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    Waza ari?

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    AmbientFire

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    Waza ari?

    Post by AmbientFire on Mon Mar 31, 2014 10:51 am

    what does the term Waza ari (技あり) actually mean? I know that 技 means "technique", but what does the "ari" portion mean? is it a form of 在る "aru" (to have)? Am I correct in wondering if a hyper-colloquial translation would be akin to "There be a technique!/that's a technique!" (or should i say pirate coll.?) ("Waza ari!") or is it literally as Wikipedia suggests, "half a point!"?

    any and all help is appreciated!
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    Cichorei Kano

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    Re: Waza ari?

    Post by Cichorei Kano on Mon Mar 31, 2014 11:42 am

    AmbientFire wrote:what does the term Waza ari (技あり) actually mean? I know that 技 means "technique", but what does the "ari" portion mean? is it a form of 在る "aru" (to have)? Am I correct in wondering if a hyper-colloquial translation would be akin to "There be a technique!/that's a technique!" (or should i say pirate coll.?) ("Waza ari!") or is it literally as Wikipedia suggests, "half a point!"?

    any and all help is appreciated!

    It means that there is a (valid) technique but lacking for being awarded ippon and thus the end of the match. To understand this you have to pictures yourself in the days when jûdô wa still jûdô and not disco. Just have a look at the videoclip which Budo Italy posted in the competition section and which depicts the 1961 world championships. You see people being thrown flat on there back and the contest simply goes on. It isn't the kind of perverted judo you see to day where someone goes sit on their knees and then touches the tatami with their shoulder and gets awarded ippon. Nope, there only were to awards: ippon, and waza-ari. Ippon, really was the equivalent of throwing someone that hard if this would happen outside he would be out and no longer move. Waza-ari were techniques where you still would throw your opponent hard and mostly on his back but either lacked some control, some promptness or some speed. For example, a tomoe-nage where you threw your opponent hard and flat on his back, but where before that occurred, he kept hanging in the air for some time, could maximally score waza-ari. There was no yûkô and no kôka, so saying that "there is a technique" was sufficient for people to know because in the other case if more than just a technique it would have been ippon, and if less, nothing.

    No, it does not literally mean "half a point". "Half point" in Japanese would be something like "hanbun pointo", which is not jûdô terminology. Assigning the meaning "half point" to waza-ari comes from its mathematical value in the sense that obtaining twice waza-ari, makes ippon. You also have to consider the meaning of this in the time that a single ippon did not suffice to be a winner, and that you had to score two ippon to win a match. The mathematical value of waza-ari was thus important, just as it still is if the contest does not follow a single- or double-elmination system, or the former "Brazilian" system.


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    DougNZ

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    Re: Waza ari?

    Post by DougNZ on Mon Mar 31, 2014 10:14 pm

    And the literal translation, after all that, CK?

    AmbientFire

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    Re: Waza ari?

    Post by AmbientFire on Mon Mar 31, 2014 10:16 pm

    Thanks for the information and the background on the scoring system - it helps put the meaning in context. Because it really does seem somewhat strange to translate waza ari as "half a point" when at least the kanji seems to imply something else! I am curious though, what the meaning of "ari" is in this case. Is it a form of "aru"? I get the impression that it is, but I'd like to hear from those of you (such as yourself) that speak japanese. thanks again!
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    Cichorei Kano

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    Re: Waza ari?

    Post by Cichorei Kano on Mon Mar 31, 2014 11:11 pm

    AmbientFire wrote:Thanks for the information and the background on the scoring system - it helps put the meaning in context. Because it really does seem somewhat strange to translate waza ari as "half a point" when at least the kanji seems to imply something else! I am curious though, what the meaning of "ari" is in this case. Is it a form of "aru"? I get the impression that it is, but I'd like to hear from those of you (such as yourself) that speak japanese. thanks again!


    It is the same. In classical Japanese the form 'ari' is common. So, 'ari' is not really modern Japanese. Many of the names in jûdô are not modern Japanese. You will seen that commonly in modern Japanese suffixes are used that are missing in judo terminology. We write 投の形 for Nage-no-kata and not 投げの形, which would be the proper modern way of writing. Jûdô dates from the Meiji period, so for many things the original expression is used.

    It gets even much more difficult when dealing with older schools, such as in jûjutsu. Even some of the schools mispronounce the names of their own techniques. The names of the techniques of Itsutsu-no-kata, for example, are mispronounced. Furthermore, in several old jûjutsu schools the names of techniques are coded. This is to prevent that when enemy schools or people outside of the school would find documents, they would be useless. Therefore they can be very difficult to read. You will also see this to some extent in Koshiki-no-kata You cannot possibly derive the techniques from its names unless you know what the techniques are.


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    "The world is a republic of mediocrities, and always was." (Thomas Carlyle)
    "Nothing is as approved as mediocrity, the majority has established it and it fixes it fangs on whatever gets beyond it either way." (Blaise Pascal)
    "Quand on essaie, c'est difficile. Quand on n'essaie pas, c'est impossible" (Guess Who ?)
    "I am never wrong. Once I thought I was, and that was a mistake."
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    Cichorei Kano

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    Re: Waza ari?

    Post by Cichorei Kano on Mon Mar 31, 2014 11:13 pm

    DougNZ wrote:And the literal translation, after all that, CK?

    As I started my most ... It means that there is a (valid) technique. The literal meaning is: "(It) is (a) technique", with the subject being suppressed.


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    "The world is a republic of mediocrities, and always was." (Thomas Carlyle)
    "Nothing is as approved as mediocrity, the majority has established it and it fixes it fangs on whatever gets beyond it either way." (Blaise Pascal)
    "Quand on essaie, c'est difficile. Quand on n'essaie pas, c'est impossible" (Guess Who ?)
    "I am never wrong. Once I thought I was, and that was a mistake."

    DougNZ

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    Re: Waza ari?

    Post by DougNZ on Tue Apr 01, 2014 5:46 am

    Cichorei Kano wrote:
    DougNZ wrote:And the literal translation, after all that, CK?

    As I started my most ... It means that there is a (valid) technique. The literal meaning is: "(It) is (a) technique", with the subject being suppressed.

    Sorry, I thought your opening sentence was part of your explanation and not your translation. Many thanks; hope the OP is satisfied.

    AmbientFire

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    Re: Waza ari?

    Post by AmbientFire on Tue Apr 01, 2014 7:49 am

    DougNZ wrote:
    Cichorei Kano wrote:
    DougNZ wrote:And the literal translation, after all that, CK?

    As I started my most ... It means that there is a (valid) technique. The literal meaning is: "(It) is (a) technique", with the subject being suppressed.

    Sorry, I thought your opening sentence was part of your explanation and not your translation.  Many thanks; hope the OP is satisfied.

    Thanks for the additional, additional, information! I am more than satisfied! And again, it really does put the term waza ari in context, and it makes a lot more sense now! (once I saw the kanji and hiragana action I couldn't make "half a point!" fit at all, and now I know why I couldn't.)

    martin_r

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    Re: Waza ari?

    Post by martin_r on Tue Apr 08, 2014 12:05 am

    The "Kodokan New Japanese-English Dictionary of Judo" translates it as:

    "technique exists"; a near ippon

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