History of British Jujitsu

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History of British Jujitsu

Postby eugenemcfadden » Fri May 28, 2010 1:13 pm | #1

Hi,
My name is Eugene McFadden and I am a senior student under Mark Thomas sensei at Fudoshin jujitsu. We are a small club of adults that broke away from Kevin Pell Hanshi's Ishin Ryu Jujitsu and we are currently working to adapt and change our syllabus to overcome some short comings. Part of this process has been my taking an interest in the evolution of jujitsu in Britain. Pell Hanshi was never particularly forthcoming in the precise details of his own experience, which has lead me to do some digging.

Having read and researched I can see that a Ishin Ryu is a break away of the WJJF, which seems to have been a creation of James Blundell, Richard Morris and Robert Clark. Pell Hanshi studied under them at the WJJF although the precise history is a little vague. I understand that there was some fraud that occurred which led to the WJJF breaking up, am I correct in this?

I also understand that what we take to be jujitsu is, in fact, a form of altered Judo that has been mixed with some other forms of wrestling, making it a gendai martial art as opposed to a traditional koryu. So what we do is not in fact jujitsu at all, which is a shame as I took it up because I was under the impression that it as a traditional Japanese art; not that this matters so much now.

Anyway...

Is it possible for anyone to fill in the blanks for me regarding the evolution of jujitsu in the UK? I know that there is no direct link back to the bartitsu of Barton-Wright, but what is the precise history of the WJJF syllabus?

Thanks,

Eugene McFadden
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Re: History of British Jujitsu

Postby captaintau » Fri May 28, 2010 2:51 pm | #2

eugenemcfadden wrote:I am a senior student under Mark Thomas sensei at Fudoshin jujitsu.


Are you in nay way connected to James Price's Fudoshin group, or are you a completely different Fudoshin? Just wondering as James Price posts on here (as "El Toro", I think)
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Postby eugenemcfadden » Sun May 30, 2010 8:32 am | #3

hi,
no, we're a completely seperate group, only form in the last two years.

Eugene McFadden
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Postby nao » Mon May 31, 2010 7:28 pm | #4

So what we do is not in fact jujitsu at all
I think I know what you mean but my view is that Ju Jutsu itself was a 'gendai art' at some point -  given how heavily the Japanese have borrowed from China and Korea. As it continues to evolve, I wonder how relevant the Koryu's are in modern times.
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Re: History of British Jujitsu

Postby kunoichi » Mon May 31, 2010 8:53 pm | #5

eugenemcfadden wrote:I also understand that what we take to be jujitsu is, in fact, a form of altered Judo that has been mixed with some other forms of wrestling, making it a gendai martial art as opposed to a traditional koryu. So what we do is not in fact jujitsu at all, which is a shame as I took it up because I was under the impression that it as a traditional Japanese art; not that this matters so much now.


I can't help with most of this but...

I'd like to point out that Judo is itself a form of jujutsu (it was rebranded from Kano-ryu jujutsu for political reasons) and so if your art is descended from Judo I think you are entitled to call it jujitsu. As for having wrestling mixed in, I think that probably happened before any split from judo (unless you use `no-gi' techniques) as travelling judoka borrowed the best techniques from other jacket-wrestling styles around the world.

As you mention almost all jujitsu in the UK is actually descended from Judo. There are exceptions but I suspect these clubs can be counted on one hand. It's also worth noting that many clubs are actually hybrids with karate or kempo mixed in. (The one with a good amount of striking in their syllabuses.

I don't think being a gendai martial art is anything to be ashamed of. But if you fancied practising some strange re-enactment of an old school of martial arts then you certainly have my sympathies. - You've clearly been mis-sold to.

Best of luck learning about the specific lineage of your school!
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Postby Mr.Tibbs » Mon May 31, 2010 9:39 pm | #6

In my opinion the  reason Kevin Pell isn`t strictly teaching Jujitsu is because that isn`t his sole art. He gained his 5th dan with the WJJF but skipped the hard work needed to gain the knowledge and understanding that "should" go with it. Prior to joining the WJJF is experience was more was in other arts and certainly not Jujitsu. I believe they graded him in something like" Combat Jujitsu" to get around the fact that his Jujitsu wasn`t very good. Unfortunately there are quite a few instructors out there that because of their previous rank in another art get graded to equivalent or higher when they take up another! I might be cynical but this seems to happen more to instructors that have a reasonably high number of students to bring with them when joining a new orginisation.
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Postby Mr.Tibbs » Mon May 31, 2010 9:41 pm | #7

That said I`d be surprised if his style has that  much Judo influences as my main criticism of his Jitsu is the throwing .
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Postby Gra » Tue Jun 01, 2010 1:18 pm | #8

It is probably fair enough to call it jujitsu, as long as strong claims about Japanese lineage aren't over emphasised. Judo and aikido are both modern forms of jujutsu, the difference in names is purely marketing. Most British jujitsu appears to be a combination of modern Japanese martial arts with bits of other Asian arts added too. Then adapted for Western street self-defence. So British jujitsu is descended from Japanese jujutsu and remains jujutsu like. Goshin jutsu, is possibly a better name for what most people practice.

The history of British jujitsu is quite obscured. The best description I have seen appears in James Short's book on jujutsu, this appears more or less accuracte. However, the author's credibility is in shreds over other aspects of his life, and anything he says about his own art or contribution should be doubted.
http://abritinecuador.blogspot.com/
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Postby eugenemcfadden » Fri Jun 04, 2010 10:36 am | #9

Mr. Tibbs,
I take it that you have had experiences of Mr Pell before.  Would you mind telling me about them?  

Off list is fine, my email addy is eugenemcfadden [at ) hotmail (dot] com

I agree with you about the throwing, however, having seen him throw and having been thrown by him.

Eugene McFadden

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Postby captaincrunch » Sun Jun 06, 2010 11:32 am | #10

hello eugene

i dont know him from his days with the WJJF but met him when he joined Richard Morris around 94/95
i agree with mr tibbs that his throwing technique is poor,but his knife work for example i think is very good
i have to say technique aside i have always found him to be a nice enough bloke
what do you want to know?
if it is purely research into his past could your instructor not fill the gaps for you,he was with him a long time
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Postby eugenemcfadden » Sun Jun 06, 2010 1:57 pm | #11

hey Captain Crunch,
I'm trying to figure out where the syllabus techniques come from for

a) research purposes

b) curiosity

I was hoping that by knowing what was learnt and adapted where I could find out, or at least put a rough guess together.  

Despite my instructor being with Pell Hanshi for a long time even he's not sure on where the syllabus comes from.

When he joined Richard Morris, was that the World Kobudo Federation?  Was there any trade in techniques?

Eugene McFadden
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Postby captaincrunch » Sun Jun 06, 2010 10:08 pm | #12

i cant remember if we were ju jitsu international or world kobudo federation at that time but the syllabus was basically the same as was the Wjjf one.
the name of the original style i cant remember (i will find out for you),but as with most other styles it changes as instructors change things or introduce new takes on techniques
i dont remember where Kev Pell was before then but he was given either a 5th or 6th dan in combat Ju Jitsu by Sensei Morris rather than the style that we were doing
Hope this is of some help
Regards
Brian
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Postby eugenemcfadden » Mon Jun 07, 2010 1:05 am | #13

Captain Crunch,
thanks for that.  

I know that he was a 4th dan in 96 due to having access to a WKF leaflet on an Advanced Ground Control and Restraint seminar.  At the course was also Bryan Cheek, Richard Morris and Garner Thomson.

What style were you doing and what's combat jujitsu?

Eugene McFadden
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Postby captaincrunch » Mon Jun 07, 2010 7:06 pm | #14

i believe the original style was jikishin (i could be wrong).
i would say that the same as most modern organisations it had been bastardised to some extent as just about all the senior instructors had their own take on the same syllabus
as for 'combat ju jitsu' i believe it was just something to call what Kevin Pell was doing as it was nothing like what we were doing.
not that there is anything wrong with that, he just concentrated on different things
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Postby eugenemcfadden » Tue Jun 08, 2010 2:52 am | #15

Aye, I've heard jikishin, and I've also head juko ryu, both of which are fairly similar and are offshoots of the Blundell/Clarke/Morris system.  

What style were you doing and why was it different to the Pell system, if you don't mind me asking?  

Eugene McFadden
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