Friday, August 13, 2010

What is Classical Judo?

A couple of weeks ago a student of mine and some aquaintances of mine got into a somewhat vigorous discussion about "classical judo."  It didn't quite devolve to, "But I do classical judo too..." and "No you don't.  I do classical judo," but it seemed headed down that path.
During that discussion one party asked the direct question, "What is Classical Judo?"  I didn't join in the discussion at that time but I though that was a really good question.  See, the Classical Judo construct is so multi-faceted and complex that it is sort of a slippery chameleon.
"Classical Judo" can be a lot of things, including...
  • ...a hammer to bludgeon someone with in an argument.
  • appeal for validity to the dead (and therefore un-assailable) demigods of Judo - mere name-dropping
  • ...a marketing tactic - an attempt to brand your judo club such that it has greater perceived value
  • ...a weapon to coerce students into compliance with your way of thinking about judo
  • excuse not to have to validate your techniques and methods in contest.
All that is not to say that I think there is no such thing as Classical Judo.  There is.  I consider myself to practice Classical judo and I have been laying out an ever-expanding discussion on the topic that looks like it will become a series of posts in the near future.
But in the mean time, I thought it would be interesting to get some feedback from y'all as to what you think Classical Judo is and what could be the value of such a construct?

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