rolled over, snickering

Back in the days prior to political correctness, Time Magazine reported on a wrestling match

At the end of the circus, as a final and most brilliant attraction, a wrestling match was arranged between a gigantic nameless Bahian Negro and a small, engaging Jap, name unknown. After a few minutes wrestling, the black Bahian had the Jap on his back; but the Jap rolled over, snickering, and at the end of the wrestling he was sitting like a prime minister upon the dark and heaving stomach of his adversary.

image by Namio found here

The Bahian lout fought after the manner of Brazilian capoeira. This is the national style of fighting; it includes blows as well as grips and it was perfected by a huge band of Hoodlums who once terrorized Rio de Janeiro. Even kicks in the head are allowed and the Bahia Negro attempted these, without avail, against his little foeman.

Brazilian fighter, Anderson Silva, found here

The Jap, too, used a style of combat peculiar to his nation; Jiu Jitsu, the gentle and famous art of making an opponent use his strength to encompass his own defeat. Jiu Jitsu must not be compared or confused with another often pictured species of Japanese wrestling in which two 400-lb. bullies stand face to face and each endeavors mainly by pulling at the sparse clothing of his adversary to topple him over. Jiu Jitsu requires enormous training; Jap boys rise early to practice it before taking cold baths. Occidentals, while they will never be as good as lithe little yellow wrestlers, may become proficient by virtue of talent and application.

flexible sumo wrestlers found here

President Roosevelt was very interested in Jiu Jitsu and received lessons from Yoshitsugu (Yoshiaki) Yamashita.

As 1904 was an election year, the incumbent Republican president used his judo training to elicit favorable press coverage. This outraged Martha Blow Wadsworth, an heiress who wintered in Washington and spent her summers at her horse farms in upstate New York.

image of Roosevelt found here

Wadsworth truly, deeply, and profoundly despised Roosevelt. Indeed, she despised him so much that she insisted on duplicating virtually every physical feat he claimed, once riding a relay of fast horses several hundred miles in 24 hours just to spite him. Therefore she wasted no time organizing women’s judo classes with Yamashita’s 26-year old wife Fude. After several months of practice, reporters were notified, and on May 29, 1904, the New York World featured the class in its Sunday supplement.

image of Fude and husband found here

Published in: on February 21, 2010 at 9:07 am  Comments (34)  
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34 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I love the UFC and I love Silva. Those guys have more grace and skill than any other athletes around. I’ve played sports all my life and when I got to train with a lower rung cage fighter…it killed me. That stuff is no joke.

    You always surprise me with trivia. I had no idea Roosevelt was into Jiu Jitsu. Maybe Chuck Liddell will run for office in 2012?

    • The Roosevelt thing is pretty interesting isn’t it? Was a surprise to me too

  2. Martha Blow Wadsworth is a similar name to Neil Fitzpatrick ………

  3. Hmmm… photies of face sitting. I could get used to that.

    • It’s Namio’s schtick. Did you click the link?

      • I did indeed, and strangely enough enjoyed what I saw.

  4. I agree with the Bastard….more face-sitting photos please :)

  5. “….he was sitting like a prime minister upon the dark and heaving stomach of his adversary.”

    Is this normal behaviour for prime ministers? I’ve never seen ours do this.

    • Oh John Howard did it all the time. That’s why I became an Australian citizen after 30 years of just being a permanent resident – I wanted to vote him out

  6. Why isn’t face sitting a sport? I could be on to something here…..

  7. I love to fight naked!

  8. it’s nice to know that i’m less flexible than a sumo wrestler… that’s a cool pic…

  9. I’m still laughing at the source for the Namio picture. How can you visit a site called “BBW Facehumpers” without cracking up?

    (Actually, I’m *really* wondering how you found it in the first place, but would never ask such a question publicly.)

    • Ask away Tom :-)

      I’m a fan of Namio’s artwork, I found that particular link just by doing an image search for his name on google

  10. Anderson Silva’s one of my favorite UFC fighters too, ’cause he’s left-handed. Us lefties gotta stick together.

  11. And my sister scoffed when I wanted to get my niece Kung Fu lessons for her tenth birthday.

    • Scoffed and accepted or scoffed and declined? I think it was a fabulous gift idea

      • My nine year old nephew has just started jiu jitsu classes and loves it.

  12. I love the idea of a politician using judo for political advantage. Sort of puts today’s Prime Ministerial brouhaha into perspective.

  13. I feel a whole new career opening up head (or more accurately behind) me. A girl always has to have second strong to her bow.

  14. I find the face sitting pic disturbing – has he died?

  15. My little brain is pondering this line – “the art of making an opponent use his strength to encompass his own defeat…” and wondering how I might use the same principle in other aspects of life. ;)

  16. What nothing about Brazillian Style and the Gracies? And Anderson Silva is scary good . . . the only better might be BJ Penn.

    • judo chop!

  17. That Silva has a beautifully bald look about him. My second favourite vignette from the post is that hilarious woman trying to outdo Roosevelt. Quite pioneering really, when women weren’t considered candidates for martial arts.

  18. The topic of wrestling makes me skweemish- this dates back to junior high school physical education where, as the second-biggest kid, I was always assigned to wrestle with Luther, a hugely obese, low-IQ kind of a kid. Oh, the sweating, the writhing! And that was just me getting into my gym clothes (strike drumstick against metal edge of snaredrum).

    Stan Otto Thering

  19. Sounds like good news for smaller sized folks…

  20. That’ sumo stretching photo should be turned into a motivational poser and put up in the gym. The caption could read, “Aspire to Your Fitness Goals!”

  21. Surftwin has enrolled in a Mortal Kombat class, she rises bright and early leaves in the dark and comes back later all bright and cheery…. then attacks in a similar way to photo #2, she ‘s got a little Blow Wadsworth in her it seems! :-) I play Teddy R. in the scene, I call it the Great New Deal……

  22. God that writer sounds so dumb on the wrestling match coverage.

    Know any kung fu nurse?


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