was published in the Sunday Times of September 3, 1905. Miyake, who rose to fame by defeating former Bartitsu Club instructor Yukio Tani in a London challenge match during September, 1904, subsequently joined forces with Tani in opening the Japanese School of Jujutsu in Oxford Street and in producing … Continue reading ““How I Became a Ju-Jitsu Champion” by Taro Miyake (1905)”

Bartitsu exhibition at Shorncliffe Army Camp (1902)

During early 1902, the instructors of the Bartitsu School of Arms and Physical Culture hit the road for a series of touring martial arts exhibitions in Oxford, Cambridge and Nottingham. This recently-discovered report from the Sporting Life of 15 February, 1902 confirms a fourth venue – the gymnasium of the historic Shorncliffe Army Camp near … Continue reading “Bartitsu exhibition at Shorncliffe Army Camp (1902)”

May the Fourth be with you, Sherlock!

May 4th of 1891 is recognised as the date of consulting detective Sherlock Holmes’ fateful hand-to-hand battle with the Napoleon of Crime, Professor James Moriarty. Their fight took place at the suitably forboding and dramatic brink of the Reichenbach Falls in Switzerland, described here by Dr. John Watson: It is, indeed, a fearful place. The … Continue reading “May the Fourth be with you, Sherlock!”

George Dinnie vs. Yukio Tani (1908)

The following dramatic and highly detailed account is taken from the Sheffield Independent of Monday 3rd February, 1908.  It’s particularly interesting as it represents a hard-fought jujitsu-style contest taking place some seven years after the heyday of E.W. Barton-Wright’s music hall challenge matches.  By this time, many of the sporting journalists and wrestlers of England were experienced in … Continue reading “George Dinnie vs. Yukio Tani (1908)”

R. G. Allanson-Winn on “The Umbrella as a Weapon of Self-Defence” (1890)

Rowland George Allanson-Winn, the 5th Baron Headley, was a man of diverse interests and an interesting man. Born in London in 1855, he went on to study mathematics at Cambridge University and law at the Middle Temple before settling on a career in civil engineering, supervising numerous roadwork and land reclamation projects in Ireland and … Continue reading “R. G. Allanson-Winn on “The Umbrella as a Weapon of Self-Defence” (1890)”

The Belt as a Weapon (1890)

Bartitsu founder E.W. Barton-Wright frequently referred to the utility of Pierre Vigny’s stick fighting art against common street weapons, including the fearsome, heavy-buckled belt favoured by gangsters in large English cities.  Here follows an excerpt from the Warminster & Westbury Journal and Wilts County Advertiser of Saturday, 13 September 1890, detailing how members of the Manchester scuttler … Continue reading “The Belt as a Weapon (1890)”

Martial arts displays at the Japan-British Exhibition of 1910

Although jiujitsu had been introduced to England circa 1900 via the efforts of E.W. Barton-Wright, Yukio Tani and Sadakazu Uyenishi, the Japan-British Exhibition was the first opportunity for many British citizens to witness other forms of Japanese antagonistics.  Sumo, kendo and naginata-jutsu were all on display at this event, which ran from May to October of … Continue reading “Martial arts displays at the Japan-British Exhibition of 1910”

“‘Engagement'” Rings: Knuckle-Duster Jewellery” (1911)

Subtitled “Ingenious Weapons Favoured by Apaches – for ‘Engagements’ with Law-Abiding Citizens”, these pictures were originally published as a photo-feature in The Sketch of Wednesday, 1st March 1911. Nick-named in honour of the Native American tribes, the Apaches (pronounced “Ah-pahsh”) were members of the criminal underworld of Paris during the late 19th and early 20th … Continue reading ““‘Engagement’” Rings: Knuckle-Duster Jewellery” (1911)”

Inside Edith Garrud’s dojo (1910-11)

By March of 1910,  jiujitsu instructor Edith Garrud was becoming increasingly involved with the radical women’s rights movement, teaching her “Suffragettes Self-Defence” classes at Leighton Lodge in Edwardes Square, Kensington and performing politically charged demonstrations in which she defeated men dressed in police uniforms. Edith’s jiujitsu dojo in Regent Street was the setting for the above … Continue reading “Inside Edith Garrud’s dojo (1910-11)”