Professor Yukio Tani Sensei
Born : 1881
Died : 24 January 1950
Styles : Fusen Ryu Ju-jitsu
Professor Kano Jigaro's Judo
When it comes to Ju-jitsu in the UK , It seems it's progression through the UK comes down to one man . Yes different styles did come about later on but their linage entered the UK in a roundabout way.
It was through Edward Barton-Wright ( A engineer who worked in Japan) that on his return to England in 1898 that he invited through correspondence with Professor Jigaro Kano three Ju-jitsu masters to come to the UK and teach the well to do Londoners .
Amongst these three masters was one Yukio Tani .
Yukio Tani Sensei was a young Jiujitsu master who came to the UK and stayed until his death.
Yukio Tani was of the Fusen -Ryu Jiujitsu teachings , and was taught by their top master at the time , one Mataemon Tanabe , who had previously beaten a top Kano Jujutsu exponent , Tanabe was taught by Fusen Ryu founder Motsugai Takeda.
Yukio Tani he was in a arrangement with one William Bankier ,a business promoter ,Yukio was competing in the Music Hall wrestling matches and in the period he competed only lost one match and that was to fellow Japanese named Taro Miyake in 1905.
Over a course of six months Yukio was beating 20 men a week . In 1904 Yukio Tani and Taro Miyake set up a Ju-jitsu school in London's Oxford Street at no' 305. The school only existed for about two years .
Tani and Miyake also co-wrote a book entitled ''Game of Ju-jitsu''
In 1918 Yukio Tani was to become the first professional teacher in Jiujitsu at the London Budokwai which was founded by Gunji Koizumi.
If your into the arts then your know that the London Budokwai is world famous for Judo ( Professor Jigaro Kano's version of Jujutsu) , Kano's Judo was formerly known as Kano Jujutsu but he changed the name after he incorporated other styles into his system , most notable of these styles was Fusen Jujutsu after a challenge match between a Kano exponent and Fusen Jujutsu master Matemon Tanabe ( Yukio Tani's sensei's Master ) , this was how Judo came about.
But after a visit from Professor Jigoro Kano in 1920 Tani was awarded a 2nd degree Black Belt in Judo and went on to attain a 4th degree Black Belt after Tani agreed to change his teachings at the Budokwai solely to his Judo System.
In 1937 Yukio Tani suffered a stroke ,and this set him back ,he continued to teach from the side lines at the Budokwai until his death in 1950.
Even though Judo has become a main stay of the UK , many clubs offer a watered down style to Professor Kano's vision of Judo.
It is said that Modern Day Brazilian Jiu-jitsu has more in common with Professor Kano's vision of Judo then Modern Judo does.
But it was the Ju-jitsu teachings of Yukio Tani that where passed on to Western practitioners that has secured the linage of Jiu-jitsu in the UK .
Professor Alf Morgan also a Catch Master ( British Wrestling) is credited with being the first Westerner to learn Ju-jitsu from Yukio Tani Sensei.
It seems at odds that this Young Japanese master would leave his Homeland of Japan and choose to stay in the UK to teach his art to a Western base , and be accepted , but it was his prowess of his music hall matches where he would be challenged night after night
and win that he became famous for.
This obviously led to everyone wanting to learn his devastating art.
Yukio Tani Sensei is a Legend in British Ju-jitsu
Domo Arigato Yukio Tani Sensei
A Book on Ju-jitsu by E J Harrison ,who was taught by Yukio Tani published in the 30's with a introduction by Yukio Tani Himself.(Left)
A different edition of the same book
Yukio Tani Sensei executing a Arm-bar lock (Above)
Students of the London Budokwai at Japan Matsuri in Trafalgar Sqaure London in 2013 ( Left , Right and Below)