Jan de Jong history

jand de Jong 001 opt

Peter Clarke March 2011

Jan de Jong was a jujutsu teacher of renown.  He was also my teacher and friend.

His background is of interest to many people with an interest in jujutsu.  In 1993 a celebration to mark his 50 years of teaching jujutsu was held and there were a number of events over the course of a weekend.  The highlight was a formal evening dinner.  I gave a speech at this dinner, setting out his background in martial arts.

Before reproducing the speech, I set out below some of the background leading up to the giving of the speech.

In preparation for the task, I collected the known information from early sources and my own knowledge.  I then interviewed Jan on two or three occasions concerning his background.  From this information, I wrote the speech tailoring the information to accord with the occasion and the available time.  The final draft of the speech was read and approved by Jan before being delivered.

There are a number of reasons why I have explained the background to the formation and content of the speech.  First, the content was vetted by Jan and to a large extent represents what he wanted said.  His history and background and the material in the speech is for the vast majority not verifiable by documentation and comes largely from what I have been told by him.  Naturally enough both Jan and myself exercised some editorial control of the content.  Whilst our discussions were wide ranging, one has to temper one's knowledge of matters and write material befitting the occasion.

There are some matters in the speech which I now know to be either quite wrong or perhaps dubious.  I have not sought to correct those matters; that is perhaps something for another day.  These shortcomings said, the speech as some historical significance and I have chosen to publish at in its unedited form.  The passage of time has eroded any recollection of whether I stuck to the script and how much I may have ad libbed.

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