The Complete Kano Jiu-Jitsu

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Author: H. Irving Hancock & Katsukuma Higashi
Pub: 1905 by G. P. Putnam & Sons
........1961 by Dover Publications Pages: 500
Out of Print


500 pages and 487 photos, this book is quite valuable from a historical perspective. The 1961 version is missing the section on atemi that the original 1905 edition had, but xerox copies of the missing section seem to be floating around. (I'm looking for it... anyone?) The only major disappointment is the lack of Japanese titles for the 'tricks' shown in the book. Although this one is not easy to come by, and seems to command a high price when available, I recommend this one on historical grounds alone!

One caveat, however... according to Joseph Svinth:

"Richard Bowen has quoted Trevor Leggett as saying that Kano was rather upset by Hancock's usage, but as Japan was not a signatory to the Berne Convention at the time, there wasn't much he could do."

"The first edition of Hancock's book was published in New York in 1905, and the conference that codified judo did not take place until July 1906. The style shown is more likely the jujutsu practiced by Higashi, which *may* have been Tsutsumi Hozan Ryu. Therefore, for an idea about what judo looked like in the early days, a better source would be Arima's "Judo: Japanese Physical Culture," published in 1904 and introduced by Kano."

Thanks to Eric Berge, I now have the 'missing' pages from the original 1905 version. Click Here for the Acrobat file.


Section I ............. 1
Section II .......... 149
Section III ......... 313


THIS is a far more ambitious and comprehensive attempt at a descriptive interpretation of the Japanese art of jiu-jitsu, or jiudo, than was undertaken in the writers' earlier volumes on the subject. Yet this larger and final volume on the subject was to be expected, and probably will be welcomed.

This volume, therefore, presents, in its entirety, the Kano system of jiu-jitsu, devised by Professor Jiguro Kano, with the additions thereto that have been made by those famous jiu-jitsians, Hoshino and Tsutsumi. Since the adoption of the Kano system in Japan as the official jiu-jitsu of the government in the army, navy, and police departments, the older and greatly inferior systems have begun to drop into disuse. The newer generation in Japan is devoting its attention wholly to the Kano methods.

This system begins with the simplest of combat tricks and progresses by degrees to tricks that may be made, in stress of dire necessity, 'most disastrous and even deadly. Yet it must not be inferred from this that the practice of jiu-jitsu is dangerous. Far from it! The writer has in his desk at the moment of writing a manuscript copy of a report made to the War Department by Colonel Oliver E. Wood, U.S. military attache at Tokio, in which the statement is made that, out of four thousand pupils who attended the Kano school, not one was permanently injured.

In friendly contests the more serious tricks of jiu-jitsu are not practiced with any intention of causing harm. Between Japanese students the tricks are practised lightly and swiftly, yet with care not to cause the injuries that would result from a severe application of the work.

Mr. Higashi has modestly understated my reasons for wishing to have his aid in the preparation of this volume. I desired to have him collaborate with me because he is one of the leading exponents of Kano jiu-jitsu. At the age of eighteen he was instructor in jiu-jitsu at Doshisha College, Kioto, Japan. He also coached the students in baseball, football and other sports, and was besides instructor in mathematics.

H. Irving Hancock.



IT is with a great deal of pleasure that I have joined Mr. Hancock in the preparation of this, the first complete and authentic work in any language that explains the highest school of jiu-jitsu as that art is taught and practised by the adepts of Japan.

Years ago Mr. Hancock was a familiar figure in the jiu-jitsu schools of Japan. He was always an admirer of our race, and has shown keen insight into many phases of our national life as we ourselves understand it. Of jiu-jitsu he became a zealous disciple, both on account of its value as a means of physical training and as a method of combat. When he came to Japan Mr. Hancock was more than ordinarily well versed in the ways of jiu-jitsu, as he had learned much from Japanese in this country. In the schools of our country he finished what he had begun at home. While in actual combat work Mr. Hancock does not claim rank with our adepts, he is nevertheless highly skilful in the practice of the art, and his comprehension of the theory of jiu-jitsu exceeds, undoubtedly, that possessed by any other man not a native of Japan. After having studied the work of the many older and inferior schools, my collaborator applied himself to the thorough study of the most modern and effective school of the art, the Kano system, which is today the real jiu-jitsu of Japan, and which has been made official by its exclusive recognition by the Japanese government for purposes of instruction in our army and navy and in our police departments.

Mr. Hancock's earlier books on the subject were intended to pave the way, to prepare the Occidental public, for this final and complete exposition of jiu-jitsu as it is taught by order of our government. As I have intimated, there are many systems of jiu-jitsu in Japan, but the others are all older and less effective than the modern, eclectic Kano method. These more ancient methods have become practically obsolete in Japan. It is our racial instinct to turn to the newest and best in everything. Japanese who have learned the old and now obsolete methods have found themselves compelled to forget their hard-acquired knowledge and to take instruction all over again in the more scientific Kano methods. An adept of the first rank in the older schools finds himself helpless before an ordinarily clever student of Kano.

The Kano system, at the time of its adoption by the Japanese government, consisted of forty-seven tricks of combat and fifteen "serious" tricks. Additions and amplifications have been made by those great teachers, Hoshino and Tsutsumi, until now the complete system, as we teach it, comprises one hundred and sixty tricks. These are divided into three sections. The first includes sixty tricks of combat in strict sequence. These tricks are intended as a preparation for the more advanced tricks of Section II. In the Second Section the pupil is taught how to apply advantages that he has gained by the tricks he already knows. More scientific tricks are imparted to him, and toward its close the Second Section verges on the "serious" work of jiu-jitsu.

In the preparation of a work of such magnitude Mr, Hancock naturally preferred to collaborate with a native Japanese professor of the art. He has been unremitting in his efforts to have Occidentals taught jiu-jitsu properly at the outset, by ignoring the lesser and obsolete schools of the art and acquiring only the Kano system that is official in Japan. Some Japanese have been engaged in this country in teaching the work of the lesser schools. Through Mr. Hancock's praiseworthy and consistent efforts to have only the Kano system taught to Americans we have been associated in its introduction in this country. It was natural, therefore, that Mr. Hancock should turn to myself for collaboration. We have laboured long and arduously to make this work so exhaustive that it shall have no detail lacking. We present this work to the public with confidence that no apology is needed for the length and the multiplicity of detail inseparable from the complete exposition of every phase of the Kano system of jiu-jitsu.

In these pages will be found all the parts of the work as it is now being taught by a Japanese confrere of mine to the midshipmen at the U. S. Naval Academy at Annapolis. Some confusion has arisen over the employment of the term "jiudo," To make the matter clear I will state that jiudo is the term selected by Professor Kano as describing his system more accurately than jiu-jitsu does. Professor Kano is one of the leading educators of Japan, and it is natural that he should cast about for the technical word that would most accurately describe his system. But the Japanese people generally still cling to the more popular nomenclature and call it jiu-jitsu.

Jiu-jitsu, or jiudo, is in Japan the art of the gentleman. It is not surprising, therefore, that the highest evolution of our ancient Japanese style of combat should come about in these days through the efforts of Professor Jiguro Kano. To him we owe much, and also to Messrs. Hoshino and Tsutsumi, who, by their toil, have rounded out the Kano system to its present perfection and supremacy.

Katsukuma Higashi
42 WEST 65th STREET,
New York, March 10, 1905


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