Friday, April 08, 2011

Junokata and contact improv

I figured I'd resurrect this 2008 post for my current thread on junokata.  I had posted an old video of junokata and asked, basically, "What does this have to do with judo?"   Marks chimed in with a great answer:

Although it dosent resemble at all what we call Judo, it does show the principles upon which judo rest, which are body mechanics, balance manuipluation, fluidity and technique.

I agree. In fact I think Junokata is a great exercise for developing these qualities, but just to carry this discussion a touch farther, does the following not demonstrate those same qualities to a large degree?


  1. Yeah... That's why I love bloggers. How on earth did you come across this? There are definitely some cool judo principles at work here, both for standing and groundwork, but there is also a bunch of other stuff, too. I think it is a fair comparison to Ju no Kata to say that Ju is a subset of the more standing judo-relevant movements from contact improv. I love Ju no Kata, though - at least what I understand of it. All of the lifts, to me, are golden... I use them regularly when teaching seoi or ogoshi, especially when I see folks losing their control or "tightness" during their throws. 30-minutes of Ju lifts takes care of it. =:>

  2. Glad you liked that, Chad. If you are interested in contact improv, check out the 'contact improv' label at the bottom of this post - especially the video referenced in this article:

    I got interested in contact some years ago because of the clear crossover with aiki randori. turns out it bears upon judo randori too - surprise, huh, given my opinion that they are the same art.

    I also love junokata - particularly the lifts and the shoulder turns. A few years ago i took a pile of whitebelts and taught them junokata as they were learning to do ukemi. they all turned out really skilled. since then i haven't been using junokata explicitly with beginners but i have used pieces of it in various specific contexts.

    You know, come to think of it, i bet junokata would be great for my kids class when we get started back in the fall...


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