Some time back I had a discussion with several bloggers about Kodokan Goshin Jutsu. I contend that It is a group of exercises or drills or starting points and not a formal kata. Some of my honorable opponents contend that it is a formal kata with one right way to do it. We basically agreed to disagree.
Today, upon revisiting the JudoInfo page on Kodokan Goshin Jutsu, I came across this that I found interesting...
re: Haimen zuki (pistol against the back) - the last technique in the set.
Attacker steps forward with the right foot. As gun is placed against the back as the attacker says te o age (or hands up). The defender glances to see what arm is raised. As attacker reaches for wallet, defender turns to the right, drops the right hand under the gun hand, raising it up to lock the gun arm against his chest. He then grabs the gun with other hand disarming attacker and striking him with it or applying kote gaeshi to throw him.
I thought the option there was real interesting. Take the gun away and either pistol-whip uke with it, or throw uke with kotegaeshi.
Off the top of my head, I can't think of any formal kata in which there is an "either-or" in the description of one particular technique. Sure, there are either-ors in Junana and in Koshiki where uke's reaction forces either this technique or that one. But this is within one technique in which tori has an option A or B.
To me, this seems to support my idea that these are not formal kata techniques, but bullet points for discussion and exploration - categories of things to work on in a self-defense program.
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