INTRODUCTIONBorn in or about 1865 in Cincinnati, Len Lanius shined shoes and soldnewspapers to help support his family as a boy, his father having died of Tuberculosis. Lanius began wrestling at about the age of 12 over objectionsthat he was a “sickly” boy who was not expected to live past his twenties.Wrestling, however, apparently provided the medicine whichcontemporary science could not and Lanius flowered into a champion athlete, boasting that he had once had a run of seventy matches without a fall.Lanius turned his professional attentions to the Vaudeville circuit. Therehe toured as a professional wrestler, eventually retiring and joining his effortsto the Sports staff with the Cincinnati Post.Lanius claimed to have held the title of Lightweight Champion Wrestler of the World, which would have been around 1890, though no firmdocumentation has yet been uncovered for this title. However, documentationof at least one of his professional wrestling matches places him as the winner in 1894.Some time after the famous Gotch-Hackenschmidt matches of 1908,Lanius started developing his “American Jiu Jitsu.” In his own words, “it wasthe invasion of the Jap wrestlers around that time that put me to work on perfecting a style of defense to check their attack. Their methods were quite baffling.”In March of 1921, Lanius demonstrated his creation, “Yankee Jiu Jitsu,”to the Rotary Club and, again in June of 1921, demonstrated his Jiu Jitsu tothe Kiwanis. In 1922 he published his most important contribution, this book,“American Jiu Jitsu.”Lanius continued his varied career choices as early as 1912 andexpanded into the professions of Optometry and Poultry. But what weremember him for is his contribution to western wrestling: American Jiu Jitsu.