GTR Archives 2000-2020

@

*

@*

*

*

@

*

*

@

@

i

@

Closely Guarded Secrets

By Roberto Pedreira

October 19, 2020

@

"Do you want the power to easily defeat any human aggressor under any circumstances?" Hell, yeah, what American adolescent male wouldn't want that. The power can be yours. All you have to do is learn some "closely guarded secrets." Fortunately they aren't that closely guard. Anyone, literally, can possess them for mere pennies a day.

Does that sound like an ad for Gracie Jiu-Jitsu? It should because it is, at least it was back in 1998. In its defense, the Gracie family needed to pay the rent and ads like this were the way everyone sold their VHS tapes and books. (Actually the most successful ads were even more ludicrous, suggesting that their target demographic was 13 year old English speaking boys who were interested in pressure points and delayed death touches. See any martial arts magazine from the 1990s for examples.) 

But just as the Gracie family didn't invent jiu-jitsu (As Rorion explained, "it's the same jiu-jitsu and judo you do" (see here), they also didn't invent jiu-jitsu mail-order, learn-at-home, marketing. It had all been done before. The history of jiu-jitsu mail-order marketing is amply described in Craze 2. As one would expect in a country with high literacy rates and many mass circulation periodicals, mail-order marketing flourished in America.

But not only in America. In Japan too, the so-called home of jiu-jitsu. In Japan beginning in 1907, Japanese adolescent country-boys could easily and quickly learn the arcane and secret arts of Shintō Rikugō-ryū Jūjutsu (_“¹˜Z‡—¬_p) by joining an exclusive society that anyone could join, called the Teikoku-Shōbukai (’éš ®•‰ï.) Shintō Rikugō-ryū jūjutsu was a hodgepodge of six different styles of jūjutsu (Musō-ryū; Munen-ryū; Kitō-ryū; Yōshin-ryū; Shinkage-ryū, Shin'no Shintō-ryū; and Kiraku-ryū (respectively written –²‘z—¬, –³;”O—¬; ‹N“|—¬; —kS—¬; áÁˆü—¬; ^”V_“¹—¬; and ‹CŠy—¬.) Kitō-ryū, as everyone knows, was the style that Jigorō Kanō (‰Ã”[Ž¡ŒÜ˜Y) was certified in and originally taught in his "Kōdōkan."  

The requirements for joining this exclusive secret society and learning its esoteric mysteries were not many. In fact there was only one: Send money. (The same requirements for learning the jealously guarded secrets of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu by mail.) Anyone with money was welcome to join, but most who did were young country boys. The business was profitable and lasted until  roughly 1921 when the fad petered out. It then converted into a nutritional  supplement company.   

The company was established by a family (two brothers actually, named Noguchi Seihachirō and Noguchi Kiyoshi (–ìŒû³”ª˜Y and –ìŒû´, respectively.)

Roberto will not go into great detail about the story because it is sufficiently and succinctly told by Yabu Kōtarō ( åMk‘¾˜Y) in "Socio-historical study on the correspondence education of martial arts: Focusing on the sales strategy of the Teikoku Shōbukai from the late Meiji to Taisho eras." @It is available free of charge Here.

Closely Guarded Secrets of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, "Order Now, Free Bonus".

@

(c) 2020, Roberto Pedreira. All rights reserved.

@

@

@

@

@

@

@

@

GTR Archives 2000-2020

@