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Book Review:
Jiu-Jitsu Complete

Jiu-Jitsu Complete by Kiyose Nakae (Lyle Stuart 1958)

This book was written by a jujutsu master whose dojo was in Manhattan. For the many years he was there since his emigration from Japan, countless students entered his doors, many of whom went on to become notable sensei in their own right. Many today wonder as to what style Nakae sensei actually taught, since the book does not mention this. Some say it was Kito-ryu, others a combination of Kito-ryu and Sekiguchi-ryu. In reality, it really does not matter, and the many techniques (“tricks”) presented are not shown in any sort of belt-rank order. Rather, they are classified by: Throws, Holds, Combination Tricks, Breaking Tricks, Practical Applications, and Arts for Emergencies.

Rather than photos, techniques are presented as line drawings, “...because line drawings are most effective for instructional work”. The reader learns that photos were first taken of Nakae himself performing the techniques, the photos were then enlarged, and the line drawings made from the enlargements, with American-looking men in street clothing used as the “participants”.


The techniques themselves are practical and street-oriented, very typical of what the few jujutsu schools in the 1950s and 1960s were teaching. The line drawings, which are quite clear, are accompanied by easy-to- follow text. Additionally, there are “Reminder” boxes, offering helpful hints about the technique.

Originally released as a hardcover text with a dust jacket (with the title of the book, jujutsu in Japanese characters, and Nakae’s picture on the cover), it has been reprinted and reproduced in soft cover by other publishers as well. The book is easily found through various sellers online, often at extremely high prices. There are some booksellers and bookstores which still have “old stock” on this book on their shelves, at affordable prices.

As a historical work with interesting and effective techniques, this book is recommended.

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