The History Of The Death Lock

I had studied jujitsu six or seven years before I knew that such a hold existed. I had retained one of the cleverest exponents of jujitsu, who was professor at one of the large military stations, and he made a long journey three times weekly to instruct me at my private wrestling school in Yokohama. Although I was in the ranks of the "first-class" men when I started with him, he could at first make me quit every few seconds, but in about a year I worked this down until the average was three victories for him in five minutes, and he had to exert himself to defeat me.

He was a slow looking man, but he could apply locks and holds quicker than the proverbial greased lightning. The speed of his movements was accentuated by the fact that he maneuvered me into "walking into" these holds, half of his speed coming from my own efforts. I was especially amazed at the speed with which he used to choke me from the rear, and thought it was the ordinary rear strangle. But gradually my suspicions were aroused that he had another hold. None of my other teachers ever tried such a hold on me, and I never saw it used in matches or practices in the large schools.

Asked point blank what method he was using, he would very conscientiously demonstrate the rear strangle, stoutly denying that he ever used anything else, or that any other hold existed, except, as he hinted, in my vivid and suspicious imagination.

One day the chance came for which I was waiting. I left an opening for the rear strangle and quick as a flash he applied it. Simultaneously I placed my right hand on top of my head, and my left hand on my left shoulder, and discovered of course that he was not using the ordinary rear strangle.

When I recovered consciousness (I could not make the signal of defeat as my hands were busy investigating his grip), I told the professor that I had proved that he had another grip which he was hiding from me. My kind instructor thereupon thought that such perseverance and merit should be rewarded suitably, which he thereupon did, by imparting the secret Death Lock to me.

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