Journal of Non-lethal Combatives, Aug 2000

The Secrets of Jujitsu, A Complete Course in Self Defense, Book II

By Captain Allan Corstorphin Smith, U.S.A.

Winner of the Black Belt, Japan, 1916. Instructor of Hand-to-Hand Fighting, THE INFANTRY SCHOOL, Camp Benning, Columbus, Georgia and at United States Training Camps and Cantonments, 1917 and 1918.

In Seven Books.



Columbus, Georgia, 1920.


This electronic version is copyright EJMAS © 2000. All rights reserved.

Contributed by Thomas J. Militello, a 15-year member of Astoria, New York's non-profit Horangi Taekwondo Dojang, which is headed by James Robison.

Readers interested in seeing film images should note the following film held by the National Archives and Record Administration:


Title: Physical and Bayonet Training, 1918.

Scope and Content: Recruits at Camp Gordon, Georgia receive detailed instruction in boxing and jiu-jitsu. Wrestling and jiu-jitsu holds are used against a foe with a bayonet. Troops do calisthenics and play rough games calculated to make them physically fit.

35mm film, 15 minutes


It does not matter what sort of a partner you first practice with. Keep a record of your progress by making a check mark against a trick each day you practice it. The first day a trick may take five or ten minutes, and after that only one or two minutes.

Let your opponent try all the tricks on you, you will learn a great deal from this.

Get at least one friend enthused to the point where he will procure a set of textbooks for his private study and will keep a record of his progress.

After four such practices with one opponent, you should try to practice each trick with as many different opponents as you can get.

Each man has a different style of physique and you have not mastered the course till you can do the tricks effectively on any style of opponent.

Popularize this practice amongst your circle of friends to provide yourself with opponents. Some one of your friends may develop a better style of doing a certain trick than you, and it will be to your advantage to practice it with him.

All this practice must be formal and not competitive. Once you start wrestling in a haphazard way you will hinder the orderly study of the course.

To attack one another with "any old trick" will result in severe falls, and should only be done on a mat after you have learned how to fall. This will be taught in the second course.

It is quite unnecessary to so in this course which is a complete and adequate system of self-defense and can be learnt without such strenuous practice.


This lesson teaches you --

    How to clasp hands when taking hold.
    An interesting variation of the waisthold.
    The chin shove.
    Correct leverage in the chin shove.
    Advanced practice in the chin shove.
  Name of Partner Date Practice Commenced Waisthold Chin Shove

Make a check mark against each trick each day you practice it.

In clasping hands behind opponent's back always take the grip shown in fig. 23.

Fig 23

Unless he is a much smaller man, in which case clasp your left wrist with your right hand.

Fig 24

Never use the grip shown in fig. 25.

Fig 25

If your opponent falls on your fingers when they are clasped this way they may be broken.

Again, if he lies beneath you his weight may jam your fingers so that you would have difficulty in freeing your arms while his arms would be free to attack.

These instructions as to correct methods of clasping hands are chiefly for the man who acts in the role of Assailant in this waisthold series, and in the "Seized from Behind Series" in Book 4.


There is a peculiarly sensitive spot about two inches long up and down each side of the backbone halfway between the waistline and shoulders.

Press the big third knuckle joint of your first finger into your first finger into your own back till you discover the spot.

Fig 26

Apply pressure here with the knuckle simultaneously with the pressure of your chin on his chest and the pain will cause him to quit.

As soon as he quits, let go and allow him to practice on you.

Fig 27

Some men are not sensitive to pressure here, but many people are so susceptible to pain at this spot that the trick will cause them to quit, and may even knock them out. Therefore when applying it to anyone, go slowly at first.

Experiment on each other a few times that you may acquire a moderation and temperance and so avoid injuring a less robust companion.


Before practicing the chin shove given on the following page you and your partner should execute the waisthold as taught in Book 1, three times each.

The waisthold is not much use against a heavier man and is not taught in this course for its fighting value.

It is taught in order to provide an Assailant for the man who wants to learn the chin shove. It is the first link in the chain of dovetailed tricks.

It is taught because by means of it you learn the correct method of practice before proceeding to the more advanced tricks which might be dangerous unless practiced properly.

It takes away the beginner's nervousness before he comes to the more advanced tricks.



Assailant steps forward with left foot as if trying to secure the waisthold.

Step forward and slip your left hand inside Assailant's right arm and place it halfway around his waist.

Place the palm of your right hand under Assailant's chin, forearm straight up and down and close to his chin.

Fig 28


Pull his waist forward with your left hand. Shove his head backward with your right until he is in position of fig. 29.

Fig 29

Be careful not to let him fall. Keep your balance in the Stahara.

This movement is not done by sheer strength, but by destroying Assailant's balance through the proper coordination of your right and left hands.

Be careful not to jerk his head back. In a real fight you would do so, but if you hurt your partner it will simply curtail your practice.


If you hold your elbow away out as shown in fig. 30 you are using only your arm and shoulder muscles against the strength of his neck.

Fig 30

This is using your strength to the least advantage, as an ordinary man's neck is stronger than his arm and shoulder.

Take the right position of fig. 28, and put the strength of your Stahara -- the strength of your whole body -- into the trick.

Experiment and learn the correct method of shoving.

In a real fight you will not stop at the position shown in fig. 29, but will throw opponent over backward.

If performed with sufficient quickness he will be knocked out by the concussion of his head on the ground.

Further, there would be no pause between "ONE" and "TWO" which is simply the analytical method of learning this trick.

It is unnecessary to throw the opponent in practice.


Take position of fig. 31. Assailant is holding you around waist. You have your hand on his chin.

Fig 31

Let him stiffen his neck and resist your efforts to push him back, so that you are struggling with him strength against strength. You will be unable to push him back.

Instead of continuing to push back against his strength push up, dropping your body a little so that your Stahara is behind the upward effort.

This will instantly get him off balance and you can easily subdue him.

Fig 32


Compare your position with each illustration until you have learnt the applied mechanics of the trick and can get a stronger man off his balance and so discount his strength by scientific shoving.

This method enables you to commence your study of this course with the same safety and accuracy of movement as if you were being carefully grounded in first principles by a painstaking teacher.

In the early stages of practice it is necessary to pause between the counts "ONE" and "TWO". Otherwise you may inadvertently give your Assailant too severe a tap on the chin. When first shoving Assailant's head back, do it very slowly.

For advanced practice, discard the counts and both attack at the word, "GO", Assailant with the waisthold, opponent with the chin shove.

Assailant will attack slowly at first, but as opponent becomes more expert with the chin shove will attack with increasing swiftness.

There must be no finessing with the arms. Assailant, who attacks with waisthold, knows that opponent's arms are coming inside his, but must not try to parry them. He must maintain the original direction of attack. His one endeavor must be to get opponent firmly around the waist before opponent can get the chin shove.

In a real fight it would not be necessary to place left hand behind Assailant's back, a blow with the heel of the hand on his jaw is the best method.

This practice will enable you to develop the power to hit a hard blow when necessary, and will also train your eye and presence of mind so that in an emergency you would act vigorously.


The best defense is attack. In other words, keep your opponent so busy defending himself that he has no time to attack you.

"Beware of entrance to a quarrel, but being in

"Bear it that the opposer may beware of thee."

In actual combat, do not wait until he attacks you, but get the jump on him. But the best way to learn a trick is to practice it on a man who is attacking you. If you practice it on an unresisting opponent, his body is relaxed and you do not meet with the proper resistance.

On the other hand, if you tell him to resist you every time, he will soon be able to prevent you getting the grip and that makes it impossible for you to practice.

Get your opponent to attack you as instructed. This not only provides you with the proper resistance, but reproduces as nearly as possible the conditions under which you would actually have to use the tricks.

Furthermore, it trains your reflex action and makes you instinctively do the right trick.

This feature of the course makes it unique for by this method you will be able to do the tricks better in two or three weeks than you would under years of the old system.


This lesson teaches you --

    The Nose Push.
    The psychology of the Nose Push.
    When to use the knee kick.
    The escape from the chin shove.
  Name of Partner Date Practice Commenced Nose Push Escape from Chin Shove

Place a check mark against each trick each day you practice it.


Never allow yourself to be seized around the waist, but as you may be taken by surprise and find yourself in this grip the following trick should be practiced, so that you will have a definite and effective defense.


Stand still and allow Assailant to seize you with the waisthold, his chin on your chest and bend your back until you are almost falling, holding you so close that you cannot use the knee kick.

Fig 33


Clench fist with thumb jutting out. Insert end of thumb (not the nail) beneath Assailant's nose just where the nose joins the face, so that the thumb presses partly against his upper lip and partly against the nose bone where it joins the face.

Fig 34

There is a very sensitive spot here, which you can locate by experimenting on your own nose. [EN1]

If he turns his nose to your right use your left thumb. If he turns to the left, use your left thumb. If he buries his nose in your chest, bring up both thumbs and dig for it.


Push Assailant's head back until he releases his waisthold.

Fig 35

Do not touch his face with your hand. The only point of contact is your thumb. Otherwise you decrease the pressure your thumb exerts on the vital spot.

Do this very slowly at first in order not to hurt partner's nose.

His nose is not pushed but the sensitive spot where nose meets face should be pressed upwards in the direction of his ears.

Pushing at this angle makes it easy to get his head back.


Bring your knee up into his stomach making the effort from the Stahara.

Fig 36

In practice stop three inches from the mark at which you aim.


When a man has seized a woman with criminal intent and endeavors to carry her off, an escape is easy if the thumb be pressed not beneath his nose, but into his eyes. [EN2]

Such a course would be justifiable only where life is in danger. If you are unarmed you have a right to take such action as is necessary to save yourself.

Making a mental note of this, however, is not giving yourself adequate training in self-defense. You might forget to do it. A woman would be apt to lose her head and scream aimlessly.

Sticking your fingers in a man's eye is too dangerous a trick to try on one another but the Nose Push may be practiced with safety. You will thus be made familiar with such an attack, and will think coolly and act instinctively.

A system that merely tells you to stick your finger in a man's eye does not give you a proper education in self-defense.

Your reflex action must be trained so that you will act instinctively in the moment of danger.


If you are attacked by a thug with a knife or pistol or a piece of lead piping or a sandbag, or if your life is in danger and you are unarmed, you are justified in defending yourself by attacking your Assailant's most vital spots -- his crotch or his eyes.

Under no other circumstances would you be justified in resorting to these foul, unspeakable methods. It is unthinkable that a fair man in a fair fight or even an unfair fight, would ever stain his honor by such a dishonorable action.

The same thing applies to women, only in the last extremity would it be defensible for her to use such tactics.

However, there are unfortunately many instances where the most dastardly attacks are perpetrated and the victims are defenseless because they do not know how to use the weapons with which nature has provided them.

In such an instance you would be accessory to your own death if you hesitated to disable or kill him, by the above methods.

You might have such a margin of superiority in strength and skill that you could take him prisoner by a jujitsu grip or knock him out by one of the legitimate blows to his jaw, neck, or solar plexus, and you must use the more humane method where possible.

But in the last analysis, the eyes and crotch are the vital spots and an attack on them is the first thing to do when it is a question of life or death.

It is often asked -- "Instead of that trick you are teaching would it not be simpler to raise the knee and kick him?" The answer is unhesitatingly, "YES." If there is to be any kicking, kick first. But in the general run of things you would not be justified in kicking and must be trained in more honorable methods, reserving the kick for an emergency.

These other tricks must be practiced faithfully because they give you presence of mind and an ability to use your body correctly.


Assailant attacks you with chin shove, his right hand on your chin, his left hand round your waist.

If you stand with feet on the same line you will be immediately unbalanced and unable to resist.

Fig 37


As he takes hold, step back with either foot and take a balanced position.

Bring your left elbow close to your side and palm of left hand onto Assailant's forearm.

Fig 38


Assailant pushes your had back and pulls your waist in.

Throw your head back quicker than it is pushed, knocking up his right arm with your left arm.

Keep your eyes on Assailant.

Fig 39


Instantly regain your balance and shove Assailant's chin back with your right hand.

Fig 40


Make Assailant stagger slowly backwards. Bring up your knee with full force, stopping three inches from the target.

Fig 41

This practice will make you dexterous in using both hands and feet in a fight and trains you to make your every movement for the purpose of unbalancing opponent.

Keep your balance and make the effort from the Stahara.


Understand in a real fight you would not shove but would hit your opponent so hard with the heel of your hand below his chin that you would knock him out.

Practice of this trick will give you the power to deliver such a blow and also the presence of mind to use it.

Also without hitting it is possible to shove so hard that opponent is knocked out by the fall.

In practice go no further than unbalancing opponent with a slow shove.

The practice of this trick has greater advantages than merely teaching you a defense against this attack. It teaches you how to use your body quickly in a way that will be valuable in all attacks.

You do not pull his hand away from your chin but evade it by giving way. The effort is made with a swaying motion of the Stahara which keeps your balance.

Take the position of each of the five photos illustrating this trick, and compare your position with them.

Practice it slowly at first. Afterwards you will do it so quickly that an onlooker could not explain what you had done.

In a real fight you would knock Assailant's hand away, and counter, before he got you in the grip illustrated by fig. 38.


Jujitsu tricks are done with great rapidity on an opponent who is usually moving just as quickly. You utilize the momentum of the opponent to unbalance and defeat him instead of relying on your own strength and weight.

If you try to master the two complicated problems of your opponent's BALANCE and MOMENTUM and at the same time make your legs and arms perform a complicated, unfamiliar feat, you are up against an intricate task in which progress is slow. This is why it takes so many years in Japan to learn jujitsu.

The system by which this book teaches is radically different. It eliminates the factor of MOMENTUM by causing the teacher to stand still until the student commences to use his body properly and until he understands how to unbalance his opponent.

When this stage is reached, the student's subconscious attends to the proper working of the arms and legs and to unbalancing opponent, leaving the active mind free to watch opponent's momentum.

The teacher now adds a little movement to the lesson and finally attacks the student swiftly.

As each student alternately takes the role of Instructor (or Assailant), he will stand stationary and allow his opponent (or pupil) to master the movements of arms and legs and to discover how to unbalance his Assailant.

He may then combine movement with his instructions and his pupil will readily learn to deal with the factor of momentum.


When engaged in training thousands of men who knew nothing of wrestling and boxing and who would shortly be engaged in savage trench warfare, the most important thing was to teach them to deal their opponent a kick or blow in a vital spot.

Merely telling them of these blows was not sufficient. The untrained man would think of these tricks after the battle and would sadly exclaim: "Oh, if I had only done so-and-so."

They were first taught to kick with the whole weight of the body. Merely kicking with the muscles of the leg and thigh does not deliver a blow one-third as powerful as if you "put your Stahara" into it.

The waisthold series, consisting of:

waisthold, chin shove, nose push, and escape from chin shove, gave them more actual practice in five minutes than half-an-hour of desultory wrestling would.

A class of a thousand men could be trained in these methods with the same precision, snap, and disciplinary effect as army disciplinary calisthenics, or setting-up exercises.

A scientific analysis of each trick enabled the movements to be directed from a platform, step by step, and the soldier learned the movements as quickly and correctly as if he were getting a personal lesson from the instructor.

The same scientific analysis has been followed in these pages. The photos take the place of the platform demonstration, and the printed words take the place of commands.

Take the position of each illustration and slowly practice the movement described and you will learn how to apply your strength.


This lesson teaches you --

    Methods of practice for husband and wife.
    The psychology of training.
    Three different methods of Throat Attack.
    First defense to Throat Attack.
    Second defense to Throat Attack.
    Third defense to Throat Attack.
    Edge of hand blow.
  Name of Partner Date Practice Commenced 1st Defense 2nd Defense 3 rd Defense

Place a check mark against each trick each day you practice it.


It is useless when thus attacked to seize Assailant's wrists and try to pull them off.

Fig 42

Yet that is what most people would do under the paralyzing effects of fear.

It is almost as useless to try and seize a finger and pry his grip open, or even break the finger. If he is strong he would have you nearly choked before you could accomplish this.

Even if you are stronger than Assailant is, strength is not nearly so speedy a way of conquering him as the methods given here, particularly the Third Method.


If a husband wishes to teach his wife the defense tricks he will assume the role of Assailant, as directed, and attack her with the attempted strangle, the waisthold, etc.

In attacking her throat, he will place his hands on her shoulders and his thumbs on her windpipe, gently, without pressure, and will remain in that position while she slowly executes the defense, practicing this again and again until she acquires speed, and until she can act without hesitation.

He may then hold her neck with gradually increasing pressure in his fingers, carefully avoiding pressure with his thumbs.

Soon she will learn to anticipate the attack and will act so quickly that the defense is made before his fingers can reach her throat.


In this way her reflex action is being trained and an attempted move on the part of a ruffian on the street on a dark night would stimulate her reflex action to perform the necessary defense without having to hesitate and think of what to do.

It will train her to act in the face of danger and free her from the paralyzing effects of fear.

The partner with whom you practice knows what your defense will be but must not take advantage of this knowledge to escape or parry the defense. He must attack again and again without variation.

Remember that the ruffian who attacks you on the street does not know what your defense will be and probably expects no opposition at all.

Your properly executed defense will incapacitate him before he has time to change his method of attack.


Fig 43

An Assailant might press his thumbs directly into your windpipe.

Fig 44

Or he might cross his thumbs over your windpipe. A strong man could strangle you this way with one hand.

Fig 45

Some men would place the ends of their thumbs on the glands of your neck. This is a very painful grip.

The following lesson provides an adequate defense against any of these methods of attack.

In practice the Assailant may use any of these methods of attack but should exert no pressure with his thumbs.

At first he will merely place his hands on his partner's throat until the partner is familiar with the defense. Later on he will shove you gently. You will retreat more quickly than he shoves, unbalancing him as you retreat, and perform the counter.

Increase the speed of the attack gradually, but never become rough enough to injure one another.

In an actual combat the Assailant might not only try to choke you but to knock you over backward as well. The quickest way to master the defense to the roughest kind of attack is to eliminate the factor of momentum, and practice the trick stationary, until you have mastered all the details except momentum.

If you make your partner shove you while attacking, you will quickly catch on.


Assailant seizes your throat.

Bring your palms together.

(In practice, Assailant must hold tightly with his fingers, but will not press your throat with his thumbs.)

Fig 46

Bring your hands like a wedge smartly up between his arms, thus breaking his hold.

Fig 47

Place your hands behind his head or on his neck.

Fig 48

Pull his head smartly down, simultaneously bringing up your knee onto his nose with sufficient force to knock him out.

Fig 49

In practice, stop the blow three or four inches from his nose.

Make the effort from the Stahara to ensure efficient coordination between arms and legs, and keep your balance.


Assailant seizes your throat.

Clasp your hands together as in fig. 50.

Fig 50

Swing forearms upward against the side of Assailant's arms, thus breaking his hold.

Then strike him on the side below his ribs with your double clenched fists.


There are three methods of defense against throat attack taught in this lesson. The third one is by far the best. After this course is completed you will discard the first and second -- they are merely preliminary training.

A person who uses arm strength alone would not find the third method much better than the others, and would not be able to say why it was better, but you, who are working on the Stahara principle, will soon notice that the third method enables you to discount Assailant's strength to a greater extent, and to deal a more deadly return blow.

If you were taught only one method, you would know so little about the principles of the art that anyone who could do another trick efficiently -- perhaps by sheer superiority of physical strength -- would be able to prevail upon you to discard your former method.

The first and second methods have their place in this scheme of training as they give you experience in using your body in different positions, and give you greater resources of tactics to draw on -- for instance, when the chance presents itself, you would be able to use the knee smash on nose.

When this course is completed, however, your reflex action will make you automatically use the third method and scrap the others.


The wrist twists in Book 6 are also excellent defenses but if you are outmatched by Assailant's strength, use the third method given here, it is your best bet.


Bear in mind during your practice that in certain circumstances you would be justified in using the knee kick, and when matters come to that pass, kick swiftly, and then follow up with the third method, or take him prisoner with the wrist twist.

In other words, while you faithfully practice these other methods, look upon them as a means to an end, as a training in the effective use to an end, as a training in the effective use of the body, but where it is a case of life or death, use the knee kick, before your Assailant has time to get in his dirty work.


Assailant takes the throat hold.

Fig 52

Swing your right elbow up over Assailant's left arm, knocking his hands away from your throat and throwing him off balance.

Make the swing, not with the arm, but with the whole body (the Stahara).

Fig 53

Swing your elbow back full into Assailant's neck or jaw. They are both equally vital points and a fair blow will lay him out.

Fig 54
In practice stop the blow three or four inches from your partner's neck.

As you swing in fig. 53, step forward and inward with your right foot and step backward and to the right with your left foot. Compare your position carefully with fig. 53.

Do not knock his arm away with your arm, but bring your armpit in contact with his arm. The swing of the body knocks his arm away and also twists your neck out of his grasp.

Practice this until you get the knack of playing the strength of your body against the strength of his arm. Until this knack is acquired, speed should not be attempted.

After mastering this trick -- the third defense, discard the other two -- the first and second defenses.


When standing with your right side towards your opponent, strike him with the little finger edge of your right hand on the right side of the neck.

Fig 55

In practice deliver the blow with full force stopping short three or four inches from your training partner's neck.

Fig 56

When standing with your left side towards your opponent, strike him with the little finger side of your left hand on the left side of his neck.

Fig 57

On the preceding pages you have been taught how to defend yourself against an attack on the throat.

If you wish to attack anyone by the throat you will find the blow with the edge of the hand a much more speedy and efficacious method than the attempted choke with the thumbs.

This is always a backhanded blow, and will drop a man like a log.


People sometimes ask whether the blow with the edge of the hand on the throat is more effective than a blow with the fist.

It is, one reason being that you cannot reach the throat with the fist so effectively as you can with the edge of the hand.

But that is not the point. The blow with the edge of the hand is given when you are in a position to deliver it and when you are not in a position to strike with the fist.

Conversely, if you are in a position to deliver an effective blow with the fist, as to the jaw, you would use the fist for you are then not in a position to deliver a blow with the edge of the hand.

In the combination trick of wrist escape and neck blow, Book 3, you can twist your wrist free and deliver the cut with the edge of the hand much more quickly than you could hit with the fist.

Furthermore the edge of the hand blow is not expected and consequently not guarded against, whereas the blow with the fist is more likely to be expected and so guarded against.

It is unnecessary to harden the edge of your hand by constant practice to acquire a hard hitting edge. When you deliver the blow, the hand is held straight and rigid and the point impact is the third joint of the little finger.

A woman of ordinary strength can learn to deliver a blow that will knock out the strongest man whereas a blow from her fist on his chin would only annoy him and cut her knuckles.

You may experiment once or twice on friend husband. Tell him to tense his neck, just give him a little tap, and see how he likes it.


EN1. In more precise terms, this point is located immediately below the septum, which is the fleshy piece separating the nostrils. The targets include a bone joint known as the intermaxillary suture and a major facial nerve known as the nasopalatine nerve. The acupressure point is Governing Vessel 26.

EN2. Thumbing is very common in professional boxing, and is a leading cause of retinal injuries. During self-defense training, in his book On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society (Boston: Little, Brown, 1995), Lt. Col. Dave Grossman suggests taping an orange over the Assailant's eye and then having the defender practice pushing hard enough to make the orange squirt.

JNC Aug 2000