1930s Jujitsu Girl


It’s odd to think that when this was filmed, my paternal Grandfather would have been about 5-years old, and although I very much doubt that May Whitley would be able to defend herself from a rapist or mugger in the East End in the 1930s, she has much better technique, speed and finesse than a lot of  jujitsu instructors today. But what about her accent?!!


I don’t know who the girl is in this film but she’s not as good as May Whitley, but it’s still entertaining, especially the rape…  sorry, swimming pool… defence.

16 thoughts on “1930s Jujitsu Girl

    • @ Sensei J. Richard Kirkham

      Absolutely, these films were collecting dust in archives until they were put on the net. I posted it as a response to Rob’s post on Edwardian jujitsu. It’s funny to think these girls were about the same age or a bit older than my great grandmothers. My mamma was reticent about me doing judo and she was happy when I gave up and did ballet.

    • Heather,
      She was trying to do an Eliza Doolittle because they didn’t let Cockney Sparrows on the screen in those days.

      Talking of George Bernard Shaw, Yukio Tani was the inspiration for the “Japanese wrastler” mentioned in his play Major Barbara 1905, who the character Todger Fairmile wins £20 off for lasting 17 minutes and 4 seconds with, before being submitted by an arm lock.

  1. hey steph, great vids, , so hows it going?
    I love the new look of your site, looks not too bad. Keep up the great work.

  2. This is a real work of genius! I really must see what my misguided American friends (the ones who constantly offer me cups of tea and ask after Her Madge -believing us to still be living in the Victorian era) think of the manner in which our ladies defended themselves in days of yore lol

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