“More Jiujitsu Tricks” (Punch Magazine, 1905)

During the first “jiujitsu boom” of the early 20th century, Punch Magazine made great sport of the novel art of self defence and of the claims made by jiujitsu enthusiasts.

In April of 1899 Mr. Punch published a story purporting to recount what happened when a Bartitsu fan, whose interests only extended to reading Barton-Wright’s articles rather than actually practicing the art, attempted to use it against a burglar. That tongue-in-cheek essay is reproduced in the second volume of the Bartitsu Compendium.

The June 14, 1905 edition of Punch included the following article, written by “Iyama Terra”, describing several “laughably simple” tricks sure to upend any scallywag.

MORE JIU-JITSU TRICKS.

Iyama Terra, the famous Japanese wrestler, whose recent work on Jiu-Jitsu (The Bruiseless Art) has created such a sensation in police circles, has been good enough to supply us with three short chapters which were inadvertently omitted from his book. His valued contribution is accompanied by the following characteristic note :—

Dear Mr. Punch,—Jiu-Jitsu, as taught by me and practised by everybody, is the science of defending yourself against every known form of physical attack. The system embraces 417 separate tricks, all of which can be done. In fact, next to its infallibility, the most conspicuous virtue of Jiu-Jitsu is its almost laughable simplicity. Yours, Iyama Terra.

RUSES AND FALLS.

To Repel The Attack Of A Man With Hatchet.

It is very important to know how to deal with a man who assails you with a hatchet. There are several ways of making effective resistance, but just a few will suffice. Indeed, it will be better to teach you only two or three, because if you knew them all you would, when putting them into practice, get confused and probably chopped.

Method 1.—Wait until your opponent strikes and then move. Try to move as quickly as possible. Everything depends on that. Activity rather than gracefulness should be aimed at. If your adversary delivers a really violent blow, and you successfully evade it, his hatchet will be partly buried in the ground. While he is endeavouring to extricate it approach him from behind, seize his legs and plait them in the shape of an ordinary lock-stitch. Then firmly bend them up his back and maintain them in their place with your right arm. Your left hand will be free to secure his left arm and wrap it twice neatly round his neck. To complete the fall you can stand on his right hand, if necessary. He is now practically powerless, and you can hold him in position until he has given a promise to lead a better life.

Method 2.—This is a favourite trick of mine. For its successful performance it is desirable that your friend should be wearing a fur overcoat, a stand-up collar and knickerbockers. Your first business is to make a feint, after which you ought to have no difficulty in taking the hatchet from him. Roll his fur overcoat suddenly up over his head to prevent him from seeing what you are going to do next. Get a firm purchase on his collar from the back, and with the other hand clutch the ends of his knickers. Tilt him over quickly and swing him about with his face downwards. As to how long you need swing him there is no absolute rule. Deal with every case on its merits.

Method 3.- —In the event of your antagonist being a big man with a big hatchet, and especially if it is quite clear that he is annoyed, it is sometimes a good thing to go swiftly away. Return with several friends and bigger hatchets.

To Cope With A Hat-kicking Hooligan.

To a quiet, well-behaved man nothing is more vexing than to have his hat, tilted over his eyes by the frolicking foot of a hooligan. I have squelched scores of hat-doffers in my time. This is how it is done.

Method 1.—Let him try it on. When his foot is about two inches off the hat strike it (the foot) smartly to one side. This will cause him to whirl on one leg like a top. When the projecting limb comes round again, take hold of it and follow it round in the manner of a sailor at the capstan. Four or five turns and you can leave him spinning.

Method 2.—This is usefully employed when your assailant happens to be intoxicated. In such case his kicking is likely to be erratic and may miss your hat. Seize his foot when it is about opposite your waistband. Keeping tight hold of the foot run rapidly past him. This will probably cause his leg to bend at the knee. To double up his remaining leg and tipple him on to his back is the work of a moment, or a couple of moments at the outside. Then tie each leg to its corresponding arm in a loose bow-knot. If you have the time it is amusing to stand by and watch him. As he attempts to undo himself, tighten the knots.

N.B.—As this second method requires a quick eye and plenty of nerve, it is well to constantly practise it at home before trying it on a stranger.

“Eifia Nofo” replied with two further techniques in the July 5, 1905 edition:

MORE JIU-JITSU TRICKS.

Dear Mr. Punch,—After reading in your columns Iyama Terra’s additional chapters on Jiu-Jitsu, I am tempted to give the public the advantage of two of my favourite tricks which I have practised many years with unvarying success.

(1) To protect yourself from a man who presents a loaded revolver full in your face.

At first sight it would appear that the man with the revolver has the advantage over you, but a close study of my method of defence will convince anybody that the man is really completely in your power.

First, with an adroit movement, catch the muzzle of the revolver firmly between your teeth. Then with a quick step towards your opponent get out your matches. Strike one, and set fire to his hair. He will of course put his hands up to extinguish the flames, and so let go of the revolver. He is now at your mercy, and you can do as you like with him.

(2) To protect yourself from a man who aims a blow at your face with his clenched fist.

For the purposes of this trick it is essential that you should be wearing heavy boots. In the event of a quarrel on the football field you will naturally be forearmed, but should you and your opponent be playing tennis you must tactfully postpone the attack until you have changed your shoes.

The method of defence is very simple. As he hits out at your face, and before he reaches it, quickly stand on your head. He will obviously hit your hobnailed boots, and his fist will suffer. His next step will naturally be to stand on his head and renew the attack, when you immediately resume your former position and he again hits your boots. This must be continued until your opponent is tired.

—Yours, Eifia Nofo.

The martial athletics of Diana Watts

Even before Edith Garrud began teaching jiujitsu classes for the women and children of London, Emily Diana Watts was pioneering the way for female martial arts instructors in the Western world. This post looks at her extraordinary career as a martial athlete and physical culture innovator.

Born into a wealthy family in the year 1867, Watts developed an early enthusiasm for the “strenuous life” and in 1903 she began studying jiujitsu with former Bartitsu Club instructor Sadakazu Uyenishi and his associate, Akitaro Ono. By 1906 she was teaching basic classes herself at Prince’s Skating Rink in Knightsbridge. That was also the year in which she published “The Fine Art of Jujutsu“, a handsomely produced manual that was notable as being the first book in the English language to detail a number of Kodokan judo techniques.

Watts continued to study and teach jiujitsu but also found herself drawn to physical culture in the broader sense. By the beginning of the First World War she had become passionately engaged in the task of reviving classical Greek exercises via the close study of ancient statuary and artwork.

In 1914 she presented her new system in a book entitled “The Renaissance of the Greek Ideal“, writing as “Diana Watts”. Although academics criticised her fashionably romantic view of classical Greece, pointing out that many of the translations she used to illustrate her points were themselves inaccurate, the book was generally very well received. On its strength, Watts was invited to join both the French Institut Marey and the American Institute of Archeology.

Her presentations put a new spin on both the fad for “Grecian” dance (exemplified by Isadora Duncan) and the traditional Victorian poses plastique. In displays of the latter type, athletes, often almost nude with their faces and bodies powdered with white makeup, would assume postures evocative of famous works of classical statuary. This form of visual theatre had been popularised by the famous strongman Eugen Sandow at the turn of the 20th century.

Rather than holding frozen postures, however, Diana Watts would demonstrate her interpretations of the athletic techniques portrayed by the statues. These included actions such as drawing a bow, hurling a discus or throwing an opponent in wrestling.

Here is a video montage of some of the exercises from “Renaissance of the Greek Ideal”, re-animated from the cinematographic photographs that illustrated the original book:

Diana Watts physical culture from Tony Wolf on Vimeo.

Several critics noted the “suspicious” resemblance between Watts’ “ancient Greek” exercises and those of the Japanese martial arts. In her own words:

In selecting and systematising different series of sequential movements which shall be perfectly natural, one turns instinctively to those needed in imaginary attack and defence, not only on account of the great variety of these positions, but because of the rapidity with which they must be performed. The origin, then, of all physical training is war. Among primitive peoples, it was necessary to be always on guard against sudden attacks. For this reason, during times of peace, they practised at first a sort of mimic war, which gradually developed into a sport. The Greeks ascribed the invention of wrestling to mythical persons such as Palaestra, the daughter of Hermes, and to Theseus is given the honour of having been the first to reduce the sport to a game, with well-defined rules, and thus to have made an art of wrestling; whereas before his time it consisted of the most brutal fighting, in which the strength and weight of the adversary alone decided the victory.

In the mimic battles of the Spartans, they frequently lost eyes and ears, which tortures they accepted as the necessary sacrifice in return for the indomitable fortitude which they acquired.

At a later date, the system adopted by the Athenians had for aim beauty of form and line, and grace of movement, and no competitor was awarded a prize unless his performance had been gracefully as well as effectively achieved. Contest by wrestling was divided into two branches by the ancient Greeks. The first was the “Pale Orthe,” the upright wrestling. The second was called “Halendesis” or “Kylisis,” in which the athlete wrestled with his adversary on the ground. The “Pale Orthe” was the only kind of wrestling practised in Homeric times, and also later on in the National Games of the Greeks. The rules provided that on the fall of an athlete his adversary should allow him to rise and resume the contest if he wished, but if he fell three times, the victory was decided in favour of the other. There were also preparatory exercises called “Analeinemata,” exercises which were looked upon as of the greatest importance, since through them alone could the athlete acquire that tense elasticity of muscle necessary for the extreme rapidity required in actual wrestling.

It is, then, natural to suppose that the preparatory movements represented as nearly as possible the actual positions taken in wrestling, so that by continued practice the pupil might arrive at the unhesitating certainty and precision needed in the varied changes of position of real contest.

Antique Art gives many examples of this extraordinarily rapid form of wrestling by tripping. It appeared many centuries later among the Chinese, brought back probably through their intercourse with the Persians. The form of wrestling called Jujutsu, practised by the Japanese of the present day, is, I am convinced, a survival of the “Pale Orthe” of the Greeks. The collection of tracings on page 39, taken from Professor Krause’s book “Hellenika Gymnastik und Agonistik,” show the close resemblance of some of the Japanese throws used in Jujutsu, to those of the Greeks.


No. 1, especially, is identical with the Koshinage shoulder throw, in which the thrower drops on his knees after having hoisted his opponent upon his shoulder. This throw can be given standing or kneeling, but the latter position is much more disastrous to the victim. No. 2 is obviously the Koshinage hip-throw, as used in Jujutsu at the present day, and No. 4 has a very close resemblance to the Japanese “Shimoku,” the position of the attacker’s left hand being the only essential difference, while he is practically erect, instead of crouching on bent knees.

The “Pale Orthe” was introduced into Japan by a Chinaman about the third or fourth century, under the name of “Jujutsu,” and remained a jealously-guarded secret known to and practised by the Samurai nobles alone, until comparatively a few years ago—in 1860, I think—when the general public were allowed to learn. With the strange liking of the Chinese for all that represents the grotesque in movement, they neglected, and eventually completely lost, all the grace and beauty esteemed by the Greeks as indispensable, and retained only the dramatic and practical sides of wrestling, the genuine self-defence, which, among the Greeks, was subordinated to beauty.

It is, then, upon the preparatory movements that I place such immense importance, and it was during the study of all the rapid changes of position in this “Pale Orthe,” which demand such exquisite balance, that I found for myself the Law of Balance in movement, the application of which allows of the greatest rapidity and force with the least expenditure of energy. This law, as I have said, requires the centre of gravity of a moving body to be kept exactly and continuously over its base, an impossible achievement except under the condition of Tension already described.

As explained in “The Renaissance of the Greek Ideal”, her training system went well beyond simple public performance, comprising a detailed method of physical, mental and even spiritual development based on the principles of balance and dynamic tension. It was also promoted as an aid to longevity, turning the tide of middle age and restoring youthful poise and energy.

Diana Watts spent many years touring on the international lecture circuit, sometimes in collaboration with other artists and researchers inspired by classical antiquity. Her personal wealth allowed her to fund these tours and to lecture free of charge, and by the 1940s she had circled the world five times, meeting Mahatma Gandhi and befriending George Bernard Shaw among other notables. She had homes in England, Italy and in Canada and was famous enough to have been written in to several novels and short stories as a sort of archetype of the eccentric physical culture enthusiast.

Watts’ system evidently worked for her, as she lived until 1968, passing away at the age of 101. Perhaps her training system is due for a revival.

E.W. Barton-Wright’s “overcoat trick”

In the March edition of Pearson’s Magazine, 1899, Bartitsu founder E.W. Barton-Wright demonstrated a curious self defence technique making use of an overcoat as a defensive weapon. The provenance of this technique is unclear. It could be an aspect of the Shinden Fudo Ryu jiujitsu that he had studied in Kobe, Japan; an adaptation of a French Apache (gangster) street-fighting trick, or perhaps Barton-Wright’s revival/update of the classic “cloak in the face” manoeuvre recorded by historical fencing masters such as Salvator Fabris:

Fabris’ technique had been revived as part of the historical fencing curriculum developed by Captain Alfred Hutton, who taught both Elizabethan and modern forms of fencing, as well as theatrical stage combat, at Barton-Wright’s Bartitsu Club:

According to Barton-Wright:

There is, however, one simple and effective way of meeting an attack with a knife that I will explain. We will suppose that you have to pass through a locality late at night where there is a likelihood of such an attack, and you do not wish to run the risk of bringing yourself within the law by relying upon a revolver.

Carry your overcoat upon your shoulders without passing your arms through the sleeves, in the style of a military cloak, with your right hand ready upon your left shoulder to use your coat in the way explained below, should the necessity arise. Be careful always to walk in the middle of the road. Directly your assailant attacks, face him and wait until he is within a distance of two or three yards. Then envelop his head and arms by throwing your coat at him, with a sweeping, circular motion of the arm. This will obscure his view momentarily, but not your own, and will give you plenty of time to deliver your attack, which should take the form of a right-handed knock-out blow in the pit of the stomach.

Or while he is still enveloped in the folds of your coat, slip round behind him, seize him by the right ankle, and push him under the shoulder blade with your left hand. You will thus throw him very violently upon his face, and in his endeavour to break his fall and protect his face he will put out his hands, and in doing so, involuntarily drop his weapon. He will then be disarmed and in a position where you can break his leg immediately if you so like, or if you do not wish to proceed to such extremes, you can hold him down in the position shown in No. 6 until the police arrive.

This is only one of the many ways I have of meeting such a contingency.

A tongue-in-cheek reference to the overcoat technique then appeared in the April 8th, 1899 issue of Guy’s Hospital Gazette:

Mr. Higgins has been taking lessons in the new art of self-defence. At his first meeting with Mr. Barton-Wright he attempted to floor him with the usual knock-out blow, but soon found himself presenting an inverted image moving against the shadow. This led him to think that there was more in the method than met the eye.

It appears that there is a good deal to learn in this new art. There are several hundreds of different manoeuvres for as many different forms of attack, and the trouble begins, I imagine, when you work off the wrong defence for the particular variety of attack.

There is one trick with an overcoat which strikes us as particularly “fresh.” All you have to do is to walk in the middle of the road with your arms removed from the sleeves of your overcoat. (The only drawback to this is that it rather spoils the set of the overcoat and necessitates wearing one all the summer). Then you meet your assailant—this is the hardest part of the business, but it can generally be managed by a judicious use of opprobrious epithet. Having met him, all you have to do is to seize your coat by the shoulder and plug it round his head.

If you are successful you can jump on his chest while he is getting untangled; if not, he will probably move off with the overcoat down a side-street. You lose the overcoat, but win the game. I must try it on a policeman.

And finally, here is the same trick, executed by Jude Law as Dr. John Watson in Sherlock Holmes (2010) as a prelude to belabouring his antagonist with a frying pan:

Another “new” canonical Bartitsu technique

From Percy Longhurst’s “JiuJitsu and Other Methods of Self Defence”, 1906 (pp 77-78):

A different defence to a similar attack – one which considerably surprised me when I was first introduced to it by Mr. Barton-Wright several years ago, and which is by no means too much for feminine strength – is that illustrated in Figure 46. The descending hand of the assailant is jerked up, his wrist seized, and the defender simultaneously steps outside the assailant’s advanced leg so that her knee – the leg being bent – is pressed against his bent knee. A sideways and downwards jerk of the captured hand will lay the assaulter on the ground, the whole secret of the move being, of course, the disturbance of the balance.


Considerable confidence and great quickness are required for the satisfactory accomplishment of this throw, and, admittedly, there are better defences which may be used if the assailant has a very great superiority of weight. If the thrower makes a slight backwards kick with her advanced foot at the same moment that she jerks the captured arm round, it will facilitate her assailant’s downfall.

“A Few Practical Hints on Self Defence” (1900)

A longtime wrestling, boxing and general “antagonistics” enthusiast, Percy Longhurst’s precise connection with Bartitsu is a matter of some speculation.

He was among the audience at some of E.W Barton-Wright’s early self defence exhibitions in London (1898-99) and actually volunteered to try his considerable wrestling skill against one of the newly-arrived Japanese jiujitsuka; by his own account, Longhurst put up a game defence but was quickly defeated, apparently with some sort of arm-lock. Circumstantial evidence suggests that he was likely among the original members of Barton-Wright’s Bartitsu Club, as he later credited a particular throwing technique to Barton-Wright; he was definitely a student of Yukio Tani’s and Sadakazu Uyenishi’s, but the chronology is not clear.

Longhurst was a prolific writer on all manner of athletic topics. His commentaries on, for example, the disadvantage of European wrestlers being required to fight under Barton-Wright’s submission grappling rules during the latter’s music hall challenge performances, and his balanced and realistic take on the “boxing vs. jiujitsu” controversy of 1906-7, reveal a canny and pragmatic approach to personal combat. Longhurst’s book “Jiu-Jitsu and Other Methods of Self Defence“, likewise, offered a very Bartitsu-like combination of wrestling, jiujitsu, boxing, kicking and stick fighting techniques, and is, in fact, the closest thing to a “Bartitsu manual” to have come out of England in the early 20th century.

Longhurst’s article “A Few Practical Hints on Self Defence” (reproduced below) was originally published in Sandow’s Magazine of Physical Culture between January and June of 1900. It presages “Jiujitsu and Other Methods of Self Defence” in several ways and is also notable for including a veiled reference to the Afro-Brazilian martial art of capoeira (!)

Click on the images below to see them in full size.

Along with his colleagues William Garrud, W. Bruce Sutherland and Percy Bickerdike, Longhurst later became a founding member of the British Jiujitsu Society, and he continued to write on judo, jiujitsu and self defence topics throughout the early-mid 20th century.

A Bartitsu display from 1901

A report on a Bartitsu demonstration at E.W. Barton-Wright’s Academy of Arms and Physical Culture, from the Illustrated London News, November 30, 1901.

The Art of Self Defence

The various methods of self defence adopted by followers of the “Bartitsu” system were demonstrated at their School of Arms on Nov. 23, when they were opposed by English and Continental wrestlers and boxers. Great interest was aroused by the contest between a professional wrestler in the Cornish and Devonshire style and Uyenishi, champion light-weight wrestler of Osaka. The Japanese won each of the three throws. A professional boxer defended himself against the school’s “savate”, with an indecisive result.

The Bartitsu method of wrestling was illustrated and demonstrations were given of the use of a walking stick as a defensive weapon. Four members of the audience were then invited to attempt to strangle one of the two Japanese by means of a rod placed across his throat. Needless to say, their efforts were unavailing.

“New” historical Bartitsu technique discovered

The Bartitsu Society conceptually divides practical Bartitsu into two related areas. Canonical Bartitsu is the art as we know it was; the specific self defence techniques detailed by E.W. Barton-Wright and his colleagues between 1899 and 1902. Neo, or modern Bartitsu is both “Bartitsu was it may have been” and “Bartitsu as it can be today”; it describes our modern attempts to continue the mixed martial arts experiment begun by Barton-Wright in 1899.

Most of what we know of canonical Bartitsu is drawn from a series of four articles by E.W. Barton-Wright, originally published in the London-based Pearson’s Magazine. “The New Art of Self Defence” was published in two parts during March and April of 1899, and “Self Defence with a Walking Stick” appeared in January and February of 1901. After being re-discovered in the British Library archives by the late judo historian Richard Bowen, these articles were first broadcast via the Electronic Journals of Martial Arts and Sciences website in the year 2000.

Pearson’s was a popular journal and was also published in an American edition. Recently-discovered copies of the US issues for March and June of 1899, which included slightly modified re-prints of Barton-Wright’s first two articles, have revealed the following “new” information on Bartitsu.

Note.—Mr. E. Barton-Wright, the author of this article and of its companion to be published next month, is shortly to visit this country in order to introduce a system of self-defence which would seem to render anyone acquainted with it practically impregnable against all forms of attack, however dangerous and unexpected they may be.

In fact, as far as we know, Barton-Wright did not introduce Bartitsu to the United States, though it is diverting to imagine what might have happened if he had.

The following image is a “header” used for the March article, significant in that it offers a portrait-style photograph of Barton-Wright himself. This is only the second such photograph ever discovered by the Bartitsu Society.

The June article header offers a handsome Art Nouveau effect:

Most intriguing, though, is that the June article from the US edition includes a previously unknown addition to the canon of classical Bartitsu techniques. We can only speculate as to why this technique was not included in the original, and now widely-known, articles from the British edition. Perhaps it was omitted for reasons of space, or perhaps the photographs supplied to were of inadequate quality; it is the only technique in the June article not to have been illustrated.

No. 1.—One of many Means of Defence when a Man Strikes at You Low or Below the Belt.

Should an assailant strike at your wind or heart with his right fist, step backward with your right foot, and in doing so place your right hand over your heart, with the palm outward, and grasp his wrist by placing your left hand over his wrist (the placing of the right hand over the heart is only a precautionary measure in case you miss catching his wrist when he leads off at your body).

As soon as you feel you have hold of his wrist, pull it towards you with a slight outward motion leftways, take a step forward with your right foot, placing it behind his right leg, and seize him by the throat, pressing your thumb into his tonsil or just under the back of the ear, which is extremely painful.

Then with a sharp leftward pull with the left hand, and a thrust or a push leftward with the right hand (keeping your right calf or the side of your knee tightly behind his right knee), you throw him on his back; retain your hold on his throat and ear, and dropping upon the right knee you pull his arm towards you so that his elbow is just across your thigh. With the slightest pressure you could break his arm. At the same time you extend your right arm vigorously and press your thumb well into the cavity under the ear, which will cause great pain, preventing him from getting up.

Alert readers will note that, contrary to what is suggested by the title, this technique does not in fact deal with a defence against a low, below the belt attack, but rather with countering a punch to the torso. The simplest explanation may be that the US Pearson’s editor became confused and incorrectly matched one heading with another technical description; if so, then there may have been at least one more canonical technique (the defence against a “low strike”), in Barton-Wright’s original submission.

The game is afoot to track down the April, 1899 edition of Pearson’s Magazine (US edition), which might include more “new” Bartitsu material.

“La Jaguarina” honoured by US Fencing Association

Cause for some celebration; the wonderful Ella Hattan, a.k.a. la Jaguarina, has been inducted into the US Fencing Association’s Hall of Fame.

Ella was a fascinating 19th century character, a student of the equally colourful “Sword Prince”, Col. Thomas Hoyer Monstery. Of humble Midwestern origins, she completely re-invented herself as “La Jaguarina, Champion Amazon of the Age” and set about challenging male champions in the bizarre sport of equestrian sabre fencing. She also ran a physical culture school and worked as an actress and model.

Essentially, Jaguarina was a real-life Victorian-era American super hero. Rumour has it that her biography is presently in the works. …

“The Gentle Art of Ju-Ju-Tsu” (1907)

This article, originally written by G.G. Chatterton and published in vol. 84 of Chambers’s Journal in 1907, provides a glimpse into the Golden Square School of Jujutsu. Founded by former Bartitsu Club instructor Sadakazu Uyenishi, the Golden Square School was also the early base on Gunji Koizumi, who went on to found the London Budokwai, now the oldest martial arts school in Europe.

JU-JU-TSU—translated literally, ‘The Gentle Art’—the wonderful science deduced by patient study of the source of things, and unravelling of their reason, and consequent mastery of their knowledge, that is so essentially Japanese. It has already been exploited with approbation by medical and other authorities on physical culture; but still, perhaps a few remarks, without claiming to be profound, after a visit to its school may prove not devoid of interest.

You need pass through but a couple of streets that lead directly off the seething thoroughfares of Regent Street and Piccadilly Circus to find yourself in Golden Square, one of the quiet, green oases which here and there in London take you by surprise, and in it the Japanese School of Self Defence has now established its headquarters. And thither we went to watch the teaching of the science upon which years of a life may be spent with ever-growing interest, since it claims that there is always something to be learnt—a perfected science of self-defence, wherein brute-force takes a back seat, and size, weight, and strength surrender their importance. For the Japanese, having probed to the heart of things, can prove how the essence of self-defence is knowledge of how to overcome by yielding to an attack instead of resisting, by using the strength of your assailant in place of your own, and, getting him at an anatomical disadvantage, as they so admirably phrase it, by then applying the skilled leverage which so infallibly can maim and disable.

The school is under the supervision of its instructor-in-chief, Professor Raku Uyenishi, premier ju-ju-tsu exponent. But as he was professionally visiting Paris we were received with smiling welcome by Professor Koizumi, and courteously given advantageous seats; and, as he was engaged upon instruction on our arrival, we had an immediate opportunity of watching the science of the ‘gentle art.’

Our first impressions were belying to the title. Fearful and wonderful were the resounding slapping noises as master and pupil fell upon the
shining mats beneath them—mats made in Japan, over two inches thick and stuffed with hay under a surface of woven rice-straw, which are spread over the entire floor; slap-slap striking the ear with unnerving effect upon spectator and would-be learner, until one saw the combatants leap up again with never hurt or jar, the Japanese laughing softly through his gambols. For to fall with immunity is the skill of ju-ju-tsu, and takes the beginner in its craft months to master.

The pupil upon whose lesson we happened to arrive was no novice, but had been over three years studying, and was as well clever at his game; and yet with what smiling ease did Koizumi, so much the smaller of the two, vanquish him! At times he tossed him right over his shoulder—a curious sensation this at first experience, we are told; on the floor he was ever the man uppermost, and whether recumbent or erect he kept scoring the points by establishing the ‘lock.’ A ‘lock’ or point is scored by rendering an adversary helpless, holding him in such a way that the least resistance can be responded to by a pressure which, if continued, would entail exquisite pain and possibly serious injury. In ju-ju-tsu a lock is acknowledged by a slap on the handiest substance, human or otherwise, and the combatants arise and start afresh.

The lesson finished, after many resounding falls and endless locks declared, the pupil retired to the enjoyment of a hot shower-bath, and Professor Koizumi kindly gave us a display of falls broken into harmlessness, throwing himself down backwards, forwards, sideways, as if flung with violence, to leap up easy and unshaken.

The pupil is first taught to break a fall on his back, and next to break one on his head, saving himself by learning to come down first on his hands outspread and relaxed—the hands which make the slapping noises on the mats. The gist of breaking falls in ju-ju-tsu is keeping all the muscles relaxed for them —nothing may be rigid, or as it were in protest; and the seat of balance—and knowledge of balance is a portion of its science—comes from the waist, not from the shoulders. Knees are kept always bent, the feet move quickly, and, as in boxing, the gaze is fixed on the opponent’s eyes.

The pupil is provided with a costume identical with that of the instructors: a Japanese jacket with loose, short sleeves, which leaves bare the chest and wraps across in double-breasted fashion, and is girdled with a strong band round the waist; drawers like bathing-drawers, and legs and feet bare; and the English tyro will find that his toes catch in the fine straw-work of the mats, the unaccustomed big-toe sometimes catching with unpleasant effects.

Inflexible rules find no place in the ‘gentle art,’ etiquette typically Japanese alone governing its friendly practice. This etiquette ordains that combatants courteously shake hands before and after a contest, and prohibits the infliction of any unseemly indignity on an opponent, at the same time allowing ample scope for placing him at an anatomical disadvantage.

So as to know how to inflict these anatomical disadvantages, bones and muscles are given careful study—where pressure exerted sideways can break or dislocate, and where lie sensitive parts pressure against which can force the assailant to desist. Prominently sensitive parts lie about the elbow — can one not imagine desistance enforced by skilled elaboration of ‘funny-bone’ tortures ? — and in the back of the calf of the leg ; and pressure beneath the chin, forcing backwards the opponent’s head, lays him at your mercy for throttling.

Quickness and agility, resource, simultaneous thought and action, must be acquired by those who would master the science of ju-jutsu, in which even partial proficiency would form a valuable equipment; and the English aspirant must cast aside his stubborn English principles to conform to those discovered for him so excellently by the Japanese. Different they may be—for are not most Japanese principles diametrically different from English ones? In the simple craft of threading a needle there seems to lie a keynote suggestive of their whole scheme of opposition. The English girl is taught to pass her thread through the eye of her needle, the Japanese one to pass the eye of her needle over her thread.

Englishwomen learn ju-ju-tsu, and as the ‘gentle art’ unfolded its power before us we fell to wondering what might have been the end had the suffragettes mastered it before their great display in the House of Commons. When, with lamentable lack of manly chivalry, screams and kicks were set at nought and overborne, ju-ju-tsu would have aided the maltreated ladies. Instead of being ignobly carried out shrieking, with arms round the policeman’s neck, the baffled suffragette might still further have defied the law, and, grasping his chin to his anatomical disadvantage, have quietly throttled him in his brutal progress. Instead of being dragged down from her lofty position as she gained it, she might have broken or dislocated arms that thwarted her, and the whole lobby of the House might have been held up by ladies triumphing in victory, and proving by their example in thus supporting the law and order of their country how admirably they were adapted for being granted a vote in its management. Then, when they had obtained their rights, ladies endowed with votes and as well a knowledge of the ‘gentle art’. But we shuddered away from the imagination.

More pleasing was it to watch the merry little Japanese instructors chatting so gaily amongst themselves or with their pupils, and to exchange a few more words with Professor Koizumi, who, in an interlude before taking on another pupil, had appeared clad in a dark-blue kimono, with matting sandals on his feet and a Japanese book in his hand. Then we left him to his reading, and he took farewell of us with smiling courtesy.