International Concourse in the Arts of Self Defence (1902)

A pictorial report on a Bartitsu Club exhibition from Caras y caretas (1902)

The Spanish text reads:

International Concourse in the Arts of Self Defence

On the 23rd of November was held in the School of Arms in London an interesting tournament and demonstration of the various self defence methods that have been adapted into the “Bartitsu” system which has, as with many other Japanese trends, been adopted easily in Europe.

The Japanese champions were there along with wrestlers and boxers from Britain and from the European continent. Part of what one might describe as a match of over-riding interest was an encounter between a professional wrestler who represented the Cornish and Devonshire style and a champion of Osaka (Japan) named Uyenishi. The Japanese wrestler won each of the three rounds of this contest.

A professional boxer contended against the school’s champion of the French savate, and the result was indecisive. Several of the competitors explained aspects of the Bartitsu system, and through their exhibitions much interest was sown in the employment of the walking stick as a defensive weapon.

Our pictures reproduce the main scenes of this interesting tournament in which, overall, the Japanese dominated, and if partially, in some of the European exercises, failed, they were not truly defeated since with the methods of their own country they were victorious against all attempts to dominate them.

“The Secret Lock: A Splendid Yarn of Jiu-Jitsu” (1911)

GoogleBooks has made available this thrilling 12-page tale for red-blooded boys of all ages by Percy Longhurst (author of Jiu-Jitsu and Other Methods of Self Defence). It was originally published in the August 1911 edition of Boys’ Life Magazine.

For full enjoyment of the story, please note that the term Jap was not used pejoratively during the Victorian or Edwardian periods, being rather in the nature of a simple abbreviation (q.v. “Brit” for British, “Aussie” for Australian, etc.) The modern pejorative use dates to the Second World War.

“Always prepared” – the Boy Scouts and self defence

Although Bartitsu slightly pre-dates Sir Robert Baden-Powell’s Scouting movement, both were original and novel products of their founders’ Edwardian ideals. Scouting quickly captured the international imagination and went on to become the most successful youth movement in the world, whereas Bartitsu had only a brief moment in the sun and was then all but forgotten throughout the 20th century.

One of E.W. Barton-Wright’s most historically significant achievements was his introduction of Japanese unarmed combat to the Western world. Whereas jiujitsu had occasionally been glossed in popular magazines and academic journals prior to 1898, it was Barton-Wright’s articles for Pearson’s Magazine, his public demonstrations and classes via the Bartitsu Club that began the pre-WW1 jiujitsu boom.

Circa 1906, as Baden-Powell was formulating the concepts and practices of his nascent youth movement, he was impressed by former Bartitsu Club instructor Sadakazu Uyenishi‘s jiujitsu exhibition at Windsor Castle. Along with campfire lighting and first aid, jiujitsu was among the skills demonstrated during the final day of Baden-Powell’s initial, experimental Scout camp on Brownsea Island during August of 1907.

Shortly thereafter, the first set of Boy Scout merit badges were produced, intended to reward practical skill in any of a number of areas including one for “Master-at-Arms”. To qualify for this badge, a Scout was required to participate in one, two or three of the following sports – fencing with the foil, singlestick or quarterstaff, boxing, wrestling and jiujitsu.

Curiously, the Master-at-Arms badge appeared in the US Boy Scouts Association handbook in 1910, but was dropped the following year.

In 1912 Baden-Powell, who had recently returned to England after a world tour visiting Scouts in many different countries, offered these observations on the martial arts training he had witnessed in Japan:

I went and saw a lot of them at their daily practice of fencing with bamboo sticks and practicing jiu-jitsu to make themselves strong and active and good-tempered. I say good-tempered because it is very much like boxing; you have to take a good many hard knocks and take them smiling. If a fellow lost his temper at it, everybody would laugh at him and think him a fool. In jiu-jitsu they learn how to exercise and how to develop their muscles, how to catch hold of an enemy in many different ways so as to overpower him, how to throw him and, what is very important, how to fall easily if they get thrown themselves. I expect the Scouts of Japan, if they visit England later on, will be able to show us a thing or two in this line.

The Scottish physical education specialist W. Bruce Sutherland was, along with William and Edith Garrud, Percy Longhurst and W.H. Collingridge, among the second generation of European jiujitsu instructors. By circa 1915, as well as teaching classes for the Special Constables and the 17th Royal Scots Battalion, Sutherland advocated jiujitsu training for the Boy’s Brigade, the Cadet Corps, Junior Officers’ Training Corps and the 12th Company City of Edinburgh Boy Scouts:

Thus, Sutherland was probably among the first, if not literally the first instructors to teach jiujitsu to the Scouts. His contemporaries William Garrud and Percy Longhurst wrote simplified technical articles explaining jiujitsu “tricks” for young readers, and former Bartitsu Club fencing instructor Captain Alfred Hutton produced a monograph entitled Examples of Ju Jitsu, or Japanese Wrestling, for Schoolboys.

At about this time in faraway New Zealand, a home-grown alternative to the Scouts’ sister movement, known as the Peace Scouts, was also training youngsters in jiujitsu along with camping. The N.Z. Peace Scouts, who eventually amalgamated with the Girl Guides, was perhaps the first national organisation to promote martial arts training for girls.

In 1923 H.G. Lang, a British police Superintendant stationed in India, produced a book entitled The Walking Stick Method of Self Defence. Lang’s stick fighting method was closely based on that of Pierre Vigny, who had been the chief instructor at the Bartitsu Club. Lang’s method was endorsed by several leaders of the Scouting movement in India and he included exercises specifically for the “Training of Organised Bodies”, such as Scout troupes. He even went so far as to suggest that the Scout’s traditional staff might be profitably replaced with a walking stick of the length advocated in his system.

Two years later the British Scouting Association produced a manual for the master-at-arms badge, setting out simplified instructions for singlestick, quarterstaff and foil fencing and well as boxing, wrestling and jiujitsu. Kirk Lawson has recently made available a facsimile copy of the 1925 manual, based on an original found by Robert Reinberger.

In many cases it seems that the stated requirements for achieving the Master-at-Arms badge did not quite keep up with the practical options available to most Scouts. Certainly, Scouting manuals continued to refer to singlestick and quarterstaff fencing long after those sports had largely faded from popularity, although anecdotal evidence suggests that some older Scoutmasters continued to teach them even into the 1970s.

Master-at-Arms badges (or equivalents) are still available in some national Scouting associations, but the requirements have changed according to local and national policies and social trends. The Health and Safety Guide of the present Boy Scouts of America organisation, for example, states that

“Boxing, karate, and related martial arts—except judo, aikido, and Tai Chi—are not authorized activities.

… presumably due to liability concerns. The Master-at-Arms badge was never re-instated within the American Scouting movement.

The present incarnation of the Master-at-Arms badge of the (British) Scout Association recognises only fencing, shooting and archery. However, the Baden-Powell (or Traditional) Scouts still maintain the Master-at-Arms badge in close to its original form, requiring candidates to:

1. Demonstrate proficiency in 1 of the following: Single stick, Quarterstaff, Fencing, Boxing, Judo, Wrestling, Archery or any recognised martial art.

2. In all the ‘contest’ events, Scout must have taken part in an encounter under proper ring conditions and be able to demonstrate the correct methods of attack and defence.

3. Give evidence of being in training for the scheduled item for a period of not less than 3 months.

Yukio Tani’s flying armbar

A promotional postcard (circa 1905) showing former Bartitsu Club instructor Yukio Tani demonstrating a flying armbar (juji gatame) on his manager, the strongman William “Apollo” Bankier:

… and the same technique executed by Rumina Sato against Charles Diaz for a six-second victory by submission during their Shooto match in 1999:

The case of the imaginary sensei

Eager would-be students of jiujitsu in early Edwardian England had limited options to learn the mysterious Japanese art of self defence. During the period 1899-1902 the Bartitsu Club in London’s Shaftesbury Avenue was literally the only jiujitsu school in England. By 1906, however, there were several more dojo operating in the UK, with greater or lesser degrees of legitimacy.

Some seekers (there’s one born every minute) sent away for the correspondence course advertised above, which purported to represent the Kara Ashikaga School of Jiu-jitsu in Liverpool. Not only did this course offer an infallible method of self defence “as taught at the Yoshimosa School in Japan”, but other advertisements promised that the practice of jiujitsu would cure all manner of ailments, including constipation.

The best current evidence suggests that Kara Ashikaga, the stern-looking sensei depicted in the Liverpool school’s magazine ads, did not actually exist. Rather, he was a promotional gimmick devised by the actual proprietor of the correspondence course, an Englishman named Thomas.

There appears to be no evidence that the Yoshimosa School of Jiujitsu ever existed either. The name “Yoshimasa Ashikaga” was, however, featured prominently in Lafcadio Hearn‘s book, “In Ghostly Japan”, first published in England in 1904. It’s difficult to avoid the conclusion that Thomas simply picked out a few names that he liked the sound of and proceeded to sell his customers a bill of goods. Adding insult to injury, the four-volume correspondence course, “Jiu-jitsu the Japanese Method of Attack and Self Defence by the Kara Ashikaga School” was, in fact, a direct plagiarism of “Jiu-Jitsu the Japanese Method of Attack and Self Defense” by Captain H. H. Skinner.

By a strange twist of fate, for a brief time in early 1906, the Ashikaga School did feature instruction by a genuine jiujitsu sensei. Liverpool was the first British port of call of the famous Gunji Koizumi. In Koizumi’s “My Study of Judo” (1960) he mentions having taught jiujitsu at the Kara Ashikaga School.

It’s tempting to imagine a Remington Steele scenario in which Mr. Thomas, having invented a Japanese martial arts master as a figurehead, suddenly and unexpectedly found himself in the position to employ a real one. Sadly, the historical record does not reveal whether Koizumi played along with the charade (although it seems unlikely), nor whether Thomas had to scramble to create an actual dojo at his Electric Building address to accommodate his new instructor and, presumably, paying students. Koizumi, sensibly enough, spent only a short time at the Liverpool school before before travelling south to London, where he collaborated with former Bartitsu Club instructor Sadakazu Uyenishi at his Piccadilly Square dojo.

Caveat emptor

“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.

“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.