Friday, March 18, 2011

Who were Mifune's ukes?

Most folks in the Classical Judo scene, and many folks in the modern judo scene are obsessed with the amazing mastery of Kyuzo Mifune.  Most everyone stands transfixed by videos of this man doing what he did.

What I want to know is, who were Mifune's younger ukes and students back in the 1950's and 1960's?  Mifune died in 1965, and if he was doing this sort of amazing judo with young adults say, 5 years before that, then those young adults would be in their 70's and 80's now.  If any are still alive then they are few and fading fast and it would behoove us to figure out who had access to this sort of magic, and do what we can to learn what we can from them.  Otherwise, all we'll be left with will be these amazing videos from a bygone age.
Here's one that I've found of Nobutaka Mizugachi (suggested by the comments on the video to be student of Mifune) doing a lovely choke.

Patrick Parker
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