“Ju-Jitsu For The Police: Its Possibilities” #1 (1905)

In March of 1905, artist Ralph Cleaver produced a series of cartoons for The Sketch newspaper, speculating on the possibilities of Japanese unarmed combat training for the English police.  The editors noted that “For details of certain of the holds, we are indebted to the Japanese School of Ju-Jitsu, 305, Oxford St. W.” – a reference to the short-lived but influential London dojo operated by former Bartitsu Club instructor Yukio Tani and his colleague Taro Miyake.

In the first of the series, a jiujitsuka bearing a strong resemblance to Tani demonstrates the tomoe-nage (“stomach throw”) upon a hapless constable.  The spectacle of the sacrifice throw, in which the defender drops voluntarily to the floor, using their own falling weight and momentum to propel the attacker into a somersault, was still an exotic novelty in 1905.

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