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  1. patfromlogan is offline
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    Posted On:
    2/13/2004 10:30am

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     Style: Kyokushinkai / Kajukenbo

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    Pasted: Kano, Maeda, and the history of Jiu-Jitsu

    http://www.bjjfighter.com/History/

    The History of Jiu-Jitsu Part:1
    By: Brian McLaughlin




    The Kodokan had established itself as a well-respected and undefeated school until 1900 when it entered a contest against Fusen Ryu Jiu-Jitsu. The Fusen Ryu differed from other Jiu-Jitsu school in Japan in that they dedicated almost all their training to "ne waza", or grappling techniques. At this point the Kodokan was skilled in striking and without companion in throwing skill, however they had very limited ability in ground grappling. In the contest the Fusen Ryu realized they could not outmatch the Kodokan on their feet so they employed a unique ploy. The Fusen Ryu fighters would pull the Kodokan fighters between their legs and fall to the ground, once on the ground they would apply a choke or joint lock and force the Kodokan fighters to submit (the modern day equivalent to "pulling guard"). The Kodokan were defeated by submission in all ten of their matches, it was the school’s first defeat. Kano now realized that ne waza was of equal or greater importance to tachi waza (throwing techniques).

    Immediately following his school’s defeat Kano persuaded Fusen Ryu's headmaster, Mataemon Tanabe, to instruct him on Fusen Ryu’s techniques and principles. Kano also sought out a similar grappling intensive style Jikishin Ryu Jiu-Jitsu and began to incorporate its techniques into the Kodokan. Over the next six years Kano composed a method of ne waza specifically designed for Kodokan Judo. Included in this system were three main types of techniques: Katame Waza (locking techniques), Shime Waza (choking techniques), and Osae Waza (holding techniques). Kano incorporated ne waza into his randori training. Victory was signified when one opponent tapped the mat. Tapping was a symbolic admission of death, which kept alive the samurai tradition of life and death combat while keeping Judo safe and sportive to train daily.

    Kano managed to show the Japanese public that Judo was both effective for combat and sport. The Japanese embraced the sport of Judo, and Judo/Jiu-Jitsu was no longer considered a barbaric or outdated practice.


    In his time Kano produced many great fighters. Arguably the greatest fighter to study under Kano’s tutelage was Mitsuyo Maeda. Maeda came to the Kodokan in 1897, a time when Judo was beginning to focus a great deal of attention to ne waza. He had a natural flair for Judo and quickly moved through the rankings, proving himself to be one of the best fighters in the Kodokan.


    In 1904 Maeda, who was now a 4th degree black belt, was given the opportunity to go to the United States with one of his instructors, Tsunejiro Tomita. The two were invited to the military academy at West Point for a demonstration in Judo. Shortly after beginning their demonstration Maeda was challenged by a student who was also a wrestling champion. Maeda accepted the challenge. The wrestler quickly took him to the ground where Maeda secured an arm lock on the man forcing him to submit. The students were not satisfied; they wanted to see Tomita fight. Tomita was in his 40’s and well passed his prime as a fighter, but his honor forced him to accept the challenge. After a failed throw Tomita was tackled and pinned to the ground, unable to move he was forced to give up.

    Tomita and Maeda parted ways with Tomita heading to the West Coast and Maeda staying in New York. Maeda began teaching at Princeton University part-time after he won some challenge matches there. He also taught in New York City, but the Americans did not take to the Japanese style of teaching and his students did not stay long.

    Around this time Maeda was offered to take part in a challenge fight for money by some local Japanese. Maeda was desperate for money and although it was against Kodokan rules he accepted. His opponent was a New York City wrestler. Maeda was victorious and so began his career as a professional fighter.

    Maeda persuaded a group of Japanese businessmen to financially sponsor him with $1,000 in prize money while he traveled fighting in North, South, and Central America proving the supremacy of Judo. Despite being merely 5 foot 5 and 154 pounds Maeda took on all challengers regardless of size. Maeda reportedly fought in over 2,000 matches losing only twice in the catch-as-catch-can world championship in which he fought in both the middleweight and heavy weight divisions (he advanced to the finals and semi-finals in those divisions). In Judo/Jiu-Jitsu style matches he was never defeated.

    Maeda firmly believed that Judo was the supreme combat art. He thought of western arts such as wrestling and boxing as merely sportive games. Maeda stated in his autobiography that his approach to fighting was so successful because he took the techniques of Kodokan Judo and modified them for real combat, bringing them down to their most efficient, basic, and effective methods. Maeda studied wrestling and boxing, the styles he encountered the most, in order to understand their strengths and weaknesses. He then would exploit their weaknesses while avoiding their strengths. For example he would clinch with boxers to avoid their punching power and then take them to the ground, where they were very unfamiliar, and apply a submission. Against wrestlers he would often set up his throws with elbows or low kicks due to their lack of striking knowledge.


    Maeda would never hesitate to demonstrate the superiority of Judo. Once while in London, he saw an article in the paper where a Russian wrestling champion was quoted as saying that wrestling was better than judo. Maeda tracked the wrestler down and challenged him on the spot. He refused claiming he was misquoted. Maeda also went on to challenge Jack Johnson, the world heavyweight boxing champion to a no rules fight; his challenge was never accepted (this tradition would later be carried on by Helio Gracie’s challenge to Joe Lewis and Royce Gracie’s challenge to Mike Tyson, the boxers always refused the fight).

    Maeda’s travels brought him throughout Europe and Central America before he finally settled in Brazil in 1915. During this time period, Brazil had the largest concentration of Japanese inhabitants outside of Japan. While attempting to setup a Japanese colony in Brazil Maeda was assisted by a man named Gastao Gracie, a Brazilian man of Scottish decent. Out of appreciation for Gracie’s help in the colonization movement, Maeda taught Gastao’s son Carlos the basic techniques of Jiu-Jitsu.

    Carlos only trained with Maeda for about two years, however in that time he came to understand the guiding principles of leverage and balance, which made up Jiu-Jitsu and with this knowledge Carlos taught his brothers Oswaldo, Jorge, Gastao, and Helio.

    Many wonder why Maeda used the term Jiu-Jitsu and not Judo when teaching the Gracies. Some argue that Maeda taught techniques that were forbidden in Judo so the name Jiu-Jitsu was more appropriate. Others claim that it was because Maeda did not have permission from the Kodokan to teach the Gracies Judo. Whatever the reason, the techniques shown to Carlos by Maeda would go on to be known as Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
    "Preparing mentally, the most important thing is, if you aren't doing it for the love of it, then don't do it." - Benny Urquidez
  2. Ronin is offline

    Merry Christmas Bitch

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    Posted On:
    2/13/2004 10:38am

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     Style: Canadian Shidokan

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    Maeda rules !!!!!!!

    "Victory was signified when one opponent tapped the mat. Tapping was a symbolic admission of death, which kept alive the samurai tradition of life and death combat while keeping Judo safe and sportive to train daily. "

    Too many forget what tapping means.

    "Against wrestlers he would often set up his throws with elbows or low kicks due to their lack of striking knowledge. "

    That's right, who's your daddy ?!?!?!?!

    "Despite being merely 5 foot 5 and 154 pounds Maeda took on all challengers regardless of size. Maeda reportedly fought in over 2,000 matches losing only twice in the catch-as-catch-can world championship in which he fought in both the middleweight and heavy weight divisions (he advanced to the finals and semi-finals in those divisions). In Judo/Jiu-Jitsu style matches he was never defeated."

    Oh yeah baby !!!
  3. Ronin is offline

    Merry Christmas Bitch

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    Posted On:
    2/13/2004 11:51am

    Join us... or die
     Style: Canadian Shidokan

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    "The Kodokan had established itself as a well-respected and undefeated school until 1900 when it entered a contest against Fusen Ryu Jiu-Jitsu. The Fusen Ryu differed from other Jiu-Jitsu school in Japan in that they dedicated almost all their training to "ne waza", or grappling techniques. At this point the Kodokan was skilled in striking and without companion in throwing skill, however they had very limited ability in ground grappling. In the contest the Fusen Ryu realized they could not outmatch the Kodokan on their feet so they employed a unique ploy. The Fusen Ryu fighters would pull the Kodokan fighters between their legs and fall to the ground, once on the ground they would apply a choke or joint lock and force the Kodokan fighters to submit (the modern day equivalent to "pulling guard"). The Kodokan were defeated by submission in all ten of their matches, it was the school’s first defeat. Kano now realized that ne waza was of equal or greater importance to tachi waza (throwing techniques). "

    That paragraph alone should be read and re-read by ALL martial artist.
  4. albert is offline

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    Posted On:
    2/13/2004 12:01pm


     Style: BJJ

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    Excellent read. I knew some Kodokan history but it's nice to know about this Maeda guy.
  5. Freddy is offline

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    Posted On:
    2/13/2004 5:08pm

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     Style: Be Happy

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    Maeda could seriously kick some butt!:D
    Ghost of Charles Dickens
  6. Freddy is offline

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    Posted On:
    2/13/2004 5:10pm

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     Style: Be Happy

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    I wonder what would have happen if Maeda stayed in America? American jujitsu?
    Ghost of Charles Dickens
  7. weechey is offline

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    Posted On:
    2/13/2004 5:28pm


     Style: TKD BJJ

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    great post, esp for martial art history buffs...thanks!
  8. Freddy is offline

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    Posted On:
    2/13/2004 5:56pm

    Join us... or die
     Style: Be Happy

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    Are there different historic versions out there?
    Ghost of Charles Dickens
  9. blankslate is offline

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    Posted On:
    2/13/2004 6:56pm

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    Outstanding. This is great stuff.
  10. liuzg150181 is offline
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    Posted On:
    2/14/2004 2:09am


     Style: fumoffu!

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    Gives me an urge to take up judo(would sport style or kodokan style make any difference?)~~~~
    (Sorry,no bjj in singapore)
    "People think that judo is only unarmed combat - but you are never unarmed when you can hit someone with a planet. "
    - Uncyclopedia entry on Judo
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