Erich Rahn in 1931

He opens Germany's first jujutsu school

INTERNATIONALIZATION (Diffusion) of JUDO by T. Plavecz

For Reading

  • Leyshon Glynn A., Judoka, The History of Judo in Canada, Gloucester, Judo, Canada, 1998
  • Richard Bowen, „Short History of British Judo”, British Judo, The Official Magazine of the British Judo, March 1983.
  • Michel Brousse, David Matsumoto, Judo –’A sport and Way of Life’, International Judo Federation, 1999
  • Michel Brousse, David Matsumoto, „Judo in the United States”, Berkeley, CA, United States, North Atlantic Books, 2005, ISBN 1556435630.
  • Mark Law, „The Pyjama Game (A Journey into Judo)”, Aurum Press Ltd, 2007, London, United Kingdom, ISBN -10:1 845132343.
  • Ross, Dr. A. J., " Text book of Judo (Jiu-jitsu) vol. 1 ", Sydney, Australia, The Australian Council of Judo, 1949, 71p, 21 cm, UoB.



In March, over a year before Tani's arrival, Barton-Wright (1860-1951) had an article published in Pearson's Magazine under the title "The New Art of Self Defence".  He had studied jujutsu while living in Japan, and his "New Art," which he immodestly called "Bartitsu," combined jujutsu with boxing and savate.



United States President Theodore Roosevelt starts studying judo (then known as jiu-jitsu) two afternoons a week. He trained in the basement, but often demonstrated tricks in a second-floor office in the White House. His training partners included his private secretary, William Loeb, Jr., and the Japanese naval attaché, Takeshita Isamu. Roosevelt’s instructor was a Japanese named Yamashita Yoshiaki. Sam Hill, a son-in-law of railroader James J. Hill, had brought Yamashita to Seattle in September 1903. After a short stay in Seattle, Hill took Yamashita to Washington, DC, where Hill’s estranged wife lived, so that Yamashita could teach judo to Hill’s son. Young James Nathan Hill was not interested in judo, but the Japanese naval attaché, was. Through the attaché’s influence, Yamashita received an invitation to demonstrate judo at the White House in March 1904, and almost immediately afterwards, he began teaching judo to Roosevelt.



The first JU-JUTSU demonstration in Australia was performed by Mr Cecil Elliot (1875-1963) and Mr T. Young in Sydney. C. Elliot brought two Japanese Mr Fushishima and Mr Okura to Sydney to assist him with the JU-JUTSU classes.

First jujutsu club was formed at Trinity College, Cambridge University, England by E.C.D. Rawlings.

Erich Rahn (1885-1973) of Berlin opens Germany’s first jujutsu school; the style taught was probably Tsutsumi Hozan-ryu. Rahn taught police detectives and German soldiers.. Jujutsu grew in popularity after the World War, and by 1930, there were three jujutsu federations and over 100 clubs in Germany and Austria.

Erich Rahn saw the Japanese fighter Katsukuma Higashi ( in a circus in Berlin when it took him only a few seconds to force down a bigger and stronger man using Jujitsu techniques. Erich Rahn persuaded Higashi to teach him Jujitsu. In 1906 he became the first German to open a Jiu-Jitsu school. Later Erich Rahn was called the Master of 1000 Jiu-Jitsu Techniques. He was supposed to be Europe’s best fighter.

Sasaki took Judo to Hungary.

Gunji Koizumi (1885-1965) arrived in London. Ju-jutsu was known in England (from London to Liverpool) where clubs earlier existed.



Kaneshige Naomatsu and Teshima Shigemi establish a judo club at Kaneshige’s home in Honolulu.

In 1913, Jigoro Kano visited Hawaii and named this school the Shunyo Kan. About the same time, Kitayama Yajiro and Mino Nakajiro established the Shobu Kan Judo Club in the basement of the Ono Bakery on Beretania Street. Hawaiian judo was technically good, and the Kodokan accepted the Hawaii Judo Yudanshakai (Black Belt Association) in September 1932. The Honolulu clubs also offered judo classes for women, and early female instructors included Shizuko Murasaki, Matsue Honda, and Yasue Kuniwake. Most Hawaiian judoka were of Japanese ancestry, and as a result the Hawaiian Black Belt Association’s constitution, by-laws, and proceedings were all written in Japanese until 1963.



A Russian, Vasily Oshchepkov (1893-1937) had visited Japan, and trained at the Kodokan for six years. After returning home in 1917, he began teaching Judo to the Red Army and the secret police.

Vasily Oshchepkov (1893-1937?)



Briton Ernest J. Harrison (1883-1961), the third European to earn shodan ranking in Kodokan judo, publishes The Fighting Spirit of Japan.(London,Foulsham, 1912) This was the first English-language book to describe judo and other modern Japanese martial arts from an insider’s perspective.

Jigoro Kano visited Hawaii and named this school the Shunyo Kan. About the same time, Kitayama Yajiro and Mino Nakajiro established the Shobu Kan Judo Club in the basement of the Ono Bakery on Beretania Street.



Maeda Mitsuyo (1878-1941), a judo 5-dan who had wrestled professionally in the United States, Britain, Spain, Cuba, Panama, and Mexico, settles in Brazil. Around 1919, while working for a Brazilian circus, Maeda taught a mix of Kodokan judo and catch-as-catch-can wrestling to a 17-year old Brazilian named Carlos Gracie (1902-1994). In 1924, Gracie opened a commercial martial arts academy, first in Belém and then in Rio de Janeiro, and his students included his younger brother Hélio, who from 1932 to the mid-1950s was a well-known Brazilian professional wrestler. Hélio’s sons Royce, Rorian, and Rickson continued in their father’s profession, and during the 1990s they made Gracie Jiu-Ji eanwhile, introduced a related style called Machado Jiu-Jitsu into tsu famous throughout the world. Carlos Gracie’s nephews, m the United States in 1990.

In Vladivostok, Vasili Sergevich Oshchepkov organizes Russia’s first judo club; men who trained there included Britain’s E.J. Harrison.



Dedicated Japanese pioneers came to the West Coast of Canada. SENSEI Fujita Sataro opened the Shobukan DOJO in Vancouver.




Gunji Koizumi (1885-1965) opened a DOJO in London, England. It is called Budokwai. His first chief instructor was Yukio Tani (1881-1950). Koizumi Gunji   (1885-1965) establishes the Budokwai at 15 Lower Grosvenor Place in London. This was not Britain’s first judo club. That was probably Barton-Wright’s school. It was not even the first Kodokan judo school. That was the Cambridge University Jujutsu Club, which was organized about 1906. However, it was the first British judo club open to the general public that continued to operate into the 21st century.



Katherine White-Cooper becomes the first woman to join the London judo club called the Budokwai.



As a result of Kano’s visit, the Budokwai of London adopted the principles of Kodokan judo.



A Norwegian diplomat named Lauritz Grønvold undertakes judo studies at the Kodokan in Tokyo. Upon leaving Japan six years later, Grønvold receives his black belt at a ceremony attended by the Emperor, making him the first (and perhaps only) European to be so honored. Other Norwegian judo pioneers included Haakon Schonning, who started teaching Fairbairn’s defendu system to Norwegian policemen in 1929. In Sweden, pioneers include Viking Cronholm, who introduced jujutsu to Stockholm as early as 1908, and his students Alex Wiemark, Arthur Lidberg, and Ernst Wessman. Jacques Rigolet introduced Kawaishi's methods to Stockholm in 1948, and in 1957, the Dutch judoka Gerhard Gosen also started clubs in Sweden. Danish pioneers include Knud Janson, who established a judo organization in Copenhagen in 1944. Finally, in Finland, Torsten Muren established a judo club in Helsinki in 1958. Early Scandinavian instructors were usually foreign: British at the Norwegian clubs, French at the Danish clubs, German, French, or Dutch at the Swedish clubs, and Japanese at the Finnish clubs.



Judo develops in Brazil with Tatsuo Okoshi (1892-1965) Takagaki Shinzo established the Vancouver Judo Club.

Gunji Koizumi arrived there to spread Judo. In France, the arrival of Hikoichi Aida and Keishichi Ishiguro began one of Judo's most successful international transplants.

Alfred Rhode (1896-1978) made Jujitsu and later Judo popular in Germany. He founded an international summer academy for Judo with Japanese masters teaching. The colour belt

System invented at the Budokwai, London.



Han-Ho Rhi introduces judo to Switzerland.



Dr. A. J. ("Jack") Ross (1893-1971) introduces Kodokan judo to Brisbane, Australia. A physically imposing six-footer, Ross studied judo while living with his parents in Japan. Although Ross tried to popularize judo in Australia by holding wrestling matches at fairs, he found little interest in his methods until World War II, when the Australian Army hired him to teach hand-to-hand combat..



The Indian poet Rabindranath Tagore arranges for a Japanese named Takagaki Shinzo to teach judo at Calcutta’s Bengal University (modern Visvabharati University). Tagore’s hope was that the judo instruction would spread Japanese-style nationalism through British India. However, few Indian college students were particularly interested in physical culture, and when they were, they generally preferred American barbells to Japanese judo.


An English professional wrestler named Jack Robinson begins teaching judo and jujutsu by correspondence course in South Africa. During the 1950s, Robinson’s son Joe returned to Britain, where he did show wrestling for Sir Atholl Oakeley. He also taught at a judo school in Brighton. While Joe Robinson claimed to be about equal to a third-degree black belt in Kodokan judo and almost as good in Cumberland wrestling, he was mostly just a show wrestler



Professor Kano the Founder of Judo visited Vancouver Judo Club. An international „Judo-Sommerschule /Summer school/” is organized. This summer camp was run by Alfred Rhode.



After Kano Jigoro visits Moshe Feldenkrais’s Jiu-Jitsu Club Franco-Israelite in Paris, the French start calling their sport "judo" instead of "jiu-jitsu."

The name judo was officially introduced in Germany.



The former circus strongman Maurice Van Nieuwenhuizen starts teaching jujutsu in The Hague, Netherlands.

Ogawa Ryuzo (1883-1975) introduces Kodokan judo to Brazil. Ogawa’s techniques supposedly influenced capoeira Regional.

First individual European Championships were held in Dresden’s Kristallpalast (Germany).



Kawaishi Mikonosuke (1899-1969) non Kodokan 10th dan introduces Butokukai judo to Paris.



Feldenkrais and other scientists established the Jiu-Jitsu Club de France during Kano’s stay in Paris.



Emilio Bruno introduced judo as a sport to San Jose State College (currently the California State University). European Judo clubs were formed in Denmark, Germany, France, Italy, Norway, Austria, Romania, Sweden, Switzerland, Czechoslovakia and Hungary.



Jigoro Kano visited New York and Seattle. Judo appeared on British TV for the first time The government of the USSR banned the name Judo. It decreed that the term judo was to be replaced by SAMBO.



Creation of the French Federation of Judo and Ju-jutsu.



George Grundy and his son Keith introduce judo to Auckland, New Zealand. Toward making judo more like wrestling, Henry Stone of California’s San Jose State University introduces weight divisions into US judo competition. In London, Koizumi Gunji organizes what becomes the European Judo Union (EJU). Post-war EJU founded in London. New Zealand Judokwai was founded as Auckland Judo.

British Judo Association is formed.


Ruth Gardner from Chicago became the first non-Japanese female student at the Kodokan



Judo introduced Cuba by Andre Kolychkine (Kawaishi’s student), and into East Germany, Portugal, Yugoslavia, Denmark, Czechoslovakia. First female judo competition in France



Judomen from Britain, Italy, Holland, and Switzerland gathered to form the European Judo Union (EJU)., when EJU leaders met in London, two more countries joined the organization: Austria and Holland. Here, inclusion of judo in the Olympic Games was first mentioned.

In July the representatives of nine countries met in London, Soho to form the International Judo Federation (IJF).

The first Pan-American Games are held in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The United States won half the first place medals in the wrestling events, and John Osako of Chicago was a winner in judo.

1st Post-war European championships were held in Paris.



The first Pan-American Judo Championships were held in Havana, Cuba.

The first Canadian Judo Championship was held and won by Masao Takahashi of Ottawa.

First Judo Club was established in Dublin, Ireland.

Judo Federation of Australia was founded.



Avery Brundage, president of the International Olympic Committee, tells the US judoka Yoshihiro Uchida (1920- ) /later first U.S. Olympic Judo Coach/ that he will support Uchida’s dream of getting judo introduced into the 1964 Olympics in return for two things. First, Uchida had to organize judo competition by weight, and second, he had to show that the US could produce competitive national teams. Uchida agreed, and with Henry Stone organized a national AAU judo championship at San Jose State University later that year. Japanese and Japanese Americans generally opposed the weight divisions, but due to the rising numbers of European American judoka, this opposition was soon made irrelevant.

German Judo Federation is founded in Hamburg.



The first demonstration of Judo on national US television for the popular Arthur Godfrey Show in New York. The first judo tournament in the armed forces was held in Omaha, Nebraska.



George Wilson establishes an after-school judo program at Kent, Washington’s Kentridge High School. This was the first secondary judo program in the United States.



First International Japan-US of America Judo meet in Tokyo.

The first Judo World Championships is held in Japan, 21 countries took part. There after, the championships were held once in two or three years, and later on every two years. The first 3 world championships were open weight only and therefore there was only winner. The next championship was held in 1987 when the categories had increased to five weights plus the open. Today competitions are held in 7 categories each for men and women.

First official Australian National Judo Championships were held in Sydney. New Zealand Judo Federation was founded.



Second Judo World Championships is held in Tokyo



First All Canadian judo Championship was held in Manitoba.



U.S. Judo Federation replaces the Judo Black Belt Federation. ’American Judoman’ Magazine founded by Philip Porter (1924-).

The Japanese judo authorities sent a formal request to the IOC to include judo in the program of the 1964 Olympic Games. At the 1960 IOC Session in Roma, judo was approved for the 1964 Olympic Program, although only as an “optional sport,” at the discretion of the host nation. This was not understood at the time by the judo community. The weight class question was decided in favor of weight classes. They had been held at the United States’ championships since the early 1950s and the European Championships made them standard in



Black Belt magazine enters production in California.

The 6’6" Dutchman Anton GEESINK wins World Championships in Paris defeted Japanese judo champions. His victories cracked Japanese hegemony. Judo no longer was restricted to the Japanese.



The Soviet Union sends its first team to the European Judo Championships. Although trained solely in sambo, the Soviets’ Anzor Kiknadze captured the grand championship and the team itself took third. This got the attention of European judoka, and started changing the face of competition judo. Specific changes included increased emphasis on bodily lifting opponents and then applying leg and arm locks to gain submission and less emphasis on proper form, spectacular throws, and etiquette. Aesthetically the new methods left much to be desired, but they were brutally practical.

Poland, Sweden, Ireland, Turkey affiliated to the EJU.

First African championships in Dakar.



The massive muscle bulk of the Soviet judo team causes a French judo team to start demanding weight divisions. When the Japanese officials in charge of the International Judo Federation resisted the suggestion, the French gathered support from the Australians, Swiss, Spanish, and several African countries, and then voted the Japanese out and the weight divisions in. The first major judo competition between The Soviet Union and Japan occurred, in Kyoto, where Russia’s Boris Mishchenko defeated well-known Japanese judoka Isao Okano



The judo competition at the 1964 Summer Olympics was the first time the sport was included in the Summer Olympic Games. Medals were awarded in 4 classes, and competition was restricted to men only. The competition was held in the Nippon Budokan, which was built to host the competition. The Tokyo Olympics were the first TV Games. ), Anton GEESINK won the final of the open weight division, defeating Akio Kaminaga in front of his home crowd.





Charles Palmer (1930-2001) non-Kodokan 10 dan, became President of International Judo Federation (IJF).



First Asian Judo Championships held in Manila, the Philippines.

The first official women’s judo competition   was held in UK.



Pan American Judo Union was founded. Norway, Romania joined the EJU.



Turkey was transferred to the EJU.



Men’s judo becomes a permanent Olympic sport. Although Japanese won the most Olympic gold medals, by the late early 2000s the French, South Korean, and former Soviet teams were not far behind in total medal count.

Russian Sambo players began practicing orthodox Judo, so that the Soviet Union could field teams at that important international venue. Sambo, derived from Judo, provided a firm foundation for a Russian Judo style, and gives it a distinction that remains to this day. The study of Judo by Russian Sambo clubs was given a firm boost, however, when Japanese Judo champions Katsuhiko Kashiwazaki and Nobuyuki Sato entered a national Sambo competition in Riga, Latvia.



The first USSR judo championships were held in Kiev, Soviet Union.



First European Championships for women in Munich, Germany.



1st Junior World Championships.



The 1st women’s Judo World Judo Championships held in New York. The women’s World Judo Championships have been held regularly even two years, and after the 4th championships (in 1986) have been organized at the same time as the men’s World Championships.



First Asian Women’s Judo Championships in Jakarta, Indonesia.



China and Macao joined JUA.



90th IOC session, inBerlin, a demonstration is to be organized at the Seoul Games in 1988.

Women’s judo is to be included into the 1992 program. The „Open category” event would not feature in the Olympic program.




Women’s judo first appeared as an exhibition sport at the Olympic Games.



The German Judo Federation and the German Judo Federation of East Germany united.



The Judo competition at the Olympic Games was contested in fourteen weight classes, seven each for men and women. The seven men's weight classes continued to be those first used in 1980. This was the first Olympic competition to award medals to women judoka; women competed in 1988 as a demonstration sport.



Charles Palmer receives his 10 dan – The first non-Japanese person to receive the award. It is by IJF not by Kodokan.



Judo at Athens Summer Olympics took place in the Ano Liossia Olympic Hall and featured 368 judoka competing for 14 gold medals with seven different weight categories in both the men's and women's competitions. Japan dominated the event by taking 8 gold and 2 silver medals.



Judo competitions at the Summer Olympics in Beijing, China were held from August 9 to August 15 at the Beijing Science and Technology University Gymnasium.



The Russians became a powerful force in judo, even winning three gold medals in the London Olympics.