Feature article on Kodokan Judo on pages 34-38 of Issue 4 (June 2015) of the Martial Arts Guardians magazine.
NBK wrote:Great article, thanks for writing and posting!
I have a narrow question. On pg 37 you include a table that breaks the kata into four groups, namely Free Exercise, Combat, Physical Education, and Theory, and include Japanese terms for each, namely:
Randori no Kata
Shobu no Kata
Rentai no Kata
Ri no Kata
AFAIK, that grouping of was introduced in English by Tadao Otaki and Don Drager in their landmark, English language (only? never thought to look for a Japanese version) Judo Formal Techniques, pg 32, Chapter: Outline of Judo Kata.
Randori no Kata has been defined as comprised of Nage no Kata and Katame no Kata since it was codified at the Dai Nihon Butokukai by a committee co-led by Kano shihan.
But from the earliest days of written judo, the term Shôbu no Kata (presumably 勝負の形) AFAIK was used to describe a particular, single combative kata, not a series.
Kotani Sumiyuki, Osawa Yoshimi, and Hirose Yuichi in their 1968 Kodokan Kata English version, pg 1, use the term Shinken-shobu-no-kata, literally 'Live Sword Win-Lose Kata', which is 真剣勝負の形 in Japanese, to group the three combatives kata.
Shôbu no Kata in Japanese judo writings as I can recall is almost always a reference to a specific, combative kata series (which changes over time, depending on the author). While they also refer to Randori no Kata as comprised of Nage no Kata and Ukemi no Kata, they do not use any other grouping (in English - my Japanese versions are at a couple of different dôjô in Tôkyô, but I can check later).
I am busy at work, so can't take time to research further for a while, but seeing that in writing jarred me into thinking offhand I can't recall any further Japanese references to grouping the kata into Rentai no Kata and Ri no Kata. Do you have Japanese sources for those additional groupings? And which kanji would be used for 'Rentai'? (Presumably 錬体, but that's not a common Japanese term).
Thanks, and thanks for posting a great article. I will use it to introduce judo to newcomers.
Thanks much for the explanation. Makes sense.You are correct, my groupings for the various kata are how they are generally categorised according to purpose, and are based on Kotani, Osawa & Hirose (1968: 1) and Otaki & Draeger (1983: 32-33).
I do not have Japanese sources for the terms Sobu-no-kata, Rentai-no-kata and Ri-no-kata; Also, my understanding was that Shinken-shobu-no-kata was the alternative name, specifically for the Kime-no-kata. The Japanese terms for the groupings are "local translations" of Otaki and Draeger.
I have also seen the "Rentai-no-kata" grouping called the "Taiso-no-kata" (equally acceptable I guess). I may have seen another name for the "Ri-no-kata" grouping but cannot recall - perhaps my mind is playing tricks. It would have been in something by Steven Cunningham or in French, probably by the late Guy Pelletier.
I have also seen the whole lot grouped by the term Kodokan-no-kata too.