About Tsutsumi Jugo Ryu

About Tsutsumi Jugo Ryu

The Tsutsumi Jugo Ryu Jujutsu system (“TJR”) is a modern martial art created by Peter Clarke, which traces its origins to the Jujutsu of the late Jan de Jong, who was heavily influenced by the Jujutsu of Minoru Mochizuki,[1] theTsutsumi Hozan Ryu , and Suci Hati Pencak Silat.

Peter Clarke commenced training in jujutsu with Jan de Jong in 1973 and quickly came to be one of  Jan de Jong’s most Senior instructors in both jujutsu and pencak silat. Peter Clarke, along with Robert Hymus and Paul Connolly,  completed the Jan de Jong grading system, which graded to 3rd Dan, in February 1999. At this time Jan de Jong also awarded Peter Clarke alone the honorary 4th Dan.  After 30 years of continuous training and teaching, in 2003 Jan de Jong awarded the Peter Clarke a 6th Dan in "Jan de Jong Jujutsu" before he sadly passed away in April of that year.

Tracing back the history and development of Koryu Bujutsu systems is often difficult.  Jan de Jong was born in Indonesia and he told of being trained in the Tsutsumi Hozan Ryu system of jujutsu under two Japanese brothers, S. Saito (8th Dan), and K. Saito (7th Dan), in Indonesia.  According to Jan de Jong he started training under the Saito brothers at the age of seven and graded 3rd Dan in 1939, just before leaving for Holland.  Whilst the background of his instructors is sketchy at best, he understood that their instructor was Maseo Tsutsumi, who was connected with the author H. Irving Hancock. There is some suggestion that the Saito brothers were Japanese spies in Indonesia prior to the outbreak of the Second World War.
Jan de Jong spent the Second World War in Holland as a member of the Dutch underground and taught jujutsu in Rotterdam during part of this time.  After the war, he returned to Indonesia as a physiotherapist with the Royal Netherlands Indies Army and then migrated to Australia in 1952.  He started teaching martial arts in Perth upon his arrival and the school that he developed became his full-time occupation in the 1960s.

Other than his original instructors, the other main influence was the jujutsu of Minoru Mochizuki.  Jan de Jong trained briefly in 1969 at Mochizuki’s school in Shizuoka Japan.  Minoru Mochizuki was a very famous Japanese martial artist with extensive experience.[2] Whilst in Japan, Jan de Jong graded 1st Dan in Yoseikan Aikido and 1st Dan Shotokan karate under  Mochizuki. Mochizuki and de Jong arranged for one of Mochizuki’s senior instructors (Yoshiaki Unno) to migrate to Perth and teach at Jan de Jong’s school for a period around 1972/3. Unno later set up his own school in Perth teaching Mochizuki’s arts. Jan de Jong and his son Hans trained extensively under Unno during this period.

The first time Peter attempted syllabus development was at the request of Jan de Jong to create a syllabus for black belt gradings of the Australian Ju-Jitsu Association.  This was developed by Peter in the late 1980s.  It was used by the association for a number of years until Jan de Jong parted company with the association in 1998.

Debbie Clarke started the school “Southern Cross Bujutsu” in 2001.  Initially she developed a junior programme only, However by 2002 Peter had developed an adult programme which was to become TJR.  This was an opportunity for a fresh start and to take the experiences of those who had gone before and build upon those efforts. By 2004 it was felt that what Peter Clarke was teaching had developed sufficiently to be worthy of it’s own name.
The task of naming this new style was not taken lightly and was given much concentrated attention. The name needed to give credit to the origins of the school as well as conveying the essence of what the style is.
By 2005/6 the name Tsutsumi Jugo Ryu (堤柔豪流) was chosen and can be read to mean “Tsutsumi Australian jujutsu school” as well as “Tsutsumi flexible powerful school”.  It acknowledges not only the foundation in Tsutsumi Hozan ryu but that its more recent genesis is from Australia and the contribution of Jan de Jong and with his varied background in martial arts. The name can be translated as follows:

Tsutsumi (堤): - This gives credit Jan de Jong, who was not a speaker of the Japanese language and often referred to his jujutsu as “Tsutsumi Ryu” or “Tsutsumi jujutsu” despite “Hozan Ryu” being popularly considered the more appropriate shortening of Tsutsumi Hozan Ryu.

Ju (柔): can be translated as “flexible” and also can be read as “yawara” (an early term for jujutsu) and is also the first character of jujutsu (柔術).

Go (豪): - can be translated to mean “powerful” or “ superior” as well as being a popular way of writing “Australia”.

Ryu (流): - Can be translated to mean a “school”, “style” or “way”.

TJR is not a traditional style and varies considerably from the traditional school of Tsutumi Hozan Ryu, which reputedly continued in Tokyo Japan until the 1980s.  Precisely what Jan de Jong learned from the Saito brothers remains a mystery and a source of some speculation, however Jan de Jong continued to refer to his style as Tsutsumi Hozan Ryu and speak highly of the Saito’s until his death in 2003.
The influence of Minoru Mochizuki on Jan de Jong was profound, as was the experience in the Dutch underground and his training in Europe.
The fashioning of these disparate sources was “Jan de Jong Jujutsu” the name used from about 1998 rather than the previous “Tsutsumi Hozan Jujutsu”.  It was upon this foundation that TJR was built.
It could also be argued that de Jongs training and expertise in Suci Hati Pencak Silat had a strong influence on his jujutsu, and certainly played a role in the development of Tsutsumi Jugo Ryu by Peter Clarke.

TJR is all about teaching a modern, relevant and systematic method of self defence.  It is not about sport or competitive forms; nor is it about preserving traditional approaches for the sake of doing so.  It is about teaching a modern self defence system capable of being learned by anyone in the most effective and quickest way.  The system is constantly evolving to find better ways to achieve the desired results.  The desired results are to be effective in self defence in an ever changing world.  To remain relevant TJR must continue to evolve to meet these requirements.  TJR’s main distinguishing feature is its focus on teaching a quite unique approach to position and movement by using defined setups of body positioning and movement from those setups to implement self defence strategies.  Peter considers that jujutsu schools over emphasize the accumulation of vast numbers of techniques without paying enough attention to the planning of strategies and tactics of self defence relevant to a modern society.  There are people who have spent considerable time training and know many techniques but are still not competent when it comes to defending themselves.  A structured system needs to address the planning of strategies and tactics needed for self defence.  Further, the techniques need to be arranged, taught and developed in a way that is consistent with that approach and capable of being carried into effect.

The essence of the system is built around self defence strategies focusing upon an understanding of the tactical imperatives of position and movement.  How to go about planning a strategy to defend yourself is a crucial aspect.  A core aspect of the system is using body movement and unbalancing in a versatile ways to give you many options to control an altercation.

Whilst TJR focuses upon unarmed combat, it includes techniques for dealing with bladed weapons, sticks and firearms.  Weapons used in the system are tanbo (short stick) jo (4ft stick), hanbo (walking stick), manriki gusari (weighted chain), and bokken (wooden sword).

Tsutsumi Jugo Ryu is taught in a relaxed, humorous and friendly manner, we put great pride in having an efficient jujutsu system but also respect that there are many different ways to do things and we continuously search for more efficient ways to optimize the system to give the students of TJR an efficient system for combat as possible.
Copyright 2009 Peter D Clarke

[1] Gyokushin-ryu Jujutsu

[2] He held the ranks 10th Dan, aikido; 9th Dan, jujutsu; 8th Dan, iaido; 8th Dan, judo; 8th Dan, kobudo; 5th Dan, kendo; 5th Dan, karate; 5th Dan, jojutsu.