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    Terminal rank in jūdō

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    Cichorei Kano

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    Terminal rank in jūdō

    Post by Cichorei Kano on Wed Dec 18, 2013 3:37 am

    The following is an excellent read on a sensitive and timely topic:

    Terminal rank in judo



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    Davaro

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    Re: Terminal rank in jūdō

    Post by Davaro on Wed Dec 18, 2013 6:06 am

    Very good read, thank you for sharing.

    I cannot agree more. Back in the day, a sandan was like a demi-god in my eyes. Now, a "candy-belt" not so much. Just too many of them around to be special anymore. Sad state of affairs that.


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    Re: Terminal rank in jūdō

    Post by still learning on Wed Dec 18, 2013 6:18 am

    Davaro wrote: Now, a "candy-belt" not so much. Just too many of them around to be special anymore. Sad state of affairs that.

    Couldn't agree more. I had the pleasure of a coaching session a couple of weeks back with a fifth and sixth dan instructing. Both wore black belts and got on with teaching quality judo, no concern as to who was the higher rank, they were simply there to impart their shared knowledge. There were a number of other six dans, proudly showing off their candy belts, but doing nothing whatsoever.

    Hanon

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    Re: Terminal rank in jūdō

    Post by Hanon on Wed Dec 18, 2013 6:54 am

    The value in such a high rank is demonstrated by the performance of his or her pupils both in technique and character.

    Any one can, and many do, wear a kohaku obi. Fewer and fewer are worthy of such an honour. The only danger is such non worthy ranks tend to grade others to non worthy ranks thus perpetuating the cycle of mediocrity.

    The article is well written. I endorse most of what the author writes.

    That kohaku obi is a clear sigh of responsibility. Such a responsibility can never be taken lightly IF the wearer is to be accepted and respected.

    I think there comes a time when most dan ranks are able to distinguish the kohaku obi from the person who is either wise enough or stupid enough to wear it.

    The great crime in being over graded is one becomes a prisoner in ones own dojo or own small circle of followers. Its all so negative and mentally unhealthy for all concerned.

    "There are only two tragedies in life, one is not having the things one wants, the other is having them" .

    My only occupation while on a tatami these days is trying to ensure I am worthy of my own rank and not concern myself by other peoples even though I am also guilty of passing judgment.

    Though I strongly endorse the rank system I think there is no need for the kohaku obi. We should all wear black obi and be valued by what we do and teach plus the performance of those we are honoured to teach it to.

    Mike


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    medo

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    Re: Terminal rank in jūdō

    Post by medo on Wed Dec 18, 2013 7:37 am

    yep been there and seen it over the years had this discussion with Roy Inman on the old forum since then they BJA have tightened the criteria for Jam sandwich belts but there are many out there who have high grades through being refs/officials and brown nosing and just don't know or understand basic Judo.

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    Re: Terminal rank in jūdō

    Post by Hanon on Wed Dec 18, 2013 10:52 am

    medo wrote:yep been there and seen it over the years had this discussion with Roy Inman on the old forum since then they BJA have tightened the criteria for Jam sandwich belts but there are many out there who have high grades through being refs/officials and brown nosing and just don't know or understand basic Judo.

    Indeed. Take the man in question he is semi literate in his own language yet tried to re invent the Japanese language and got a 9th dan for doing so?!

    9th and 10th dan even at the kodokan are as rare a rocking horse woopsie yet they are more common outside Japan? How can that be? What baffles me even more is how can such people accept such extraordinarily high ranks? I mean 9th dans?

    Mike


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    NBK

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    Re: Terminal rank in jūdō

    Post by NBK on Wed Dec 18, 2013 12:57 pm

    To the point of the link regarding centralized promotion committees, I think that Japan does this well. All mainstream (e.g., not police, who have their own promotion system) judo 6 dan promotions include a review by a Kodokan panel.

    There have been criticisms that promotions are easier in Tokyo, but I don't have the figures to see if that has any basis in statistics.
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    Re: Terminal rank in jūdō

    Post by Jonesy on Wed Dec 18, 2013 11:42 pm

    How many 9 dan holders are there in Japan?


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    Cichorei Kano

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    Re: Terminal rank in jūdō

    Post by Cichorei Kano on Thu Dec 19, 2013 12:55 am

    Jonesy wrote:How many 9 dan holders are there in Japan?

    That is almost impossible to say because the average age of these people is so advanced that  --by way of speaking--  the numbers of people holding such advanced rank changes almost monthly. When I counted them in 2008 there were 16. Due to the very large cohort (13 people) that was promoted to 9th dan at the occasion of the 130th birthday of the foundation of the Kôdôkan, that group must now be much larger. Taking into account those who have passed since (for example, Fukuda Keiko, Kobayashi Kiyoshi, and others), there must be roughly 25 Kôdôkan 9th dan-holders right now, of which only a single one is residing outside of Japan (Awazu Shôzô). It's impossible also for me to follow this up accurately because most of these 9th dan-holders are totally unknown abroad, and particularly those who live outside of Tôkyô usually do not appear in modern media such as Internet and may lead a very quiet life. The Kôdôkan data base is particularly inaccurate with regard to deceases and contains many people who simply can't be alive anymore. To give you an idea, the oldest foreigner with a high Kôdôkan rank that is listed in the Kôdôkan database was born in 1897 !  There is also someone in there born in 1899 and someone born in 1902 !  Clearly all of these have long passed away. Just looking at the foreigners there are almost a dozen of people in there who were born between 1915-1918. Certainly some among these might still be alive, but it is doubtful that the majority of them still is. Not that many people make it past 95 years of age, at least not among foreigners even though the Japanese have about the most centenarians in the world.

    On a different note, I am curious if the Kôdôkan would be courageous enough to promote Nishioka Hiroshi to 10th dan next month ...


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    Re: Terminal rank in jūdō

    Post by Cichorei Kano on Thu Dec 19, 2013 1:41 am

    Hanon wrote:
    That kohaku obi is a clear sigh of responsibility. Such a responsibility can never be taken lightly IF the wearer is to be accepted and respected.

    I think that there is an evolution towards wanting to reverse this equation and hope, anticipate or demand that acceptance and respect will follow the wearing of such rank rather than the other way around.


    Hanon wrote:
    I think there comes a time when most dan ranks are able to distinguish the kohaku obi from the person who is either wise enough or stupid enough to wear it.

    The great crime in being over graded is one becomes a prisoner in ones own dojo or own small circle of followers. Its all so negative and mentally unhealthy for all concerned.

    "There are only two tragedies in life, one is not having the things one wants, the other is having them" .

    My only occupation while on a tatami these days is trying to ensure I am worthy of my own rank and not concern myself by other peoples even though I am also guilty of passing judgment.

    Clearly this line of thinking is not followed by everyone and many feel that whatever they are given it is just ... Why do so few people refuse honors that are clearly over the top or undeserved ? There are in history even people who were well worthy of an award yet refused it. But you see this less and less. When is the last time you heard of someone openly refusing a promotion in rank because the person could not bring such promotion in line with his modesty, self-value or self-assessment of his level.

    Why did Putin accept an 8th dan in judo and a 9th dan in taekwondô ? Why did he not refuse it ? He does not master jûdô at the level of 8th dan or 6th dan. Sure, through his position and enthusiasm he can give more of a stimulus to jûdô worldwide than me and you, but that really isn't hte point.

    Why did Obama not refuse his Nobel Peach Prize when he knew well he had not contributed anything to peace and was about to stage a war in Lybia ? Why ? Why ? Why ?

    If those awarding the prize or promotion do not have the wisdom, why does the recipient does not have the wisdom either ?

    Yet there are precedents. Kanemitsu Yaichibei initially sent back his 9th dan promotion certificate to the Kôdôkan and refused it out of protest of what the Kôdôkan had become. TPL apparently refused his Kôdôkan 7th dan promotion.

    I believe that George C. Scott, Marlon Brando, and Woody Allen all three refused to accept an Oscar they had been awarded. And yet, no one assesses their value to having or not having received this award, and uniformly recognizes them as great actors. George C. Scott called the Oscar awarding ceremony a "Two-hour Meat Parade".

    Jean-Paul Sartre in 1964 refused to accept the Nobel Prize Literature, and so did Boris Pasternak in 1958, while Le Duc Tho refused to accept the Nobel Peace Prize. Yet, Sartre is universally recognized as an important thinker, while Pasternak's Doctor Zhivago is part of the world literature. So neither needed the Nobel Prize to gain respect and worldwide recognition.

    In jûdô we have the whole Okano-sensei history. For many the greatest living jûdôka, universally respected including at the Kôdôkan yet held in a ridiculously low rank for almost halve a century. The man is clearly outside of the dan-rank system.

    All these cases illustrate that it is possible for truly gifted people to transcend awards, whereas I reckon few people take Obama's Nobel Peach Prize or Putin's 8th dan seriously. At the same time it shows that it isn't just the politicians who are willing to sacrifice whatever just for external pump and circumstance, but also the awarding organizations seem to be keen to play out certain standards apparently hoping to make history in this way. There is no doubt that, for example, the IJF revels in a cloud of self-satisfaction by associating with a world-famous leader. That is more important than to assess in what what way and to what extent such person would have achieved the necessary conditions as recorded in their rank syllabus.

    But we see his elsewhere too. How many universities have not awarded honorary doctorates to royalty and famous politicians who in terms of scholarship haven't done anything but where the idea that they might actually attend the ceremony in person, is a way for the institution to exploit the occasion, invite press and pat itself on the shoulder ? It's a game of double standards that has become universal.

    What you see is rather the contrary. Yet, refusals of promotion and awards are oftentimes far more interesting than the promotions that get accepted.


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    Re: Terminal rank in jūdō

    Post by Jonesy on Sun Dec 22, 2013 2:18 am

    Dickie Bowen in the UK refused to accept any rank other than his Kodokan 4 dan. By the standards of his BJA peers, he would have been an 8 dan, and had he not died when he did, by now a 9 dan.

    Just how many 9 dan holders are there in the UJSA?


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    Re: Terminal rank in jūdō

    Post by Kenan79 on Sun Dec 22, 2013 4:18 am

    Well, after almost 3 years of every-day practice, some 8 tournaments (11, including club championships) I'm quite happy with my orange belt. I wouldn't have liked it any other way..ie,. to get a higher rank just on the basis of "merit" or "he's sucha nice guy, trying hard..".

    If it's not deserved, whatever belt, than you should not wear it. There's just too much politics in judo these days..and I agree, those high dan ranks are being handed out way too often..

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    Re: Terminal rank in jūdō

    Post by medo on Sun Dec 22, 2013 4:50 am

    Kenan79 wrote:Well, after almost 3 years of every-day practice, some 8 tournaments (11, including club championships) I'm quite happy with my orange belt. I wouldn't have liked it any other way..ie,. to get a higher rank just on the basis of "merit" or "he's sucha nice guy, trying hard..".

    If it's not deserved, whatever belt, than you should not wear it. There's just too much politics in judo these days..and I agree, those high dan ranks are being handed out way too often..

    Wow if you was a pupil of mine and you had trained everday for three years even if you could not properly name the techniques I had taught you because of a learning or a physical disability you would not be an orange belt  Surprised 
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    Re: Terminal rank in jūdō

    Post by JudoStu on Mon Dec 23, 2013 11:59 pm

    medo wrote:
    Kenan79 wrote:Well, after almost 3 years of every-day practice, some 8 tournaments (11, including club championships) I'm quite happy with my orange belt. I wouldn't have liked it any other way..ie,. to get a higher rank just on the basis of "merit" or "he's sucha nice guy, trying hard..".

    If it's not deserved, whatever belt, than you should not wear it. There's just too much politics in judo these days..and I agree, those high dan ranks are being handed out way too often..

    Wow if you was a pupil of mine and you had trained everday for three years even if you could not properly name the techniques I had taught you because of a learning or a physical disability you would not be an orange belt  Surprised 

    I assume he would be wearing a belt considerably darker in colour?


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    Re: Terminal rank in jūdō

    Post by medo on Tue Dec 24, 2013 6:27 am

    JudoStu wrote:
    medo wrote:
    Kenan79 wrote:Well, after almost 3 years of every-day practice, some 8 tournaments (11, including club championships) I'm quite happy with my orange belt. I wouldn't have liked it any other way..ie,. to get a higher rank just on the basis of "merit" or "he's sucha nice guy, trying hard..".

    If it's not deserved, whatever belt, than you should not wear it. There's just too much politics in judo these days..and I agree, those high dan ranks are being handed out way too often..

    Wow if you was a pupil of mine and you had trained everday for three years even if you could not properly name the techniques I had taught you because of a learning or a physical disability you would not be an orange belt  Surprised 

    I assume he would be wearing a belt considerably darker in colour?

    Not necessarily you wash a blue/brown they get lighter  Wink  depends on skill level attained at senior in the 3yrs everyday practice certainly would not be far of a dark coloured belt if I trained him, and I would not be accessing his grades either Smile 

    Undergrading is on par with overgrading, then there's just cheating!


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    Re: Terminal rank in jūdō

    Post by Hanon on Tue Dec 24, 2013 7:38 am

    Kenan79 wrote:Well, after almost 3 years of every-day practice, some 8 tournaments (11, including club championships) I'm quite happy with my orange belt. I wouldn't have liked it any other way..ie,. to get a higher rank just on the basis of "merit" or "he's sucha nice guy, trying hard..".

    If it's not deserved, whatever belt, than you should not wear it. There's just too much politics in judo these days..and I agree, those high dan ranks are being handed out way too often..

    There are several hypothesis I can read into your mail.

    One, you are being kept at a low rank to win championships, its called sand bagging and is dishonourable. Two, maybe you simply don't have the aptitude for judo and orange is your level?

    I would have to ask you though from what knowledge base can you hold to make an assessment of senior ranks such as those who wear kohaku obi?
    If you truly posses that level than why aren't you a high rank dan grade yourself?

    Mike


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    Kenan79

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    Re: Terminal rank in jūdō

    Post by Kenan79 on Tue Dec 24, 2013 9:51 am

    Hanon wrote:

    One, you are being kept at a low rank to win championships, its called sand bagging and is dishonourable. Two, maybe you simply don't have the aptitude for judo and orange is your level?

    I think I do have aptitude for judo (if by aptitude you're refering to some basic talent neccessary to practice it and develop?), I love it but I also consider myself a "worker" and slow learner. I like to enjoy the techniques I do, I do them all the time in randori eventhough people tell me to try different things (which does make sense) but I just don't obsess about being thrown or loosing..I enjoy judo every day and when we have "days off" I'm feeling kinda bummed..apart from sunday (when I rest) every other day I feel very enthusiastic about it.

    As for my rank and level..well, the best judge of that would be my own sensei..so my opinion is just - my opinion. By saying I'm an orange belt, I'm not implying anything but saying, what matters is doing judo and studying it and not chasing belts just to make yourself look good. As I said, I'd rather be a good orange belt then a mediocre green belt or even worse blue belt. I won against a black belt in a competition but also lost to a white belt who could barely do a standup so..it doesn't really matter. And btw, there's no sandbagging, croatian system is among other things, time-based so you get every belt after 1 year of active practice and I'm yet to completely reach the 3 year mark (for a green belt). I'm where I'm supposed to be. Wink

    I would have to ask you though from what knowledge base can you hold to make an assessment of senior ranks such as those who wear kohaku obi?
    If you truly posses that level than why aren't you a high rank dan grade yourself?

    Mike

    I certainly have very little, beginner level knowledge base (basically clueless) but from what I heard, especially from my brother who's is in US and also does judo, (a black belt) he fought against some red-whites who apparently, got those ranks over some course or something in about a year or so (I know, it sounds crazy!) and he beat them in randoris with such an ease, he honestly thought they were going easy with him and letting him throw them (he is a competitor 1st Dan).

    Are you telling me, or implying that I have to be some sort of expert to be allowed to say or think there's politics involved in grading high rank belts?
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    Re: Terminal rank in jūdō

    Post by Quicksilver on Tue Dec 24, 2013 11:31 am

    Dammit, losing posts is a pain.

    A few things with relation to the validity of opinion as dependent on the rank of the opinioner:

    - It doesn't seem like Kenan79 was proposing a technical assesment of high dan grades, merely expressing an ideology relating to grading
    - the validity of which is (arguably) hardly dependent on the relative degree of the rank
    - and though there are situations where deferring to rank-based authority is appropriate, for a discussion of this nature (esp. conceptual, as well as the generality of the subject as above) in a forum of this kind I see no good reason why anyone willing and able to be reasonable should not have the right to put forward an opinion and discuss it on its own merits or otherwise.

    Please excuse if this post reads as somewhat brusque, it is not intended that way, merely written as it is because writing from my phone and having lost this posts previous incarnation, I am trying to be concise.  Smile 

    Warm regards


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    Re: Terminal rank in jūdō

    Post by medo on Tue Dec 24, 2013 9:45 pm

    [quote="Kenan79"]
    Hanon wrote:

    And btw, there's no sandbagging, croatian system is among other things, time-based so you get every belt after 1 year of active practice and I'm yet to completely reach the 3 year mark (for a green belt). I'm where I'm supposed to be. Wink


    So a years practice equals 1 belt grade? even if you train 5days a week! I can understand that transition from brown to black could take time as that is the big step but seriously 3yrs everyday training and only a low kyu grade that I don't understand.

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    Re: Terminal rank in jūdō

    Post by jkw on Tue Dec 24, 2013 10:44 pm

    Hanon wrote:I would have to ask you though from what knowledge base can you hold to make an assessment of senior ranks such as those who wear kohaku obi?

    I realize this is an exception and almost certainly not the norm, but sadly I have been on the tatami with one holder of a kohaku obi whose general deportment probably did allow those with almost almost no judo knowledge to make a reasonable assessment of his knowledge base. It was a small, independent splinter federation - still, quite sad.
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    Re: Terminal rank in jūdō

    Post by JudoStu on Tue Dec 24, 2013 11:02 pm

    medo wrote:
    Kenan79 wrote:
    Hanon wrote:

    And btw, there's no sandbagging, croatian system is among other things, time-based so you get every belt after 1 year of active practice and I'm yet to completely reach the 3 year mark (for a green belt). I'm where I'm supposed to be. Wink


    So a years practice equals 1 belt grade? even if you train 5days a week! I can understand that transition from brown to black could take time as that is the big step but seriously 3yrs everyday training and only a low kyu grade that I don't understand.    

    And he beat a black belt in competition Shocked 
    I'm currently in the process of grading for my brown belt (1st kyu) and i've only thrown a black belt in randori once or twice. In Shiai i'd be cannon fodder to black belts


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    Re: Terminal rank in jūdō

    Post by Kenan79 on Wed Dec 25, 2013 12:09 am

    medo wrote:
    So a years practice equals 1 belt grade? even if you train 5days a week! I can understand that transition from brown to black could take time as that is the big step but seriously 3yrs everyday training and only a low kyu grade that I don't understand.    

    I believe the system as such didn't neccessarily account for people who practice every day, it's more like a general guideline refering to the majority which is not as hard driven and which practice like, 2 or 3 times a week (at best) wheter those people are competing or not. One of my coleagues who's American, (green belt) told me he earned his belt based on a merit / effort and not (like here in Croatia) based on a demonstration of sets of techniques. Apart from a time period, one needs to be active AND be able to display the neccessary techniques (the display doesn't have to be 'perfect' rather solid, at least) and also, for higher kyu belts, be active competitor.

    I started judo when I was 32 (now I'm 34) so, if I continue practicing, I should reach black belt by the time I'm 38 (at earliest).

    BTW, here's the croatian ranking system video demonstration for each kyu belt:

    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL6vQMAZOgZK6_fuW4zkxdPVeX8beCxDO3

    7. kyu - Yellow belt
    5. kyu - Orange belt
    3.kyu - Green Belt
    2. kyu - Blue Belt
    1. kyu - Brown Belt
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    Cichorei Kano

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    Re: Terminal rank in jūdō

    Post by Cichorei Kano on Wed Dec 25, 2013 12:46 am

    Jonesy wrote:How many 9 dan holders are there in Japan?

    Back to this question. I just learnt that earlier this year, in fact already in January 2013, Katô Hideo, Kôdôkan 9th dan, died at the age of 75. He was from Nara Prefecture, and only promoted to this rank in April 2012. This means he was able to enjoy this high rank for bary 7 months ! Hopefully this illustrates the difficulty of responding to your question as on the average the rank of Kôdôkan 9th dan seems to have a very sharp ... "date of expiry".


    To further illustrate the point I earlier raised in this thread, two more Kôdôkan 9th dan-holders have passed away:

    - Morita Sôji 田森荘二 who taught at Kôbe University of Commerce

    http://www.geocities.jp/hyokenjudo/syasin20051104.html


    - Yamakata Toshimi 山肩敏美, a 1946 graduate of Meiji Univ. from Hiroshima already died in Oct 2013.

    http://ameblo.jp/kk-sports/entry-11632924601.html

    This brings the total of Kôdôkan 9th dan-holders who died in 2013 to five.


    Last edited by Cichorei Kano on Mon Jan 13, 2014 7:10 am; edited 1 time in total


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    Re: Terminal rank in jūdō

    Post by still learning on Wed Dec 25, 2013 1:12 am

    Cichorei Kano wrote:
    Jonesy wrote:How many 9 dan holders are there in Japan?

    rank of Kôdôkan 9th dan seems to have a very sharp ... "date of expiry".

    Hope you don't get yours too soon then.

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    Re: Terminal rank in jūdō

    Post by still learning on Wed Dec 25, 2013 1:19 am

    [quote="Kenan79"]
    medo wrote:

    BTW, here's the croatian ranking system video demonstration for each kyu belt:

    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL6vQMAZOgZK6_fuW4zkxdPVeX8beCxDO3


    Every action either enhances or diminishes reputation, the apparent senior grade who is demonstrating this is doing the latter. I sincerely hope you have better instruction and guidance than this, the yoko ukemi alone...

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    Re: Terminal rank in jūdō

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      Current date/time is Sun Aug 20, 2017 4:39 pm