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    The Go no Kata: An Introduction to the Forgotten Form of Kodokan Judo, by Antony Cundy

    Jonesy
    Jonesy

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    The Go no Kata: An Introduction to the Forgotten Form of Kodokan Judo, by Antony Cundy Empty The Go no Kata: An Introduction to the Forgotten Form of Kodokan Judo, by Antony Cundy

    Post by Jonesy on Wed Jan 09, 2013 10:20 am

    "The Go no Kata: An Introduction to the Forgotten Form of Kodokan Judo, by Antony Cundy

    Ref: "HOP-LITE", Newsletter of the International Hoplology Society, No.8 Fall 1999, pp 1-2.

    In 1998, the 51st annual meeting and tournament of the Doyukai ("Association For Friends of the Way") was held at the Kodokan in Tokyo, Japan. There, Ochiai Toshiyasu, 7th dan, and Taniguchi Yutaka, 4th dan, presented an exhibition of the Go no Kata (kanji here - "Forms of Hardness/Inflexibility/Strength). It was the first time in 50 years that these kata had been seen in the cradle of modern judo. The re-emergence of the Go no Kata is a significant event in the world of modern judo, where it represents an important historical link between classical practices of jujutsu and the all-round educational emphasis of Kano Jigoro's Kodokan Judo. This kata was reckoned by late 9th dan Kuhara Yoshiyuki to be the oldest original kata in the Kodokan.

    The Go no Kata in practice is a complex of prearranged movement patterns, executed by two practitioners who engage in short bursts of strength matching exercises, which are then concluded by the application of a throwing or choking technique. For example, in the first technique, the exponent's take a grapplers embrace, and then attempt to push each other backwards; they then reverse their efforts and attempt to pull each other forward. The pushing procedure is then resumed until the predetermined winner breaks from the pushing action, and utilizes his partner's momentum to execute a shoulder throw. For exhibition purposes, the timing for the push-pull changes is rougly decided beforehand, however when done in normal training, the timing is not predetermined. This kind of semi-cooperative resistance training is not only an excellent conditioning exercise, but forces the practitioners to act decisively under intensive physical and mental pressure. This type of training differs from the standard Ju no Kata (Forms of Suppleness/Flexibility/Gentleness), which more typify Kodokan training. The Ju no Kata are a fully cooperative kata.

    In all, seven distinct techniques are practiced. There of these are repeated with different entering patterns. This then brings the total to ten.

    The names of the techniques are:

    1: Seioinage
    2: Ushirogoshi
    3: Sukuinage
    4: Seionage
    5: Ukigoshi
    6: Hadakajime koshikudaki
    7: Tobikoshi ukigoshi
    8: Osoto otoshi
    9: Ushirogoshi
    10: Kataguruma

    The Go no Kata are believed to have been taught privately by Kodokan Judo Founder Kano Jigoro in the earliest days of Kodokan Judo. They are said to have been used as warming up/conditioning exercises at the start of a class, in the way that modern practitioners engage in Uchikomi.

    One immediately noticeable aspect of the kata is the adoption by both exponents of the Jigotai posture. It is from this low hip posture that all movements are initiated in the Go no Kata. Jigotai can be seen in many older pictures of Kodokan Judo, and is still preserved in the current Kodokan throwing techniques (Nage no Kata), such as Sumikaeshi. Jigotai is especially important in developing hip and thigh strength. The use of this posture in the kata allows the use of the hips as the strength basis for the pushing and pulling actions, rather than relying on the shoulders. The late 9th dan judo great, Sakamoto Fusataro, noted that this posture is ideal for developing the correct balance of will, energy, and strength that is necessary for the correct application of movement and technique. Incidentally, the concept of harmonizing these three elements - will, energy, and strength - in action is a fundamental teaching of Tenjin Shinyo Ryu, one of the jujutsu traditions upon which Kano based his judo.

    Another interesting aspect of the Go no Kata is the avoidance of gripping the opponent's clothing. (It should be noted that the sleeves of the early judo tops would only reach down to the elbows, and pant legs only down to the knees.) All the techniques in the kata are functional no matter what the apparel, whether a modern type of judogi or no clothing at all. This obviously contributes to the combative efficiency of the techniques.

    Under the guidance of Ochiai sensei, the Go no Kata are at present being reintroduced to modern practitioners through courses held by the Doyukai. Ochiai sensei also intends to publish an instructional book on the Go no Kata in the near future. However, it is doubtful that the kata will ever become one required for Kodokan grading. Interestingly, a video made of Ochiai sensei demonstrating the Go no Kata had to copied over 50 times to fill the demand by Japanese judo teachers and students for information on the reemergence of this piece of Judo history*.

    The Go no Kata is of great historical importance, and should be of special interest to modern practitioners of Kodokan Judo. It offers an unique glimpse into the transition from -jutsu to do through which many Japanese combative arts passed.

    In a future in-depth article on the Go no Kata, I intend to examine the kata more closely, introducing important figures involved in its preservation. Further, I will hypothesize on why the kata were developed by Kano Jigoro, ad why then it was almost lost to later generations. "

    * The video mentioned in Cundy's article is presented below:



    Last edited by Jonesy on Sun Jan 20, 2013 6:36 am; edited 4 times in total
    Ricebale
    Ricebale

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    Post by Ricebale on Wed Jan 09, 2013 4:27 pm

    I really enjoyed this video, is it the authentic version of the kata?

    The use of force and counter resembles the way IMO combat occurs. I also note the lack of the jacket being used, in many ways it is a very good workout. I quite liked the movements and use of body dynamics.

    Is there a quality breakdown instructional for this kata?

    Cheers
    genetic judoka
    genetic judoka

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    Post by genetic judoka on Thu Jan 10, 2013 2:09 am

    I find this kata exceptionally fascinating.

    for one, I see an interesting comparison to ju no kata, in that no throws are completed.

    also I find it interesting how this kata is not as one sided as every other judo kata I'm familiar with. in every other kata, at any given moment it is quite obvious who is tori and who is uke. in this one it seems some of uke's movements are repeated by tori immediately. other than the few entries for throws, it seems as if both are getting the same level of physical exercise out of it.

    also I can't help wondering what are the thoughts of the higher ups at the kodokan in regards to unofficial judo kata being performed there. probably not a big deal, but still a curiosity to me.

    and I can't help wondering why this isn't an official judo kata. I feel like one could get a lot of physical benefits from practicing this in conjunction with ju no kata. sort of a yin-yang effect, if one wishes to look at it along those lines.

    where can one learn this kata?
    Jonesy
    Jonesy

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    Join date : 2013-01-02

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    Post by Jonesy on Thu Jan 10, 2013 2:37 am

    genetic judoka wrote:I find this kata exceptionally fascinating.

    for one, I see an interesting comparison to ju no kata, in that no throws are completed.

    also I find it interesting how this kata is not as one sided as every other judo kata I'm familiar with. in every other kata, at any given moment it is quite obvious who is tori and who is uke. in this one it seems some of uke's movements are repeated by tori immediately. other than the few entries for throws, it seems as if both are getting the same level of physical exercise out of it.

    also I can't help wondering what are the thoughts of the higher ups at the kodokan in regards to unofficial judo kata being performed there. probably not a big deal, but still a curiosity to me.

    and I can't help wondering why this isn't an official judo kata. I feel like one could get a lot of physical benefits from practicing this in conjunction with ju no kata. sort of a yin-yang effect, if one wishes to look at it along those lines.

    where can one learn this kata?
    The kata was created to be the complement to the Ju-no-kata. At one time it was even called the Goju-no-kata.

    For this event the Kodokan dai dojo on the 7th floor was hired by the Doyukai so it was not a Kodokan event.

    It is not an official kata because Kano wrote that he was dissatisfied with it and that he intended to modify it. Mind you that is not a good reason as the same applies to the Itsutsu-no-kata, which is, of course, recognised. Contrary to what has been claimed by some, Kano never said not to practice it.

    There is no instructional film for this, but there are some books. You could also visit Ochiai-sensei's dojo in the Bunkyo ward of Tokyo. There are also European sensei who know it too - especially in Italy and Germany.

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