Wednesday, June 17, 2015

WHFSC Grandmaster's Council: a compendium of the world's leading Grandmasters

Shihan Jan de Jong OAM 9th Dan is included by the World Head of Family Sokeship Council in their book published in 2013 as one of the world's Grandmasters.

Many of the photographs featured in their book have been featured on this blog (consequently, I'm not sure if they accessed those photographs from this blog or elsewhere). One photograph I will draw your attention to is that presented to the right because it has a story of its own.

That photo was included in a post which incorrectly suggested the dojo was 870 Hay Street. In a quirk of fate, that photo was responsible for me connecting with a student of De Jong's from the 50s who then sent me various memorabilia from that time which I subsequently presented to Hans, De Jong's son, for his birthday.

Margaret de Jong, Jan's wife, contacted me with certain issues she had regarding my reporting of the 'Jan de Jong story.' I addressed the majority of her concerns, however, possibly in an act of defiance, I refused to change the description of that photo. As it turned out, Harry Hartman, the good looking young man to the right, the one executing the technique in the photo, contacted me to correct my description of the location of the dojo - and from there a friendship grew. See this post for more information of Harry's contribution to the Jan de Jong story on this blog.

I'm sure Harry is going to be chuffed that his image is now published in a book. At least he has an image published of him executing a technique; the vast majority of images available of me is being the one whom techniques are executed on.

The entry in the WHFSC book reflects the history of the jujutsu that De Jong taught that is popularly espoused. As my research has explained, there is no corroboration of that history other than that De Jong trained under the Saito brothers.

What do we know of the Saito brothers other than that they taught jujutsu in Semarang, Indonesia pre-WWII and that one was a photographer and the other a florist?

De Jong showed me a photographic book that featured a photo of Semarang, Indonesia that was attributed to a Saito around that time. There is another reference that may refer to the photographer Saito:

Many Japanese businessmen appeared on the scene in the years leading up to the Japanese invasion of Java. They were planted there on purpose to get ready for the forthcoming invasion. Our friendly Japanese photographer turned out to be a spy too. He was the most popular photographer in Semarang and he had taken several of our photos. While these people had been bowing and smiling at us, they had been preparing for our destruction!
Jan Ruff-O'Herne, 50 Years of Silence

There is also a photo included of the late, great, Sensei Ian Lloyd that I posted in a tribute to him. A timely reminder to remember those we've loved, lost, by have not forgotten.

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