History of Bushido: Part 3
The history of the Bushido Ju Jitsu Academy – Part 3
By David Brough
Jujitsu continued in Liverpool after WWII with Jack Britten and Gerald Skyner continuing to run dojos. Another significant development was the formation of the British Ju Jitsu Association (BJJA) by James Blundell (1921-1989) in 1956. Blundell may have been a student of Benjamin Green (student of Hunter as described previously), but had many influences on his martial arts training, including when he was with the Merchant Navy. Former Blundell student and Bushido instructor Robert Ashworth told me that Blundell was also influenced by the work and teachings of Uyenishi. James Blundell organised a new syllabus that incorporated much of Uyenishi’s Jujitsu and also other influences that were prevalent at the time and started to attract and train some exceptional students. Robert (Bob) Clark who had been a student of Jack Britten’s joined Blundell’s Lowland’s dojo. Eric Marshall, who had also trained with Britten, and also Skyner student Bert Roberts, also joined. During this period other notable students such as Charles Allmark, Robert Ashworth, Kenny Blundell, and Paul Geoghegan, amongst others, also joined and they would soon be joined by Jimmy Pape. By the time Paul Geoghegan joined the BJJA he was already a black belt in Judo having trained with Frank Garner of the Amateur Judo Association (which was formed by Pat Butler formerly of the Budokwai and student of Gunji Koizumi).
Bob Clark would oversee the further development of James Blundell’s syllabus and style through the development of the World Ju Jitsu Federation (WJJF) in 1976 which led to a big increase in the popularity of the art. The core students mentioned above would drive the increase in popularity through courses and through brilliant demonstrations, some examples of which can be seen below.
In 1991 Charles Allmark, Paul Geoghegan, Jimmy Pape, Eric Marshall, John Steadman, and Kenny Blundell left the WJJF and formed the Bushido Ju Jitsu Academy which formed part of a new BJJA(GB) led by Martin Dixon. In 2018 Robert Ashworth joined the Bushido Ju Jitsu Academy.
Today the Bushido Ju Jitsu Academy is led by Jimmy Pape (10th Dan) and Paul Geoghegan (9th Dan) and is a vibrant and dynamic organisation that has continued to develop, evolve, and promote the further development of British Jujitsu.
The Bushido Ju Jitsu Academy is featured in the book ‘BUSHIDO, A complete history of British Jujutsu’ by Simon Keegan.
Author Simon Keegan Paperback book £15.99 from Amazon >>>>
Bushido: A Complete History of British Jujutsu reveals the untold stories behind the UK's martial arts. Jujutsu was brought to the UK in the 1890s, the era of Jack the Ripper and Sherlock Holmes. It was adapted by men like EW Barton-Wright for the paranoid streets of London and the violent docks of Liverpool. It was then utilised by men who served in the trenches of the First World War and by the women who defended themselves in the Suffragette movement like Edith Garrud. After the Second World War British Jujutsu was pioneered by ex servicemen like Gerry Skyner, Jim Blundell and Vernon Bell. Bushido: A Complete History of British Jujutsu traces the lineages of Jujutsu's pioneers to the Samurai schools that their teachings came from. It traces right through to the present day governing bodies and the era of mixed martial arts. Historian Simon Keegan, author of the best-selling Karate Jutsu publishes contemporary records, photographs and cuttings that have never been published before.