Friday, September 29, 2017

Tokio Hirano's unorthodox genius

Tokio Hirano was one of the, if not THE winningest competition judoka in history.

The story goes that he racked up 4300 competition wins in 6 years in western Europe in the early 1950's.  That's more than 700 wins per year, year-after-year!  Who among us modern mortals can even conceive of attempting 14-15 shiai matches per week for 6 years?

So, when people started asking him how he did the things he did, be (basically) said, "Like this!" and began dancing and leaping around, waving his arms!  Needless to say, very few people seem to have understood what he was trying to communicate, and his unorthodox genius appears to have nearly disappeared from the judo world after a generation of ignorance and neglect.

Fortunately in the past few years, more video has shown up online and there seems to have been a resurgence in Hirano's exotic judo practice methods.  There is definitely something here worth spending a lot of time on!

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Patrick Parker
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