Saturday, June 23, 2007

Judo stories for the Rat

Dojo Rat asked me to expand some on my previous post about the matches between the Judo and jujitsu guys early on in the history of Judo. To avoid retelling the whole thing I've looked up a few good articles for you.

Basically, the koryu (pre-Meiji restoration) jujitsu guys had kata as nearly their sole training method (See this article by Tomiki). You did kata then you went out and fought death matches or went to war as the only real test of your skills. Well, Kano comes along and collects the techniques of several jujitsu schools together and organizes them based on this idea of maximally efficient use of power into what he calls Judo. He also develops and implements a randori system, so his players simply get a lot more practice at testing the viability of their techniques than do the kata-only guys.

So, the eclectic Kano iritates a bunch of the older jujitsu teachers because of these changes that he's making, and the Metro police sponsor a tournament between the Kodokan and the old jujitsu guys. The Kodokan guys win all of the matches except one, establishing a batch of several new Kodokan demigods. Bear in mind that these were not the friendly little tourneys we're used to. These guys said goodbye to their relatives before they competed. These were death matches. The one Kodokan guy that failed to win his match stalemated the jujitsu guy for over an hour and still felt like a failure.
Well, in my opinion the take home lesson of this tournament is the point I made in the previous post. You have to have a randori system and you have to practice in that mode a lot.


  1. Thanks Pat!
    Randori, Randori,Randori!

  2. I was doing some research for a paper i have to write and i stumbled across this amazing martial arts blogspot/forum. Its has everything martial arts has to offer and even general discussion forums just to let off steam or whatever. Give it a try. I think you would like it.


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