One of the earliest Martial Arts books to be published in the UK, this was written by the man who bought Ju-jitsu to the British Isles, Mr W. Bruce Sutherland of the Edinburgh School of Physical Culture.
From the Introduction…
"…Do we need Self-defence?
Why should the average man, the "man in the street" study self defence? Because, even in a civilized country like ours, there are times in the lives of most of us when circumstances arise which compel us to rely on our own physical powers for protection. The policeman cannot always be within call just when he is needed. We should therefore be prepared to defend ourselves, or, to aid others when necessity demands."
This is a really sweet book in many ways, packed full of early photographic plates, and charmingly Not-quite-violent-but-I'm-sure-they-Hurt titles for the instructions, like "Arm-across-throat Come-along Hold" and "Force-arm-up-the-back Throw".
My personal favourite is the "Fingers-up-nose Kick-in-the-Groin Roll-around-in-pain Throw." Actually I just made that one up, but you get the idea.
(I guess "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" style names would have been a bit cosmopolitan for the day.)
And as the introduction explains, even in a civilized country there are a multitude of people to defend yourself from, such as Burglars, Tramps, Objectionable Fellow-travellers in Rail Compartments, Bullies, Drunks, Thieves and Criminals and of course, Enemy Soldiers in the Trenches.
It is of some surprise then, that nearly half the assailants in this little volume are two Asian guys.
Perhaps there was an outbreak of Asian crime syndicates in Scotland in 1912?
"Ah, but Grasshopper," I hear you protest, "this is an ancient Martial Art, from Asia - surely it would make sense to have Asian instructors."
But ironically the assailant in the rest of the book is a nice looking young Jamaican man.
This poor young man is either the cause of a one man historical crime spree, or, I think there is a good chance there was a bit of the old "Rodney King" policing methodology going on.
After finishing off the older shifty foreign looking chap with glasses, Mr Sutherland has a go at the little shifty foreign looking guy with the "Elbow-under-armpit Come-Along-Hold".
Meanwhile the 1912 Criminal mastermind John Smith looks on..
He should've run when he had a chance!
Two old fashioned Beat Bobbies quell the man responsible for all the crime in England in 1912, with the handy "Turning-elbow-and-wrist-downwards Counter from Rear".
Don't forget to hit'em when they're down chaps...
And yes, it's even for ladies!
Mrs Sutherland skillfully attempts the very effective "Chin and Knee Throw" on Mr Sutherland after she finds out he's been attending National Front Meetings...