View Full Version : Injuries in jujutsu training in the 19th century

Nuutti Kotivuori
13th March 2002, 10:16
I just today heard once again the argument about judo that Jigoro Kano's training method allowed for less injuries than the traditional jujutsu schools - and so allowed more training.

To ask a simple question derived from this argument:

Did jujutsu schools in the 19th century have a lot of injuries happening? Was there enough to seriously hamper training?

I haven't met a school yet that would cause serious injuries in it's practitioners and still have practitioners. But this might have not been the case before.

Nuutti Kotivuori

13th March 2002, 13:16
Originally posted by Nuutti Kotivuori
I just today heard once again the argument about judo that Jigoro Kano's training method allowed for less injuries than the traditional jujutsu schools - and so allowed more training.

I think it was more a matter of some techniques in jujutsu that couldn't be practiced at realistic speeds or with realistic intent without hurting your partner that were either modified or left out of the judo curriculum.

13th March 2002, 13:41
The changes made to Jujutsu by Kano Jigoro also ensured that the more 'vicious' things from the old Ryu were stopped.
It seemed to be 'standard' practise to 'welcome' a new initiate into the Dojo by treating him to a high dose of Uke training..What this would mean to one who has no real experience of Ukemi is obvious..Pain and injury were often the outcome of this training..If the trainee DID come back he was 'trusted' as a student.
Although this is a 'story' it must have basis in fact and Kano's approach to his Judo was to ensure Ukemi was taught first off in preparation for the training itself.
I am unsure but think it would be doubtful that the Jujutsu Dojo practised waza that could kill the students but they may have regarded such sessions as vital for Spirit training (Seishin Tanren)ad would have been more likely to teach the techniques that could kill because that IS WHAT THEY HAD TO TEACH.
Judo was never intended as a sport in the first place...It was smply seen as a new and innovative form of Ryu-Ha (I believe called Kano Ryu Jujutsu) that due to it's safer aspects of training was seen as a great way to start training in Jujutsu...And not be damaged too early.
That said there is a lot of sources that show that training in Judo in the early days was more centered on the same things as 'all' the other Dojo were and training was hard and harshly taught to those at a level high enough for it..
My own two pence anyhow..

13th March 2002, 18:29
Someplace I read that many of the old Jiu Jitsu masters made their real money setting bones. And if the bone setting business was slow, the JJ students were encouraged to go out a drum up business. Evidently the two business went together as the JJ students frequently need bone setting.

Anyone have the truth? I think I read it in an old EJ Harrison book.

14th March 2002, 13:10
Hi all,
Stoker; Yeah, I remember that from Harrisons 'Fighting spirit of Japan' book..As I recall (Hang on i'll get it)..he was recounting what he had been told about 'the good ol' days' by a senior Judoka that he knew...A fourth Dan by the name of Yokoyama Sakujiro...A onetime Superintendant at the Kodokan.
However (In his defense..) he DOES state clearly that it was only done to "Gamblers and other rough elements" So thats OK.
Other quotes that are good here include;
"In the old feudal days, Jujutsu was divided into many schools..In those days contests (NOT the training..)were extremely rough and not infrequently cost the participants their lives"
"Since then the more dangerous tricks have been eliminated from these encounters to avoid serious consequences, and this circumstance, I think, accounts for the growing popularity of the art"
It should be mentioned that Yokoyama says his study was started in the Tenjin Shinyo Ryu before he became allied to the Kodokan.
A worthwhile read and one that fills in a few stories on the days of Judo's first steps...Interesting stories..