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    Has the Kōdōkan been reading the JudoForum again ?!

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    Cichorei Kano

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    Has the Kōdōkan been reading the JudoForum again ?!

    Post by Cichorei Kano on Sun Jan 26, 2014 6:38 am

    In a surprise move that represents a radical break with what  --to much regret--  it had been teaching for years, the Kōdōkan recently in limited circles distributed document included the following revealing statement:

    True purpose of Kata

    Why Ju no kata and Koshiki no kata Omote  should not be done so slowly.  Kano Jigoro Shihan said that it have to learn for understand theory with slow movement at first time. But after getting skilled, fast moves should be used in serious fight.  After World War II, it became a slow movement, same as  the current form of Ju no kata.  Kata is not only a movement. Kata is a basic study to be able to respond to any case (include of  Serious fight).  For example, Kobudo (old jujutsu) Kata’s learning way is Shu-Ha-Ri ( First: study, second: advance technique, last: make your original technique)  => This is the true purpose of Kata.  

    Today Kata Competition started without Shu-Ha-RI. Unfortunately same rules and same movements will lead to standardization (practice of Shu only). true significance of Kata would be lost.  



    CK is sitting down gasping for air after hearing what for the first time in many years words coming from the Kōdōkan that actually make sense and refer to wisdom left to us by Kanō himself ...  Now let's hope these will become deeds and not just remain words.  Oh dear, if the IJF learns of this, what will they have to do ?!!!




    Last edited by Cichorei Kano on Sun Jan 26, 2014 11:18 am; edited 1 time in total


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    NBK

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    Re: Has the Kōdōkan been reading the JudoForum again ?!

    Post by NBK on Sun Jan 26, 2014 10:55 am

    Interesting. What is the overall purpose and context of the document?

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    Re: Has the Kōdōkan been reading the JudoForum again ?!

    Post by wdax on Sun Jan 26, 2014 7:18 pm

    NBK wrote:Interesting.  What is the overall purpose and context of the document?
    It´s a short - if I recall correctly 3 (sorry: 6 pages) pages - study paper written by one of the members of Daigo sensei´s Koshiki-no-Kata group.

    The paper includes a final sentence about Kata Competition: "But, it still benefits to the spread of Judo Kata."

    That´s exactly the point, IMHO.


    Last edited by wdax on Sun Jan 26, 2014 8:29 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : information about the paper is now correct)
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    NBK

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    Re: Has the Kōdōkan been reading the JudoForum again ?!

    Post by NBK on Sun Jan 26, 2014 8:03 pm

    wdax wrote:
    NBK wrote:Interesting.  What is the overall purpose and context of the document?
    It´s a short - if I recall correctly 3 pages - study paper written by one of the members of Daigo sensei´s Koshiki-no-Kata group.
    OK, if so, it's not a Kodokan document, but rather a doc from someone that practices in the Kodokan. There is a big difference.

    But, bless 'em, someone is taking on the status quo, which is pretty bizarre these days....
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    Re: Has the Kōdōkan been reading the JudoForum again ?!

    Post by Cichorei Kano on Mon Jan 27, 2014 3:18 am

    wdax wrote:
    NBK wrote:Interesting.  What is the overall purpose and context of the document?
    It´s a short - if I recall correctly 3 (sorry: 6 pages) pages - study paper written by one of the members of Daigo sensei´s Koshiki-no-Kata group.

    The paper includes a final sentence about Kata Competition: "But, it still benefits to the spread of Judo Kata."

    That´s exactly the point, IMHO.

    As far as I understand it's the most recent Kôdôkan Koshiki-no-kata instructions paper. Since it is written in English it was not directly written by Daigo-sensei himself, although much of the contents does as several of the other paragraphs can be found back in earlier Japanese language versions authored by Daigo, and in translated versions in either French or English, such as the 2010 versions translated by Jérôme Galbrun.

    As wdax point's correctly points out the piece indeed contains the sentence "But, it still benefits to the spread of Judo kata" (...) which is obviously true. Without the mechanics and the basic understanding of the form you can't evolve. So this part must be properly learnt. A couple of things though to avoid confusion. Although wdax writes, "that's exactly the point", I want to clarify that what is meant there is neither the point of the paper, nor of the paragraph, but the point of the importance of practicing the basics and mechanics. It seems though that my post is somewhat misunderstood. I did not post this to lash out against kata competition. As I have previously indicated I have competed in kata myself. The reason I posted this is that the Kôdôkan (or at least the author and the opinion he reflects) finally devotes attention to the importance of shu-ha-ri and that by no means the geriatric, slow, dead way of moving is what SHOULD be done, but is merely an initiation. Secondly, it properly recognizes that there can be considerable differences in how kata is performed and that some absurd standard sheet of what it should conform to makes no sense. That is exactly the point of the PARAGRAPH in the paper. Extrapolated, indeed it suggests the absurdity of the way kata competition is judged, though not the idea of kata competition itself. The two are not the same. If the performances of Kanô or Mifune would be judged according to current kata competition judging rules and there would be a way to do this blindly without any judge being able to see that the performers were Kanô and Mifune himself they would end among the last way behind many shodan holders. It is that which makes absolutely no sense as both gentlemen clearly perform kata at the highest level and are way beyond the mechanics. A good way to compare this with is shodô or calligraphy, of which I followed weekly lessons for 6 years, and which I have been studying for about 32 years. When you write a character initially it is all wrong. The order of strokes can be wrong, the left part can be out of balance with the right part. It is very frustrating to do so. Sometimes I see Western artists who write or copy pseudo-Japanese since they don't speak or know Japanese. They are much better than me in copying this since they have artistic painting and drawing talent which I lack. But what they do makes no sense. It is dead, it is wrong. No matter how smooth the lines are, everything is wrong about it. Most of those years I spent trying to get a character divided over all the background boxes. I struggled and many other students were much better than me initially, succeeding in doing this much quicker. That's all they got. By year 3 there were 4 of us left, and by year 4 just two of us. I was the only one who made it through year 5 and 6.

    My teacher when he drew a character, never calculated anything. Every singe thing he did was perfect. when I did it, the lines were'nt proper, there were blotches, too much or not enough water, ink running out, and I had to constantly try to correct it, which does not work since unlike Western writing with a pen, you can't correct Japanese calligraphy. It has to be correct from the first time. So, all we focused on was the mechanics, and there are a lots of it. This is the same as the part of kata that virtually everyone does or practices. It is the katachi or form. But as in the paragraph I quoted, that isn't at all the purpose of calligraphy, and really it hasn't anything to do with calligraphy.

    At the second level, the ha level, if one ever gets there, the calligraphy looks quite different and at the ri level you can't even read it unless you really are specialized. It is there that the power and subtility and true art emerges. The absolute masters, such as for example Tesshu, wrote extraordinary calligraphy, none of those kanji look at all like what I would be able to do or what is in the books. That is the purpose of kata, someone who reaches perfection through practice.

    There have been other recent voices of criticism at the Kôdôkan with regard to the overemphasis of mechanics and misunderstanding of kata by so many people as supposedly some rigid mechanics which one has to copy, one of the most vocal having been Umezu Katsuko. Looking back, that also makes sense. When I performed jû-no-kata before her many years ago I did many things taught to me by Fukuda that were different from how Abe Ichirô did it. She remarked that she could clearly see "Fuuda style". So, it differed from what the Kôdôkan was teaching, but ... she did not mark me down. There are still things in jû-no-kata that I will do the way Fukuda-sensei has taught me and were I will bluntly refuse to do it the way some of the current Kôdôkan teachers do. One needs to be prepared to stand up against influences if one is confident it is grammatically correct and reflects pure jûdô in the sense of the intent of the exercise. At the time I practices jû-no-kata with Umezu-sensei herself, which was lots of fun and quite an ordeal since I am at least two heads taller. It was fun for her too as she enjoyed me sticking her up all the way in the air !

    I did, of course, not write this post or thread for wdax, who knows very well the differences between shu-ha-ri, but the majority of the jûdôka and judges do not, and cannot and are not judging according to this fundamental principle. The challenge for the Kôdôkan will be to change its pedagogy so that mechanics-focused dead kata which we are seeing everywhere today is only the most basic and elementary starting point and not at all what is meant. Currently this is totally misunderstood. One cannot deny this. One can make a case and say that it is understandable that the focus on the mechanics during Kôdôkan kata courses is logical and makes sense since the groups are so heterogenic and some have never even done certain kata, so they have to start at the beginning. Fair enough, I can see that, but not EVERYONE is still at that beginning, and they do not offer anything beyond that. Secondly, and more importantly though is that when you see the current Kôdôkan sensei deonstrate these kata at the Kagami Biraki or All Japan Championships, they still show nothing but mechanics and kata that is dead and these are 7th and 8th dan holder who are the teaching staff and thus should be the current experts. So whilst it is permissible that in the majority of their teaching to lower level jûdôka they remain at the shu-level, nothing justifies why they can emerge from this basic mechanics level themselves while not teaching and while they should be demonstrating the kata at their utmost skilled level. When failing to do that, the only reasonable conclusion one can make is that they sadly do not master, or those who can do to the impairments of old age cannot any longer demonstrate the superior level. If so, then there still is a level because when those who are so old and senior that they can no longer demonstrate this level themselves, but still have not succeeded to lift their successors' skills to this level then the prospects are very gloomy since that implies that whenever these very old and very senior sensei pass away over the next few years we will be stuck with teachers who only know the most basic level. That's really the purpose of my post, not to seek an excuse to criticize kata competition, for Christ's sake ! People, be a bit less paranoid ! So, in the light of these problems, it is terribly refreshing to finally see a reaction from within the Kôdôkan even though this doesn't take the form of a "formally annnounced new Kôdôkan Constitution". But as said, it now remains to be seen if they will actually be able to pour this into deeds. Because as much as I said, that I have been able without any feeling of discomfort to demonstrate MY jû-no-kata before Umezu without being marked down, there are are many others on the current teaching staff who do not have such insight and who will think that any 'deviation' will mean subtracting marks. How can it not be when one actually has a stopwatch with him and thinks that if your koshiki-no-kata is not 8 minutes long that this refers to mistakes ... Poor Kanô Jigorô whose own Omote kata is of a duration that if you add the shorter and more swift Ura kata would end up nowhere in the 8 minutes region. Seems that good ol' Jigorô posthumously was failed once again by one of his great-great-grand-children ...


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    Cichorei Kano

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    Re: Has the Kōdōkan been reading the JudoForum again ?!

    Post by Cichorei Kano on Mon Jan 27, 2014 3:20 am

    NBK wrote:
    wdax wrote:
    NBK wrote:Interesting.  What is the overall purpose and context of the document?
    It´s a short - if I recall correctly 3 pages - study paper written by one of the members of Daigo sensei´s Koshiki-no-Kata group.
    OK, if so, it's not a Kodokan document, but rather a doc from someone that practices in the Kodokan.  There is a big difference.

    It was not authored by someone who just "practices in the Kodokan", but someone on the teaching staff of the Kôdôkan, even though it is not some kind of new "general official Kôdôkan Constitutional clarification".


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    NBK

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    Re: Has the Kōdōkan been reading the JudoForum again ?!

    Post by NBK on Fri Mar 14, 2014 11:12 am

    Is there any indication that the actual teaching method has changed also? The kata classes arr down to once a month.

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    Re: Has the Kōdōkan been reading the JudoForum again ?!

    Post by wdax on Mon Mar 31, 2014 8:03 pm

    Here is a link to the document CK was talking about.

    http://www.heiwajudoeducationalproject.it/koshiki-no-kata-matsumoto/document_for_presentation.pdf
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    NBK

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    Re: Has the Kōdōkan been reading the JudoForum again ?!

    Post by NBK on Mon Mar 31, 2014 11:48 pm

    That's Matsumoto Tatsuya - he's a member of the old Takagi Dojo in Tokyo, but practices koshiki-no-kata with Daigo sensei's study group. AFAIK I know he is not a member of the Kodokan teaching staff, but does regularly assist at the kata course. He's a member of the Japanese Academy of Martial Arts judo division with me; he writes regularly on koshiki no kata.

    In fact, now that I see it in print, I think I edited an earlier version of this paper.
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    Re: Has the Kōdōkan been reading the JudoForum again ?!

    Post by Cichorei Kano on Tue Apr 01, 2014 12:38 am

    NBK wrote:That's Matsumoto Tatsuya - he's a member of the old Takagi Dojo in Tokyo, but practices koshiki-no-kata with Daigo sensei's study group.  AFAIK I know he is not a member of the Kodokan teaching staff, but does regularly assist at the kata course.  He's a member of the Japanese Academy of Martial Arts judo division with me; he writes regularly on koshiki no kata.  

    In fact, now that I see it in print, I think I edited an earlier version of this paper.  




    Kôdôkan chief-interpreter, polyglot and fluent in Japanese, English, French, German, Italian ...

    Author of a range of publications on Koshiki-no-kata in Judo between 2006-2009, and having the ability to communicate with the dead.

    Short clip about the Takagi-dôjô:

    http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xd5gc5_decouverte-takagi-dojo_sport

    Takagi dôjô, see also:

    http://www.judo-jp.org/ijfk/douzyou/5-2.html


    Takagi Kyôichi-sensei was an important Kôdôkan sensei. He was part of and played a leading role  the Kôdôkan Committee that revised the kata in the 1960s and considered very knowledgeable. He was also the jûdô teacher of father Ueshiba, founder of aikidô.

    In any case, the section that was quoted certainly was not present in the text of the years before, and nothing in that text would appear without Daigo's approval, as it would be unthinkable that he would write anything that would offend or embarrass Daigo-sensei. Moreover, there have been several discrete references also in Daigo's more recent verbal explanations that point into the direction that I mentioned at the start of this thread.

    In example of this is Daigo-sensei literally pointing out that the first movement of Koshiki-no-kata should not be performed that slow. Yet the opposite was the natural and understandalbe deduction most people would make when for years they see it being performed that way in his courses. Now he clarifies that this slow tempo was only done to get acquainted with the basic mechanics. Obviously from a pedagogical point of view it would have made more sense to also have clarified this during the years before that and by addtion to such performance also have demonstrated a proper performance unless the message is that no one at the Kôdôkan has the skills to mast the kata at its proper pace. I am not going to speculate about the veracity of that. But if that was the message some transparency no matter how painful probably would have been more effective there too from a pedagogical point of view.


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    Steve Leadbeater

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    Re: Has the Kōdōkan been reading the JudoForum again ?!

    Post by Steve Leadbeater on Thu Aug 14, 2014 12:35 am

    Then I must ask............were two of my students correct or mistaken when they asked me to teach them the "Old fashioned" method of Nage no Kata, where each attack was "INTENDED TO BE AN ATTACK" and each throw was "IN DEFENSE OF AN ATTACK AGAINST TORI".......and was I mistaken to say that I WOULD teach them to mean to attack and mean to defend seriously ??

    I seek serious advice from C.K. Sensei, WDax Sensei and any serious Kata lover who understands what it means to perform a "True Kata"
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    Re: Has the Kōdōkan been reading the JudoForum again ?!

    Post by Cichorei Kano on Thu Aug 14, 2014 2:05 am

    Steve Leadbeater wrote:Then I must ask............were two of my students correct or mistaken when they asked me to teach them the "Old fashioned" method of Nage no Kata, where each attack was "INTENDED TO BE AN ATTACK" and each throw was "IN DEFENSE OF AN ATTACK AGAINST TORI".......and was I mistaken to say that I WOULD teach them to mean to attack and mean to defend seriously ??

    I seek serious advice from C.K. Sensei, WDax Sensei and any serious Kata lover who understands what it means to perform a "True Kata"


    We have to agree first that what you write here are words, meaning even though you say you are teaching them real attacks and defenses to serious attacks, without me actually seeing them I do not know to what extent your report is accurate. After all it is still possible that you think that you are teaching them real attacks and defenses but that in my opinion are not, and it is still possible that you do but that there are large mistakes in it. With 'mistakes' I do not mean deviations from what the IJF has written down, but mistakes in terms of concepts, such as debana, lack of control, turning your back to the opponent before having properly neutralized the attack, etc. So, this is an important caveat when having to address a question like yours without actually seeing you do it.

    The next thing is that as a teacher you bear a responsibility for your students' learning. I didn't stop teaching kata-guruma, kibisu-gaeshi, kuchiki-daoshi just because the crazy IJF had another brain spasms, and randori-sessions when I teach haven't changed. And kani-basami is still a permitted technique at my clubs just like any other judo throw including daki-age. However, part of my responsibility is to draw my students' attention to what they can and cannot do if participating in IJF competitions so that they are prepared. So, you need to still be able to make your students aware of the requirements for their dan-rank exam if that is the framework in which they ask you to teach them. You need to teach them, yes, true attack and defense, and you need to teach them also that no serious jûdô sensei will fail them for kata if they do that. But serious attack and defense also do not imply that you can simply ignore certain conventions, especially if they are meaningful. If your riai is off, it still is poor kata despite realistic attack and defense. While mannered kata withour realistic defense and attack is bad, kata with realistic attack and defense but no proper riai is poor too. In many jujutsu federations in the West they have maintained kime-no-kata and goshinjutsu. They are typically done much more realistically, which is great, but that does not imply at all that the kata itself is anywhere near decent.


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    Re: Has the Kōdōkan been reading the JudoForum again ?!

    Post by cokiee on Thu Aug 14, 2014 4:20 am

    One of the best threads I've read. Thank you very much for this!

    Could it be, though, that many of the learners today simply do not have enough background knowledge to question the Sensei?

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    Re: Has the Kōdōkan been reading the JudoForum again ?!

    Post by wdax on Thu Aug 14, 2014 5:28 am

    Steve Leadbeater wrote:Then I must ask............were two of my students correct or mistaken when they asked me to teach them the "Old fashioned" method of Nage no Kata, where each attack was "INTENDED TO BE AN ATTACK" and each throw was "IN DEFENSE OF AN ATTACK AGAINST TORI".......and was I mistaken to say that I WOULD teach them to mean to attack and mean to defend seriously ??

    I seek serious advice from C.K. Sensei, WDax Sensei and any serious Kata lover who understands what it means to perform a "True Kata"

    Difficult question to answer....

    Personally I dont´like very much to say, that I teach kata. I prefer to say, that I teach judo and for this purpose I use kata. If somebody asks me to teach judo to him (or her), then I teach it the way (1) I understand judo and (2) what I find useful for the student.

    Each kata includes one or more specific "lessons" about general ideas/principles/theory of judo. I try to teach them the way, that these general ideas/principles/theory can be learned through practice of the specific example. The most important thing in Nage-no-Kata is kuzushi and how it is generated using the momentum of Uke alongside with one´s own tai-sabaki to better understand how nage-waza work in judo. So the most important point IMHO is not, that it looks like something predefined, but it must works according to the predefined theory and that this theory can be grasped by example. Realism of attack and defence is therefor not the primary point in Nage-no-Kata because Nage-no-Kata is not the application itself, but is meant to teach the theory through practice of example. The application is randori/shiai or self-defence. But don´t get me wrong: of course you cannot study attack and defence theory through examples that do not include attacks.... Point is, that the situation, in which Tori and Uke act in Nage-no-Kata is not primarily constructed as "real" attack or "real defence" but are intended to be ideal situations for learning the principles.

    If I watch a kata f.ex. in an exam or a competition, I always ask myself, if the person understood the specific theory of each action. Very often this is not the case. Sometimes I have the opportunity to ask about the idea behind a kata or sometimes I´m asked by the students. I think in over 80-90%, the students never heard of what they should have been taught earlier.

    Many so called experts talk about "principles" about "realism" about what should be "demonstrated" - but in reality hardly know anything about the real keypoints. There are some good teachers around, but usually on seminars there is not more time then five hours for the entire Nage-no-Kata, so it remains scraching the surface.

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    Re: Has the Kōdōkan been reading the JudoForum again ?!

    Post by Hanon on Thu Aug 14, 2014 9:04 am

    Steve Leadbeater wrote:Then I must ask............were two of my students correct or mistaken when they asked me to teach them the "Old fashioned" method of Nage no Kata, where each attack was "INTENDED TO BE AN ATTACK" and each throw was "IN DEFENSE OF AN ATTACK AGAINST TORI".......and was I mistaken to say that I WOULD teach them to mean to attack and mean to defend seriously ??

    I seek serious advice from C.K. Sensei, WDax Sensei and any serious Kata lover who understands what it means to perform a "True Kata"

    To answer this practice a kaeshi kata or gonoseno kata with an uke who behaves like a dead fish. Cant be done! Why? No 'real' attack impossible to make a real counter.................

    In terms of the nage no kata if uke does not attack then tori must throw him. Such a forced throw is not a realistic throw in accordance with the principles of the nage no kata. The reason we need to practice nage no kata when young is to practice how to use the actions of uke against himself. Judo is not tori throwing but tori making throws from ukes mistakes.

    Seoinage attack should at sho dan level be at the stage where uke desiores to bury tori into the tatami with a blow to the head. The attack is made with gusto and action. Tori, over the years preceding this stage, has learned NOT to appose such force but welcome it and use it against his uke. Who actually throws who in seoinage? Its uke!

    If I am at a budo event and the usual crap starts about judo being 'just an Olympic sport' I use several methods to demonstrate just how this in not the case. One of the tools I use is the ju no kata, kime no kata and the nage no kata. if the standard of budoka is very senior I will demonstrate the itsutsu no kata in the hope they get it. Why kata to demonstrate that judo is much more than an 'Olympic' sport and judo belongs in a budo seminar with just as much right as the other 'non sporting budo'? Because enrolled in those kata are the key point, the principles of kodokan judo. A tori learns from nage no kata nopt to throw but in reality how to use the actions of an uke against himself. Of course it sounds simple but then judo is simple, its the basics that make judo and if one learns the basics in a timely fashion without the pressures of entering novice championships aged 5 then judo is an incredibly clever physical and psychological art to learn and practice.

    I still, to this day, teach every attack as a different attack and not the same attack as the seoinage all through the kata. To me if uke is stupid enough to attack me four times with the same attack I am going to conserve energy and maximise my efficiency by throwing him four times with the same throw that being seoinage!

    In relation to seoinage tori should never block the attack, never stop that lovely force of energy coming from uke, tori should welcome it and clearly demonstrate just how devastating a judo action can be when we are attacked. Action-reaction, to throw without throwing is the principle behind the seoinage also the tomoenage. That is why they are the two key actions in the nage no kata.

    Be careful with the term defend. Ensure your pupils understand the concept of tai sabaki and not opposing force with force but yielding to the force in the attack made by uke. This is the classic example of maximum efficiency with minimum use of energy and strength.

    As CK sensei and I have repeatedly written kata is not pretty it is not for exhibition it is a tool, a vital tool, for learning principles that directly correlate into ones randori then shiai also after many years into ones daily life.

    Would it surprise you to learn that should I be your uke for katame no kata I would do my utmost to escape every action you made! How else are you to learn how to apply technique that works and is of use in your randori? I would never lie there make three gestures at an escape then tap. YOU, tori would HAVE to wake up and learn how to adapt to my escape actions of find yourself with uke controlling you.
    THAT is katame no kata and that is its value.

    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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    Re: Has the Kōdōkan been reading the JudoForum again ?!

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      Current date/time is Tue Aug 22, 2017 10:34 am