How British pilots trained fellow prisoners of war in judo during WWII

The fascinating wartime files of an RAF pilot of Japanese descent who escaped from a prisoner of war camp three times have been sold by his family.

Warrant Officer Percy Sekine’s mother was British and his Japanese father worked for the Mitsui Banking Corporation in London.

At the outbreak of World War II, he volunteered to join the RAF at the age of 19 as a black belt in judo.

In 1942, he was rescued from a Hampden bomber after it was hit by anti-aircraft fire 3,000 feet above the Netherlands.

But two of his pilots failed to escape in time and died when the plane crashed.

Five hours later, Warrant Officer Sekine was arrested and taken to a POW camp, but then escaped by climbing over barbed wire.

He was recaptured and housed at Stalag 383 in Bavaria, where he established a judo club, created a dojo and held competitions.

After the war, he went on to captain the British judo team in the 1950s and 1960s, and featured his moves in the Daily Mail.

Now his family is selling his archive with auctioneer Rowley’s in Ely, Cambridgeshire. The archive is expected to sell for up to £1,000.

It includes previously unseen photos of Stalag 383’s life, including his judo team.

Other pictures are of the pilot and him playing golf with former fighter ace and former POW squad leader Douglas Budd, whom he made friends later in life.

Fascinating wartime archives of a half-Japanese RAF pilot (wartime photo) escaping a prisoner of war camp three times have been put up for sale.Warrant Officer Percy Sekine’s mother was British and his Japanese father worked for the Mitsui Banking Corporation in London

In addition to his initial escape, Warrant Officer Sekine fought for his freedom twice – once through barbed wire and once through barbed wire.

While at large, still wearing his RAF uniform, he joined a queue at a mobile German porridge and enjoyed a fine meal before continuing his escape.

But he was arrested a second time when he passed a line of German soldiers in the Bavarian town of Bad Tolz.

Warrant Officer Sekine became a noted judo expert after the war, training comedian Tommy Cooper and Formula One driver Stirling Moss and the Royal Marines at his Hammersmith Dojo.

Although he weighed only 9.5 stone and was only 5 feet 6 inches tall, he was awarded the captain of the British judo team.

Warrant Officer Sekine’s wife, Hana, is the daughter of Junji Koizumi, who first brought the martial art of judo to England in 1918.

The soldier’s file includes a photo of his father-in-law.

Warrant Officer Sekine, who had a wife and son, died in 2010 at the age of 90.

In 1942, Warrant Lieutenant Sekine rescued a Hampden bomber from anti-aircraft fire at 3,000 feet above the Netherlands.Above: The former soldier's old uniform, along with pictures and letters sold by Cambridgeshire auctioneer Rowley

In 1942, Warrant Lieutenant Sekine rescued a Hampden bomber from anti-aircraft fire at 3,000 feet above the Netherlands.Above: The former soldier’s old uniform, along with pictures and letters sold by Cambridgeshire auctioneer Rowley

Warrant Officer Sekine was a prisoner of war in Germany.Pictured: The pilot in a flight suit, second from left with his flight colleagues

Warrant Officer Sekine was a prisoner of war in Germany.Pictured: The pilot in a flight suit, second from left with his flight colleagues

Warrant Officer Sekine formed a judo team while being held at Stalag 383, Germany.Pictured: The pilot is third from the left among the rest of the judo team

Warrant Officer Sekine formed a judo team while being held at Stalag 383, Germany.Pictured: The pilot is third from the left among the rest of the judo team

Warrant Officer Sekine at the “Judo Team” at Stalag 383, POW Camp, August 1943.Warrant Officer Sekine with wife and son died in 2010 at 90

Warrant Officer Sekine became a noted judo expert after the war, training comedian Tommy Cooper and Formula One driver Stirling Moss and the Royal Marines at his Hammersmith Dojo.Pictured: Former Air Force Judo School member

Warrant Officer Sekine became a noted judo expert after the war, training comedian Tommy Cooper and Formula One driver Stirling Moss and the Royal Marines at his Hammersmith Dojo.Pictured: Former Air Force Judo School member

Warrant Officer Sekine's judo abilities made him appear in the 1965 edition of the Daily Mail

Warrant Officer Sekine’s judo abilities made him appear in the 1965 edition of the Daily Mail

Roddy Lloyd of Rowley’s said: “After the war, Sekine followed his mother’s career as a diamond polisher at Hatton Gardens, but the allure of judo was too great.

How Percy Sekine’s father-in-law brought judo to the UK

Warrant Officer Percy Sekine’s wife, Hana, is the daughter of Gunji Koizumi, who first brought the martial art of judo to England in 1918.

This now-widely popular fighting system was introduced to the UK when Koizumi opened Budokwai, Europe’s first martial arts club.

The club still exists and is located in Lower Grosvenor Square near Buckingham Palace

Judo was developed in Japan in 1882 by Japanese professor Jigoro Kano.

Koizumi died in 1965 at the age of 79, believed to have committed suicide.

Warrant Officer Percy Sekine's wife Hana is the daughter of Gunji Koizumi, who first brought the martial art of judo to England in 1918

Warrant Officer Percy Sekine’s wife Hana is the daughter of Gunji Koizumi, who first brought the martial art of judo to England in 1918

“He became a coach and a player, established his own club in Hammersmith and trained the Royal Marines.

“He represented and captained the British Judo team in the 1950s and 1960s, and despite his 9.5 stone and no weight class in Judo, he was still undefeated.

“In the 1960s he became manager of the British Judo team and was the first Englishman to be appointed to the seventh dan in martial arts.

“Items for sale included his RAF robes as well as photographs and letters relating to his time at the war.

“The photo included one of his crew members, which Percy noticed were killed or captured.

‘ There are never-before-seen POW camp photos, one of which shows ‘My Judo Team’ at Stalag 383.

“And the mayfly about him and his wife Hana, the daughter of Gunji Koizumi, the ‘father of British judo’.

“Includes a judo belt and other items, including a mug and a photo of Douglas Bard, a former POW with whom he played golf.

“Percy was an irrepressible character. He escaped and was arrested three times in the war, and later made his mark on judo.

“In his judo matches, he trained many big names including Tommy Cooper and Stirling Moss.

“He was training people at his club until he was in his 80s.

“Collectors of wartime memorabilia and judo objects will be interested in these items as they relate to a prominent figure who straddles British and Japanese cultures with ease.”

The sale will take place on May 7th.

Warrant Officer Sekine’s judo abilities made him appear in the 1965 edition of the Daily Mail.

The report details how Reverend Kenneth Wade, then director of Borkin College in Essex, used judo skills to fight off a “six foot thug”.

“Within seconds, his shoulder was dislocated and he was soaring above the Dean in the most relaxed way possible,” the report said.

Warrant Officer Sekine can be seen posing in a pilot's suit wearing a flying helmet during the war

Warrant Officer Sekine can be seen posing in a pilot’s suit wearing a flying helmet during the war

Judo mayfly belonging to Percy Sekine, including a belt with his name and trophies he won.I also saw cartoons of martial arts masters

Judo mayfly belonging to Percy Sekine, including a belt with his name and trophies he won.I also saw cartoons of martial arts masters

A letter from the Red Cross to Percy Sekine asking for information on other members of his downed crew

A letter from the Red Cross to Percy Sekine asking for information on other members of his downed crew

The Judo Cup with Warrant Officer Sekine as the captain of the British Judo team.This Veteran Continues to Open His Own Dojo

The Judo Cup with Warrant Officer Sekine as the captain of the British Judo team.This Veteran Continues to Open His Own Dojo

Warrant Officer Sekine also befriends former fighter ace and POW Douglas Bard.The couple spent the rest of their lives together

Warrant Officer Sekine also befriends former fighter ace and POW Douglas Bard.The couple spent the rest of their lives together

Warrant Officer Sekine and images of him showing off his moves were then quoted.

“But anyone – man, woman or child – should be able to make a thug run well for his money within six months of practicing judo,” he said.

He described how “thirty girls” took his judo lessons at his dojo, adding that they ranged from “12-year-old girls to models, secretaries, nurses, film makeup artists and newspaper reporters”.

After “lifting” Post reporter Harry Weaver into the air “by demonstration”, the terrifying veteran added: “I feel sorry for this stranger who put his arm around any of them and said:” Hello dear. ”

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