Yukio Tani at the Royal Albert Hall (1904)

Tani executes a rear scissor choke submission hold.

This sketch series by Percy F.S. Spence records moments from former Bartitsu Club instructor Yukio Tani’s matches at the Royal Albert Hall on July 2, 1904.¬† The sketches were originally published in the Illustrated London News¬†two days after the event.

The main event that night featured a “best two out of three” heavyweight Graeco-Roman wrestling championship match between George “The Russian Lion” Hackenschmidt and Tom Jenkins, which was won by Hackenschmidt.

Tani won all three of his matches within fifteen minutes.

The “Sinbad” reference may be an allusion to the similarity between Tani’s acrobatic throws and the “knockabout” style of slapstick comedy seen in Edwardian-era pantomimes.
A possibly unique depiction of Tani doing a full handstand.

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