How Much Do You Really Know About the Martial Arts?
1883: Kano Jigoro decides to divide his judo students into two separate groups, ungraded (mudansha) and graded (yudansha). Kano’s ungraded judoka began wearing white belts while his graded judoka began wearing black belts.
1905: The Japanese Ministry of Education encourages Japanese public school jujutsu instructors to remove more combat related techniques from tournaments to make them safer. Many commercial and private instructors refused to make these changes, as they saw no benefit in it. (The most famous holdout was Takeda Sokaku, who created Daito-ryu Aiki-jutsu around 1896, and whose student Ueshiba Morehei later established aikido.)
1910: Jack Dempsey describes his early training including punching a heavy bag, wrestling, skipping rope, sprinting, and hitting swinging broom handles. Yet for all that, Dempsey’s greatest innovation was the crouching stance and shifty movement that he called "bobbing and weaving."
1912: The Shanghai Chinese YMCA organizes a course in Chuan Fa teaching self defense to anyone who was interested.
1914: Mitsuyo Maeda taught Kodokan judo to Carlos Gracie who later taught his younger brother Hélio. Hélio became a legendary competitor in Brazil and his sons Royce, Rorian, and Rickson have continued in their father’s profession. During the 1990s they made Gracie Jiu-Jitsu famous throughout the world by staging the first Ultimate Fighting Championships.
1920: Dr. Edmund Jacobson showed that people whose muscles were tensed were less responsive to unexpected stimuli than were people whose muscles were relaxed.
1921: Thai boxing bouts begin to feature raised platforms surrounded by ropes. The reason was that the platform and ropes kept the spectators from entering the ring.
1922: Organized Chuan Fa classes are offered to members of the Chinese Physical Culture Association in Honolulu, HI.
1929: Wei-ming Ch’en starts the "Achieving Softness Boxing Association" (Chih-Jou Ch’uan She) in Shanghai. This introduced t’ai chi ch’uan into Southern China. In 1929, Ch’en also introduces hsing-i and pa kua ch’uan into Shanghai by inviting Sun Lu-t’ang to teach there.
1937: Yong-shu Choi l, a Korean who had studied a jujutsu system in Japan, develops an art that will become Hapkido. His student Jin Kang Moon, names the art Hapkido after reading a book by Aikido founder Morihei Ueshiba. Kicks and Strikes were not added until the 1960s.
1940: The British government hires William Fairbairn to teach British commandos to kill quickly and effectively in combat. Fairbairn’s favorite unarmed fighting techniques included fingers in the eyes, palm-heel strikes to the chin, and kicks to the groin. He would train Colonel Rex Applegate, an American Army Officer who would found the legendary OSS (Predecessor to CIA) and the US Army Ranger Course. The style Applegate founds is called Defendu and is known for its eye gouges and street lethal techniques.
1945: Hwang Kee, a Korean who apparently trained in Shotokan or Shutokai karate while working for the Japanese Railways in Manchuria, establishes the Mu Duk Kwan, "Martial Virtue Hall,". Hwang originally called his own method tang soo do, which was karate written in its pre-1936 characters.
1947: On Okinawa, Nagamine Shoshin establishes Matsubayashi Shorin-ryu karate. The name means "Pine Forest Style" and alludes to both Shaolin (Young Forest in Chinese) and Chuan FA.
Tae Hi Nam establishes a Shotokan Karate Club. Nam always insisted that his Korean army trainees shout "Tae Kwon!" ("Fists and Feet!"), his karate style soon became known popularly as Tae Kwon Do, or the Way of Fists and Feet.
Kajukenbo is founded in 1947 in Oahu, Hawaii, at the Palama Settlement. The original purpose of the art was to deal with local crime, and to help the people defend themselves from U.S. Navy sailors who would drink and start fights. The founders were Sijo ("founder") Adriano Emperado, Peter Young Yil Choo, Joe Holck, Frank Ordonez, and George Chang (sometimes mistakenly referred to as Clarence Chang), who called themselves the Black Belt Society. The founders of Kajukenbo wanted to develop an art that would be readily useful on the street.
1948: A Czech immigrant named Imi Lichtenfeld develops Krav Maga, or "contact fighting" for use by Israeli soldiers. Primary techniques included rear strangleholds, strikes to the neck and throat, and front snap kicks to the groin.
1951: Ed Parker starts studying Kenpo Karate with William Chow. At first, he taught Kenpo Karate as he had learned it from Chow. However, in 1961 he became friends with some local Chuan FA practitioners, and incorporated their techniques to create what is now known as American Kenpo.
1952: Yip Man, begins teaching Wing Chun in Hong Kong. While Yip’s most famous student was the Chinese-American actor Bruce Lee, he was not Yip’s best. When Lee visited Hong Kong in 1961 to show Yip Man how much his martial arts had improved while in the United States, he found, that his results were less than impressive and he was discouraged by his lack of progress so Bruce went home to re-evaluate his training and practice and the rest is history.
1954: Shimabuku Tatsuo combines techniques from Shorin-ryu and Goju-ryu karate to create Isshinryu karate.
1965: In the early 1960s in Hawaii, Sijo Adriano Emperado along with students Al Dacascos and Al Dela Cruz, incorporated innovations of the style Tum Pai and other martial arts into their Kajukenbo training. Later it became obvious that they were no longer doing Tum Pai and in the future it would have to be named something else. In the mid '60s Al Dacascos moved to Northern California and continued training in the Northern and Southern styles of Sil-lum Kung Fu to enhance his Kajukenbo training. It was during this time, in 1965, that the name Ch'uan-Fa was introduced. The word Chu'an-Fa itself means "fist way" or "fist style".
1967: Bruce Lee names his martial art, which combined wing chun with boxing, fencing, and arnis, "Jeet Kune Do," which means "The Way of the Intercepting Fist."
1977: Fifty-seven-year-old Cacoy Canete of Cebu City takes first place in stick fighting during the Philippines’ first national Eskrima tournament. Canete repeated the feat two years later, without being hit by anyone either time.
1994: 180lb Royce Gracie defeats several larger fighters from different styles to win the first Ultimate Fighting Challenge and bring the grappling arts back to the forefront of the Martial Arts world.