“Jiu-jitsu: An Editor’s Experience” (1917)

  • Originally published on the Bartitsu.org site on Thursday, 5th December 2013

The Globe and Sunday Times War Pictorial, Monday, 32 April, 1917 –

In Sir Arthur Pearson’s reminiscences in the January number of Pearson’s Magazine, is his account of how he came to be convinced of the usefulness of jiu-jitsu:

“I well remember the day on which a small man, one Mr. Barton-Wright, appeared in my office and talked to me enthusiastically of the merits of the art which he had studied in Japan and was anxious to write about. I asked him to show me something of it.

He stood before me in a most casual attitude and invited me to throw him down. I have always kept myself very fit, and was in those days rather proud of my strength. Without any further ado I essayed the apparently simple task of putting the little man on the floor. What really happened was that in less time than it takes to dictate these words I struck the wall some 15 ft. away with quite enough force to be unpleasant! Mr. Barton-Wright had sunk before my assault and, as its violence upset my balance, had delicately poised me upon the soles of his feet and shot me into space.

‘That was simple!’ he said cheerily, as I gathered myself up. ‘Now let us go along to some more elaborate …’

‘Thank you!’ I said. ‘Go away and write me something, but I absolutely refuse to be demonstrated on any more.’”

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