Friday, September 24, 2010
Teddy Rosevelts Jiu Jitsu Experience.
This is an exert from Roosevelt's letters to his children on wrestling and Jiu-jitsu.
White House, Feb. 24, 1905.
Darling Kermit: "... I still box with Grant, who has now become the champion middleweight wrestler of the United States. Yesterday afternoon we had Professor Yamashita (Yamashita was Roosevelt's Jiu-jitsu instructor before Meada and Tomita had arrived there in the U.S.) up here to wrestle with Grant. It was very interesting, but of course jiu jitsu and our wrestling are so far apart that it is difficult to make any comparison between them. Wrestling is simply a sport with rules almost as conventional as those of tennis, while jiu jitsu is really meant for practice in killing or disabling our adversary. In consequence, Grant did not know what to do except to put Yamashita on his back, and Yamashita was perfectly content to be on his back. Inside of a minute Yamashita had choked Grant, and inside of two minutes more he got an elbow hold on him that would have enabled him to break his arm; so that there is no question but that he could have put Grant out. So far this made it evident that the jiu jitsu man could handle the ordinary wrestler. But Grant, in the actual wrestling and throwing was about as good as the Japanese, and he was so much stronger that he evidently hurt and wore out the Japanese. With a little practice in the art I am sure that one of our big wrestlers or boxers, simply because of his greatly superior strength, would be able to kill any of those Japanese, who though very good men for their inches and pounds are altogether too small to hold their own against big, powerful, quick men who are as well trained."
Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919) (Theodore Roosevelt's Letters to His Children. 1919. NEW YORK: CHARLES SCRIBNER'S SONS, 1919 NEW YORK: BARTLEBY.COM, 1999)