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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