To compliment my recent article about bartitsu over on Tor.com, here’s a spotlight on Yukio Tani & Sadakazu Uyenishi.
In 1900, two young men took on an offer from Englishman Edward William Barton-Wright to take their art halfway across the globe, as two “Japanese wrestling” instructors at his Bartitsu Club. At 19 years-old when he arrived in England, Yukio Tani’s upbringing is unclear, but it is thought that he trained at Fusen-ryu dojo as well as Osaka’s “Handa School of Jiujitsu.” His fellow instructor, Sadakazu Uyenishi, was a year older and originally considered training for the military before deciding to go to England. He was knowledgeable not only in jujitsu, but also in rokushakubo and hanbo (types of staff fighting), horseback riding, sumo wrestling and kenjutsu (Japanese swordsmanship). Tani’s brother and another fighter named S. Yamamoto also arrived to teach at Barton-Wright’s school, but left after a year to return to Japan. Tani and Uyenishi ended up leaving a lasting mark upon England, being two of the first to bring jujitsu to Western Europe.