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The Budokwai

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History Volume I - Founding of Budokwai to circa 1932

History Volume II - circa 1933 to 1965

History Volume III - memorabilia

Founding of Budokwai

Gunji Koizumi - Early Life

Koizumi comes to Britain

Tani Yukio

Edith Garrud and the Suffragettes

Music Hall Interest

E.J.Harrison 

The Oldest club

Jujutsu reaches the West

 

Early Interests - Knighthood Society

A Kodokan Teacher

Famous faces twenties

Budokwai grows - Affiliated Clubs

First International - Budokwai beat Germans 1929

First Publication - The Budokwai - 1929

Trevor Pryce Leggett

Seventeen Dan grade promotions 1932

International Summer Schools

 

The Budokwai

Its Roots and Early History

And Some Other Early Matters

 

Richard Bowen  - Vice-President. The Budokwai 1999

On Saturday, January 26th 1918, The Budokwai opened its doors for the first time. Two days later, on the Monday evening, those training on the mat heard the sound of gunfire - London was still being subjected to the occasional bombing. It was to be many months and many thousands of deaths before the Armistice on November 11th 1918 brought the carnage on the Western Front and elsewhere to an end.

But how did The Budokwai come into existence? 

Gunji Koizumi - Early Life

It could hardly be a case of organizational spontaneous generation, so to speak. The story begins many thousands of miles away, in the village of Komatsuka in Ibaraki Province, Japan, in July 1885. There Koizumi Gunji was born, the younger son of a tenant farmer, Koizumi Shukichi (1853-1903) and his wife Katsu (1855-1920). As the younger son there were only two paths open to him: start his own farm, or be adopted into a family without a male heir - a Japanese custom. He liked neither option so, at the age of fifteen, he left home to seek his fortune in Tokyo. He had already embarked on his life-long fascination with the martial arts, having started kendo at school when he was twelve. Once in Tokyo he enrolled as a trainee telegrapher under a government scheme. It was during this period that he started Tenshin Shinyo Ryu, a leading school of jujutsu. Once qualified as a telegrapher he worked for a while in Tokyo before volunteering to work on the railways in Korea. By now another ambition had arisen, he wanted to study electricity and, in his opinion, the best place to do that was in America. Having little money he decided to work his way to the West in a series of 'hops', which he did via Shanghai, Hong Kong, Singapore, India, arriving in north Wales in 1906. There is no space here to relate the many unusual experiences and adventures he had en route.

Koizumi comes to Britain

By 1917, married and with a thriving business, he felt that he had to make some contribution to help his adopted country (when asked why he never became British he would give a gentle laugh and, pointing to his face, remark, "The face is wrong!" ). The contribution took the form of starting an institute for the study of the martial arts and their related cultural activities. He found and leased two shops in Lower Grosvenor Place, Victoria. As we have seen, the premises opened on January 26th 1918. There was one dojo (training hall) of about twenty feet by twenty feet. The baby Budokwai was solidly democratic, with an elected committee, annual general meetings, a constitution and so on - although these took a little time to establish.

Koizumi was an iron-willed man of the highest probity. He was also a strict democrat

He arrived in London on August Bank Holiday 1906 and took a job as a teacher at a jujutsu school in Golden Square, Soho, which had been set up a few years earlier by Uyenishi (Raku). This is the last time he taught jujutsu professionally, for the rest of his life he was a strict amateur. Nine months later, in 1907, he had saved enough to sail for America. Once there, and after several minor jobs, he was employed as an electrician's help at the Newark Public Service Railway Company learning practical electrical engineering, and also attending evening classes and taking a correspondence course. Feeling confident of his ability he returned to London in 1910 and attempted to set up as an electrician in Vauxhall Bridge Road. But to set up a business one needs what he did not have - capital! This caused another change of plan. Seeking an occupation more akin with his artistic leanings, he studied lacquer-work and set up a business based on this. Success followed and within a few years he had thirteen or fourteen people working for him and numbered The Queen Mary and Lord Kitchener among his clients.

 insisting on democratic processes being followed, remarking a number of times that otherwise, "Dictators will arise." He foresaw the future accurately! Apart from being responsible for the rent of £130 per annum, he paid his fees along with other members within a day or two of the opening. By the end of the first year the membership amounted to fifty-four, mostly Japanese. The first Englishman to join was O.D. Smith as member number thirty-seven: Yukio Tani was member number fourteen, and W.E. Steers number fifty-two. Steers was to introduce Ernest John Harrison in May 1919; they had been friends in Japan. The first woman member, number sixty, Miss Katherine Cooper-White, joined in April 1919. Following her lead other women joined and within a few years there was a regular women's section.

Koizumi, as many will attest, had a droll, a very English, sense of humour; a tax inspector and member of the Society, related to the writer that for many years Kozumi completed his Tax Return in Japanese. "There was nothing to stop him doing this, so we had to get it translated." While something of Koizumi's personal history has been given, what of the others mentioned above who made important contributions to the baby Budokwai?

Tani Yukio

The first professional teacher of the Society was Tani Yukio (in Japanese usage the surname comes first). Tani (1881-1950) arrived in late 1900 accompanied by his brother, brought over by E. W. Barton Wright. Wright, who was obsessed all types of fighting, spent three years in Japan where he learned jujutsu. It is unknown which school he attended, but it was probably the Tenshin Shinyo Ryu, the most popular of the older systems at the time. It was certainly not the Kano Ryu of jujutsu, as Kodokan Judo was first named in early sources. On his return to London in 1898 Wright set up a School of Arms in Shaftesbury Avenue where boxing, fencing, wrestling, la savate and, with the advent of the Tani brothers, jujutsu was taught. Indeed, before the Tanis arrived Wright was already given demonstrations of what he called Bartitsu. This was actually not much more than jujutsu with a few special features added in.

Soon the Tani brothers were joined by Yamamoto. Apart from teaching at his school, it became obvious that Wright wanted the Japanese to perform on the music halls. Tani's elder brother and Yamamoto disagreed with this and returned to Japan. Shortly after, Wright brought in Uyenishi Sadakazu who, along with Yukio, had no objection to appearing on the boards. They caused a sensation, taking on all-comers of any weight and ability and beating them. Within a couple of years both Tani and Uyenishi broke with Wright who now disappears from the story. But all honour must be accorded Edward William Barton Wright (1860-1951) for it was he who introduced jujutsu to Britain and indeed Europe. He died leaving no funds and, without relatives, consequently rests in an unmarked grave in Kingston Cemetery. Perhaps some kindly judo organization will one day erect a suitable memorial.

Following the break with Barton Wright, Tani was taken under the wing of William Bankier. Bankier, whose stage name was Apollo, performed as a strongman. He was what Tani, and indeed Barton Wright, was not - an experienced showman. During the four or five years he and Tani were together they performed in many places around Britain, Apollo doing his strongman act and also assisting Tani in the jujutsu. Apollo dealt with the business side, arranging engagements in theatres and music halls. Eventually the partnership was to split. Many years later, Bankier was to join The Budokwai thus being united with Tani once more.

Uyenishi, who used the stage-name Raku, opened the school in Golden Square mentioned earlier. .Uyenishi, with the aid of his pupil Nelson, wrote The Text Book of Ju Jutsu as Practised in Japan which was published in 1906. By circa 1908, when Raku left Britain, the school was taken over by William Garrud, another of his pupils. Tani, along with Miyake (there were other Japanese experts around by then, including Ono and Maeda - the latter being the originator of the Gracie jujutsu style), also opened a school, this in Oxford Street, which was to last about two years.

Early in 1906 Tani and Miyake also a published a book, The Game of Ju-Jitsu - for the Use of Schools and Colleges. It is worth mentioning that Mrs Emily Watt, a pupil of Raku, also wrote a book, The Fine Art of Jujitsu, in 1906. A further work was produced by Bankier, Ju-Jitsu: What It Really Is, in December 1904, this being based on a series of articles published in the Apollo Magazine of Health and Strength and containing many photographs of Tani and Uyenishi. It must be said, that while all the works noted are excellent, those by the Japanese are superior to those of Bankier and Watts. It also has to be said, that all other jujutsu books published in English over these years should be regarded as objects of curiosity and not worthy of serious study.

Edith Garrud and the Suffragettes - 

William Garrud's wife, Edith, expert in jujutsu in her own right, achieved considerable notoriety both as a suffragette and as a trainer of "fighting suffragettes", the bodyguard unit for Mrs Pankhurst. Edith, after breaking with her husband, opened a dojo close to Oxford Circus. This was used as a base for suffragettes to sally forth, break a few windows, rush back and be engaged innocently in jujutsu training when the police arrived. She was a tiny woman with an indomitable spirit. In photographs, circa 1910-1912, showing her how to deal with policemen, she is wearing an enormous hat, a veritable tent of a hat, in the style of those days.

Music Hall Interest

By 1910 when he returned from America, Koizumi reported that the music hall interest in jujutsu, wrestling, and strongman acts had ceased and, with the exception of Tani, who was to remain here for the rest of his life, all the others had left Britain. Tani, whose father and grandfather were both teachers of jujutsu. was the one who captured the imagination of the public - he was small and light - and never backed down from a challenge. All Britain knew of Tani. He was famous. In these music hall challenges throws did not count, if a challenger could rise after being thrown the contest carried on. An end was only reached when a challenger submitted from a strangle, armlock, holddown, or if he could not carry on after being repeatedly thrown. Tani also took up Catch-as-catch-can (or Free Style) wrestling and here too developed a considerable reputation, particularly in the north of England.

Tanialbhall.jpg (162115 bytes) Yukio Tani

E.J.Harrison 

Harrison (1873-1961), a journalist born in Manchester, although based in Japan for about twenty years travelled widely in Korea, China, the Baltic States, and European Russia as well as Siberia. He was a linguist of considerable ability, with a reasonable knowledge of French, Italian, Spanish, but fluent in Japanese, Russian, Polish, and Lithuanian. He had an adventurous life, covering the Russo-Japanese war, the opening of the first Duma, and being party to the plans of a group of Russian noblemen to kill Rasputin. He, like Barton Wright, was keenly interested in the various fighting arts. But it was when he arrived in Japan in 1897 that he discovered what he considered the master art - jujutsu. His book The Fighting Spirit of Japan is a classic. No doubt Harrison, knowing the founder of Kodokan Judo, Kano Jigoro, and other leading teachers, tried to live up to the judo ethic, but he was a hard man. Here is what one author wrote about him, thinly disguising his name:

I believe Harris was the world's champion knock-down-drag-out fighter. I know he would have made any professional pugilist, Chicago bandit, or the toughest of 'bad men' in the films, look like a lot of little girl babies. When Harris needed practice he went out looking for trouble, and I consider myself fortunate to have observed him in action.

In 1903 Steers arrived in Japan, met Harrison and was introduced to jujutsu. Back in London by 1904, Steers joined Uyenishi's Golden Square school in Soho where he met Koizumi for the first time. He built a house, complete with dojo, in Caterham which he shared with Raku's pupil, E.H. Nelson (later also a member of The Budokwai). Steers sold the house in 1911 and returned to Japan to enrol in the Kodokan where he earned his shodan at the end of 1912. Kano in an interview remarked that Steers was the most earnest of the foreign students then at the Kodokan. In passing, the first foreigner to enrol at the Kodokan (in 1893: or Meiji 26th , using the dynastic year of the Emperor's reign) was the retired English Major H.M. Hughes. Nothing more is known about him.

The Oldest club

It is often said that The Budokwai is the oldest judo society outside of Japan. This is not the case. The oldest  club outside Japan is the Seattle Judo Club on the west coast of America, which dates back to at least 1903 or even earlier. Recent information has come to hand to prove that the oldest club in Europe is the Cambridge University Ju -Jutsu Club, formed by ECD Rawlins, of Trinity College, in 1906. This was and is a closed organisation limited to members of the University. The Budokwai as an independent organisation can still claim to be the oldest in Europe with a membership open to the public.

Jujutsu reaches the West

Jujutsu reached the West via two routes: Pacific America and England. Many thousands of Japanese immigrants settled on the west coast of America and as might be expected these included jujutsu exponents. Barring a few exceptions, the practice of jujutsu did not spread much outside of the Japanese enclaves into the general population for very many years (although there was interest in the military and police, largely attributed to the keenness of an ardent judo exponent - President Theodore Roosevelt - or, "That cowboy in the White House, " as one critic called him). Human nature being what it is, the arrival of the Japanese and Chinese caused enmity among the more dim of the Caucasians (what did the American Indians think?). It is reported that when racial trouble arose the Chinese put their shutters up and stayed indoors, but the Japanese marched off to meet it head on. In passing, it must be recorded that the American army division most highly decorated for valour in the Second World War, was the Nisei division (second generation Americans of Japanese descent) regiments. Extreme courage should not be forgotten.

In England the situation was different. There were but a few Japanese residents here (the greatest number until after the Second World War was about 1,600 in the mid thirties) living mostly in London but also in the Newcastle area. Jujutsu spread into the native population within weeks of after the arrival of Tani, et al. There was no enmity. Indeed, if anything, there was admiration. The famous artist, Markino, lived for several years in California where he was despised by most of the locals. He later wrote of his experiences in London when he arrived in 1897, saying, "I am in mad love of London". For instance, while waiting to cross a road, a policeman stopped the traffic for him! From London jujutsu spread to France, taken by French pupils of Uyenishi and Tani; and then further afield to Portugal and Spain. Would the British reaction been as kindly if many thousands of Japanese had arrived? I like to think it would have been.

Early Interests - Knighthood Society

To return to 1918. As the name Budokwai (The Way of Knighthood Society) implies judo was not the only activity, there was much interest in kendo. But also for many years there were weekly lectures on all aspects of Japanese culture: Poetry, Buddhism, Swords, Woodprints, History, to name but a few. Because of the strange noises and crashes it became the custom to invite the Society's neighbours to these lectures and other events to show how odd but harmless the members were. Many years later there is a comment in the Budokwai Bulletin about the early days of the Society when, "... anxious neighbours, horrified by the thuds and shrieks and fearing someone was being tortured, hastily summoned the the police." One lecture was devoted to the art of the Kiai (a rough definition being - a type of shout)- it is not recorded how many windows were shattered and why the trains in nearby Victoria Station started early. Steers, who became the first Honorary Secretary, delivered an address on A Perfect Manhood or Judo of the Kodokan. This so enthused the members that over six hundred copies of the lecture were printed and distributed to all members of parliament and major educational establishments in the hope of raising interest in judo. Nothing happened!

'Juijutsu Wrestlers' (Koizumi standing)

A Kodokan Teacher

Following on from this lecture the members became keen to have an actual judo teacher. Both Tani and Koizumi were exponents of jujutsu - not that there was any real difference between schools of jujutsu and judo. The term jujutsu is a Japanese generic name covering all forms of unarmed or lightly armed fighting. Kano said that the only difference between all the other schools and the judo school was in the emphasis placed on actual fighting; this was greater in the other jujutsu schools and less so in the school of Kodokan Judo. No division can be made on the basis of technique. Before somebody disputes this, here is what Kano said of judo :

It is the study of techniques with which you may kill if you wish to kill, injure if you wish to injure, subdue if you wish to subdue and, when attacked, defend yourself.

But he also stressed repeatedly that judo has a moral value greater than its physical one. Nowadays it is too often forgotten that the ultimate aim of Kodokan Judo (the full name of judo) is moral rectitude.

It was decided that Steers should write to Kano to ask for a Kodokan teacher for The Budokwai. A wealthy Japanese businessman had agreed to sponsor such a teacher for two years. On July 15th 1920 Koizumi and Steers welcomed Kano at Waterloo Station. Kano was accompanied by Aida Hikochi, 4th dan (the fourth grade of black belt), and the Japanese team en route to the Antwerp Olympic Games. Kano and Koizumi were to quickly realize that they shared the same ideals in respect of jujutsu/judo. After joining the Kodokan,Tani and Koizumi were promoted to nidan (the second grade of black belt). Others became members of the Kodokan and were also graded. A member named Tanabe received his first dan (the first grade of black belt) , becoming The Budokwai's first home-grown dan grade. During this visit Kano and Aida demonstrated Ju-no-kata and Koshiki-no-kata (difficult pre-arranged exercises), the first time these had been seen in Britain.

Famous faces twenties

In mid 1921 a young Japanese joined the Society, although it is likely that he had started training there the previous year. Otani Masutaro was to become one of Tani's favourite pupils, and much later he was to set up his own dojo. Others joined, one early member was Christmas Humphreys, KC, and later a High Court Judge; he founded the Buddhist Society of London. Humphreys was also the last in the line of the infamous Judge Jefferys, the hanging judge of the "Bloody Assizes". By 1921 the Annual Display was well established, the first had been held on the Society's premises, followed by the Royal Horticultural Hall in Victoria, and the Aeolian Hall in New Bond Street. But soon the Stadium Club, High Holborn, destroyed in the Second World War, became the favoured hall. Many years were to pass before the fabulous displays at the Royal Albert Hall.

At one annual display at the Stadium Club, Bernard Shaw was seen in the audience and Harrison was dispatched to invite him to join the important guests, which he accepted. On another occasion a Prince of the Japanese Royal Family attended. A well-known film star of the twenties and thirties, Hayakawa Sessue, an expert in kendo, gave a demonstration at another annual display. Apart from these major exhibitions there were many smaller ones over the years; one early display was at Eton College.

Budokwai grows - Affiliated Clubs

By the mid twenties a number of other clubs had been formed, usually by Society members but some would have been started earlier by the former pupils of Tani and Uyenishi, so it was possible to hold interclub matches. In 1927 the clubs that were affiliated to the Society were: Oxford University Judo Club, Cambridge University Judo Club, the Metropolitan Police Club, the Ealing Judo Club, Jewish Lads' Brigade Judo Club, and two Scouts' Clubs (by 1951 or 1952 the number of affiliated clubs was 110).

Over the years The Budokwai sailed from one financial crisis to another; it was almost a way of life. Always Koizumi helped with loans, interest free. By the late twenties the loan had increased to £500 which in terms of purchasing power in 1993 amounted to over £9,000. Although Koizumi did not complain the Committee decided that the debt had to be settled and to do this a company was formed in 1929, Nihon Bujutsu Limited, which issued debentures to the members. This enabled the debt to Koizumi to be partly repaid but even so the financial situation improved only slightly. About now the Committee, ever aware of heathy habits, installed a cigarette machine. Interestingly, there was far more controversy over the installation of the fiendish device called a telephone than there was over the cigarette machine.

First International - Budokwai beat Germans 1929

In the same year, 1929, an invitation for a match came from Herr Rhode of the Frankfurt am Main club. This first ever international interclub match took place on November 15th 1929 in Frankfurt. In fact there were two matches, the first with Frankfurt and the second with the Wiesbaden club on November 18th. The Budokwai won easily, causing the two German clubs to switch to Kodokan Judo - prior to this they were doing a strange mixture of self defence, wrestling, and odd bits of waza picked up from books, under the misapprehension that it was Kodokan Judo. Much of this was caused by the Hancock and Higashi book The Complete Kano Jujutsu, a work which enraged Kano as they used his name and furthermore as it had no connection with judo. Tani and Uyenishi are recorded as declaring that it was totally useless. The Germans made a return visit to London in 1930, and this was the start of a series of full international matches between Germany and Britain.1930 saw the establishment of another annual event, the first inter-varsity match between Oxford and Cambridge (the Light Blues won).

The members of the first international team deserve to be remembered, they were: John Hood Ozawa, Charles Cawkell, Leonard Crewe, E. Kamp, and Marcus Kaye. Kamp, a German member of the Society, fought against Wiesbaden but not against Frankfurt - his home club! Marcus Kaye, mad-keen on flying, was a pilot in the First World War. Shot down over the Hindenburg line and with a bullet in his arm, he managed to crash-land by stalling the plane. As a prisoner of war he made several fruitless bids at escaping; one attempt is described in a book for the sheer cold nerve involved. Back in civilian life and haunted by nightmares of his war-time experiences, he was advised to take up a vigorous physical activity to help him to sleep. To this end, in the mid twenties, he joined The Budokwai and in time rose to captain the first international team. Years later he was to be the President of the Society.

First Publication - The Budokwai - 1929

A further event in 1929 was the publication of the Society's first magazine, The Budokwai. This, typed and probably reproduced by stencil, lasted only one year. It contained jokes of the highest quality such as: Tani written in Chinese characters is pronounced "Flin Gum Hi Flin Gum Lo" while Otani comes out as "I Flin Gum Tu". Leonard Crewe wrote an account of how he started judo in 1924 under Leo McLaglen. McLaglen, brother of Victor McLaglen the film star (both sons of the Bishop of Gunnersbury) was Jujutsu Champion of the World - it was unfortunate that he knew little about jujutsu and there are many stories in support of this. There is a description of a public demonstration of how to fall by Charles Cawkell, later to be a Budokwai second dan:

Once upon a time, before I was a member of The Budokwai, I was to give an exhibition with a friend of what we thought was Ju-jutsu. The display should have opened with an exhibition of breakfalls. I stepped on to the stage - there were no mats - and addressed the audience, thus: "Ladies and gentlemen, I will now show you how easy it is to fall without being hurt." Whereon I took a run, threw my feet into the air, and fell. It did not hurt - neither did I hear the applause. I was unconscious!

Of considerable value was a short contribution on "How Judo Helps."

A man was walking in a back street taking a short cut. When he was suddenly attacked by three rufians. Luckily he was a member of the Budokwai. One of the men had a knife which he was about to use, when it was wisked out of his hand by a judo trick. After using the stumack-throw on the first, the hip-throw on the second and a neck-lock on the third which considrebully damaged all three. After dowing all this the man walked of as if nothing had happened. This is were judo helps. The End. By Jumbo and Ralph Morris. Ages 9 and 10.

Trevor Pryce Leggett

About 1929 the twin pillars of the Society, Tani and Koizumi, were joined by a third - not immediately a pillar but soon to become one - Trevor Pryce Leggett. When it came to judo Leggett was single-minded. An early member reported that Leggett never wore anything but a shirt and thin jacket - no vest, waistcoat or overcoat, even in the depth of winter; he was first on the mat and last off - Mondays to Fridays, and most of Saturday, and Sundays if the Society was open. It was about now that Kawaishi Mikonosuke arrived from America where he had spent the last five years. For a while he was a "travelling instructor" for The Budokwai, but then broke away with Cawkell and set up the Anglo Japanese Judo Club in Notting Hill Gate. After a few years he moved on to France where he became the major influence in French judo.

Seventeen Dan grade promotions 1932

1932 was a bumper year for The Budokwai with seventeen promotions to dan grade (two of whom were women) and five promotions to second dan. In the mid thirties 1936 Yasuji Percy Sekine joined; at the time of writing he, Hosaka Akinori , and Margo Sathaye, are the highest Kodokan grades in Britain, each being a seventh dan. Others joining about now were: George Chew, John Barnes, Charles Grant, Ted Mossom, Frederick Kauert, and Andy Delpiano (later Dell). Chew, a policeman, described how on his first evening he was given a snow-white judo kit; looking around he saw that all the other kits were sweat-stained and grubby. Not wanting to be marked out as a complete beginner, and once alone in the dressing-room he threw his kit on the floor and trampled on it. John Barnes, an amateur pilot, was later to become Chairman of the Society.

Grant, barrel- chested and about five foot five inches and an excellent boxer, used to partner Kauert in demonstrations. Kauert was well over six feet. Delpiano, because of an accident in which he received severe burns, had many operations but this misfortune did not stop him from becoming an excellent judoman. Mossom, small with a lame leg, a fine boxer and wrestler, became a superb judoman. Here is one of his experiences:

About the time I'd got my first dan, see! I was a bit proud of it and I went to a pub not a thousand miles from here for a little private celebration.

Well, you know me, nearly teatotal. I was nibbling at half a pint for a bit. It was going down all right, but not down my throat.

There was a weedy spiv type next to me and I said to him: "Look here, mate, you've been at my beer."

"That's right" he says "What about it?"

Well, I was staggered. But not so much as when a sixteen stone effort, who was his pal, suddenly turned up and grabbed me.

You know me. Nice type, very quiet. Not often I get the needle, but I did then. I put an armlock on him and threw him outside on the pavement, on his neck. Cor! I was mad. I grabbed the little one by the seat of his pants and he landed in the road.

They didn't come back. All they wanted was for me to be scared and buy them free drinks. Being young and innocent I fell for it. They'd been at it for weeks. No, they never bothered anyone again. Why I remember it is because that's the only time the landlord ever stood me (or anyone else) a drink.

International Summer Schools

Following on from the introduction of the Anglo-German matches in 1929, yearly international judo summer schools were arranged in Frankfurt. Rhode of the Frankfurt club specifically asked The Budokwai to be responsible for these, a move to quell possible dissension between German clubs. The instructors at these very successful courses were: Tani, Otani, Kawaishi, Koizumi, Dr Rhi (from Switzerland) and Dr Kitabatake (a Kodokan fifth dan studying philosophy in Berlin - which is why the Berliners were superior in judo to the rest of Germany). With these international connections, talk started about forming a European Judo Union. It is likely that the idea arose in discussions between Kano and Koizumi. Much work was done on a possible union but with the deterioration of international affairs in the late 1930s the establishment of a possible organization collapsed. Many years later Koizumi was to remark, "The first European Judo Union was formed but it never matured."

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