1920s opinion of Wrestling and JJ

I'm gonna type up small excerpts of Earler Liederman's 1923 book "The Science of Wrestling and The Art of Jiu Jitsu". This book is part of a collection being sold for $45 by JakeWrestler. I googled it after seeing it listed in his post and came upon a website that has a few page scans that I found very interesting.

"It has been said that every worth-while man is possessed with some hobby...If such be true, I should be doubly proud of myself, for I have two hobbies. One is Wrestling and the other is Boxing.

...Wrestling, then, is threefold in its benifits. It will help you in the upbuilding of a strong, robust body; it will fortify you against attacks by ruffians and bullies, and it will build up a determined spirit within you which will help you in the everyday walks of life.

...Considerable credit can be given to the Greeks, Chinese, and Japanese for discovering and perfecting the numerous holds, counters, and escapes...catch-as-catch can is the modern form of wrestling...

...With a thorough knowlegde of wrestling, the weakest man will find it exceedinly easy to overpower a man twice his size and strength, providing, of course, he is clever and well versed in the various tricks which will be found within the pages of this book...

...As a protection in self-defense, Jiu-Jitsu and wrestling combined is the most perfect combination that anyone could adopt. The writer has demonstrated that he can better any fighter by using the combined knowlegde of Catch-as-Catch Can wrestling and Jiu-Jitsu, and make the fighter disabled in an exceedingly short period of time. Having had considerable experience in both boxing and wrestling, I have no doubts as to which is the quicker method of disabling anyone. Most wrestlers are fairly good boxers, whereas most boxers are very poor wrestlers...

The Jiu-Jitsu attacks and defenses in this book may some day save the life of the reader...

...And expert in the art of Jiu-Jitsu possesses considerable self-confidence, and would not hesitate for the moment to apply his knowledge on any thug or hold-up man should they come within his reach. Nearly every hold is practically a bone breaker...

...Wrestling is one of the best means to obtain a powerful physique, and you will rarely see a wrestler who does not posses unusual strength and a splendid muscular development. Every muscle in the body is brought into play in Catch-as-Catch Can wrestling...

...A wrestler has practically unlimited vitality, for this strenuous sport does not burn up your enery as boxing or fighting does. Wrestlers who lead clean lives are at their best between 35 and 40 years of age, whereas most fighters are through at the age of 30 owing to the continual strain of the road work which burns up their vitality and tissues.

Wrestling is not merely a muscle-developing pastime or a sport that increases your strength alone...It will give you self-confidence, and that alone is an asset that everyone should have.

...Wrestling is no sport for the tenderfoot, and any one who fears scrtached elbows or knees should never consider wrestling seriously. Is is a real man's sport, and it must be tackled with a real he-man's sporting blood. Nevertheless, the one who is timid and frail and who lacks courage should not shrink from the thught of a little rough pastime. No matter how delicate a person may be, if her will wrestle for a few months he will soon toughen up and notice a vast difference both in his strength and physical appearance."

He goes on to discuss the importance of building speed, edurance, and strength. He talks about avoiding exercises that develop slow muscles, but you should do exercises that develope "wind" (edurance). He also talks about the importance of proper sleep, avoiding overtraining, proper diet, and proper mentality when wrestling (seems to be referring to CACC).

He then goes on to talk about strategies when wrestling. It's all great stuff. Applicable to todays grappling scene. Nothing earth shattering, just sound knowledge that I bet most here didn't think that the old-timers had. Of course, most of the book consist of Catch as Catch Wrestling holds, counters, positions, and strategies (pages 48 to 223). Most will probably end up being impractical, but the ones I've seen look interesting. Check out JakeWrestler's post to see what other books are part of his book (500 pages total it seems). I'm gonna order it soon. Looks to be worth it, considering their aren't many other available sources for Catch Wrestling information and his book is only $45.

Here are some pictures from Liederman's book:




Here's the link for anyone that wants to see more pictures and read what Liederman has to say (I recommend it, very interesting considering the book is from 1923):


Liederman's book is actually one of the better ones in terms of what you get for what you have to pay, I got mine for about $30 years ago.

Great info,thanks!

blindly posting the pics, hope they aren't porn :)

Thats actually Helio with a bad hair cut in those pics, ya didnt hear?

Interesting shit.

Good stuff, thanks for sharing.

& lol @ Wasa-B

Helio of course went back in time to train those guys.

Bring on the thugs!

Hmm, looks like the real deal was known a long time ago on MA effectiveness.

...true but it took the Gracies to actually show the world of it.



They crosstrained back then. Wrestling, Catch, judo, jiujitsu, boxing.

Nothing new is under the sun.

If you think that what we do today is new and advanced, you are very wrong. It has all been done before.

I would fuck up those old bastards with my neo jedi jiu-jitsu.

Or they would likey just bitch slap me into a corner and watch me cry.

Could you imagine rolling on thier matts. They are right about "any one who fears scrtached elbows or knees should never consider wrestling seriously" if you train on what they are on.

"...true but it took the Gracies to actually show the world of it."

This is not exactly true. From the 1880's to the 1920's 'grappling' was more popular than it is now.

The Gracies helped to repopularize grappling today, but it still is not as popular as it was then.

"The Gracies helped to repopularize grappling today, but it still is not as popular as it was then."

Hahha, you got a time machine sanaka?

In America, grappling is not nearly as popular as it was at the turn of the century. It was as big as boxing. Do your research. Filled stadiums on a regular basis.

kansetsuwaza is right. In fact it wasn't just in the U.S. but many parts of the world. Frank Gotch was actually better known to the american public at that time than was any baseball player.