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The Secrets of Jujitsu, A Complete Course in Self Defense


 

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By Captain Allan Corstorphin Smith, U.S.A.
Winner of the Black Belt, Japan, 1916. Instructor of Hand-to-Hand Fighting, THE INFANTRY SCHOOL, Camp Benning, Columbus, Georgia and at United States Training Camps and Cantonments, 1917 and 1918.
In Seven Books.
BOOK ONE.
STAHARA PUBLISHING COMPANY
Columbus, Georgia, 1920.
***
This electronic version is copyright EJMAS © 2000. All rights reserved.
Contributed by Thomas J. Militello, a 15-year member of Astoria, New York's non-profit Horangi Taekwondo Dojang, which is headed by James Robison.
Readers interested in seeing film images should note the following film held by the National Archives and Record Administration:
NWDNM(m)-111-H-1180.
Title: Physical and Bayonet Training, 1918.
Scope and Content: Recruits at Camp Gordon, Georgia receive detailed instruction in boxing and jiu-jitsu. Wrestling and jiu-jitsu holds are used against a foe with a bayonet. Troops do calisthenics and play rough games calculated to make them physically fit.
35mm film, 15 minutes
See also Don W. Farrant, "Vintage Jujitsu: World War I Style," .
Judging from responses from the US Army historians at Forts Myer and Benning, little biographical information is available concerning Captain Smith, whose name (and kilt) suggests Scottish heritage. Therefore readers with additional information are requested to contact the editor at jrsvinth@juno.com .



Presentation of the Black Belt to Captain Allan Smith at the Kodokwan (Central Jujitsu College), Tokyo, Japan, January 9, 1916. From a painting by a Japanese artist. [Ed. note: When Scottish judoka George Kerr wore his kilt to the Kodokan 44 years later, Japanese kept trying to see what was underneath, and afterwards Kerr swore not to do that again.]


FOREWORD
Captain Smith, who has been employed as an instructor in Hand-to-Hand Fighting at The Infantry School, has performed an important service in preparing his series of books, "The Secrets of Jujitsu."
It is, in my opinion, highly desirable that American Infantry be trained in all forms of personal combat that might be used against them.
PAUL B. MALONE
Colonel, Infantry
Assistant Commandant
HEADQUARTERS
THE INFANTRY SCHOOL
CAMP BENNING, GEORGIA
JULY 30, 1920.

Japanese banquet after the ceremony in the Central Jujitsu College; Captain Smith in Scottish Highland Costume, second from right

JUJITSU IS BOTH SELF-DEFENSE AND MENTAL TRAINING
Jujitsu as a means of self-defense will teach you to take care of yourself in dangerous situations whether armed or unarmed.
It is a valuable study as it trains you to evade the impact of an opponent's strength and attack him at a point where he can bring only 20 per cent of his strength to bear. It teaches you to unbalance your opponent.
Conversely it trains you to retain your own balance and to bring 100 percent of your strength to bear in every effort you make. A man trained in jujitsu will instinctively act on this principle in everything he does whether engaged in a physical contest or a mental one.
A course of jujitsu therefore will leave its permanent mark on your mentality. It teaches you to retain your poise in the arena where the contests are physical, brawn against brawn, or in the public forum, where mind is pitted against mind, intellect against intellect.
It has another and more immediate result in the resources of self-defense that will be at your immediate disposal whenever you are attacked, or whenever you go to the rescue of someone else.
A strong man by its aid will be enabled to use his strength in a more workmanlike manner, and a weak man will be able to discount the superior strength of his adversary.
A woman equipped with this science will no longer be at the mercy of a ruffian. She will furthermore retain her presence of mind and keep cool, in an emergency.


THE COURSE CONSISTS OF: --
BOOK
1. An introductory course showing:
That the secret of jujitsu is in the Stahara.
How to use the Stahara.
How to train the Stahara. (28 photos.)
2. Defense when a man attacks you by seizing you around waist. There are five tricks in this series, and they provide a splendid means of exercise. (18 photos.)
Defense when a man attacks your throat. After mastering this lesson, the weakest woman will be safe from such an attack. (17 photos.)
3. Defense when opponent seizes your wrists. Teaching how to lever them out by the strength of your body. This lesson trains you to use your body as a whole. (26 photos.)
4. Defense when attacked from behind. By having your practice partner attack from behind, you master a series of tricks that will be useful in any situation of attack or defense. (34 photos.)
5. Defense when attacked by knife, club, pistol, kicks, etc. This lesson teaches you quick thinking and gives you presence of mind in an emergency. (44 photos.)
6. Taking prisoners, hammerlocks, and a number of tricks whereby the weaker man can get the stronger. These are intensely interesting tricks, most of them published for the first time. (49 photos.)
7. Three of the secret grips of Japan never yet published in any book, Japanese or otherwise.
These tricks give you the power of life or death. The method of instruction allows them to be practised as an interesting pastime, and with absolute safety. (38 photos.)
(TOTAL 254 photos.)


LESSON 1.
This lesson illustrates the principle of putting the strength of your whole body into everything you do instead of merely using the strength of the particular hand or arm which is immediately concerned in the operation.


UPWARD WRIST ESCAPE

Assailant seizes both your wrists with his thumbs above and his fingers below.
(In practising this, at first, Assailant must "stay put." He knows what you are going to do but must not take advantage of his knowledge to lower his body also and thus prevent your escape. Afterwards you will be able to escape more quickly than he can prevent you.)

Bring palms of your hands together. Step forward with one foot, lowering your body until the elbows are well bent and below his hands.



Have your elbows in front of, and touching, your abdomen. With an upward and forward movement of your abdomen force your wrists up and out of his grasp, keeping your hands rigid. All this done in one motion and with great rapidity.
Practise slowly at first to get the movement right. Compare each position you take with corresponding photograph.
NOTE: In Fig. 1, the strength of your arms alone would not suffice to pull your wrists out of the grasp of a stronger man.
Instead of trying to free your wrists by the strength of your arms, you force them out by the strength of the abdomen and the weight of the body.
We will train you to use this principle in everything you do. It is called the principle of the Stahara.


WHAT THE STAHARA IS
The Stahara is the Abdominal Region. It includes the Diaphragm, the Abdominal Muscles, the Solar Plexus and the Center of Gravity.
This course will train you not only to understand the Stahara principle but to act on it instinctively. You can then use your own strength better; you can handle other men better.
This principle properly applied will instantly give you increased physical power. It will endow you with greater mental control and will give you a stronger personality.


THE WEAKEST MAN'S STAHARA IS STRONGER THAN THE STRONGEST MAN'S ARM
Always play the strength of your Stahara against the strength of your opponent's arm. This is simply the strategy of Napoleon who attacked the enemy's weakest point with all the force he could concentrate.
Instead of memorizing this as an abstract principle, visualize it in the concrete instance of the simple trick exemplified on the preceding page.
This is a typical example of how the Stahara principle enters into the execution of every trick in this course.
The leverage the Stahara gives you in the previous trick is obvious, and easily applied. In other tricks it is not so obvious and the student may not see the connection at first between the Stahara and the trick.
The connection is there, however, and it only requires to be discovered and applied.
The system of teaching you to use your Stahara in the most obvious instances, at first, enables you to apply it in the less obvious cases.
An increased ability to use your body in this way will come with the progressive practice of this course.

The Stahara fully developed..
Photo of Captain Smith taken just previous to his winning of the Black Belt, Tokyo, Japan, 1915.


THE SECRET OF JUJITSU IS THE STAHARA
The throws of jujitsu are achieved by the mechanical force of your center of gravity playing against opponent's center of gravity.
The center of gravity is contained in the lower abdomen, therefore the proper disposition of your lower abdomen is the most important factor in any given trick.
Conversely the object of your exertions against an opponent is to out-think his center of gravity, by maneuvering him into a position where his lower abdomen is off balance.
An old Japanese master, mentioned in the chapter on "A demonstration in Pain-bearing" (which will follow in due course), told me once when I was very much discouraged at the progress was making, that


Hyaku ii-yasushi
Ichi ii-gatashi.
Which, being interpreted, means:
The hundred tricks are easy to learn
But the one principle is difficult to learn.
On asking him to be kind enough to impart this one principle to me, he informed me that that could only be acquired after years of practice.
This elusive principle, which the Japanese professors make you search out for yourself, this course imparts from the start by means of Stahara training.


HOW THE WORD "STAHARA" ORIGINATED
When I commenced to teach jujitsu in Yokohama, Japan, in every trick I showed how to use the lower abdomen, and how to maneuver opponent's balance. My first pupils were Japanese friends, and lower abdomen to them was shita hara.
Shita (pronounced sh'ta) and hara are two Japanese words meaning under or lower abdomen. The words shita hara mean to a Japanese what the words lower abdomen mean to us -- and nothing more.
This word hara is the same word we meet in hara kiri -- abdomen cutting -- the Japanese method of suicide.
Gradually as I evolved the idea of balance-control and abdominal power, I adopted the word shita-hara as a technical term for a new principle for which there was no name. When teaching the Doughboys, they called it "Stahara" and that is how it was finally written. It is an American word for an American idea.
STA-HA-RA Sta -- pronounced as in star.
ha -- pronounced as in harp.
ra -- a has the same sound as in the first two syllables.
Japanese teachers of jujitsu do not mention the Stahara when explaining a throw or trick to their disciples. They teach the use of the arms and legs, of the hips and shoulders, but do not show the principle of balance, which is the basis of the whole system.
It is therefore an average of ten years before a student of jujitsu in Japan masters these throws. It takes that length of time to acquire the scientific way, in common parlance, to "get the knack" of doing the trick.
Jujitsu is not done with strength of arm or leg and this inability to grasp the underlying principle is why it takes so long to master it.
You must realize the importance of the Stahara. It is here the center of gravity lies. It is here the seat of the emotions lies. It is the most important part of the human body, and the most neglected.
One of Captain Smith's classes.
Fort Myer, Virginia, August, 1918.

LESSON 2
This lesson teaches you how to make an opponent quit without injuring him.
After mastering the principle of this lesson, two inexperienced men may proceed to practise all the tricks in this course any number of times, without injury or pain.
The seven lessons taught in Book 1 are not meant to teach Fighting or Self-defence tricks. They merely aim to train you:
How to use your body as a whole;
How to keep your balance;
How to practise effective holds with safety.
Book 1 tries to convey those fine points of personal instruction which are usually lacking in a text book.
If you "catch on" to these points you will be able to study the following six books just as effectively as if you had a teacher at your elbow all the time.
The practical application of the Wrist Twist is given in Books 5 and 6.


THE WRIST TWIST


ORDINARY GRIP
For the preliminary practice your opponent stands facing you holding up both hands with the backs toward you.

Seize his right hand placing your thumbs on the back and your fingers on his palm.
The first photo shows the hold made with the strength of the fingers and thumb only which is a weak method.


STRONG GRIP
Hold his hand not with finger and thumb only but with the palm and the third joint of the thumb.

It is a sort of clinging grip, its power comes from the palm of the hand as well as the ends of thumbs and fingers.
Experiment until you get it.


TWISTING RIGHT WRIST
Slowly pull his hand to your left twisting his wrist until you have him in this position.

This will cause him considerable pain. Continue to twist his wrist, however, until the pain causes him to quit.
When he is unable to bear it he will give the signal of defeat by tapping his left hand twice on his chest and you will instantly release him.


TWISTING LEFT WRIST
Take the same grip on his left hand and twist in the same way to your right, slowly, until he gives the signal of defeat.

As you release each hand he returns to position fig. 4 for you to continue the practice.
Repeat until you can seize either hand without hesitation and make him quit.
Allow opponent to practise it the same number of times on you.


MAKING AN OPPONENT QUIT
Jujitsu matches are won by making the other man quit. The holds employed for this purpose are powerful enough to break a man's arm or leg, to choke him into unconsciousness, or even to break his neck.
Strange as it may appear, however, jujitsu matches are absolutely free from injury to the contestants. This is because of the very scientific and skillful method of the opponents.
An ordinary person who had not been shown the proper method of practising would apply the hold roughly with injurious results.
Consequently he would never become expert because he could not get opponents to practise with; once would probably be enough for them.
If on the other hand you simply apply them lightly and without using pressure you cannot be sure that you have mastered the trick.
In this course the "Breaking Point" is always clearly demonstrated. You are shown the exact position into which the opponent must be maneuvered. You are taught to take opponent up to the "Breaking Point" without making him feel any pain. This is the Major Operation.
Then apply pressure until he quits but so slowly that there is no danger of your going too far and injuring him in the slightest. This is the Minor Operation.
You will start on the wrists and elbows and later on will graduate to his neck on which you will be able to apply the most effective holds with perfect safety.
He must practise every grip on you that you may appreciate its effectiveness. It will also teach you temperance in giving pain as you wish your opponent to practise temperance towards you.

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