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Tsutsumi Hozan-ryu jujutsu originated with samurai in the 1300s in present day Tochigi Prefecture . Tsutsumi Yamashiro no Kami no Hozan, the lord of a mountain castle, learnt sojutsu (spear art) and the art of senjo kumiuchi, or battlefield grappling in armour, from a priest. Tsutsumi's mastery of kumiuchi, and his formalised teaching of the art, facilitated its widespread use.

Tsutsumi's kumiuchi evolved into jujutsu. The term jujutsu refers not only to unarmed tactics, but also to tactics of close combat that utilise a warrior's weapons in close-in fighting. Tsutsumi Hozan-ryu jujutsu is both tactically offensive and defensive, according to strategic requirements.

The last hereditary master of Tsutsumi Hozan-ryu, Tsutsumi Masao, is an enigmatic figure; there is little known about him despite being a highly regarded jujutsu master. His expertise was utilised in the development of Kano 's system of judo. In the 1880s a Tsutsumi Hozan-ryu kata* was used in the standardised kata for the police martial system, the Keishicho-ryu . Under Tsutsumi Masao's leadership, the ryu** utilised the kyu/dan ranking system developed by Kodokan Judo. Tsutsumi Hozan-ryu jujutsu instigated this measure in conjunction with the high standards of the traditional menkyo (teaching licence) system, not instead of it.

Notwithstanding these achievements, it appears that the hereditary line of Tsutsumi Hozan-ryu jujutsu ended with Tsutsumi Masao's death, and as a comprehensive martial system the ryu effectively ceased to exist in Japan. The ryu continued to be practised outside of Japan by one of Tsutsumi Masao's students, Saito Sensei. Saito left Japan in the 1900s, and established a school of Tsutsumi Hozan-ryu jujutsu in central Java in the town of Semarang.

Saito Sensei's school followed traditional ways; membership required formal references from people well known to the master. Saito Sensei accepted Jan de Jong as a student in 1927. Under Saito Sensei's mastery, Jan de Jong became an exceptional teacher of the art of Tsutsumi Hozan-ryu jujutsu. Jan de Jong's remarkable life has been outlined publicly on several occasions by Robert Hymus, a close friend and former senior instructor. The anniversary articles written by Hymus Sensei (first published in Blitz Australasian Martial Arts magazine) are a useful biography of Jan de Jong Sensei.

 

*kata - prearranged movements designed to teach basic techniques, and fundamental principles and tactics

**ryu - a traditional school or style of Japanese martial practice

 

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