Search This Blog & Get A Rife

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Martial Arts Cards - 3: Ju Jitsu

The card up above is card #13 from the Dunkin series of collectable trading cards from the late 1970s early 1980s called Martial Arts.

There is not much information out there on this special set of 88 cards. I bought darn near every pack I could get my hands on and only have about 55 of the set. While the majority of the cards deals with Japanese martial arts, it is a world wide series of martial arts. While I may eventually do a post of all of the non-Japanese ones, this blog will for now just concentrate on the Japanese martial arts.

The ones I have done prior to to this: Sumo and Kyu-jitsu (also known as Kyudo or Japanese archery, a sport I played whilst living in Japan); are like the one above, merely one-offs. Other disciplines have five or six or more cards describing the sport - like Judo and Karate. I always wanted to do karate, but instead did three years of judo here in Toronto as a kid growing up. Yes... I am a very dangerous man, having also done Kendo and Tae kwon do. I also am a nerd, writer, and music teacher to go along with some descent soccer skills (as a kid) and baseball (as an adult). My god... I am a friggin' enigma. Why am I just discovering that? Just kidding, I always knew I was 'different'. Back to the card...    

The card, as you can see from the backing below, is written in English first, French and then German on the bottom. The front features line drawn art.

The Jiu-Jitsu card (#13) shows a small kimono-clad woman taking down a much larger combatant with one hand.

I will present  the writing on the back of the card here, in case your browser will not allow you to read it clearly:

Jiu Jitsu
Japanese martial arts
Set of techniques of unarmed combat, which includes throws, holds, "atemis", (blows) or simple pressure on vital or neuralgic points of the human anatomy. In the illustration, we show an ancient engraving of the "Kodokan".

Now in the writing above, the bracketed word 'blows' need not have the coma before it. The grammar bitch is now done.

I had great difficulty in finding out just what the heck "Kodokan" meant, as it appears to be a form of Judo!

However, I did eventually discover that Kodokan ju jitsu (note the spelling of jiu versus ju - which is what I know: Ju jitsu) is a Japanese martial art dedicated to teaching the public ways in which to defend themselves when they are out on the street. Hence the woman defending herself against the bigger man in the drawing who was accosting her.

Man... Ju jitsu sounds like a very interesting discipline. Maybe...  

For fun, here's a patch I found alongside the description of Kodokan that was at THIS Facebook page: 

Cool, huh? Just think... of the billions of people in the world, you are all a very small percentage of people who have any knowledge of these trading cards. Should you have any information on the cards - please share with me.

by Andrew Joseph 


  1. That's weird. Why would the cards have other languages on the back? The only reason I can think of would be to fill up space. Martial Arts cards certainly do not seem to look like a big money maker. In fact, until now, I've never heard of such a thing... At least sports cards try to cash in on naive kids who like sports fans... But cartoon drawings of Martial Arts? Do you know if there was ever a series for the TV show, Kung Fu?

    1. Yes, there were Kung Fu trading cards - 1972... I do not have any... but I do have The Monkees (a pack); Planet Of The Apes - TV - a near-set; I purchased a single card of Tin-Tin from the Thunderbirds (TV) because I loved that female marionette and named my first dog after her... I even have Hot Rod cards, which are freaking awesome. And, yes... I have ever card I ever purchased or traded for.

    2. Cash-in? yes... I think it was because of the Bruce Lee thing. His movies were hot, martial arts were becoming very popular here... but... yeah... that was a cash grab. I can't imagine it made money... which may be why I can't find any data on the card company... 3-languages... maybe that was their market dream... if we can get the French and Germans and English - well, that's all there is, right?

  2. i have around 16 of these cards are they worth anything or do u have to have the full set

    1. Hi... no... you don't have to have the full set. I would fathom that very few people have a full set owing to the limited distribution that seems to have occurred.
      I have about 80 with many doubles. On E-Bay, I JUST saw 34 offered up for $148.31 (+$9.89 shipping). That's about $4+ a card. That was what I was going to estimate anyways. I have yet to see a full set from anyone.... Type in 'Martial Arts Cards'.

  3. I have all 88 cards if someone is still interested.

  4. oops my bad, I only have 79 of the 88 cards.