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 the rules, conventions and techniques of Japanese unarmed combat.

Former Bartitsu Club instructor Yukio Tani requires no introduction here, but his opponent might.  George Dinnie was the son of the famous Scottish athlete Donald Dinnie, and George carried on the family tradition as a successful wrestler and strongman.  His wrestling specialty was in the Lancashire catch-as-catch-can style, which was commonly acknowledged to be technically comparable to jujitsu …

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