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  1. southstarfist is offline

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    Posted On:
    1/30/2010 9:18am


     Style: BJJ

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!

    uk jujitsu history - the real story?

    Hi,

    Does anybody have any information on the history of jjj in the uk? Its my understanding that most systems are infact hybrids of catch wrestling, karate, judo and aikido re-braded as a traditional art.

    Anyone know of any genuine koryu lineages in the uk?

    I've tried searching here and on the net as a whole but my research skills appear to be lacking.

    thanks in advance
  2. southstarfist is offline

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    Posted On:
    1/30/2010 12:58pm


     Style: BJJ

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    No joy?

    just to be clear: I'm not looking for a koryu club to train at, just some no nonsense information on the origins and history of jjj in the U.K.

    For example I hear that the WJJF is the genesis point for a lot of the current gendai jujitsu out here. What about the 'jitsu foundation'? I know they are not koryu but how legit is their history for example?
  3. Kneedan is offline

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    Posted On:
    3/18/2010 5:23pm

    Bullshido Newbie
     Style: trad Ju Jitsu; Escrima

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    I know of three Koryu styles available in the UK:

    http://www.tenshinsho-den-katori-shinto-ryu.org/ ; http://www.shoufukan.myzen.co.uk/ and
    http://hontaiyoshinryu.co.uk/

    In the case of Tenshin I think it arrived in the UK (via Michael Jay) after a lot of the Gendai/ Goshin Ju Jitsu schools were formed so didn't necessarily influence them. That's also true of Takenouchi Ryu. I don't know what the case is with Hontai.

    Beyond that I don't know much - I've heard simlar claims that most of what we practice in the UK is not really Ju Jitsu but reverse-engineered Judo, but not from people who I was sure knew what they were talking about. I didn't follow it up because it didn't bother me much - I like what I do and as far as I'm concerned Judo is just another style of Ju Jitsu anyway (albeit a very fine one and far and away the most popular).

    I suspect that at the time of the earliest imports (early 20th century?) there was a fair bit of confusion as to what was Judo and what was Ju Jitsu in any case, and the terms may have been used interchangeably, either by Japanese practitioners who'd trained in both and saw them as two sides of the same coin, or by Brits who didn't know any better.

    What little I can piece together from the anecdotes I've heard from older practitioners suggests that a lot of people got some authentic JJJ training (be it Koryu or Gendai/ Goshin) through time spent in the forces or the merchant navy, and pooled their resources on returning to the UK, teaching each other. I can't verify that, but it might give you something to go on. Either way, I'm sure some Judo and Karate would have found its way into the mix, but it doesn't necessarily follow that there was no Ju Jitsu base.

    I suspect that my good friend Eddie Hardon may swing by this thread sooner or later and he's likely to know more about this than I do.
  4. Kneedan is offline

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    Posted On:
    3/18/2010 5:37pm

    Bullshido Newbie
     Style: trad Ju Jitsu; Escrima

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Regarding the WJJF, it's certainly true that a lot of current associations were formed by ex-members, and the syllabi are often very similar. There was a mass exodus about 15 - 20 years ago (I'll find a link to that discussion for you in a moment).

    On the current scene the 'major players' tend to be concentrated in the South-East and North-West of England, and include the WJJF and the BJJAGB (the latter being an umbrella body and endorsed by Sport England for what that's worth).
  5. Kneedan is offline

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    Posted On:
    3/18/2010 5:42pm

    Bullshido Newbie
     Style: trad Ju Jitsu; Escrima

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
  6. Eddie Hardon is offline

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    Posted On:
    3/19/2010 8:07am


     Style: Trad Ju Jitsu

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Kneedan View Post
    I suspect that my good friend Eddie Hardon may swing by this thread sooner or later and he's likely to know more about this than I do.
    Blimey. The Brain hasn't been functioning too well today, so I'll try to add something on Monday. I've no claims to Authority because...well, there are too many gaps, as far as I can find.

    Certainly some Japanese instructors arrived via the Ports in the late 19th C. and settled in Liverpool (strong tradition alleged) and London. This predated Judo, but
    Last edited by Eddie Hardon; 3/19/2010 8:20am at . Reason: Deletion as the damn button was pressed while I was still typing.
  7. Eddie Hardon is offline

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    Posted On:
    3/19/2010 8:19am


     Style: Trad Ju Jitsu

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Kneedan View Post
    I suspect that my good friend Eddie Hardon may swing by this thread sooner or later and he's likely to know more about this than I do.
    Blimey. The Brain hasn't been functioning too well today, so I'll try to add something on Monday. I've no claims to Authority because...well, there are too many gaps, as far as I can find.

    Certainly some Japanese instructors arrived via the Ports in the late 19th C. and settled in Liverpool (strong tradition alleged) and London. This predated Judo, but I could be very wrong here. Some made gave demonstrations on the various Music Hall Stages (Palaces of Variety) as this was the popular entertainment media of the day prior to Radio and TV. This also led to challengers from the audience and the likes of Yukio Tani never lost.

    Additionally, the British Army was said to have taken into use its techniques at his historic home of Aldershot.

    Certainly, the was a school in Regent Street/Oxford Street, London, which taught Ju Jitsu under authentic Japanese instruction.

    Liverpool developed its own under a Japanese instructor and I've read (and been told verbally, so it could be true) that this was inherited by Jack Britton the famour boxer.

    Hmm, I seem to be thinking this through (or not).

    The more modern era was largely set by James Blundell and then codified by him. Robert Clark took over and I continue to hear how good he was on the mat. Conversely, I also continue to hear how important money was to him and how much personal antipathy he provoked. It all came to a head in an international setting and everyone left him.

    For the OP, why the interest? If you're happy in BJJ, then fine.

    cheers
  8. southstarfist is offline

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    Posted On:
    3/19/2010 11:44am


     Style: BJJ

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Thanks for all the info guys, I had assumed this thread to be dead to be fair so it was a nice suprise to find it resurrected.

    I ask really out of general curiosity. A friend of mine had expressed an interest in training and wasn't to interested in my suggestion of BJJ as he wanted a 'japanese art rather than an adaptation from another country'. I basically told him that from what I have heard a lot of what is marketed as trad jjj in the UK often isn't. However it occured to me that my own knowledge on the subject is pretty scant - hence I came asking.

    With regards to my own training I'm very happy in BJJ. I have had some experience with gendai jjj over the years but I have discovered that I feel more content within a purely sportitive paradigm. I ask purely out of a general interest in MA.
  9. Kneedan is offline

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    Posted On:
    3/19/2010 11:53am

    Bullshido Newbie
     Style: trad Ju Jitsu; Escrima

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Cool - perfectly fair questions anyway. We can bore you rigid with suggestions for Trad JJ schools in the UK - most won't be Koryu so it depends on what your friend really wants. If he wants something 'properly' Japanese with the associated cultural and linguistic trappings it might be easier to find an Aikido school along those lines. If you do want some Gendai/ Goshin Ju Jitsu suggestions to pass onto your friend let me know where in the country he is and I'll see what I can find out.
  10. PointyShinyBurn is offline
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    Gnarly King of Half-Guard

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    Posted On:
    3/19/2010 12:07pm

    Join us... or die
     Style: BJJ

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    If he wants the authentically Japanese version of BJJ it's called Judo. It's cheap and widley available, I hear.
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