- Originally published on the Bartitsu.org site on Monday, 1st April 2013
These three extremely rare photographs featured in the Year of the Bodyguard docudrama (1982) may show Jujitsuffragettes in training.
Although it is unfortunately impossible to pinpoint their origin, these pictures were almost certainly published in a London magazine circa 1909-1913. Between those dates, and given the presence of tatami mats on the floor, it is highly likely that they were shot in one of three locations. The first candidate would be jujitsu instructor Edith Garrud‘s own dojo (training hall) at #8 Argyll Place, Regent Street, which advertised classes for women and children; the second would be the Golden Square dojo that Edith and her husband William had taken over from former Bartitsu Club instructor Sadakazu Uyenishi when the latter returned to Japan circa 1908.
However, given that one of the women in the second photograph is wearing what is apparently a Suffragette sash, reading “Women’s (indecipherable) Week”, perhaps the most likely location would be the “Suffragettes Self Defence Club”, which Edith had advertised in the Votes for Women newspaper in December of 1909. The club was based at Leighton Lodge in Edwardes Square, Kensington, which included a number of studios for classes in sculpture, painting and voice. The Suffragette self defence classes started at 7.00 p.m. each Tuesday and Thursday evening and cost 5s, 6d per month.