Hanon wrote:CK sensei, I don't drink anything that contains caffeine. You know that.
Heikojr sensei, This IS my entire point. I can in all respects give academic chapter and verse as to the value of learning the other kata used in judo.
We have seen here some other non kodokan kata and with a few exceptions I can defend the practice of some of those. I cannot do what you ask of me in relation to the kodokan goshinjutsu though.
I need your help to illustrate what I am missing. I accept the fault is with me and maybe not with the 'kata'. I hope this is the case.
Kime no kata is a foundation to learning the fundamental principles of attack-defence, or attack-attack, action-reaction. Tai sabaki, katame, shisei, etc and so forth. Kime no kata is about concentration. Believe me no one can say they have learned kime no kata until they have reached the point where their sensei tells them to use live blades. One has no idea just how focused one becomes. Strength of mind and character is put to the test, not to mention ones underwear and ability to still count to ten using ones fingers.
To have ones personal space invaded is something judoka take for granted. To be man-handled is something we take for granted, to be held, grabbed, pushed and pulled, attacked etc these are bread and butter concepts to the experienced judoka. I fully understand that the kime no kata is not at all about self defence but it is about all the concepts and skills used in real SD even though developing such skills through judo takes many many dedicated years if ever.
I cannot justify the goshinjutsu kata this way.........WHY do we need to practice it? The techniques are not effective in terms of goshinjutsu and flawed technically (that is a generalisation, sorry). This could be said of the kime no kata BUT as I have written the kime no kata is a group of techniques wrapped around a frame of principles that ensure the practitioners learn a core set of basic skills. If one practices the kime no kata why do we need the less technically efficient goshinjutsu kata? There must be answers and I need to hear them.
It is so nice to hear from you also, please do your best to teach me what I fail to see. I hope you and yours are well.
Udon sensei. Don't set me of on the gun tactics. SD is a massive subject. SD must ALWAYS take into account the fact that very often, in fact generally, an attacker is not a fool and knows his 'art' better, or as well, than we do ours. A person with a knife or a gun is not a person to play with.
I have never ever taught the public SD. I do not believe 'simple' tricks learned over a few weeks can save a life. I do believe in a few weeks academic SD and for that we don't need a dojo just a class room with chairs.
In terms of children I still see to this day classes advertised where they claim to teach SD to 5 year old etc. Absurd. SD for a child is called mom and dad or grandparents or another family adult, knowing where and with whom ones child is 24-24.
SD for most of us is about prevention education. How to avoid the need to even learn any physical SD. To master SD in a domestic situation could take decades. Its not only the body that needs training its the mind and emotions.
Teaching people SD for a few weeks is a dangerous counter productive activity especially with children whose parents may well think their kids are 'safe' vis, 'oh don't worry about our daughter Jane even though she is only 9 she has a black belt in TKD'. BIG mistake.
The one of many waza that baffle me is Tsukkake. Uke attackes with a knife in his Right hand yet tori moves against ukes left hand? Talk about treating uke like a moron? I am not going to be touching an uke who jolds a knife in his Right hand with any action that still leaves Uke the chance to run me though. It has to be considered that while tori is making his defence so can uke adjust his position. See ju no kata as a classic example of this concept, also kime no kata! I don't think one catches a tiger by the tail as the teeth are at the other end? I don't know as I have never tried to catch one, that would be my first lesson and advice.
I saw a recent you tube clip of this kata and the gun techniques I noticed something new. Uke now holds the gun in the Right hand (as always) but now with his left hand checks the 'pocket' of the trousers of tori's left pocket? How many men keep their wallets in their left pocket and how many would be attackers check the pockets themselves? The scenario is generally uke keeps well away from tori, tells tori to throw his wallet on the floor and kick it toward uke.
The Kodokan illustrated judo book informs us that this is a modern day kata that utilises modern day attacks and defences. I suggest they look again. Gosh that sounds rather rude, no offence meant at all.
I guess IF a judoka doesn't learn the kime no kata the goshinjutsu kata could be of some service. At present I find the kime no kata teaches those core principles and does this without the agenda that the actual waza are working SD waza and of use in todays repertoire of SD. In 2013 I cannot justify the techniques in the kodokan goshinjutsu as a modern replacement or even addition to, for the kime no kata.
What am I missing here?
Come on you guys there are expert practitioners of this kata here. What should I be looking for and how can I make use of this kata. I am, at present, even less able to academically defend it than ever. I need this debate. I need to learn and find the answers.
Briefly. Kôdôkan goshinjutsu is not a kata, even though it is these days treated as if it were one. The same applies to Sei-ryoku zen'yô kokumin taiiku.To use Daigo's words: "there are no jûdô kata after Kanô Jigorô". The last kata to jûdô were added in 1887. The definitive kata of jûdô in that sense were limited to:
Kôdôkan goshinjutsu is not in that list. However, oftentimes these days, since they aren't "randori", three series of exercices, i.e. Sei-ryoku zen'yô kokumin taiiku, Joshi jûdô goshinhô, and Kôdôkan goshinjutsu, all three which intentionally do not have the word 'kata' in it are added and mentioned together hence producing the list of 10 Kôdôkan "kata". Despite that, they aren't kata in the sense of "kata". They are "hô" or "methods". They were never intended to be "performed" as a series one after the other.
Why were they created. Well sei-ryoku zen'yô, currently the most unpopular thing in jûdô, probably is the most important thing in Kanô's mind setting as it reflects what jûdô was intended all about: a replacement of the German- and Scandinavian-based gymnastics exercise in schools. Because of the way jûdô was marketed in the West, the message never came across and it was totally misunderstood. The "tricks" of jûdô on the other hand was what appealed, and that appeal was assured by "proving" jûdô's ability in contests against wrestlers, catchers, boxers and jûjutsuka. It was NEVER marketed in the West as a new course at school next to the traditional liberal arts disciplines such as rhetoric, etc.
Despite Kanô's efforts and succeeding in finally getting jûdô accepted, it was also a failure. The large masses never took on jûdô in the way he intended and towards the end of his life he realized he needed to enforce the martial arts aspect to realize jûdô to the fullest. Unfortunately he had spent most of his precious time to sei-ryoku zen'yô kokumin taiiku and the whole education stuff, and by the time he was done with SZKT it was 1928 and the man had barely another decade to live, a decade in which he also no longer had the stamina he had 40 years earlier. He increasingly had become a man tied up in politics, long travel, and most likely disappointed. It's a surprise that jûdô didn't fold all together, but probably the fact that by the time he died jûdô had become interesting for the fascist faction as part of its body culture proved an "unexpected help" towards its continuation.
Nevertheless, in terms of attempting to make jûdô more martial again, a number of plans existed. Some of these are nicely described here:
Unfortunately, as with so many of Kanô's plans, they were unrealistic. They might have been realistic if he had been Ueshiba who spent most of his life on the tatami, but Kanô didn't. Instead, Kanô has basically quit jûdô practice by the time he was barely in the middle of his 40s. He wasn't a Mifune who continued practice and randori all the way till high age. If Kanô did anything jûdô at all, then it was a formal demonstration of Koshiki-no-kata before some dignitaries and that was that. Maybe he thought he was going to life until he was 170 years old and would do all that during his retired, but by 1932-1933, when he was already in his 70s he was still being a politician and traveling and mostly doing things that were little or not relevant to jûdô's technical contents. Not surprisingly by the time he "gave up" or was forced to give up due to accumulating illnesses, he also hadn't properly arranged for his succession. Many of those who intellectually had been the closest to him, such as Munekata, Sakuraba, Oda, had either fallen out with him, or had become chiefly intellectuals whose deep understanding of jûdô wasn't coupled to a top-dan-rank or authority to take over a leading role in jûdô after his death.
World War II made it all even more complicated, and the sportification of jûdô in a sense became the only way out. With that the martial arts aspect failed more and more with the exception of those who had been educated at the Budô Senmongakkô and who contrary to Kôdôkan adepts were still in a real budô mind rather than as sports jûdô atmosphere.
Nevertheless, with Kanô's death, the great engine behind jûdô as an education had fallen away too, and in the post-War period with the rebuilding of Japan and its increased openness to the West, jûdô as an education had almost become obsolete. It wasn't continued with the ideology and driving force which Kanô had represented.
Luckily there still were a couple of jûdô-technically brilliant minds such as Mifune, who though ideologically different from Kanô, were able to put serious significance into jûdô, and perhaps also save jûdô's neck. In practice he did so by showing considerable initiative, and this he did in several defense-oriented kata, such as his own goshinjutsu, his contributions to Joshi jûdô goshinhô, and his input in Kôdôkan goshinjutsu. Kôdôkan goshinjutsu made sense since jûdô's only self-defense-oriented exercises outside of randori was Kime-no-kaa an exercise that still was based on the wearing of katana and wakizashi. Even though atrocities committed by the Japanese military still involved the use of guntô swords, really by that time people used guns if they wanted to kill you and no longer walked on the street with the weapons of a samurai. Joshi goshinhô and goshinjutsu were modern self-defenses, with the term modern intended for the 1940s and 1950s and against the background of applying a gymnastics discipline for ordinary people in the rare occasion one might be confronted with an threatening situation. It was jûdô, not jûjutsu not kenjutsu, not a discipline created with the main purpose of fighting or for those who professionally were continuously in an atmosphere of threat and danger. Therefore the idea of approaching anything in jûdô as if it were to prepare someone for that is quite absurd. Jûdô's self defense is nothing more than an APPLICATION of what is chiefly an education, and in doing so jûdô does brilliantly. You try and apply most other educational systems to defend yourself. Been to a Steiner school ? That's another type of education. You try that to defend yourself against an attack with any weapon and see how far they will get. No other educational system does as well as jûdô in providing self-defense.
Of course a true military self-defense does, since true military self-defense was also developed purely for self-defense and not to increase your intellectual level. If you use things for what it is not meant, kind of obvious that if you then compare it with things who were specifically designed for that purpose that those are going to do better. Comparing judo in that context with Krav Maga would be absurd. As far as I know KravMaga was never developed to provide people with an education, increase their intellectual level, etc. Its only purpose was self-defense. One could as well, climb on your bike and go to a race circuit and complain that somehow your bike isn't performing as well when compared to a Ferrari. Use something for what it is not intended and you have created an equation in which the result can be perfectly predicted.
Goshinjutsu as a method offers very useful information. You can see this when jûdôka enter MMA. They used to perform like complete idiots. What were they going to do ? Step towards someone try and grab him and break his balance and then throw him ? In your dreams ! Unfortunately many of them were dreaming and woke up only after they were knocked down. Many of them were an embarassment, ad logical and predictable embarrassment perfectly representing what judo had become: a sport. When the opponent wasn't just standing there waiting, or reacted in a different way, you got a problem. You see the same in aikidô too. Look at what they do: you got a sensei sticking out his arm, and everyone opponent in the most docile way grabs this wrist. Seriously ?! Should try this on the street next time you are threatened. Stick out our arm and see how many will grab your arm. Same for jûdô. what are you going to do ? Demonstrate happô-no-kuzushi ? Due to poor instruction jûdôka are already mislead at the lowest level when they enter shiai. Suddenly, the happô no kuzushi doesn't work anymore because they simply can't get passed the opponent's blocking arms or his bend over position. Many of them never learnt to get past it through advanced jûdô skills and only do so thanks to a combination of force, speed, surprise, and stamina, but not through jûdô. When it comes to self-defense beyond IJF rules it is even worse. Those who finally did better in MMA did so because they 'supplemented' their jûdô with MMA techniques not because they finally deepened out the full jûdô curriculum. What does goshinjutsu add to the basic jûdô curriculum ? many things.
For example, it teaches how in a non-sports situation you achieve your result when it is impossible to grab your opponent to perform basic happô no kuzushi. It teaches how for example, kuzushi is applied through atemi. It teaches sequential self-defense. In sports jûdô action exists of nothing but a throw, eventually followed by a 1 osae-komi, choke or armbar. In goshinjutsu, one is taught a different more complex sequence which could be: atemi for kuzushi + throw or atemi + armbar/choke, etc. It does not just teach decisiveness, it teaches tai-sabaki proper to weapons, it teaches proper kuzushi against armed opponents, it teaches options which can be endlessly combined as appropriate. But of course, as so many things in jûdô this all only makes sense when one knows what one is doing and when one is properly taught.
As with so many things in jûdô goshinjutsu is often done as caricature. In the current approach as we see in kata competition, it is becoming totally absurd. The idea that the number of steps which tori makes after an attack would be determined as is the way anyone is looking at, is totally and utterly absurd.
Yes, tsukkake probably is not the strongest defense. Is it totally useless ? No, it isn't. It does teach some things, IF properly performed. That being said, it is virtually never properly performed. It is a very difficult technique, and admittedly, I too would think twice before using it in realistic situation. In most cases I would evidently go for the hand with the knife. But, but, it is possible to devise situations I would not. This could be seeing an attacker attack my wife with a knife while I am at the other side of the attacker, at the side he is not holding his knife. It is possible. I know how to perform tsukkake, but admittedly, I struggled with it quite sometime. I kept studying and studying it precisely because it was failing in realism. That, however, was MY mistake, not tsukkake's mistake. When I demonstrate it to my students, they will almost always say it feels totally different when I do it then when their practice partner does it. One has to study these exercises very well, not just repeat them for a rank test or competition but for effectiveness. Luckily, people like Takata-sensei or Onozawa-sensei, or Tomiki-sensei themselves offered that opportunity. You're not going to learn that from some of today's mannerism-like robotic and mechanical approaches. It's OK to miss in goshinjutsu and try again. That is logic and realist. When you see Tomiki perform it, there are instances uke attacks, tori tries to grab him, he escapes or misses and tori grabs him again. THAt IS goshinjutsu. It is NOT something where you have to end up in some specific direction, after exactly this number of steps, where everything that looks somewhat diffeferent in angle or steps from the guy who demonstrated it would be a "mistake" or a negative score. Nope, nothing like that.
Kôdôkan goshinjutsu is a valuable contribution to jûdô just like everything in the jûdô curriculum is. Kappô are a valuable contribution too. But did you hear me say that if someone has cardiac arrest you should promptly forget about a defibrillator and epinephrine if they are available and just apply kappô ? Obviously not. Kappô are based on knowledge of hundreds of years ago, defibrillators use 20th century scientific knowledge. The choice is easily made. But ... that does not imply kappô are useless. The same situation or cardiac arrest could well occur when no defibrillator and epinephrine are available. In that occasion kappô may or may not work, and whether they work to some extent will depend on your skill and having learnt mastership in it. But, yes, your skill is not the only parameter in the equation, and yes, kappô can't achieve the same as some modern techniques, point à la ligne.