Sport: Gentlemanly Jujitsu

At Paris' unheated Palais des Sports last week, the barefooted contestants, dressed in pajama like costumes, clambered carefully into the canvas-covered ring. At a signal from the referee, the contestants knelt on their haunches, Japanese style, heads bowed low. Then they hopped to their feet and came out fighting. Much of the fighting was a soundless, antic pantomime with the contestants warily circling each other, clutching pajama tops, watching the opponent's feet like two children taking their first steps on the dance floor.

After four minutes, the silence was broken by a bloodcurdling...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!