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    More on promotions for old fa ... people of advancing years ... and kata too!

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    NBK

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    Re: More on promotions for old fa ... people of advancing years ... and kata too!

    Post by NBK on Thu Aug 15, 2013 12:01 am

    . Billc said:

    Me, I have to spend more time sitting seiza.  My club just doesn't do it much ... lots of things we probably should do but don't ... this is one.  But NBK shamed me when I visited his dojo because I was completely unable to sit through their somewhat protracted opening and closing.  Cold knees are worse of course, and from time to time one or the other will click a lot and become unstable for a few weeks.  But I found that I could sit seiza if I just sat a lot ... what I thought was lost to age was just lost to laziness.
    'Somewhat protracted opening...'?? : )) I don't think we have had a long session in years. Sato sensei didn't talk much but once in a while he'd drone on for what seemed forever. Especially after a hard session and your thighs are pumped, stiff after a long week..

    I am surprised at the young Japanese who can't sit seiza at all, but then I realize they just don't do it, sit on chairs and such. I use a chair in my office but otherwise sit on the floor, start the day in seiza.

    And I'm thinking of researching seiza in judo - much of the normal stuff is introductory, doesn't really provide a satisfactory answer. Have to dig in the old texts again.
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    afulldeck

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    Re: More on promotions for old fa ... people of advancing years ... and kata too!

    Post by afulldeck on Thu Aug 15, 2013 2:27 am

    Richard Riehle wrote:
    My advice is to forget about acquiring rank.  Rank is about comparison.  Krishnamurti (paraphrasing) says that "comparison is a main source of human suffering".  The more we seek a badge of superiority in life (or Judo), the more unhappy we will be with what we do have as we long for what someone else has -- status, property, honors, etc.   it may be that the worst decision Jigoro Kano made was to introduce a rank system for Judo.  

    Even Shiai, as currently practiced with trophies and trinkets of achievement seem to me to be inconsistent with the deeper values of Judo.  
    I couldn't let this gem pass. These are Very Wise words indeed! Chasing rank is a the quintessential mug's game whether in Judo or any other life endeavour. Well done Richard, your years have made you wise!


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    Hanon

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    Re: More on promotions for old fa ... people of advancing years ... and kata too!

    Post by Hanon on Thu Aug 15, 2013 3:02 am

    afulldeck wrote:
    Richard Riehle wrote:
    My advice is to forget about acquiring rank.  Rank is about comparison.  Krishnamurti (paraphrasing) says that "comparison is a main source of human suffering".  The more we seek a badge of superiority in life (or Judo), the more unhappy we will be with what we do have as we long for what someone else has -- status, property, honors, etc.   it may be that the worst decision Jigoro Kano made was to introduce a rank system for Judo.  

    Even Shiai, as currently practiced with trophies and trinkets of achievement seem to me to be inconsistent with the deeper values of Judo.  
    I couldn't let this gem pass. These are Very Wise words indeed! Chasing rank is a the quintessential mug's game whether in Judo or any other life endeavour. Well done Richard, your years have made you wise!
    I take it then next time you see Daigo sensei you will tell him to stuff his 10th dan where the sun don't shine? Richards words are not at all wise, not in the least, not on this rare occasion.

    I take it when your child is ill and you attend the local A&E department you are content and satisfied to have the tea lady examine your child rather than the most qualified experienced doctor in the hospital?

    I don't think people without judo rank should be belittled I also don't think people in judo who hold rank should be belittled either. Rank has zero to do with comparison and everything to do with responsibility and safety. I have personally worked my bolloks off for my rank and am not going to apologise for holding it.

    Odd, it seems every time this debate comes up it is either those who hold a decent rank or those of no rank at all who question the validity of the kodokan ranking system? Tell me all about the uselessness of rank when you hold a ku dan.


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    WARNING. I write as a pupil of judo. what I write should be researched by the reader and not accepted as in any way factual or correct.

    "The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge" S Hawking.
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    BillC

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    Re: More on promotions for old fa ... people of advancing years ... and kata too!

    Post by BillC on Thu Aug 15, 2013 3:32 am

    Hanon wrote:
    afulldeck wrote:
    Richard Riehle wrote:
    My advice is to forget about acquiring rank.  Rank is about comparison.  Krishnamurti (paraphrasing) says that "comparison is a main source of human suffering".  The more we seek a badge of superiority in life (or Judo), the more unhappy we will be with what we do have as we long for what someone else has -- status, property, honors, etc.   it may be that the worst decision Jigoro Kano made was to introduce a rank system for Judo.  

    Even Shiai, as currently practiced with trophies and trinkets of achievement seem to me to be inconsistent with the deeper values of Judo.  
    I couldn't let this gem pass. These are Very Wise words indeed! Chasing rank is a the quintessential mug's game whether in Judo or any other life endeavour. Well done Richard, your years have made you wise!
    I take it then next time you see Daigo sensei you will tell him to stuff his 10th dan where the sun don't shine? Richards words are not at all wise, not in the least, not on this rare occasion.

    I take it when your child is ill and you attend the local A&E department you are content and satisfied to have the tea lady examine your child rather than the most qualified experienced doctor in the hospital?
    ... etc.
    It seems to me that Richard was writing about seeking rank, and making comparisons ... not on titles bestowed or granted ... and to a degree those are wise words ... to keep one's eye on the objective of being a good judoka ... and not on making judan by one's next birthday ... or at all.  The only problem is that rank requirements are the guide we have as to how to achieve that objective, the rank requirements are our signpost along the preferred path ... even if that path is quite wide.

    This thread is about bestowing rank on those who do not hold up a proper physical example; about those who could or should but don't.

    All I know about Daigo-sensei is that is that he is out there every time I go to the seventh floor in the evening ... he has his regular class ... on Thursdays if I recall correctly ... and while I judge that he is not going to challenge Usain Bolt any time soon, he does more than talk and he is intellectually engaged in his teaching.

    On the other hand ... we are all aware of very high ranks given to people who actively seek rank who are far, far from comprehensive in their judo knowledge and give a physical excuse for their ignorance.  I don't put either Richard or Daigo-sensei in that column ... and Mike you have your video as evidence too!


    _________________
    Oh, East is East and West is West, and never the twain shall meet,
    Till Earth and Sky stand presently at God's great Judgment Seat;
    But there is neither East nor West, Border, nor Breed, nor Birth,
    When two strong men stand face to face, though they come from the ends of the earth!

    - Kipling

    Hanon

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    Re: More on promotions for old fa ... people of advancing years ... and kata too!

    Post by Hanon on Thu Aug 15, 2013 3:46 am

    BillC wrote:
    Hanon wrote:
    afulldeck wrote:
    Richard Riehle wrote:
    My advice is to forget about acquiring rank.  Rank is about comparison.  Krishnamurti (paraphrasing) says that "comparison is a main source of human suffering".  The more we seek a badge of superiority in life (or Judo), the more unhappy we will be with what we do have as we long for what someone else has -- status, property, honors, etc.   it may be that the worst decision Jigoro Kano made was to introduce a rank system for Judo.  

    Even Shiai, as currently practiced with trophies and trinkets of achievement seem to me to be inconsistent with the deeper values of Judo.  
    I couldn't let this gem pass. These are Very Wise words indeed! Chasing rank is a the quintessential mug's game whether in Judo or any other life endeavour. Well done Richard, your years have made you wise!
    I take it then next time you see Daigo sensei you will tell him to stuff his 10th dan where the sun don't shine? Richards words are not at all wise, not in the least, not on this rare occasion.

    I take it when your child is ill and you attend the local A&E department you are content and satisfied to have the tea lady examine your child rather than the most qualified experienced doctor in the hospital?
    ... etc.
    It seems to me that Richard was writing about seeking rank, and making comparisons ... not on titles bestowed or granted ... and to a degree those are wise words ... to keep one's eye on the objective of being a good judoka ... and not on making judan by one's next birthday ... or at all.  The only problem is that rank requirements are the guide we have as to how to achieve that objective, the rank requirements are our signpost along the preferred path ... even if that path is quite wide.

    This thread is about bestowing rank on those who do not hold up a proper physical example; about those who could or should but don't.

    All I know about Daigo-sensei is that is that he is out there every time I go to the seventh floor in the evening ... he has his regular class ... on Thursdays if I recall correctly ... and while I judge that he is not going to challenge Usain Bolt any time soon, he does more than talk and he is intellectually engaged in his teaching.

    On the other hand ... we are all aware of very high ranks given to people who actively seek rank who are far, far from comprehensive in their judo knowledge and give a physical excuse for their ignorance.  I don't put either Richard or Daigo-sensei in that column.
    Hi Bill,

    Judo is practiced by people its people who are flawed not the judo system itself. I think it goes without saying that there is going to be a variation in ranks. A new shodan should not compare with a sho dan who is ready for Ni dan etc.

    To suggest rank in judo is a mistake is a mistake in its self. Safety is the first second and third consideration to learning this martial activity. As you know we can and do get hurt in judo, without the system of ranks imagine the problems involved. How would I know who I could or could not use as an uke when teaching yoko gake?

    There is nothing immoral, wrong or decadent in making ones way though the ranks of judo. They are there to be made use of and providing they are administered correctly they hold value. There are always going to be ranks who are at best questionable and this varies from 6th kyu right through to ku dan.
    Judo is a human endeavour and all we can do is our best.

    On a personal note working through the ranks in judo gives incentive and while that may not be correct non the less what it brings is knowledge, that knowledge is then shown in ones rank.

    Again in general I still find to this day that the majority of ranks in judo are justified and well worthy of what they hold.

    Hope you are well,

    Best wishes Bill,

    Mike


    _________________
    WARNING. I write as a pupil of judo. what I write should be researched by the reader and not accepted as in any way factual or correct.

    "The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge" S Hawking.

    Hanon

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    Re: More on promotions for old fa ... people of advancing years ... and kata too!

    Post by Hanon on Thu Aug 15, 2013 4:01 am

    contrarian wrote:
    BillC wrote:
    OK ... which of the seven official kata causes you to shudder the most?  So I know who I am stirring up, how many have you committed to memory before hurrying to the door to hurl?
    only NNK, and i struggle with it, because i can't feign interest.
    i have learned many more katas in other martial arts and regret every moment spent.
    Are you open minded? Can you self evaluate a little, reflect inwardly? Several things spring to mind with your comment. Perhaps you have not had the privilege of learning a kata in an Martial activity from a sensei who can make the said kata light up un light lights in your mind? Perhaps you just don't want to learn kata so you derise them?
    Kata are judo just as ukemi, the gokyo and reigi. They all have their reasons for being in the syllabus what the pupil needs to do is ensure they find the best sensei available to teach them that judo.

    Mike


    _________________
    WARNING. I write as a pupil of judo. what I write should be researched by the reader and not accepted as in any way factual or correct.

    "The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge" S Hawking.
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    BillC

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    Re: More on promotions for old fa ... people of advancing years ... and kata too!

    Post by BillC on Thu Aug 15, 2013 4:55 am

    Hanon wrote: Kata are judo just as ukemi, the gokyo and reigi. They all have their reasons for being in the syllabus what the pupil needs to do is ensure they find the best sensei available to teach them that judo.
    OK Mike, I think we are still on track here, but can we not have another belt thread?

    How is a student supposed to find such sensei if ...

    -  knowledge of said ukemi, gokyo, reigi are not really required for promotion;
    -  if belts are handed out for "service" ... which means for example signing up hoards of clueless people and selling them belts in varieties that make ROY G BIV feel inadequate;
    -  past competitive glory serves as the single qualification (that's a tough one);
    -  waist candy is awarded to folks who talk a good game but have always hidden when randori or shiai time comes;
    -  and so on with a list of shortcomings in the rank system already beaten to death ...

    ... if a student takes his guidance FROM people who are not a good example in the way they take care of themselves to a minimum standard physically, people who avoid participating in whole sections of judo when it is within their control to participate in a more comprehensive manner mentally and physically?  Concentrate your superior reservoir of information on this last bit if I may make a request.


    _________________
    Oh, East is East and West is West, and never the twain shall meet,
    Till Earth and Sky stand presently at God's great Judgment Seat;
    But there is neither East nor West, Border, nor Breed, nor Birth,
    When two strong men stand face to face, though they come from the ends of the earth!

    - Kipling
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    Stacey

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    Re: More on promotions for old fa ... people of advancing years ... and kata too!

    Post by Stacey on Thu Aug 15, 2013 5:45 am

    I'm never going to get a kohaku obi (unless I pay the appropriate fee to that guy who's a 20th dan in WooHooShido). I accept that, no big thing. No 20 year old is going to be (or should be) pi55ed that his judo is "better" than somebody earning his/her kuro obi - they aren't on anywhere near the same page.

    We're talking about two blokes going for shodan or nidan or something. One bloke is 20, and he feels his judo waza and conditioning are so far superior to the 45 year old bloke's waza and conditioning that he can't understand why the 45 year old got the rank, but the 20 year old didn't.

    By the example 20 year old's reckoning, he should have the rank and the 45 year old should not. By extension, that 20 year old's theory is that nobody of silver years should be able to obtain a kuro obi unless s/he's performing waza and is in the same shape as that 20 year old. Therein lies the true question: for those lower dan ranks, what's required of a silver student? Should it be different from those requirements of a non silver student? By the 20 year old's figuring, every silver student or student of other capacity should be told from the day s/he bows onto the tatami, a black belt is beyond your reach.

    Personally, I think that's b.s.. I think that anybody can get a bb, but they get it by showing up, learning, improving, and going through the mudansha ranks the best way they can. For each judoka, that journey is different and personal. The syllabus may be the same, but no two judoka are the same. Those differences must be acknowledged and respected.

    Yes, by a 20 year old's standards, the standards for a 45 year old are "lowered", but for those doing the grading, the standards for that 45 year old are the standards for that 45 year old, and they will axiomatically be different from that of the 20 year old. Similarly, the 20 year old who passed and got his shodan has a different standard than the 20 year old who failed in his attempt to grade for shodan. Is it because they demonstrated technique differently? Ask the graders - they're the ones who talked with the instructor, see the points the person got and how he got them, and then looked at the whole of the person, not just the waza.

    If the 20 year old has outstanding waza, and can show anything, and pretty much throw anybody, should he be passed for shodan if he's also appearing in criminal court for a parole revocation the next day?
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    contrarian

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    Re: More on promotions for old fa ... people of advancing years ... and kata too!

    Post by contrarian on Thu Aug 15, 2013 6:05 am

    Hanon wrote:
    contrarian wrote:
    BillC wrote:
    OK ... which of the seven official kata causes you to shudder the most?  So I know who I am stirring up, how many have you committed to memory before hurrying to the door to hurl?
    only NNK, and i struggle with it, because i can't feign interest.
    i have learned many more katas in other martial arts and regret every moment spent.
    Are you open minded? Can you self evaluate a little, reflect inwardly? Several things spring to mind with your comment. Perhaps you have not had the privilege of learning a kata in an Martial activity from a sensei who can make the said kata light up un light lights in your mind? Perhaps you just don't want to learn kata so you derise them?
    Kata are judo just as ukemi, the gokyo and reigi. They all have their reasons for being in the syllabus what the pupil needs to do is ensure they find the best sensei available to teach them that judo.

    Mike
    i am extremely open-minded to a fault.
    i am open-minded enough to consider the possibility that kata would provide benefit to some, and not to others.

    i think it would benefit judo and its pupils more if gokyo was expanded to include more modern techniques, both tachiwaza and newaza, and to include renraku waza and kaeshi waza, for both tachiwaza and newaza.

    Richard Riehle

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    Re: More on promotions for old fa ... people of advancing years ... and kata too!

    Post by Richard Riehle on Thu Aug 15, 2013 6:26 am

    Hanon wrote:
    afulldeck wrote:
    Richard Riehle wrote:
    My advice is to forget about acquiring rank.  Rank is about comparison.  Krishnamurti (paraphrasing) says that "comparison is a main source of human suffering".  The more we seek a badge of superiority in life (or Judo), the more unhappy we will be with what we do have as we long for what someone else has -- status, property, honors, etc.   it may be that the worst decision Jigoro Kano made was to introduce a rank system for Judo.  

    Even Shiai, as currently practiced with trophies and trinkets of achievement seem to me to be inconsistent with the deeper values of Judo.  
    I couldn't let this gem pass. These are Very Wise words indeed! Chasing rank is a the quintessential mug's game whether in Judo or any other life endeavour. Well done Richard, your years have made you wise!
    I take it then next time you see Daigo sensei you will tell him to stuff his 10th dan where the sun don't shine? Richards words are not at all wise, not in the least, not on this rare occasion.

    I take it when your child is ill and you attend the local A&E department you are content and satisfied to have the tea lady examine your child rather than the most qualified experienced doctor in the hospital?

    I don't think people without judo rank should be belittled I also don't think people in judo who hold rank should be belittled either. Rank has zero to do with comparison and everything to do with responsibility and safety. I have personally worked my bolloks off for my rank and am not going to apologise for holding it.

    Odd, it seems every time this debate comes up it is either those who hold a decent rank or those of no rank at all who question the validity of the kodokan ranking system? Tell me all about the uselessness of rank when you hold a ku dan.
    Hanson-Sensei,

    When I am at the Kodokan, I see Daigo-Sensei, now in his mid-eighties, continuing to practice ichikomi, teach advanced classes in koshiki-no-kata, and conduct himself with the dignity and grace we would expect of a Judan. He earned his rank at every step of his Judo career. He was awarded his rank; he did not chase after it.

    As you know, I have a PhD, and I require my academic students to address with the proper form given my "rank". I did actively pursue that degree, but I worked hard for it, and earned it by fulfilling all the requirements -- no shortcuts were allowed, Even so, if I had not been as devoted to my professional field as I am, I would have failed, as so many of my aspirstional colleagues did. One needs more than aspiration to achieve success in a filed.

    The medical professionals you mention have also worked hard to earn their credentials. We award those credentials to accredit them for their proficiency and ability.

    What does Judo rank tell us about a person's proficiency, ability, skill, knowledge, or capabilities as a teacher? Often, not much. How many Rokudan holders can teach all of the kata, all of the nage-waza, all of the me-waza. When we award a high-Dan rank to someone because of "service to Judo", along with perfunctory recognition of attendance at some kata clinics, does that mean they are qualified instructors for all of Judo. When we award a Shodan or Sandan for batsugun, what does that tell us about the qualifications of the newly promoted Judoka? Again, not much.

    The way the rules are set-up, in many places, the qualifications for promotion seem focused on minimalism; what is the minimum I must do to get promoted. Granted, some venues, such a France, have exceptionally rigorous testing standards for, say, Rokudan. Those standards are not universal across the planet.

    My main point is that Judo is not mainly about achieving promotions on schedule, or earning rank by doing all kinds of things related to Judo but not actually doing Judo. It is, in my view, also not about defeating everyone in tournament, although some achievement in that domain is important.

    I realize that there is no need to explain Judo to you. Your understanding of Judo is certainly greater than mine. Yet, you questioned the wisdom of my comments, so some clarification seems appropriate.

    "When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.". When the student is ready, the promotion will be awarded. I have students who impariently ask when they will be awarded their Nikyuin or Ikkyu, shodan, etc. The promotion will come when they are ready, not when they think they are ready. If they cannot perform certain waza as well as I expect, the promotion will not come, even if they win every match in a series of tournaments, and their wins reflect sloppy Judo.

    So they say, "I will join a different club, NGB ... " or whatever "... to get my promotion ...". OK.

    Then again, the criteria for promotion are rather silly and arbitrary, especially the time-in-grade rules. When the student is ready, qualified, and passes all the tests, s/he should not be held-back by meaningless bureaucratic rules such a time-in-grade. Moreover, high-Dan promotions to people who simply have time-in-grade, perform some on-going service, but never step onto the tatami -- such promotions are not worth much. Daigo-Sensei is in the dojo doing Judo every day. So too are the other two Judan at the Kodokan, even Osawa-Sensei who is not now able to do the exquisite ashi-waza for which he was once famous.

    I am not opposed to people being promoted. I do believe that a promotion should first be recommended by one's teacher/Sensei. I do not believe Judo is primarily about getting promoted to the next rank. Someday, when I am in my late eighties, if I am still able to do Judo, and a teacher decides to promote me, so be it. Meanwhile, I will continue to do the best Judo I can, be satisfied with my unimpressive level of rank, and strive to be better than my rank would suggest. I recommend that everyone work toward surprising those who underestimate them.



    Hanon

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    Re: More on promotions for old fa ... people of advancing years ... and kata too!

    Post by Hanon on Thu Aug 15, 2013 6:36 am

    BillC wrote:
    Hanon wrote: Kata are judo just as ukemi, the gokyo and reigi. They all have their reasons for being in the syllabus what the pupil needs to do is ensure they find the best sensei available to teach them that judo.
    OK Mike, I think we are still on track here, but can we not have another belt thread?

    How is a student supposed to find such sensei if ...

    -  knowledge of said ukemi, gokyo, reigi are not really required for promotion;
    -  if belts are handed out for "service" ... which means for example signing up hoards of clueless people and selling them belts in varieties that make ROY G BIV feel inadequate;
    -  past competitive glory serves as the single qualification (that's a tough one);
     and so on with a list of shortcomings in the rank system already beaten to death ...

    ... if a student takes his guidance FROM people who are not a good example in the way they take care of themselves to a minimum standard physically, people who avoid participating in whole sections of judo when it is within their control to participate in a more comprehensive manner mentally and physically?  Concentrate your superior reservoir of information on this last bit if I may make a request.
    Hi Bill,
    I hear you.

    May I brainstorm? With great respect the USA is a massive, I mean, massive country. In the USA there are about four or even five various associations that have a judo section or support judo in some way. Let me put this into perspective. In France there is ONE judo federation and more people in one district practice judo than the combined membership of ALL the associations in the USA.
    Judo in the USA must be fragmented simply by size of country and amount of federations etc. I have the greatest sympathy for the American judoka, to learn judo one may need to travel across the country, its simply not realistic YET.......since joining the cyber world of judo some many years ago I have seen pictures of more senior ranks in the USA than I have seen on one mat at an international seminar here in Europe. I have no idea what the ratio of high rank to judoka are in the USA but from what I have seen, I don't know for a fact, you have a top end problem?

    Again this is not the system but individuals who abuse it. I don't disagree with what you write one little bit. I have seen the photos of red obis wearing mixed coloured go with base ball hats standing on a tatami, lines of them?

    PLEASE accept though that this should not reflect on the rest of the judo world. Sure every country has some good kyu and high ranks and some bad kyu and high ranks this is the human aspect. To suggest, however we do away with ALL ranks in judo is simply disingenuous to those who have spent their time learning then teaching judo in a professional manner.

    I don't asses my own rank, others do, that is how it should be. Peer review, the amount and quality of ones pupils should speak for ones sensei. This comes to your original point, I think. If a candidate for graduation appears on a day to be graded then many things should be correctly taken into consideration. IF a man of 60 with injuries can no longer perform the kata or the gokyo then pupils HE has taught would be a great indicator of that candidates ability in judo. Bad teachers seldom produce good pupils.

    "- knowledge of said ukemi, gokyo, reigi are not really required for promotion;"..........How and why would the syllabus that every association on earth has would NOT be required? If this is the case the examiners should be dismissed. There is a clear syllabus in most federations that have specific requirements for each and every rank, if NNK or KNK is required the candidate does that or fails? How is that a difficulty?

    "- if belts are handed out for "service" ... which means for example signing up hoards of clueless people and selling them belts in varieties that make ROY G BIV feel inadequate;"...................I don't understand the last sentence but the first is easy. "Service" to judo comes in at rokudan in most federations that is after the normal process of grading through shiai and the technical syllabus has been achieved. Go gyo is about the last grade one can be expected to actually be graded on a tatami for. By the time most of us reached that rank we are stuffed by age and injury. apart from that if by godan one didn't know the go kyo and the kata of judo one shouldn't have been awarded the godan. Service to judo is a tiny part of a much larger picture but it should be a tiny part of ones latter day promotions. No ku or ju dan has sat any sort of test or exam, non. So how are they graded? Mostly through a past record and what they have done since achieving rokudan. NO rank should be automatic through time, NON zero.

    "- past competitive glory serves as the single qualification (that's a tough one);" A competition record can be an indicator of an individuals strengths in shiai. Shiai is vital to judo but not at the expense of other parts. Yamashita past glories SHOULD and will be taken into consideration when he is looked at for his future ranks but an awful lot more as well besides.

    "-Waste candy"...............do you mean kohaku ranks? By the time an awful lot of judoka reach that level their own days of Olympic judo are over. Not all there are always exceptions. Do I like the hachi dan who struts around the dojo shouting orders at the class. What do you think? There is a karateka here who is about 85 or more and every event they have he attends IN GI and ON the tatami. So many karateka bad mouth him behind his back saying he is a joke etc as he is limited by what he can do. You have no idea the respect I have for this man and how many arguments I have with those that derise his efforts. It is generally those who are off the dojo leaning up a wall wearing some sort of jewelry.

    The systems are there to grade in a professional, structured fashion, like all systems it is man who abuses it. Peer review is a very good way of ensuring we are all where we should be in a dojo.

    I agree if a pupil has a teacher who is a poor example the pupil can have problems. that is why it is also important for associations to hold regular courses for teachers to ensure we are all up to scratch.

    Lastly. Age comes to us all and ONLY ones pupils can be the sounding board if the sensei is still of value in the dojo. If the pupils are still learning judo and progressing well through school and work, growing in character and judo knowledge then the sensei MUST be doing something of value regardless of his physical state.

    Let me put this another way. I have pupils who can now perform kata that I cannot. Same with certain throws from the gokyo and even ukemi. I am old they are young. They have the bodies and I teach their minds. The day I cannot produce happy well rounded judoka I will stop teaching at the courses I am invited to teach at. BTW due to age and illness I will not be grading any further. That is my choice and I shall maintain it.

    Very best wishes Bill,

    Mike










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    Hanon

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    Re: More on promotions for old fa ... people of advancing years ... and kata too!

    Post by Hanon on Thu Aug 15, 2013 6:52 am

    Richard Riehle wrote:
    Hanon wrote:
    afulldeck wrote:
    Richard Riehle wrote:
    My advice is to forget about acquiring rank.  Rank is about comparison.  Krishnamurti (paraphrasing) says that "comparison is a main source of human suffering".  The more we seek a badge of superiority in life (or Judo), the more unhappy we will be with what we do have as we long for what someone else has -- status, property, honors, etc.   it may be that the worst decision Jigoro Kano made was to introduce a rank system for Judo.  

    Even Shiai, as currently practiced with trophies and trinkets of achievement seem to me to be inconsistent with the deeper values of Judo.  
    I couldn't let this gem pass. These are Very Wise words indeed! Chasing rank is a the quintessential mug's game whether in Judo or any other life endeavour. Well done Richard, your years have made you wise!
    I take it then next time you see Daigo sensei you will tell him to stuff his 10th dan where the sun don't shine? Richards words are not at all wise, not in the least, not on this rare occasion.

    I take it when your child is ill and you attend the local A&E department you are content and satisfied to have the tea lady examine your child rather than the most qualified experienced doctor in the hospital?

    I don't think people without judo rank should be belittled I also don't think people in judo who hold rank should be belittled either. Rank has zero to do with comparison and everything to do with responsibility and safety. I have personally worked my bolloks off for my rank and am not going to apologise for holding it.

    Odd, it seems every time this debate comes up it is either those who hold a decent rank or those of no rank at all who question the validity of the kodokan ranking system? Tell me all about the uselessness of rank when you hold a ku dan.
    Hanson-Sensei,

    When I am at the Kodokan, I see Daigo-Sensei, now in his mid-eighties, continuing to practice ichikomi, teach advanced classes in koshiki-no-kata, and conduct himself with the dignity and grace we would expect of a Judan.  He earned his rank at every step of his Judo career.   He was awarded his rank; he did not chase after it.  

    As you know, I have a PhD, and I require my academic students to address with the proper form given my "rank".   I did actively pursue that degree, but I worked hard for it, and earned it by fulfilling all the requirements -- no shortcuts were allowed,   Even so, if I had not been as devoted to my professional field as I am, I would have failed, as so many of my aspirstional colleagues did.  One needs more than aspiration to achieve success in a filed.

    The medical professionals you mention have also worked hard to earn their credentials.  We award those credentials to accredit them for their proficiency and ability.  

    What does Judo rank tell us about a person's proficiency, ability, skill, knowledge, or capabilities as a teacher?   Often, not much.   How many Rokudan holders can teach all of the kata, all of the nage-waza, all of the me-waza.   When we award a high-Dan rank to someone because of "service to Judo", along with perfunctory recognition of attendance at some kata clinics, does that mean they are qualified instructors for all of Judo.   When we award a Shodan or Sandan for batsugun, what does that tell us about the qualifications of the newly promoted Judoka?   Again, not much.

    The way the rules are set-up, in many places, the qualifications for promotion seem focused on minimalism;  what is the minimum I must do to get promoted.    Granted, some venues, such a France, have exceptionally rigorous testing standards for, say, Rokudan. Those standards are not universal across the planet.

    My main point is that Judo is not mainly about achieving promotions on schedule, or earning rank by doing all kinds of things related to Judo but not actually doing Judo.   It is, in my view, also not about defeating everyone in tournament, although some achievement in that domain is important.  

    I realize that there is no need to explain Judo to you.  Your understanding of Judo is certainly greater than mine.   Yet, you questioned the wisdom of my comments, so some clarification seems appropriate.

    "When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.".  When the student is ready, the promotion will be awarded.   I have students who impariently ask when they will be awarded their Nikyuin or Ikkyu, shodan, etc.  The promotion will come when they are ready, not when they think they are ready.   If they cannot perform certain waza as well as I expect, the promotion will not come, even if they win every match in a series of tournaments, and their wins reflect sloppy Judo.  

    So they say, "I will join a different club, NGB ... " or whatever "... to get my promotion ...".   OK.

    Then again, the criteria for promotion are rather silly and arbitrary, especially the time-in-grade  rules.  When the student is ready, qualified, and passes all the tests, s/he should not be held-back by meaningless bureaucratic rules such a time-in-grade.  Moreover, high-Dan promotions to people who simply have time-in-grade, perform some on-going service, but never step onto the tatami -- such promotions are not worth much.  Daigo-Sensei is in the dojo doing Judo every day.  So too are the other two Judan at the Kodokan, even Osawa-Sensei who is not now able to do the exquisite ashi-waza for which he was once famous.

    I am not opposed to people being promoted.   I do believe that a promotion should first be recommended by one's teacher/Sensei.   I do not believe Judo is primarily about getting promoted to the next rank.   Someday, when I am in my late eighties, if I am still able to do Judo, and a teacher decides to promote me, so be it.  Meanwhile, I will continue to do the best Judo I can, be satisfied with my unimpressive level of rank, and strive to be better than my rank would suggest.  I recommend that everyone work toward surprising those who underestimate them.


    Your post grieved me no end. You have just accepted a 4th dan and should be correctly congratulated on your promotion. Rather than that you wrote a post........Never mind............enough said. Like you said you are a Ph.D so understand that I understand where you are coming from. It is not responsible of you to one day accept a rank then suggest the rank system in judo is not appropriate. If you truly believed that why did you work your socks of for your Ph.D when you could have left school a fifth grader? Judo is also an education. Both our Doctorates are of value same with our ranks in judo and no one forced us to undertake either exams.

    So pleased to see you are still so very active. You will have to tell me your secrets. I wished I had half your stamina and health. You appear to grow healthier every year where I am now.............well we wont go there!

    Most kind regards Richard,

    Mike


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    Hanon

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    Re: More on promotions for old fa ... people of advancing years ... and kata too!

    Post by Hanon on Thu Aug 15, 2013 6:58 am

    contrarian wrote:
    Hanon wrote:
    contrarian wrote:
    BillC wrote:
    OK ... which of the seven official kata causes you to shudder the most?  So I know who I am stirring up, how many have you committed to memory before hurrying to the door to hurl?
    only NNK, and i struggle with it, because i can't feign interest.
    i have learned many more katas in other martial arts and regret every moment spent.
    Are you open minded? Can you self evaluate a little, reflect inwardly? Several things spring to mind with your comment. Perhaps you have not had the privilege of learning a kata in an Martial activity from a sensei who can make the said kata light up un light lights in your mind? Perhaps you just don't want to learn kata so you derise them?
    Kata are judo just as ukemi, the gokyo and reigi. They all have their reasons for being in the syllabus what the pupil needs to do is ensure they find the best sensei available to teach them that judo.

    Mike
    i am extremely open-minded to a fault.
    i am open-minded enough to consider the possibility that kata would provide benefit to some, and not to others.

    i think it would benefit judo and its pupils more if gokyo was expanded to include more modern techniques, both tachiwaza and newaza, and to include renraku waza and kaeshi waza, for both tachiwaza and newaza.
    Hi,

    This is a serious question. I am NOT being condescending or flippant. Do you know what the purpose of kata are in judo? This is the first step to understanding their value.
    Like you I have attended kata courses that have left me feeling suicidal lol. That is not the fault of the subject but the teacher who couldn't teach it.

    Mike


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    Jonesy

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    Re: More on promotions for old fa ... people of advancing years ... and kata too!

    Post by Jonesy on Thu Aug 15, 2013 7:09 am

    Repeated from elsewhere....

    All ranks in judo should in the main reflect knowledge and skill.  Performance in the physical aspects of contest and technical demonstrations and/or kata is but ONE element of skill, for all ranks - there are others, debana, kuzushi, compactness, even elegance......  As one progresses higher up the kodansha ranks, more nebulous elements such as "demonstrating judo principles in everyday life", services/contribution to judo etc. come more into play. It is these aspects that are most of manipulated by NGBs and/or NGB promotion committee members who use kodansha rank promotions  and the promise of future ones to reward the faithful and punish the independent of mind.  (Services to judo is usually equated with services to a NGB, which is not the same at all). In the real world, rank does not follow the judoka, and often the only real difference between a 5 dan and a 6 dan, or a 6 dan and an 8 dan, or a 8 dan and a 9 dan is time and politics.
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    Udon

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    Re: More on promotions for old fa ... people of advancing years ... and kata too!

    Post by Udon on Thu Aug 15, 2013 7:10 am

    Good to hear from you again Hanon Sensei. As usual your comments are well reasoned. I never thought of judging an older Sensei who might not be able to do kata or demonstrate certain throws, by his students. While that is not a criteria used by any promotion board I'm familiar with, I think it should be, particularly when evaluating senior yudansha.
    Glad you're back on the forum.
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    Re: More on promotions for old fa ... people of advancing years ... and kata too!

    Post by BillC on Thu Aug 15, 2013 7:18 am

    Stacey wrote:If the 20 year old has outstanding waza, and can show anything, and pretty much throw anybody, should he be passed for shodan if he's also appearing in criminal court for a parole revocation the next day?
    Yes, that is the flip side of the question I am actually asking ... or maybe it's orthogonal to that question ... in addition to a lack of physical performance caused by sloth, particularly in a higher dan ... should an uncorrected character flaw in a younger person also be am impediment to the kind of recognition younger people desire?  Should a "winner" be pulled off the medal stand for poor self-control and lack of manners?

    Edit and note to spell checker: If I had meant to write octagonal, I'd have written octagonal.


    Last edited by BillC on Thu Aug 15, 2013 7:39 am; edited 1 time in total


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    contrarian

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    Re: More on promotions for old fa ... people of advancing years ... and kata too!

    Post by contrarian on Thu Aug 15, 2013 7:28 am

    Hanon wrote:

    This is a serious question. I am NOT being condescending or flippant. Do you know what the purpose of kata are in judo? This is the first step to understanding their value.
    Like you I have attended kata courses that have left me feeling suicidal lol. That is not the fault of the subject but the teacher who couldn't teach it.

    Mike
    why would you start your post that way?
    are you usually condescending or flippant?
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    Cichorei Kano

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    Re: More on promotions for old fa ... people of advancing years ... and kata too!

    Post by Cichorei Kano on Thu Aug 15, 2013 7:36 am

    contrarian wrote:

    i think it would benefit judo and its pupils more if gokyo was expanded to include more modern techniques, both tachiwaza and newaza, and to include renraku waza and kaeshi waza, for both tachiwaza and newaza.
    If you understand the system well, you'll realize that there probably is little sense in what you propose. What is the gokyô ?  The gokyô is a system of progression in dificulty of ukemi on an increasing scale. It also has historically grown. By the time you are through the gokyô, I hope we can reasonably expect a person to execute proper ukemi from any jûdô throw. How would, for example, including somewhere in there tama-guruma significantly the progression of your ukemi-skills in such a way that when making an assessment at the end of the gokyô those who had tama-guruma included would have significantly quicker mastered ukemi or significantly better ?

    My gut feeling is that you personally see the gokyô as something entirely different and as a system of recognition of names or movements. I am sorry, but that is not what it is. Many throws are included in other groups such as the Habukareta-waza or the Shinmeisho-no-waza rather than in a 6th and 7th and 8th kyô because doing so would be wrong because many of those throws do not represent a significantly more difficult ukemi than the throws in the 5th kyô.

    For the same reason it would make no sense to incude renraku-waza or kaeshi-waza. They are part of an unlimited combination of techniques to which there is no end. Perhaps you think in terms of combining only two throws, but doing so is incorrect. There is no end to the number of combined techniques. They can be three or four or more. A dictionary contains words, but it does not contain every sentence you could make by combining all those words. At the most it gives an example with a word to clarify the meaning of that word in daily or historic use.

    There is also no sense in including katame-waza and even less newaza in the gokyô since none of them include a progression in difficulty of ukemi. If what you want to say is that you would prefer a more clear pedagogical structure to them, that is something else. It IS structured, but not as well. Kanô never came to do that to the same extent as nage-waza, but it does exist and I have explained that structure on the old forum before. Now, I do agree that as structured right now, it isn't ideal for pedagogical progression. For example, it is very hard to retain all newaza movements outside of katame-waza, even for me who knows and understands the structure of Kôdôkan newaza.


    Last edited by Cichorei Kano on Thu Aug 15, 2013 8:08 am; edited 1 time in total


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    contrarian

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    Re: More on promotions for old fa ... people of advancing years ... and kata too!

    Post by contrarian on Thu Aug 15, 2013 7:46 am

    Cichorei Kano wrote:
    contrarian wrote:

    i think it would benefit judo and its pupils more if gokyo was expanded to include more modern techniques, both tachiwaza and newaza, and to include renraku waza and kaeshi waza, for both tachiwaza and newaza.
    If you understand the system well, you'll realize that there probably is little sense in what you propose. What is the gokyô ?  The gokyô is a system of progression in dificulty of ukemi on an increasing scale. It also has historically grown. By the time you are through the gokyô, I hope we can reasonably expect a person to execute proper ukemi from any jûdô throw. How would, for example, including somewhere in there tama-guruma significantly the progression of your ukemi-skills in such a way that when making an assessment at the end of the gokyô those who had tama-guruma included would have significantly quicker mastered ukemi or significantly better ?

    My gut feeling is that you personally see the gokyô as something entirely different and as a system of recognition of names or movements. I am sorry, but that is not what it is. Many throws are included in other groups such as the Habukareta-waza or the Shinmeisho-no-waza rather than in a 6th and 7th and 8th kyô because doing so would be wrong because many of those throws do not represent a significantly more difficult ukemi than the throws in the 5th kyô.

    For the same reason it would make no sense to incude renraku-waza or kaeshi-waza. They are part of an unlimited combination of techniques to which there is no end. Perhaps you think in terms of combining only two throws, but doing so is incorrect. There is no end to the number of combined techniques. They can be three or four or more. A dictionary contains words, but it does not contain every sentence you could make by combining all those words. At the most it gives an example with a word to clarify the meaning of that word in daily or historic use.

    There is also no sense in including katame-waza and even less newaza in the gokyô since none of them include a progression in difficulty of ukemi. If what you want to say is that you would prefer a more clear pedagogical structure to them, that is something else. It IS structured, but not as well. Kanô never came to do that to the same extent as nage-waza, but it does exist and I have explained that structure on the old forum before. Now, I do agree that as structured write now, it isn't ideal for pedagogical progression. For example, it is very hard to retain all newaza movements outside of katame-waza, even for me who knows and understands the structure of Kôdôkan newaza.
    thanks for clearing it up.

    Hanon

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    Re: More on promotions for old fa ... people of advancing years ... and kata too!

    Post by Hanon on Thu Aug 15, 2013 8:12 am

    contrarian wrote:
    Hanon wrote:

    This is a serious question. I am NOT being condescending or flippant. Do you know what the purpose of kata are in judo? This is the first step to understanding their value.
    Like you I have attended kata courses that have left me feeling suicidal lol. That is not the fault of the subject but the teacher who couldn't teach it.

    Mike
    why would you start your post that way?
    are you usually condescending or flippant?
    I started my post that way because this is a forum. You cant see me, cant hear me so have no idea how I desire to be read? This is a difficult media to communicate through and I don't want to cause offence. It is that simple.
    Bom, I have answered you question can you consider having a bash at answering my question to you please, thanks.

    Regards,

    Mike


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    Hanon

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    Re: More on promotions for old fa ... people of advancing years ... and kata too!

    Post by Hanon on Thu Aug 15, 2013 8:35 am

    Stacey wrote:

    If the 20 year old has outstanding waza, and can show anything, and pretty much throw anybody, should he be passed for shodan if he's also appearing in criminal court for a parole revocation the next day?
    The police and law of the land executed by a professional judge is the appropriate person to deal with the question you ask. Judo has never been an education for those whole hold a masters degree in sainthood.

    Judo is an education, an all round education. If we understand that and internalise that then we have to ask ourselves how did this 1st kyu of ours end up in trouble in the first place, where were his dojo mates? His sensei? I am not suggesting judo can prevent all wrongs in this world I am suggesting that when a person breaks the law it is perhaps the appropriate time for the judo world to step up and support that person and aid with his or her rehab rather than knock his face further into the mud and be a causal factor toward that persons recidivism.

    My family vicar once ask me why he never saw me at church on a Sunday morning. I proudly replied that I thought most of his flock where a bunch or bad uns and didn't desire to mix with those hypocrites. My vicar gave me very short change and soon put me in my place, as he should have, by replying that the church was not built for saints but for sinners and to sit outside and criticise is true hypocrisy! Hell, I have just talked religion in a judo forum.

    Point is judo sensei are not judge and jury, they are not qualified to do that and have no legal remit to do so. The law is administered by the courts and a judoka could possibly be supported and prevented by committing further crime. IF that pupil is held accountable by the court, serves his punishment and in the dojo behaves himself and is seen to be given a second chance. Why would a genuine educative system like judo keep a person ON the floor, surely the point is to help them up and see what can be done to prevent further crime? Perhaps even look at the possibility of reparation for what he or she has done?

    I would perhaps grade said pupil to dan grade with an understanding that with such a rank comes responsibility and he or she would be expected to maintain a certain degree of responsibility. Each and every such case is different and such cases cannot be written about in a general manner as I have done, its life and thus an awful lot more complex.
    Many of Kano Shihan pioneering deshi where not what we would call to day 'desirables', some of them behaved very poorly yet grew into fine sensei and taught very good judo with a tolerance for their pupils mistakes.

    Mike


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    BillC

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    4th page so far ...

    Post by BillC on Thu Aug 15, 2013 9:09 am

    Four pages so far ... not too bad by the standards of the new forum.  Glad we could find something to discuss ... arguably worth discussing.

    More attention received by ...

    ...  the backside of some Aussie ... I almost typed Assie which would have been a Freudian slip I guess;
    ...  someone's experience with BJJudo;
    ...  I still can't believe that Neil didn't keep pouring time, effort and money into the old forum for the benefit of other, thankless people;
    ...  I still can't believe the Japanese are acting like ... errr ... Japanese;
    ...  Humour ... which is kind of like humor but less funny and spelled wrong;
    ...  Belt colors Sleep 
    ...  The Russians are ruining Christmas again.

    Let's see how far we can go!


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    Re: More on promotions for old fa ... people of advancing years ... and kata too!

    Post by afulldeck on Thu Aug 15, 2013 10:25 am

    BillC wrote:Four pages so far ... not too bad by the standards of the new forum.  Glad we could find something to discuss ... arguably worth discussing.
    Let's see how far we can go!
    Gee, I only was gone a few hours....


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    Re: More on promotions for old fa ... people of advancing years ... and kata too!

    Post by BillC on Thu Aug 15, 2013 4:35 pm

    NBK wrote:'Somewhat protracted opening...'?? : )) I don't think we have had a long session in years. Sato sensei didn't talk much but once in a while he'd drone on for what seemed forever.  Especially after a hard session and your thighs are pumped, stiff after a long week..  

    I am surprised at the young Japanese who can't sit seiza at all, but then I realize they just don't do it, sit on chairs and such. I use a chair in my office but otherwise sit on the floor, start the day in seiza.  

    And I'm thinking of researching seiza in judo - much of the normal stuff is introductory, doesn't really provide a satisfactory answer. Have to dig in the old texts again.
    Yeah, I am sorry, certainly in the flower of my youth I sat seiza through hour-long meditation or chanting sessions, 1000 cuts with the jo, or just listening to my sensei drone on as well.  So no criticism intended except to myself as measured by my decreased capacity for sitting thus.

    About no one sitting seiza anymore ... some would argue that this obsoletes the posture itself.  The reason for sitting seiza no longer exists.  Why do it if the only reason to do so is to perform some esoteric kata which, by modern judo standards, have been themselves obsolete since the Meiji restoration ... or before?  Why practice anything that is not allowed in contest?

    So some would say "No, I can't do it, but then I do not need to anyway.  Try and make me." And you know what? In most of the judo world they get away with it ... yes, Mike, in Europe too.


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    Re: More on promotions for old fa ... people of advancing years ... and kata too!

    Post by finarashi on Thu Aug 15, 2013 7:35 pm

    BillC wrote:
    NBK wrote:'Somewhat protracted opening...'?? : )) I don't think we have had a long session in years. Sato sensei didn't talk much but once in a while he'd drone on for what seemed forever.  Especially after a hard session and your thighs are pumped, stiff after a long week..  

    I am surprised at the young Japanese who can't sit seiza at all, but then I realize they just don't do it, sit on chairs and such. I use a chair in my office but otherwise sit on the floor, start the day in seiza.  

    And I'm thinking of researching seiza in judo - much of the normal stuff is introductory, doesn't really provide a satisfactory answer. Have to dig in the old texts again.
    Yeah, I am sorry, certainly in the flower of my youth I sat seiza through hour-long meditation or chanting sessions, 1000 cuts with the jo, or just listening to my sensei drone on as well.  So no criticism intended except to myself as measured by my decreased capacity for sitting thus.

    About no one sitting seiza anymore ... some would argue that this obsoletes the posture itself.  The reason for sitting seiza no longer exists.  Why do it if the only reason to do so is to perform some esoteric kata which, by modern judo standards, have been themselves obsolete since the Meiji restoration ... or before?  Why practice anything that is not allowed in contest?

    So some would say "No, I can't do it, but then I do not need to anyway.  Try and make me."  And you know what?  In most of the judo world they get away with it ... yes, Mike, in Europe too.
    Some posters here argue about the benefits of cross training. You imply that "Why practice anything that is not allowed in contest?" is the norm. So why practice boxing or jiu jitsu when you can learn really nasty and real world applicable self defence in Kodokan goshinjutsu, Kime-no-kata and Ju-no-kata. And before you say that Ju-no-kata has nothing to do with self defence you need to prctice it. ... and before you ask why do it as kata? I make you another question and ask will you let someone to try to poke your eyes with his/her fingers in randori?

    When there is a high probability that a technique will cause damage to uke if done with full force it is best to practice it in kata form.


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    Re: More on promotions for old fa ... people of advancing years ... and kata too!

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      Current date/time is Sat Aug 18, 2018 12:52 am