Sunday, January 25, 2009

Self-Defense in 1904

I am organizing my martial arts books and found "Jiu-Jitsu the Japanese Method of Attack and Self-Defense" by Capt. H. H. Skinner dated 1904. On the title page reads "A Comprehensive and Copiously Illustrated Treatise on The Wonderful Japanese Method of Attach and Self-Defense" As a traditional martial artist, I find this book fascinating. The techniques described in the book are the same ones we use today. Good techniques stand the test of time.

However, there are some unique scenarios described in 1904. There is a segment on how sometimes it is necessary to arrest a policeman or as they put it "a copper". The technique is a disarm of his club from behind.


Littlefair said...

Oh wow, I was just thinking about this-early jiu jitsu-the other day when I saw a programme on the telly about the Home Guard during the Second World War. During the show they revealed a handbook by which the commandos were trained and lots of it looked like jiu jitsu. I remember reading about a British Empire policeman who worked in Singapore before coming back to the UK. He then went on to train special forces in Britain during the Second World War.

I wonder whether this fella is H Skinner!?

On a quick google search of Skinner I found this interesting article:

Littlefair said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Littlefair said...

My mistake. After further digging I found the name of the guy who trained commando forces during the second world war:

William E. Fairbairn

Dan Prager said...

Also of that era, a Punch cartoon:

The Suffragette that knew Jiu-Jitsu

Mark Cook said...

I'm a Martial Atrs book junkie. I love going through used book stores
looking for older items. I will admit when I saw your book I got just a little case of book envy :)

Michele said...

Littlefair: Interesting links. Thanks!

Dan Prager: Great cartoon. Thanks for visiting!

Oldman: I am a fan of used book stores too. My favorite used book site is I picked the jiu jitsu book up at auction.

Mark Cook said...

I will take a look at that site thanks.