Got my very own copy now! :)
I got lucky two weeks ago and found a copy of the revised edition of his Karate book on sale at a second-hand bookshop. More than a thousand photos; clear, logical explainations; honest opinions and no mystical mumbo-jumbo. All crammed into a pocketbook. Hell, he even takes a swipe at inflated egos and unfounded trash-talk! Nice to own a copy after borrowing those owned by friends.
Yep, I'll say it again. The Tegner books were a gold mine of information, lots of which is still applicable today.
I have had a few of his books.
So does anyone knows what became of Tegner? Is he decease now? Where did he teach?
Freddy: Bruce passed away in 1985, From about 1952 ? through 1967 he had a school in Hollywood, Calif. he retired in 1968, and moved to Ventura, Ca. where he taught police science (control hold, and lock, etc. and judo, occasionally he would teach a self defense class at rec centers just to keep his hand in. If anyone is interested there is a web site dedicated to him at.
My very first Martial Arts book ever was Bruce Tegner's Judo book. Loved that one.
Originally Posted by jukado1
Thanks for the updates.
While I was wrestling and doing Shaolin Kempo, I found his Judo book in my dads collection. Me and my brother thought it was great. Although we didnt use it extensivley we thought the throws were great and practiced a few. He had some chokes and locks in there too if I remember.
I remember reading some of those in the library. What's "jukado" like? Anybody still teach it?
I still see Tegner's books in the library, in used book stores, and at Barnes and Noble all the time. I've flipped through a few, and thought they were full of seriously bad, off balance crap. I picked up his Savate book at B&N a while back though, and while it has some ridiculously bad moves in it, it has some good historical info.
Yeah, but if you look at any other martial arts books being published in the 1960's, his stuff is as good or better than the others. Plus, he published more than anyone else.
Originally Posted by bad credit
Sure, it's dated as hell now, but 40 years ago, they were groundbreaking.
Apologies in advance for the long post.
My dad was a pro boxer and wrestler in the Depression. He knew an amazing array of streetfighting techniques: everyday objects as weapons, pressure points, locks and throws. His first trainer was known as "chink" (75 years ago - no political correctness), so he may have had some asian m.a. training. Anyway, starting before I can remember, he showed me basic techniques. First, breaking holds -- looking back, I'm surprised how many of those techniques relied on pressure points. Later, he showed me those locks as well as come-alongs. By 10 or so, I had also learned some boxing techniques and strikes and throws. He taught me isometrics for strength. My dad never put a name to what he was teaching me. It was clearly not meant for the ring. In fact, he refused to let me fight in the Golden Gloves because my brains "might get scrambled." In a real world fight, he said, there are no rules: "if someone attacks you, pick up the heaviest thing you can find and hit him with it."
OK, to the point. Around that time, I found a used copy of Bruce Tegner's American Combat Judo in a bookshop. Although it had some new (to me) techniques (particularly the more violent ones) I could have written most of it. My dad and Mr. Tegner didn't know each other, but they had clearly gone to different schools together. In that and other books, he confirmed everything I had learned, down to the isometrics. He taught that every M.A. system is made up of components and that the routines, or katas, represented an arrangement of those components representing one attack or a defense to that attack. The iterations of attacks and defenses are essesntially infinite, so that to defend against even the more likely ones, one must learn a large number of katas. This takes a long time and a lot of dedication. It is, not incidentally, expensive. He emphasized that one must be ready to receive and counter an infinity of possible scenarios, and there is no way to teach them all. Therefore, it is best to have a repertoire of attacks and defenses with which one is comfortable and which one can access instantly, creating defenses by using the smaller repertoire of defenses and attacks one has mastered to create, as it were, katas, which appropriately respond to the actual situation with which one is confronted. It is this approach which has led to the frequent accusation that he was simplistic. Actually, his technique requires a very heightened alertness, and a zenlike openness to developing events. There are few types of assaults that cannot be repelled using the techniques suggested by Mr. Tegner. I am pretty sure that much of the criticism of Tegner's analysis comes from those whose livelihood is derived from teaching; consciously or not, they are partial to those techniques which require long instruction. This is not a new point; Yagyu Munenori, the great 17th century martial arts instructor to the Shoguns, made the same point in his "Family Traditions on the Art of War," and 20 years after Bruce Tegner, Bruce Lee made pretty much the same point.
Speaking for myself, I have never been bested in a real fight by a single opponent since I was about 10 years old. In fact, my concern in a confrontation has always been as much for my opponent as for myself. In the heat of a fight, or if the opponent gains a sudden, dangerous advantage, it is always possible that one who knows how to collapse a windpipe or exactly how to pop out an eyeball may do so. I have never used a permanently disabling technique in a fight, but just knowing that I could if my life were threatened has kept me in control of any number of sticky situations over the past 48 years. I hope I never have another fight, of course, but as I get older I appreciate even more what I learned from those two great fighters, who took the time out of their lives to be teachers: my father and Sensei Tegner.
I have recently obtained a good used copy of Self-Defense for Children, which Bruce Tegner published with Alice McGrath in 1976. It is a brilliant work, written with sensitivity and insight, and is timeless in it's usefulness for teaching self-defense to children. I am using it with my 12-year-old daughter, who thinks I'm a little bit eccentric in showing her these things, since, as she reminds me, there hasn't been a fight in her school in years. Nonetheless, as everyone on this site knows, life is long (hopefully), and if she never lifts her hands to defend herself, it is better if she knows she can.
I'm not a serious martial artist, but I can see what is before my eyes. Whether Tegner is rated in the top ten or top one hundred of anything is irrelevant. Whether your teacher has ever heard of him is irrelevant. Tens of thousands of people have read his books and are the safer for it. They may never win ribbons, but they will win fights.
Last edited by strake; 2/21/2007 9:09pm at .