AFAIK there are only a handful of people associated with the Kodokan that understand this and they didn't learn it there (rather through aikido or jujutsu) and aren't allowed to teach it.Cichorei Kano wrote:Some of these ma-ai issues related to steps can still be seen in koshiki-no-kata. The obi-tori-like attack in the 3rd and 4th technique of koshiki-no-kata or even the shômen attacks in jû-no-kata still take these things seriously. However, the way kata today is taught at the Kôdôkan and elsewhere people are clueless about this and just concerned about moving through their mechanical patterns irrespective of its importance on one's fighting ability. They just want to know: "how many points did I get ?", "Did I pass ?", "Did I win ?", not master it through kata so that they can realistically practice it outside kata.NBK wrote:
I know the kendo kata, wanted to make the point that other arts have techniques executed with extended okuri-ashi (as you point out, normally with the exaggerated 'lunging stomp') but in some sword schools simply a quick suri-ashi / okuri-ashi step to close the ma-ai and cut or thrust.
You point out that most judoka today simply walk up and close the distance until they can grab a handful of gi, not worried about the footwork. That wasn't always the case.
I showed Billc how we understand how approaches were made in the earliest days of judo - stepping was very important, as the engagement began with attempts to control uke's arm and thus his body. So the attempt was to engage from a distance, around double current standard ma-ai, while in balance and immediately attempt to take uke's balance. The stand up, face your opponent and grasp in migi-kumi was a later innovation to teach mass numbers of beginners.
I can see from 50m without my glasses if someone has any real understanding of the taisabaki and kuzushi of Koshiki-no-kata. I'm not claiming to know it or be able to teach it, but I can sure spot its absence. For years I thought it was completely meaningless until I saw someone doing it more correctly, with balance, power, and control.
One of the serious problems with the Kodokan's approach is that the basic movements are simply not there. Particularly as most judoka starting the Koshiki no kata are very senior - not young, at best, old, at worst. And they've never practiced these very basic techniques.
I once attended a seminar with a bunch of judo instructors given by a taichi instructor. He was able to move massive judo guys around effortlessly because his balance, stepping / taisabaki were masterfully integrated. The judoka all went 'oohhh... aahhh...' then promptly forgot about it, not realizing one key to Kano's judo was right there in front of them, Hidden in Plain Sight, as it were.