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    Shoji Muneoka interview - by Gotaro Ogawa

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    Jihef

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    Shoji Muneoka interview - by Gotaro Ogawa

    Post by Jihef on Thu Apr 17, 2014 7:03 pm

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    The latest installment of the [Judo International: Voice of Japan] blog is online here:

    Gotaro Ogawa Interview with Shoji Muneoka

    Gotaro Ogawa wrote:On August 21, 2013, the All Japan Judo Federation appointed Mr. Shoji Muneoka the  new President succeeding Mr. Haruki Uemura.
    It is the first time that its president was appointed from the business circles. Mr. Muneoka is the CEO of Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal, a giant global steel company.
    ( Interview conducted by Gotaro Ogawa on November 1, 2013)
    (…)


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    NBK

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    Re: Shoji Muneoka interview - by Gotaro Ogawa

    Post by NBK on Thu Apr 17, 2014 8:43 pm

    The last paragraph on the relationship with the Kodokan is very telling - when he spoke of the 'dan conferring system' he's talking about Kodokan control of upper rank promotions.

    If the All Japan Judo Federation takes on the Kodokan role in monitoring and as the final arbitrator of Japanese judoka for all 6th dan and above, that would change the power base of the Kodokan, perhaps forever.
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    Re: Shoji Muneoka interview - by Gotaro Ogawa

    Post by Jonesy on Thu Apr 17, 2014 8:56 pm

    NBK wrote:The last paragraph on the relationship with the Kodokan is very telling - when he spoke of the 'dan conferring system' he's talking about Kodokan control of upper rank promotions.  

    If the All Japan Judo Federation takes on the Kodokan role in monitoring and as the final arbitrator of Japanese judoka for all 6th dan and above, that would change the power base of the Kodokan, perhaps forever.  
    I agree and found it interesting. More likely I believe is a parallel system whereby the Kodokan would still promote people associated with its aims and objectives and mission, but they would be very prestigious dojo promotions, and the AJJF would promote those more involved in its and the IJF's sporting purposes and give them IJF ranks. In that way some of the cronyism and conservatism associated with Kodokan promotions could be joined by another form of AJJF cronyism.

    Perhaps Okano-sensei would benefit under this system? The times they are a changing......
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    NBK

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    Re: Shoji Muneoka interview - by Gotaro Ogawa

    Post by NBK on Thu Apr 17, 2014 9:13 pm

    Jonesy wrote:
    NBK wrote:The last paragraph on the relationship with the Kodokan is very telling - when he spoke of the 'dan conferring system' he's talking about Kodokan control of upper rank promotions.  

    If the All Japan Judo Federation takes on the Kodokan role in monitoring and as the final arbitrator of Japanese judoka for all 6th dan and above, that would change the power base of the Kodokan, perhaps forever.  
    I agree and found it interesting. More likely I believe is a parallel system whereby the Kodokan would still promote people associated with its aims and objectives and mission, but they would be very prestigious dojo promotions, and the AJJF would promote those more involved in its and the IJF's sporting purposes and give them IJF ranks. In that way some of the cronyism and conservatism associated with Kodokan promotions could be joined by another form of AJJF cronyism.

    Perhaps Okano-sensei would benefit under this system?  The times they are a changing......
    How did you get so cynical for one so young?  Basketball 

    Yes, this could get interesting - I would think that elements outside the Kanto / Tokyo region would be interested in seeing a shift in power. There is a lot of pent up resentment in some of the schools outside the immediate reach of the Kodokan, if I understand it correctly.

    Also interesting is his take on the educational aspects of judo - while there are voices inside the Kodokan that urge a more active role in education, and by that they mean moral and spiritual education, not simply judo technical education, they are not in the majority, and the reality is that the Kodokan's moral and spiritual position was damaged by the scandals at the AJJF that forced out Uemura kancho and so many other high-ranking KDK officials.

    The direction by the Cabinet Office to reform is a very significant thing - in the Japanese parliamentary system, that is a direction by the second highest administrative authority in the land (the highest being the Cabinet itself). That has the weight of the entire government behind it, and as I wrote at the time, it meant very directly, reform or your rights to represent judo to this country will be cancelled.

    Does anyone have a link to the AJJF's report late last year?
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    NBK

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    Re: Shoji Muneoka interview - by Gotaro Ogawa

    Post by NBK on Thu Apr 17, 2014 9:29 pm

    Also note that AJJF Chairman Muneoka asked Mr. Ogawa to become a special advisor to judo international affairs - not only were they personally linked at Tokyo University, Mr. Ogawa is a real judo enthusiast who has the international credentials - he's a retired career Ministry of Foreign Affairs diplomat. Although I wonder if he has the skills to deal with some of the cut and thrust he'll face in international judo, wherein Japan is greatly diminished by history and missteps.

    I wish him well - I think that an excellent move by Chairman Muneoka.
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    Re: Shoji Muneoka interview - by Gotaro Ogawa

    Post by BillC on Fri Apr 18, 2014 3:23 am

    NBK wrote: I wonder if he has the skills to deal with some of the cut and thrust he'll face in international judo ...

    There my friend you simply need to ask if he has the capacity for extortion and the ... cold ... hard ... cash.


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    A young French Judoka talks about his experience in Japan

    Post by noboru on Mon Jun 30, 2014 7:51 am

    Mr. Gotaro Ogawa has more interesting articles about judo.

    For me is very interesting this one:
    A young French Judoka talks about his experience in Japan
    http://www.judo-voj.com/contents/reiho.html
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    Cichorei Kano

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    Re: Shoji Muneoka interview - by Gotaro Ogawa

    Post by Cichorei Kano on Mon Jun 30, 2014 10:17 am

    noboru wrote:Mr. Gotaro Ogawa has more interesting articles about judo.

    For me is very interesting this one:
    A young French Judoka talks about his experience in Japan
    http://www.judo-voj.com/contents/reiho.html

    It is interesting, but also the French judoka is young, so he idealizes the Japanese judo system in comparison to the French. When complaining about the French system one has to realize that it is better than most systems elswhere. French judo teachers' qualifications are regulated by law, and education is sound. Overall, French judo teachers are pedagogically much, much better qualified than the average Japanese judo teacher. Just consider the teaching at the Kôdôkan which is sometimes of a horrendous quality, and this is a even a teaching institution !  If it wasn't for the fact that it is so well known, that it has a high concentration of people with very high dan ranks who people like to pose for on pictures, it probably would attract a lot less people. Not all teaching is horrendous, but a representative part is. Of course the teaching quality itself does not prevent the very high number of skilled jûdôka in Japan, but that is due to other mechanisms, such as peer and social pressure, learning through osmosis instead of through a refined pedagogical approach. Discipline, goal-setting and how to deal with failure are very different in Japanese society. Japan has the ability to provide an unequaled number of skilled training partners, not just people who are athletically well trained, but who have good jûdô.

    When I trained at the police academy in Japan, nobody ever taught me anything (except for Koshiki-no-kata on my insistent request), yet in 6 months my judo had improved more than in 5 years. The effect of this osmosis type of learning should not be underestimated. We can't replicate that in the West since we don't have the people. Japan has something unique that no other country has, not even Korea, and that is a very specific dôjô sound. It also has this for kendô. You can hear jûdô and kendô practice on the street in Japan. It's a repetitive sound of thumps, but also many vocal sounds. The thumps are specific because they come from tatami that are lying on wooden floors that rest on steel springs. When people are taking a rest at the side of the tatami, they continue to vocally encourage people in Japan. That is enormously motivating. You need to have trained at a real Japanese dôjô to experience that as it does not exist anymore at the Kôdôkan. Last place I heard that for jûdô in central Tôkyô was a couple of years ago when I went over to train at Meiji Dai. Even if your dôjô in the West still has a steel spring-based floating floor it likely still does not create the atmosphere as it won't have the vocal encouragement, and likely will be in some ugly concrete hall, a basement, a sportshall with basketball rings, not a place that just smells of hundred years of transition where you are forced to realize that you have been preceded by the likes of Mifune, Kaminaga, Inokuma, Kimura, etc.  A soccer player who plays for the first time in Wembley stadium often times expresses a feeling that is quite different from playing on his local field in the club he started with.

    The motivation is totally different in Japan. I don't have enough fingers on my hands to count all the people I have known to quit regular training or quit kata-training in the West as soon as they achieved black belt or this or that dan-grade. Coincidentally the person in the blog too refers to all the black belts quitting in France. I have never heard of such a thing in Japan. As sad as it is, it is pretty much as our friend Hanon-sensei once suggested in one of his posts, namely, that judo is dead. Sure, with some painful contractions here and there the IJF will create some more artifcact, whether it be veteran contests or judo show, and for a limited number of years it will succeed in making enthusiast a small number of people who see a niche in such a thing an don't realize or don't care about how such new travesty takes judo even further from what it is was meant to be. For a long time judo was preserved in Japan, and original judo, but Japan too is to crazy about medals so that they have bent to meet the IJF's crazy changes. In the end maybe judo isn't totally dead in Japan yet, but it certainly there too is slowly committing suicide.


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    Judo Renaissance Movement 柔道ルネッサンス

    Post by noboru on Mon Jun 30, 2014 4:37 pm

    Cichorei Kano wrote:For a long time judo was preserved in Japan, and original judo, but Japan too is to crazy about medals so that they have bent to meet the IJF's crazy changes. In the end maybe judo isn't totally dead in Japan yet, but it certainly there too is slowly committing suicide.

    What do mean about "Judo Renaissance Movement” ( Movement established by Kódókan and All Japan Judo Federation (Zenjuren))? It can helps the judo for way back to practicing more judo with ideals of Jigoro Kano?

    “I Lead a Judo Renaissance Movement” Yamashita Talks about Today’s Judo at Home and Abroad
    http://www.judo-voj.com/contents/judorenaissance.html

    I found only japanese webpages about project 柔道ルネッサンス Judo Renaissance :
    Kódókan: http://www.kodokan.org/j_renaissance/index.html
    Zenjuren: http://www.judo.or.jp/shiru/renaissance
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    Re: Shoji Muneoka interview - by Gotaro Ogawa

    Post by Cichorei Kano on Mon Jun 30, 2014 9:29 pm

    noboru wrote:
    Cichorei Kano wrote:For a long time judo was preserved in Japan, and original judo, but Japan too is to crazy about medals so that they have bent to meet the IJF's crazy changes. In the end maybe judo isn't totally dead in Japan yet, but it certainly there too is slowly committing suicide.

    What do mean about "Judo Renaissance Movement” ( Movement established by Kódókan and All Japan Judo Federation (Zenjuren))? It can helps the judo for way back to practicing more judo with ideals of Jigoro Kano?

    “I Lead a Judo Renaissance Movement” Yamashita Talks about Today’s Judo at Home and Abroad
    http://www.judo-voj.com/contents/judorenaissance.html

    I found only japanese webpages about project  柔道ルネッサンス Judo Renaissance :
    Kódókan: http://www.kodokan.org/j_renaissance/index.html
    Zenjuren: http://www.judo.or.jp/shiru/renaissance

    Japan talks a lot with its mouth ("we do what we want, and don't care about the IJF" [I was told this at the Kôdôkan many times]), but the sad reality is that:

    - Japanese women have given up their joshi obi in international competitions in order to be allowed to participate;
    - All Japan Championships now have incorporated blue gi;
    - All japan Championships have given up traditional tatami colors and design for the new IJF colors and design;
    - Japanese natural color/fabric gi illustrative of wabi and sabi have been given up for bleached white judogi, sometimes with polyester mix;
    - the evolution towards a completely fake, mannered and unrealistic way of doing kata.

    Etc.

    It's the same thing why many Japanese kids think are Americanized getting all into the "being cool" thing, replacing healthy eating style by MacDonalds and Coca Cola.

    I think that the Judo Renaissance is a dead born child. It's something that looks OK on posters and in brochures and which led to a couple of meetings involving some academics and some pseudo-academics. Didn't keep the Japanese judo from being slowly euthanized though.


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    Re: Shoji Muneoka interview - by Gotaro Ogawa

    Post by noboru on Mon Jun 30, 2014 10:48 pm

    I think, that colors are not too important. I think that the important is back to Kanos targets - selfdeveloping (onore ni katsu - kokki - victory over oneself) and education via practice of judo and performing own life with ideas Seiryoku zenjo and Jitta Kyoei.

    Not judo as main target victory in championships - it is only for small group of top judokas not for all judokas - the young french judoka speaks about this too - the way of training is different. I think, that it refers in Judo Renesaince too.

    Thank you for your opinions.

    What we can do for support Judo Renesaince in our countries?
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    Re: Shoji Muneoka interview - by Gotaro Ogawa

    Post by Cichorei Kano on Tue Jul 08, 2014 1:54 pm

    noboru wrote:I think, that colors are not too important. I think that the important is back to Kanos targets - selfdeveloping (onore ni katsu - kokki - victory over oneself) and education via practice of judo and performing own life with ideas Seiryoku zenjo and Jitta Kyoei.

    Not judo as main target victory in championships - it is only for small group of top judokas not for all judokas - the young french judoka speaks about this too - the way of training is different. I think, that it refers in Judo Renesaince too.

    Thank you for your opinions.

    What we can do for support Judo Renesaince in our countries?

    What can WE do ?

    I think many of us are already doing that by devoting us to an outdated pedagogical system that rests on a naive and utopian philosophical bedrock, and teaching youngsters who likely will drop out long before they reach mastership, but who might through their time spent with us improved their physical and physiological qualities and might have enjoyed some valuable moments. For the rest judo is dying a slow dead.

    The damage to judo is unrecoverable. It was corrupted by no one less than Kanô himself. the Oda incident, the Kanemitsu incident, the major problems with the Butokukai, the frictions between Tôkyô and Kansai, the award of high dan ranks to war criminals, the awarding of ranks to people without any judo experience like Koizumi for the sole purpose of establishing power, the awarding of high ranks in return for huge sums of money like in the Shoriki Matsutarô case, the leading of the Kôdôkan by someone with fascist opinions like Nangô Jirô, the spread and control of jûdô by several Japanese masters who were and some who are today still outright racists, the nepotism and xenophobia of of many people of Japanese origin in the awarding of dan-ranks which has led to or was a major factor in leading to schisms such as the Armed Forces Yûdanshakai/JBBA in the US, and the dstancing of many judo federations from the Kôdôkan, the manipulation of the Japanese of the jûdô competitive system when it was clear they couldn't win such as the creation of weight classes only after it was obvious that Geesink was undefeatable and would left Japan with no Olympic judo title whatsoever in 1964.

    The Japanese corrupted judo for decades patronizing Westerners (some of it continues today) with as a consequence that Westerners joined forces to end this and come up with structures that would diminish Japanese power.

    The did so in a rather "successful way" (as cynical as this may sound in view of current developments) via the IJF. The term of Kanô Risei did not simply come to an end. Just like Park Yung Soo, Kanô Risei WAS KICKED OUT, something few people know. When Charlie Palmer got his grip on the IJF, he changed it into a commercial powerhouse, with all the positives and negatives that came with it. The Japanese lost their control of judo for once and for good. They already had lost it on the tatami thanks to Geesink, now they also lost it off the tatami. There was a small chance for a renaissance with Matsumae became IJF president, a capable man, but also too old to to still achieve much. The Korea Park torpedoed himself, and Vizer "successfully" (same cynicism) continued where Charlie Palmer had stopped. Palmer had successfully used the IJF as a semi-criminal organization for money laundering that involved his casino empire; Vizer's IJF Presidential office with its Louis XIV style furniture is barely one stone throw away from the casina neighborhood in the city of Budapest, and with strong support of the former Eastern European and Russian maffia the IJF is stronger than ever with Japan no longer a noteworthy power in decisive matters judo.

    Below is an article that appeared in the French press and that highlights the mess preceding the firing of Kanô Risei. I am sorry but it is in French only.

    Evènement aussi soudain qu'inattendu, M. Risei KANO, Président de la FEDERATION JAPONAISE DE JUDO et Président du KODOKAN, Fils du Fondateur du Judo Jigoro KANO, a été renversé de son poste de Président du KODOKAN de la FEDERATION INTERNATIONALE DE JUDO et remplacé par M. BARNES, Président de la British Judo Association.

    Cet évènement a fait grand bruit dans la presse mondiale et en particulier dans la presse japonaise et est devenu un sujet de conversation des plus brûlants dans les milieux responsables des ARTS MARTIAUX.

    BUDO MAGAZINE a donc demandé à. M. Risei KANO de s'expliquer sur ce sujet et celui-ci en a fait paraître la réponse dans la Revue japonaise «JUDO KODOKAN, en affirmant que sa réponse était la seule à présenter la vérité sur cette affaire.

    Avant la dernière ASSEMBLEE GÈNERALE de la F.I.J. qui devait avoir lieu à RIO DE JANEIRO (Brésil) à l'occasion des derniers Championnats du Monde, M. OIMATSU SHINICHI, sous-chef du Bureau de la Fédération japonaise de JUDO a présenté aux journalistes un texte rédigé de la façon suivante :

    «M. Risei KANO, Président de la FEDERATION NIPPONE DE JUDO a été élu Président de la FEDERATION INTERNATIONALE DE JUDO lorsque la FEDERATION NIPPONE adhéra à cette FEDERATION INTERNATIONALE M. Risei KANO fut réélu à la deuxième Assemblée Générale en 1961 et à la troisième en 1966 et il a conservé ce poste de Président jusqu'à maintenant.

    A la cinquième Assemblée Générale qui aura lieu à RIO, on devra faire l'élection du bureau de la FEDERATION INTERNATIONALE DE JUDO et bien entendu réélire le Président.

    Certains journaux ont prétendu que M. Risei KANO avait manifesté l'Intention d'être candidat à ce poste, mais ces nouvelles sont fausses. A la FEDERATION INTERNATIONALE DE JUDO, ce ne sont pas les candidats qui se présentent, mais ce sont les pays qui proposent ou recommandent un homme, qui ensuite est élu à l'unanimité. Et ceci, non seulement pour le Président, mais également pour les Vice-Présidents, le Secrétaire, le Trésorier et tous les membres du Bureau. Chaque réunion de la FEDERATION INTERNATIONALE commence par un rapport d'activités après lequel chacun donne sa démission et est en général réélu à son poste.

    Monsieur le Président KANO n'a jamais donné sa démission, comme les autres bureaux, mais en même temps, il n'a jamais non plus déclaré poser sa candidature pour l'exercice suivant.

    Il est exact que la FEDERATION NIPPONE DE JUDO avant l'Assemblée de RIO s'était réunie et avait donné son accord pour la réélection de M. KANO comme Président de la F.I.J. et de M. KAWAMURA comme Directeur sportif. Ce qui ne veut pas dire que la FEDERATION JAPONAISE essayait d'influencer l'élection des officiels de la F.I.J. lors de l'Assemblée Générale. Mais il était nécessaire que le délégué japonais puisse agir en conformité avec l'opinion de la FEDERATION JAPONAISE DE JUDO.

    Cette déclaration aux journaux avant la réunion de RIO venait de ce que le problème de la réélection du Président de la FEDERATION INTERNATIONALE DE JUDO avait été évoqué par M. BONET-MAURY de PARIS, Membre du Bureau de la F.I.J, qui avait annoncé à des journalistes qu'il ne soutiendrait pas la réélection de M. KANO comme Président pour la prochaine période. Mais dans le même temps, M. BONET-MAURY envoyait des lettres à Mr. le président Kano dans lesquelles il n'abordait jamais ce problème et autant que le le sache, il n'en parlait à aucun des membres du COMITE DE LA FEDERATION NIPPONE DE JUDO, bien qu'il l'ait répété à plusieurs reprises à des visiteurs qui s'entretenaient avec lui du problème de la présentation du JUDO aux prochains JEUX OLYMPIQUES. C'est une chose qui ne se fait jamais entre Président et Chefs de Bureau d'une FEDERATION INTERNATIONALE, qui ont des relations très étroites. Il n'y a rien de surprenant à ce que je puisse tenir cette attitude comme incompatible avec la dignité d'un homme occupant un poste important, pour parler à la nippone, surtout quand la déclaration est présentée de cette façon.

    L'UNION EUROPEENNE DE JUDO soutenue par l'UNION AFRICAINE et par d'autres pays est devenue assez puissante pour faire admettre son opinion à la la FEDERATION INTERNATIONALE DE JUDO. Il est sans doute raisonnable que l'on puisse selon les principes de la démocratie, décider de tout à la majorité, mais la FEDERATION INTERNATIONALE est maintenant dirigée à la guise de l'UNION EUROPEENNE DE JUDO qui ne manifeste aucune modestie lors des votes et l'on retrouve maintenant dans les Assemblées de la F.I.J, la tyrannie des partis de la majorité lors des réunions parlementaires.

    Je n'apprécie pas le machiavélisme de cette manœuvre ni l'attitude de Mr. HAYAKAWA, Délégué de la FEDERATION NIPPONE DE JUDO A RIO qui a critiqué l'UNION EUROPEENNE DE JUDO de la façon la plus véhémente dans son rapport à la FEDERATION INTERNATIONALE DE JUDO où il me présentait.

    Je n'apprécie pas non plus le discours qui précéda la réunion de la NIPPON JUDO FEDERATION à KANAWAZA (le 2 février) où l'on jugea l'attitude du délégué du Japon à la 4e Assemblée générale de la F.I.J. ni le fait que le Président KANO ait été renversé par 20 voix contre 7. En tant que japonais et en tant que Président de la FEDERATION NIPPONE DE JUDO, j'ai besoin d'avoir une vue d'ensemble de la F.I.J, d'autant plue que ce problème est devenu officieusement un sujet de conversation parmi les hommes influents du monde politique et financier du JUDO japonais. Par exemple Mr. SAKURADA, qui est Président de la «NISSIMBO» m'a dit:

    «la FEDERATION INTERNATIONALE DE JUDO, de même que la FEDERATION NIPPONE DE JUDO sont deux associations sportives ; il n'est donc pas indispensable que le Président soit japonais ou appartienne au KODOKAN pour que l'honneur soit sauf. Je pense même qu'il vaut mieux que les Présidents se remplacent tour tour, ce qui est l'opinion de Mr. LEGGET le 6ème DAN anglais bien connu qui m'a rendu visite l'autre jour a TOKYO.

    Suivant ce conseil, comme un homme qui écoute l'opinion des autres lorsqu'il hésite à prendre une décision importante, j'ai déclaré aux journalistes que je donnais ma démission de Président de la FEDERATION JAPONAISE DE JUDO, mais je ne leur ai jamais fait part de ma démission de la FEDERATION INTERNATIONALE DE JUDO.

    Malgré cela, on a décidé de me réélire comme Président de la FEDERATION JAPONAISE DE JUDO parce qu'on a estimé que le JUDO JAPONAlS devait être organisé raisonnablement sans se soucier des conséquences internationales possibles.

    Le 14 octobre 1965, nous avons reçu une dépêche du délégué japonais au Brésil (Mr. Risei KANO ne s'étant pas rendu à la réunion de la F.I.J.) qui disait:

    «L'ASSEMBLEE GENERALE DE LA F.I.J, a décidé le vote de défiance envers le Président KANO, malgré la recommandation des FEDERATIONS ASIATIQUE, PANAMERICAINE et OCEANIENNE. Mr. PALMER, Anglais a été élu comme nouveau Président et m'a invité vous prier d'accepter le poste de Président honorifique ».

    Maintenant que mon jugement est clair, je désire encourager plus que jamais la diffusion du JUDO du KODOKAN en agissant avant tout raisonnablement sans craindre l'issue du combat.


    With all but lost, Japan has been trying to hang on to one last building stone of jûdô: kata. But the IJF has slowly taken this over too. Japan's strategy of reducing kata to a senseless display of spiritless mechanics of which it every so many years changes a couple of things so that Westerners feel obliged to seek their advice  ... "to make sure they are doing it the right way as it should be now". Westerners unfortunately for the Kôdôkan don't remain as "gaijin-stupid" as they have been in the eyes of the Kôdôkan. Some of them now speak Japanese, know the Japanese historical writings, have experienced and anayzed what they were taught by previous or other masters and rightfully confront them with discrepancies, asking for justification, starting to perceive the dilution and wonder about its justification.

    Even as that process is continuing, it won't save judo. People don't stay in judo anymore. The IJF's erratic changes of rules that each time supposedly makes judo more attractive, so attractive in fact that no one recognizes any judo any more, only still interests those athletes who are still active in judo or those who earn their money and fame with competitive judo. One may use the term judo for hundreds of years more to come, but it has long stopped being judo. Judo is dead, period. There is nothing to do, nothing we can do. You had a good thing, a thing that was not perfect, but a good thing, you ruined, it's broken beyond repair. As hard as it may be to get, people don't just come to dôjô, shake hands, become friends, and suddenly the world is a better place where peace prevails. People still fuck up as much as they have, there are still good and bad people, wife beaters still may use judo to hit female judoka, pedophiles may still see it as an excellent opportunity, wars still occur, people still get angry about the least things, and egos still grow out of proportion. World peace ?  Go on continue dreaming. The philosophy of judo is weak and naive. It doesn't quite rank up there with Kant's Kategorische Imperativ, Hegel, Spinoz, Descartes, Leibniz. In fact no serious philosopher or philosophy text book devotes even a single word to Kanô. Why ?  Because he lacks importance and his naive views can't even with stand the weakest of philosophical tests. Kant, Hegel, Descartes, Merleaux-Ponti, Heidegger, Nietzsche, they were all criticized, extensively, Kanô's jûdô in this context is not even given a place to be criticized. It's ignored because it is utopian and doesn't even merit a much closer look. The only people who would put Kanô on a philosophical or moral pedestal are jûdôka. Kanô's major contribution was pedagogy, to which he delivered a substantial contribution for the Japanese. But that pedagogy is no longer practical and is outdated, and does not lend itself well in the contemporary world. In 2014, people are no interested anymore in learning Sei-ryoku zen'yô for their physical fitness. In 2014 people instead go to a fitness center, take vitamin supplements and see a doctor who can if necessary refer them for X-rays, MRI, CT-scan, blood and urinanalysis, and has a plethora of drugs and antibiotics to address a potential problem. Besides some anecdotal enthusiastic reports of how young women suddenly got rid of their weak lungs thanks to Kanô's jûdô there are no studies or reports that provide any hard evidence, analysis or data that have been verified by medical doctors to provide substance to this.  In how far, any TBC was cured by practicing judo, I sincerely doubt, as it still can be a heck of a job to cure it now. So far goes that illusion ...


    Last edited by Cichorei Kano on Tue Jul 08, 2014 4:23 pm; edited 1 time in total


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    Udon

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    Re: Shoji Muneoka interview - by Gotaro Ogawa

    Post by Udon on Tue Jul 08, 2014 2:38 pm

    If you are so very bitter and negative about judo how do you find the energy and motivation to write what will likely be a definitive book on judo ?

    DougNZ

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    Re: Shoji Muneoka interview - by Gotaro Ogawa

    Post by DougNZ on Tue Jul 08, 2014 3:04 pm

    Crikey, CK ... I'm signing off to go find a high bridge to jump off.
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    Cichorei Kano

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    Re: Shoji Muneoka interview - by Gotaro Ogawa

    Post by Cichorei Kano on Tue Jul 08, 2014 4:09 pm

    Udon wrote:If you are so very bitter and negative about judo how do you find the energy and motivation to write what will likely be a definitive book on judo ?

    I have no idea why you would think I would be bitter. You appear to conflate me highlighting some of the important historical events that are often not known or left out of populist books or publicity. I am an educator and it is my duty to highlight all aspects of the material I am expected to teach. I teach jûdô in clubs, in clinics, take up my responsibility to teach new jûdôka from scratch all the way to black belt and then some, coach my students, research, and try to improve myself. In order to do that as well as possible I need to know jûdô in all its aspects, its strengths, its weaknesses ...

    Many of these issues are not unique to jûdô. The idea of Japanese martial arts has been romanticized in the West for a long time. Today some believe or suggest that even bushidô is a historic reinvention, and if you know budô history you will know that many classical bugei arts underwent some serious periods of decay. When Kanô-shihan wanted to study jûjutsu he had some difficulties teaching as many of the jûjutsu teachers had quit or retired, or changed jobs as they could build a living out of . I am sure that many of you have read the work of the late Donn Draeger. Perhaps with the experience you have now you should reread it. You will understand and recognize many things you might not at the time.

    It's not that long ago (1970s) that we were all in awe of 'ki'. Many of us would even believe there existed some kind of supernatural power. Alas, Newtonian physics today are the same as they were 100 years ago, and likely if ki would have existed as a physical force Einstein would have described it. If you'd be able to find a new existing force, I can almost guarantee you you will win the Nobel Prize physics. A sufficient award I would think for anyone to come forward and demonstrate that ki exists as an extra force that should be added to Newtonian mechanics.


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    Cichorei Kano

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    Re: Shoji Muneoka interview - by Gotaro Ogawa

    Post by Cichorei Kano on Tue Jul 08, 2014 4:26 pm

    DougNZ wrote:Crikey, CK ... I'm signing off to go find a high bridge to jump off.

    Now why would you do that ? It isn't because an immaterial thing is dead, that you should be dead. I am sure you are loved by a partner/spouse/offspring/siblings, etc.

    Nothing what I wrote is new. You may not have known about it and the judo propaganda organs like IJF and Kodokan only publish things that suit them, and never things that show that they are right. The IJF for example announces every change in refereeing regulations as "an improvement".

    there does exist scholarly literature that underpins that Kanô's views were naive and utopian.


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    noboru

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    Re: Shoji Muneoka interview - by Gotaro Ogawa

    Post by noboru on Tue Jul 08, 2014 7:50 pm

    Thank you Cichorei Kano for your explanations and interesting arguments.

    You wrote, that you teach judo. Please can you describe me your teaching schema, your target in teaching judo? What you can give/learn your students? If you want we can use PM or create new topic (thread).

    Why I'm interesting for it? I practiced judo about 20 years only as with sport target background (in our national level ...). After this sport life part, I'm looking for the reason why continue in judo (the power is off, youth is away, body/knees are after injuries). My teachers of judo were very good in judo as sport and they finished practicing the judo after end of their judo careers or they transmited their experiences only judo for competition without any other ideas or goals.
     
    I read some books from Kodokan and find more interesting issues about judo, which I didnt know (kata background, explanation about ideas Seryoku Zenyo, Jitta Kyoei, Gokyo nagewaza detailed explanation) and it gives me new dimensions about understanding of judo and its meaning. There is a space for improving of my judo in my age...

    So I'm interesting how it practice to next parts of life... Some of my friends practise kendo via All Japan Kendo federation / European Kendo federation and there is goal be better in kendo and be better as people and improving it to end of life - there is a space and conditions improving the kendo and own person during all life - there is very sophisticated gradings sytems and teachings methods. So the article from young japanese judoka (from web of Gotaro Ogawa) points me some ideas from judo japanese model how make judo during all life.

    Please post your next reply or replies from you or other peoples about your/their teaching contents/schemas and goals/targets for all life judo practice. I belive that win in the sport match is not the main target of judo. This judo loses the meaning for me in my age...

    Thank you for discussion.
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    Cichorei Kano

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    Re: Shoji Muneoka interview - by Gotaro Ogawa

    Post by Cichorei Kano on Wed Jul 09, 2014 3:08 am

    noboru wrote:Thank you Cichorei Kano for your explanations and interesting arguments.

    You wrote, that you teach judo. Please can you describe me your teaching schema, your target in teaching judo? What you can give/learn your students? If you want we can use PM or create new topic (thread).

    Why I'm interesting for it? I practiced judo about 20 years only as with sport target background (in our national level ...). After this sport life part, I'm looking for the reason why continue in judo (the power is off, youth is away, body/knees are after injuries). My teachers of judo were very good in judo as sport and they finished practicing the judo after end of their judo careers or they transmited their experiences only judo for competition without any other ideas or goals.
     
    I read some books from Kodokan and find more interesting issues about judo, which I didnt know (kata background, explanation about ideas Seryoku Zenyo, Jitta Kyoei, Gokyo nagewaza detailed explanation) and it gives me new dimensions about understanding of judo and its meaning. There is a space for improving of my judo in my age...

    So I'm interesting how it practice to next parts of life... Some of my friends practise kendo via All Japan Kendo federation / European Kendo federation and there is goal be better in kendo and be better as people and improving it to end of life - there is a space and conditions improving the kendo and own person during all life - there is very sophisticated gradings sytems and teachings methods. So the article from young japanese judoka (from web of Gotaro Ogawa) points me some ideas from judo japanese model how make judo during all life.

    Please post your next reply or replies from you or other peoples about your/their teaching contents/schemas and goals/targets for all life judo practice. I belive that win in the sport match is not the main target of judo. This judo loses the meaning for me in my age...

    Thank you for discussion.



    The aims of jūdō are well summarized by Kanō in his 1932 article: Kanō Jigorō: The contribution of jūdō to education. Journal of Health and Physical Education 3, 37: 40-58, 1932. (You can find this article here: http://judoinfo.com/Kano1.htm):

    ”The final aim of Jūdō, therefore, is to inculcate in the mind of man a spirit of respect for the principle of maximum efficiency and of mutual welfare and benefit, leading him so to practice them that man individually and collectively can attain to the highest state, and, at the same time, develop the body and learn the art of attack and defense. If we closely observe the actual state of society all over the world, notwithstanding the fact that morality in all its forms (religious, philosophical and traditional) is meant to improve man's conduct in society and make the world ideal, the fact seems quite the contrary. We notice vices, quarrels, and discontent in every level of society, from the highest to the lowest. While we are taught hygiene and correct ways of living in school from childhood up to mature age, we still are prone to neglect the rules of good clean living and of hygienic and orderly lives. The actual facts prove that our society is lacking in something which, if brought to light and universally acknowledged, can remodel the society and bring greater happiness and satisfaction to this world. This is the teaching of maximum efficiency and mutual welfare and benefit.” (…)

    Secondly, Kanō reacts against dogmas and emphasizes the importance of reasoning and ratio:

    ”I do not mean to say that our time honored moral precepts and hygienics should be shelved. On the contrary, let those precepts and advice be respected ever as they used to be, but in addition to these; our principle of maximum efficiency and mutual welfare and benefit should ever be paramount. This I emphatically say, because in this age of criticism and new ideas, for any teaching to have effect, it must have behind it, some indubitable reason of fact. We do not hear the thinking man today say, "Because I believe in such and such a thing, therefore you must believe in it, or, I came to such and such a conclusion through my own reasoning; therefore you also must come to the same conclusion." Whatever one affirms must be based on facts or reasoning which no sane person can deny or doubt.” (…)

    The first principle of jūdō ―the maximal efficiency problem― is the one that withstands challenge the best, if well understood. It is what we all attempt to achieve, especially in times of economic restraints. Would we intentionally pay more for an identical object if we can get it cheaper ? Would we intentionally desire a car that uses 30 liters per 100 km of driving if we can get the identical brand with similar luxury and performance data that uses only 6 liters per 100 km ? The principle of maximal efficiency therefore is pervasive in our society. Even in things such as medicine. Would I give you 9 different drugs if I know you could get the same health effects by a single drug of which you have to take less ?

    There is really nothing new about this principle. Kanō was not the kind of creative genius who created entirely new concepts from scratch. He was a mere compiler who used fruits of original thought of others. The principle had long before been established by mathematicians such as Euler and Leibniz.

    As much as there isn't a problem "in se" with this first principle there is a problem in teaching and acquiring it to its fullest. There are two reasons for that. The first reason is that there are errors in Kanō's own understanding of Newtonian mechanics, and secondly there are problems in transferring jūdō skills or teaching. In Kanō's approach, jūdō should be taught according to 4 ways of teaching delivery: randori, kata, kōgi or lectures, and mondō or discussion. Jūdō, however, has never been taught like this in the West and isn't anymore today in Japan either. This is because people in the West never even knew or understood that this is the way jūdō was supposed to be taught. The first Japanese teachers in the West had poor language skills, so the way they were able to market jūdō was by demonstrating their fighting skills and defeating well-known wrestlers in popular catch-as-catch-can contests. Hence jūdō was taught in a single way: randori/shiai. The aspect of kata came into the picture much later when Westerners reached the level of black belts and this part was introduced as an essential aspect of black belt exams. Hence the stage had been said for the awkward position which kata would assume in the learning trajectory and views of many Westerners People did not generally understand the importance of kata which was perceived as something annoying and totally separate from randori/shiai.

    When Kanō himself still taught jūdō in Japan, he taught these 4 different aspects which he felt essential. When I discussed with Fukuda Keiko her relationship to Kanō and in how far she had ever actually been taught jūdō by him, it was obviously that the uniqueness of her experience was in the conversations she had with Kanō, the mondō aspect. So even though she was not taught practical jūdō by Kanō, the mondō allowed a kind of mentorship that sufficed to establish her deep commitment to jūdō as conceived by Kanō. Especially Fukuda-sensei’s first book “Born for the mat” still reflects jūdō in its original form. However, the average jūdō instructor either in Japan or in the West by far does not have enough knowledge and depth of knowledge of that what Kanō himself knew to effectively deliver the component of mondō and kōgi.

    When you see pictures of Kanō and the Kōdōkan, you sometimes see him simply in formal Montsuki Haori delivering lectures before a large group of jūdōka who have assembled in the dōjō listening to his teachings. Which jūdō dōjō does this today ? Lectures, until a couple of years ago were held as the starting point of the Kōdōkan International Summer Kata course, but they were abolished after the Kōdōkan a couple of years ago did a poll and distributed forms among those who attended asking the jūdōka for feedback about the course. The foreigners complained so much about the lectures, that it was abolished. What they (the Kōdōkan) did not realize was that it was not the lectures themselves that were the problem but how they were delivered. For years these had been delivered by people who simply lacked proper teaching and lecturing skills. They were held in Japanese only with sometimes a crippled part translation by another Japanese whose English was so poor that it was even harder to understand than the Japanese. Moreover, Westerners not used to attending lectures like this, were forced to spend 2 hours in seated, painful positions on the tatami not moving. If one uses his brain, one would know that the legs and joints of Westerners have not been trained from childhood to remain in seiza or even anza for 2 hours; moreover, many people are elderly with health impairments such as diabetes, cardiovascular problems, hernias, and most jūdōka with a competitive career who are 65 years of older have knee problems or back problems. In other words, you have to be pretty moronic to organize lectures in such a way. The lectures oftentimes were that bad --even in the rare cases that the content was interesting-- that I politely proposed to the Kōdōkan that I would hold the next year's lecture myself. I could do it simultaneously in English, Japanese and even French if necessary, and I could take questions and answer them in 7 languages. When teaching at university and having gone through tenure a couple of times one has been submitted to numerous teaching evaluations both by peers and students, and has followed numerous teaching workshops. Teaching itself then becomes an area of research and specialization. The lecturing quality of those who delivered lectures at the Kōdōkan was typically worse than that of the weakest of my sophomore students. Since I am trained in multiple areas all of the lectures at the Kōdōkan I had heard in the past fell within my working area. Of course my proposal ignored the simple postcolonial attitude of the Japanese that only another ethnic Japanese would be allowed to lecture or teach at the Kōdōkan; I do not make this up. I did inquire about the requirements to become a Kōdōkan instructor and considerable consternation arose when I pursued if they could please elaborate on relevance of skin color, ethnicity and facial features to one's efficiency as a jūdōka and instructor ... As I recall it, in the past there was only one time that translations at the Kōdōkan were completely intelligible and to the point and that was when our friend NBK was doing the translations. Regrettably, he did not get the full recognition for his skill and help either, and God forbid the idea of him or any other non-Japanese being invited to line up with the other Kōdōkan instructors. In the light of these colonial attitudes which the Japanese still actively practice (do I have to remind that newspapers today still contain many job advertisements that make it clear only people belonging to one race are desired for the job, which is quite stunning coming from democratic country in the 21st century; and these jobs are not limited to sensitive positions of national security). Given that equal rights and nondiscrimination are still hard to find, jūdō's second principle of mutual welfare and benefit becomes particularly cynical. Who exactly is this Japanese-style mutual welfare aimed at when discrimination based on gender, nationality and ethnicity is pervasive in the organizations who are the guardians of Kanō's thoughts ?

    It is perhaps an unexpected angle that highlights the severe weaknesses of this principle since at the same time it highlights that it is possible to become very senior in jūdō, even 8th, 9th, or 10th dan and be a total racist, or someone insensitive to human suffering or equality. This is seriously problematic.

    In his article, Kanō continues: "none can deny that it is only by aiming at mutual welfare and benefit that every member of society can keep from discord and quarrelling, and live in peace and prosperity. Is it not because of the universal recognition of these facts that people have come to talk so much about efficiency and scientific management and that everywhere these are being advocated? In addition to this, the principle of give-and-take is more and more coming to be the determining factor in the lives of all human beings. Is it not because this principle of mutual welfare and benefit has been recognized that from the League of Nations and the Great Powers of the World we came to meet for the decrease of naval and military armaments? These movements are also automatic acknowledgment of the crying need of efficient and mutual welfare and benefit. The educational forces of every country in which Jūdō should have a prominent part must further them." (...)

    "the decrease of naval and military armaments?"

    Luckily for him, Kanō bowed out before the atrocities of the Nazis took full shape, he never experienced Vietnam, the ethnic cleansing in Bosnia/Serbia, the Cold War, or the whole Israel/Palestinian conflict, the IRA, the ETA, and the concept of terrorism.

    Throughout his life Kanō went through different phases, something everyone who does serious research in jūdō history quickly realizes. Kanō made some considerable revisions, and at the end of his life was well aware of some serious flaws in jūdō, the return to koryū being one of the possible solutions.

    After his death, jūdō became totally sportified and isn't really delivered any longer as an education although in superficial IJF and federation marketing tools you might still see references to moral values. Jūdō today is nothing but an Olympic sport just like so many others. Being the best, winning, scoring is what counts and to where all the support and sponsorship is going. Jūdō is not supported as education is, and neither the Kōdōkan nor other places where jūdō is taught are accredited institutions or learning. They are either non-profit organization, while others are run as commercial businesses. The IJF is involved with big money, media and TV rights. This is not the kind of thing that an institution of education would be involved with.

    So, the second and highest principle of jūdō is the most utopian. Although a discussion was recently held about Kanō and religion, generally suggesting that Kanō was anti-religious, this expression may be too strong. Kanō was not in favor of the vices that religion can bring such as power and dogmas, but that does not mean that someone is anti-religious per se. Much of the moral code and ideals in jūdō is rooted in religion. In some sense one can argue in how far things such as Confucianism are a religion or merely a moral code. Irrespective of that, most of the highest skills of jūdō's and values of jūdō are of Zen-Buddhist and Taoist origin, and the highest principle of mutual benefit clearly is not free of Buddhist influences. At least in Buddhism as a religion, extensive teachings are provided as how to reach these highest goals, but jūdō has no clear strategy for it, and simple long-time practice fails to do so.

    Even for its other principle, everyone is in awe of seeing Mifune move on the tatami. No doubt he is a prime example of jūdō performed as practical and physical discipline according to the principle of maximal efficiency. The question, however, is how YOU are going to arrive at that level, or how YOU are going to teach someone else to reach that level ? Who among the readers here has reached that level ? Who among the readers here has taught someone else to reach that level ? Most of us will miserably fail at both, which illustrates the difficulty and the lack of practical tools to make this goal very realistic.

    The whole situation is even more problematic for the second goal. For the first goal we can still emphasize and train ourselves like crazy in kuzushi, tsukuri, debana, and we have some training forms that may help, such as kata, kihon, uchi-komi. However, for the second goal there is nothing, other than attempting to understand that the principle of jū needs to be brought to a supra-physical level, a moral level. Even so, if you succeed in doing that, the question is if you now have realized mutual benefit.

    Imagine I sleep with your wife, and you get very angry and want to kill me, and I having fully understood the principle of jū do not shout back to you, remain very calm, understanding, and succeed in you dropping your weapon, have I really achieved mutual benefit then ? Sure, a murder has been avoided, but the consequences of my act are still not gone. I still may have destroyed a marriage, caused hardship for a family and its children, etc. You don't prevent children dying in Africa from famine and dehydration simply by applying jū ? Where is the mutual benefit ? If I have to pay a bill and I can't, jū is not going to help me, and me telling the tax agency that they need to think in terms of mutual benefit isn't going to help my cause either. As I said, the second principle is naive and utopian. That doesn't mean it does not sound beautiful. It sounds even marvelous, and it would be great if it would be realistic, but it isn't.

    Such problems are not unique to jūdō and we see them often in religion too. What could be a more beautiful picture when a loved one dies and we say they have gone to heaven and their souls are reunited with other loved once, they now "rest in peace". In reality this is of course complete bullshit. All living things die, they putrefy, and dying itself can be process that is preceded by sheer agony. A person who is dead does not rest in peace, he is dead, his consciousness and vital functions have irrevocably ceased. There is no soul, and they do not join other people who previously died. Heaven, etc, are merely concepts that were invented to deal with some of the most agonizing events many of us have to deal with in our lives. The mere idea of realizing that your loved one is gone for ever and is nothing but a lifeless putrefying object doesn't help our suffering hence the fairytale of heaven.

    Neither religion nor parts of jūdō withstand the challenge of ratio and science very well. Does it make religion or jūdō completely useless ? Of course not. They allow as a model to enforce good things in our students, and they allow a theoretical imaging of the possible consequences and painful things we all may face. But ultimately it is really the teacher rather than the course he teaches that can install values in our students.

    You wondered what my target in teaching jūdō was and What you I can give/teach my students? My target isn't different from Kanō's, but I prefer to word it in a way that I think sounds less naive and perhaps can withstand the challenge of time better. Instead of saying I want to teach them "mutual benefit", I prefer saying I want to make them into responsible and caring citizens. However, I do not need jūdō for that. I teach the same in medicine. I make it very clear to my students that my duties do not end with helping to convey the factual material data of a course, but on how to apply this in a variety of circumstances, always from a humanistic perspective. I will never project to someone that things are going to be fantastic if you just do this and that. The challenges in life can be great and very different for everybody. When two people get married, everyone is all laughs and happiness, as if one pulls a bag over their head as if suddenly all is perfect and the definite solution of happiness is found. No wedding wishes from me will every buy into this, it's unrealistic. When I wish someone something it is a responsibility for me, that takes into account the challenges and realistic outcomes. In many cases in some future either distant or not very distant either one partner cheats on the other, and two people who supposedly love each other turn into each other's worst enemies where materialism and hurting each other become the goal.

    You wonder what my teaching goals are ? To be caring and responsible citizen in any circumstance whether on the tatami or in marriage or in business. As a task this goes beyond the tatami, just like it goes beyond the lecturing theater. When I teach at university, I spend much time with my students outside the lecturing theater: in my office, in a lab, in a field, and given the number of them who continue to seek my advice long after they have graduated, I must be doing something OK. The same in jūdō, but the task is harder than it used to be due to the loss of the core ideas of jūdō. As a teacher you are alone. What the IJF does, does not help you in the least achieve your goals and this is a problem. If religion is your thing ―and let's ignore the true abuses of religion for a second― at least your church is still there in theory sharing the same goals. The IJF doesn't share my goals; it has its own goals: commerce, and steering jūdōka to something that isn't and never was the core of jūdō: winning medals. But even the Kōdōkan whose task it is to be the guardian of jūdō, has so far strayed from Kanō ideals and teaching, that one can no longer find support in what they do either. Its painful approach to kata which has reduced this form to a travesty that has nothing to do anymore with its original goals, instructors who have no longer read or studied Kanō, who have no idea what it is about, no longer have the ability of preserving Kanō's jūdō, and its phobia to not involve knowledgeable non-Japanese, exacerbate the problem even more.

    I was in awe of those few personalities whose knowledge about jūdō far exceeded that of others, and in this way naturally I came across the writings of the late Trevor Pryce Leggett. It was clear that the man was very knowledgeable. In a time and era that most Westerners saw jūdō merely as a set of tricks, Leggett was talking about jūdō’s moral and educational aspects which he interspersed with personal anecdotes. The man set a standard for me and I devoured his writings. Though I never met the man himself, he still was inspired me. Leggett had an unusually high rank in jūdō long before any Westerner. In January 1955 he became the first and only Westerner in that time to hold a Kōdōkan 6th dan. He had met and known Kanō in person. After the death of Kanō he attended a lecture of Nangō Jirō, the second Kōdōkan kanchō, and commented on how little the man understood about Kanō. The situation hardly improved with Kanō Risei and Kanō Yukimitsu, and these two could hardly be called jūdōka. They were kanchō behind a desk, not kanchō on the tatami. Hopes were high for Uemura, someone who had proven his commitment on the tatami, but so far his main achievement is having become a 9th dan at the very young age of 58, something that only meets the challenge of benefit to oneself, not so much to others …

    Towards the end of 1970 Leggett refused being promoted to Kōdōkan 7th dan and as his life continued, he distanced himself more and more from the Kōdōkan and jūdō. I could not understand that. Why would such a knowledgeable man who had had achieved such a senior rank distance himself ? It made no sense. The man had a vast teaching experience, knowledge and commitment, and he understood jūdō much better than any Westerner. The 1970s are four decades in the past, and my experience in jūdō therefore has increased by 40 years. I have studied jūdō through and through, I followed and completed every possible instructors or coaching course, as one of very few people completed a 2,500 hour university degree in teaching jūdō, supervised university students’ theses on jūdō, wrote myself a thesis on budō and bushidō, and another thesis and dissertation on the most complex materials in jūdō, I refereed internationally, I coached, I trained with the best jūdōka and studied with the best and most experienced jūdō teachers, I taught and teach jūdō, and I research every aspect of it, and today I can understand the late TPL's decision very well. Ironically, comprehending jūdō seems a journey that required an enormous investment with very little yield, right the opposite of maximal efficiency, so it seems.


    Last edited by Cichorei Kano on Wed Jul 09, 2014 12:08 pm; edited 1 time in total


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    DougNZ

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    Re: Shoji Muneoka interview - by Gotaro Ogawa

    Post by DougNZ on Wed Jul 09, 2014 7:58 am

    As children, we crave love from our parents whilst holding them as our highest examples. At some point we begin to notice irregularities - flaws, if you like - in their behaviour. Later, we feel compelled to move from the family home to take on the world on our own terms. Many of those terms are the reaction to that we have observed in our parents; some positive, which we strive to hold on to, and some negative, which we vow to do differently. When we celebrate 'sameness' with our parents there is great joy and when we are at odds with them we experience great pain. Such is life.

    Thank you for a very personal insight into the meaning of judo for you, CK. I do hope you used the 'draft' button throughout.
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    Cichorei Kano

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    Re: Shoji Muneoka interview - by Gotaro Ogawa

    Post by Cichorei Kano on Wed Jul 09, 2014 8:23 am

    DougNZ wrote:As children, we crave love from our parents whilst holding them as our highest examples.  At some point we begin to notice irregularities - flaws, if you like - in their behaviour.  Later, we feel compelled to move from the family home to take on the world on our own terms.  Many of those terms are the reaction to that we have observed in our parents; some positive, which we strive to hold on to, and some negative, which we vow to do differently.  When we celebrate 'sameness' with our parents there is great joy and when we are at odds with them we experience great pain.  Such is life.

    Thank you for a very personal insight into the meaning of judo for you, CK.  I do hope you used the 'draft' button throughout.

    Thanks, Doug. Actually I wrote it in Notepad, gave a it a title and saved the file like that on my computer. I normally do that when I know beforehand that it will turn into a lengthy post. It's the one's I plan on writing briefly about directly on the forum that unexpectedly turn into longer posts that I tend to lose now and then. Unfortunately my post is filled with typo's and grammar errors, which gives you an idea of how quickly I typed it. I probably better would place it in MS-Word, correct the typo's first and place it back. I hope it was still somewhat intelligible.


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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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    Re: Shoji Muneoka interview - by Gotaro Ogawa

    Post by DougNZ on Wed Jul 09, 2014 9:55 am

    Cichorei Kano wrote:I hope it was still somewhat intelligible.

    It was very intelligible and clearly written from the head and the heart.

    If it is any consolation, the modern ju-jitsu world is far, far more flawed.  I am part of a small group in the middle of it all who feel much as you do.  At the heart of our system is a 'spirit of generosity', which is similar to Kano's 'mutual benefit', though less socialist and possibly more achievable.  Through this concept we encourage people to become 'responsible and caring citizens', to use your words.  We understand that we must lead by example, provide a supportive learning environment and weave the concept into the very fabric of the way we fight.  In this respect, we draw as much from Ueshiba as we do from Kano.

    We also subscribe to the inherited ideas of 'ju' and 'maximum efficiency'.  However, it has meant that we have placed less importance on the 'technical' techniques of ju-jitsu and more on the essence that underlies them.  Just as you say, "Would I give you 9 different drugs if I know you could get the same health effects by a single drug of which you have to take less?", we ask, "Is it necessary to use uchimata in this instance when we can simply take their balance and tip them over?".  The tip uses all the principles of 'ju' and 'maximum efficiency', it achieves the objective of controlling the opponent to the ground, and it allows us to care for our opponent (and ourselves) throughout, rather then dropping them on their head with a big throw and putting ourselves in danger of reversal.  In this respect, our approach could again be likened to that of Ueshiba in later life.  

    At the end of the day, fighting is simply about one creature wishing to gain dominance over another in order to end the fight.  Nikajo, shihonage and sasae tsurikomi goshi can get in the way of something that can be resolved fairly straightforwardly.  That said, the 'technical' techniques are challenging to understand and master, and make for studies that improve the self.  However, so much of modern ju-jitsu is 'theoretical fighting' and has clearly never been tested; not in randori, in shiai or in a streetfight.  Seeing such tricks parroted from generation to generation is frustrating because the teachers are neither seeing the big picture nor the principles that underlie it.  The way to discover that is to cast away the security of an acquired 'body of knowledge' and open oneself to alternatives.  In my case, it took about ten years to fully give up the 'traditional jiu jitsu' that defined the position I perceived I held and which determined the way I thought, and to start learning over again.  Today, every day is a learning day.  Further, the more I study ju-jitsu, the more I discover it is just one big simple, subtle and sophisticated white belt!

    Sadly, our group struggles to find like minds in the martial arts world, so when we come across people like you, CK, and some of the others here, we are instantly attentive.  If only you did not live on the other side of the world ...
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    Jonesy

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    Re: Shoji Muneoka interview - by Gotaro Ogawa

    Post by Jonesy on Fri Jul 11, 2014 5:08 pm

    Cichorei Kano wrote:
    ....Below is an article that appeared in the French press and that highlights the mess preceding the firing of Kanô Risei. I am sorry but it is in French only.

    Evènement aussi soudain qu'inattendu, M. Risei KANO, Président de la FEDERATION JAPONAISE DE JUDO et Président du KODOKAN, Fils du Fondateur du Judo Jigoro KANO, a été renversé de son poste de Président du KODOKAN de la FEDERATION INTERNATIONALE DE JUDO et remplacé par M. BARNES, Président de la British Judo Association.

    Cet évènement a fait grand bruit dans la presse mondiale et en particulier dans la presse japonaise et est devenu un sujet de conversation des plus brûlants dans les milieux responsables des ARTS MARTIAUX.

    BUDO MAGAZINE a donc demandé à. M. Risei KANO de s'expliquer sur ce sujet et celui-ci en a fait paraître la réponse dans la Revue japonaise «JUDO KODOKAN, en affirmant que sa réponse était la seule à présenter la vérité sur cette affaire.

    Avant la dernière ASSEMBLEE GÈNERALE de la F.I.J. qui devait avoir lieu à RIO DE JANEIRO (Brésil) à l'occasion des derniers Championnats du Monde, M. OIMATSU SHINICHI, sous-chef du Bureau de la Fédération japonaise de JUDO a présenté aux journalistes un texte rédigé de la façon suivante :

    «M. Risei KANO, Président de la FEDERATION NIPPONE DE JUDO a été élu Président de la FEDERATION INTERNATIONALE DE JUDO lorsque la FEDERATION NIPPONE adhéra à cette FEDERATION INTERNATIONALE M. Risei KANO fut réélu à la deuxième Assemblée Générale en 1961 et à la troisième en 1966 et il a conservé ce poste de Président jusqu'à maintenant.

    A la cinquième Assemblée Générale qui aura lieu à RIO, on devra faire l'élection du bureau de la FEDERATION INTERNATIONALE DE JUDO et bien entendu réélire le Président.

    Certains journaux ont prétendu que M. Risei KANO avait manifesté l'Intention d'être candidat à ce poste, mais ces nouvelles sont fausses. A la FEDERATION INTERNATIONALE DE JUDO, ce ne sont pas les candidats qui se présentent, mais ce sont les pays qui proposent ou recommandent un homme, qui ensuite est élu à l'unanimité. Et ceci, non seulement pour le Président, mais également pour les Vice-Présidents, le Secrétaire, le Trésorier et tous les membres du Bureau. Chaque réunion de la FEDERATION INTERNATIONALE commence par un rapport d'activités après lequel chacun donne sa démission et est en général réélu à son poste.

    Monsieur le Président KANO n'a jamais donné sa démission, comme les autres bureaux, mais en même temps, il n'a jamais non plus déclaré poser sa candidature pour l'exercice suivant.

    Il est exact que la FEDERATION NIPPONE DE JUDO avant l'Assemblée de RIO s'était réunie et avait donné son accord pour la réélection de M. KANO comme Président de la F.I.J. et de M. KAWAMURA comme Directeur sportif. Ce qui ne veut pas dire que la FEDERATION JAPONAISE essayait d'influencer l'élection des officiels de la F.I.J. lors de l'Assemblée Générale. Mais il était nécessaire que le délégué japonais puisse agir en conformité avec l'opinion de la FEDERATION JAPONAISE DE JUDO.

    Cette déclaration aux journaux avant la réunion de RIO venait de ce que le problème de la réélection du Président de la FEDERATION INTERNATIONALE DE JUDO avait été évoqué par M. BONET-MAURY de PARIS, Membre du Bureau de la F.I.J, qui avait annoncé à des journalistes qu'il ne soutiendrait pas la réélection de M. KANO comme Président pour la prochaine période. Mais dans le même temps, M. BONET-MAURY envoyait des lettres à Mr. le président Kano dans lesquelles il n'abordait jamais ce problème et autant que le le sache, il n'en parlait à aucun des membres du COMITE DE LA FEDERATION NIPPONE DE JUDO, bien qu'il l'ait répété à plusieurs reprises à des visiteurs qui s'entretenaient avec lui du problème de la présentation du JUDO aux prochains JEUX OLYMPIQUES. C'est une chose qui ne se fait jamais entre Président et Chefs de Bureau d'une FEDERATION INTERNATIONALE, qui ont des relations très étroites. Il n'y a rien de surprenant à ce que je puisse tenir cette attitude comme incompatible avec la dignité d'un homme occupant un poste important, pour parler à la nippone, surtout quand la déclaration est présentée de cette façon.

    L'UNION EUROPEENNE DE JUDO soutenue par l'UNION AFRICAINE et par d'autres pays est devenue assez puissante pour faire admettre son opinion à la la FEDERATION INTERNATIONALE DE JUDO. Il est sans doute raisonnable que l'on puisse selon les principes de la démocratie, décider de tout à la majorité, mais la FEDERATION INTERNATIONALE est maintenant dirigée à la guise de l'UNION EUROPEENNE DE JUDO qui ne manifeste aucune modestie lors des votes et l'on retrouve maintenant dans les Assemblées de la F.I.J, la tyrannie des partis de la majorité lors des réunions parlementaires.

    Je n'apprécie pas le machiavélisme de cette manœuvre ni l'attitude de Mr. HAYAKAWA, Délégué de la FEDERATION NIPPONE DE JUDO A RIO qui a critiqué l'UNION EUROPEENNE DE JUDO de la façon la plus véhémente dans son rapport à la FEDERATION INTERNATIONALE DE JUDO où il me présentait.

    Je n'apprécie pas non plus le discours qui précéda la réunion de la NIPPON JUDO FEDERATION à KANAWAZA (le 2 février) où l'on jugea l'attitude du délégué du Japon à la 4e Assemblée générale de la F.I.J. ni le fait que le Président KANO ait été renversé par 20 voix contre 7. En tant que japonais et en tant que Président de la FEDERATION NIPPONE DE JUDO, j'ai besoin d'avoir une vue d'ensemble de la F.I.J, d'autant plue que ce problème est devenu officieusement un sujet de conversation parmi les hommes influents du monde politique et financier du JUDO japonais. Par exemple Mr. SAKURADA, qui est Président de la «NISSIMBO» m'a dit:

    «la FEDERATION INTERNATIONALE DE JUDO, de même que la FEDERATION NIPPONE DE JUDO sont deux associations sportives ; il n'est donc pas indispensable que le Président soit japonais ou appartienne au KODOKAN pour que l'honneur soit sauf. Je pense même qu'il vaut mieux que les Présidents se remplacent tour tour, ce qui est l'opinion de Mr. LEGGET le 6ème DAN anglais bien connu qui m'a rendu visite l'autre jour a TOKYO.

    Suivant ce conseil, comme un homme qui écoute l'opinion des autres lorsqu'il hésite à prendre une décision importante, j'ai déclaré aux journalistes que je donnais ma démission de Président de la FEDERATION JAPONAISE DE JUDO, mais je ne leur ai jamais fait part de ma démission de la FEDERATION INTERNATIONALE DE JUDO.

    Malgré cela, on a décidé de me réélire comme Président de la FEDERATION JAPONAISE DE JUDO parce qu'on a estimé que le JUDO JAPONAlS devait être organisé raisonnablement sans se soucier des conséquences internationales possibles.

    Le 14 octobre 1965, nous avons reçu une dépêche du délégué japonais au Brésil (Mr. Risei KANO ne s'étant pas rendu à la réunion de la F.I.J.) qui disait:

    «L'ASSEMBLEE GENERALE DE LA F.I.J, a décidé le vote de défiance envers le Président KANO, malgré la recommandation des FEDERATIONS ASIATIQUE, PANAMERICAINE et OCEANIENNE. Mr. PALMER, Anglais a été élu comme nouveau Président et m'a invité vous prier d'accepter le poste de Président honorifique ».

    Maintenant que mon jugement est clair, je désire encourager plus que jamais la diffusion du JUDO du KODOKAN en agissant avant tout raisonnablement sans craindre l'issue du combat.

    I believe there is an error here which I have underlined. "M. Barnes" by who is meant the late John Barnes (for readers unfamiliar with French "M." is not an initial, it is a short form for Monsieur, or "Mr") was not President of the BJA and did not replace Risei Kano as President of the IJF in 1965. That person, as correctly stated later on was the late Charles Palmer.
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    NBK

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    Re: Shoji Muneoka interview - by Gotaro Ogawa

    Post by NBK on Sat Jul 12, 2014 11:24 am

    Cichorei Kano wrote:
    The aims of jūdō are well summarized by Kanō in his 1932 article: Kanō Jigorō: The contribution of jūdō to education. Journal of Health and Physical Education 3, 37: 40-58, 1932. (You can find this article here: http://judoinfo.com/Kano1.htm):
    ......
    When Kanō himself still taught jūdō in Japan, he taught these 4 different aspects which he felt essential. When I discussed with Fukuda Keiko her relationship to Kanō and in how far she had ever actually been taught jūdō by him, it was obviously that the uniqueness of her experience was in the conversations she had with Kanō, the mondō aspect. So even though she was not taught practical jūdō by Kanō, the mondō allowed a kind of mentorship that sufficed to establish her deep commitment to jūdō as conceived by Kanō. Especially Fukuda-sensei’s first book “Born for the mat” still reflects jūdō in its original form. However, the average jūdō instructor either in Japan or in the West by far does not have enough knowledge and depth of knowledge of that what Kanō himself knew to effectively deliver the component of mondō and kōgi.

    When you see pictures of Kanō and the Kōdōkan, you sometimes see him simply in formal Montsuki Haori delivering lectures before a large group of jūdōka who have assembled in the dōjō listening to his teachings. Which jūdō dōjō does this today ?  Lectures, until a couple of years ago were held as the starting point of the Kōdōkan International Summer Kata course, but they were abolished after the Kōdōkan a couple of years ago did a poll and distributed forms among those who attended asking the jūdōka for feedback about the course. The foreigners complained so much about the lectures, that it was abolished. What they (the Kōdōkan) did not realize was that it was not the lectures themselves that were the problem but how they were delivered. For years these had been delivered by people who simply lacked proper teaching and lecturing skills. They were held in Japanese only with sometimes a crippled part translation by another Japanese whose English was so poor that it was even harder to understand than the Japanese. Moreover, Westerners not used to attending lectures like this, were forced to spend 2 hours in seated, painful positions on the tatami not moving. If one uses his brain, one would know that the legs and joints of Westerners have not been trained from childhood to remain in seiza or even anza for 2 hours; moreover, many people are elderly with health impairments such as diabetes, cardiovascular problems, hernias, and most jūdōka with a competitive career who are 65 years of older have knee problems or back problems. In other words, you have to be pretty moronic to organize lectures in such a way. The lectures oftentimes were that bad  --even in the rare cases that the content was interesting--  that I politely proposed to the Kōdōkan that I would hold the next year's lecture myself. ....
    As I recall it, in the past there was only one time that translations at the Kōdōkan were completely intelligible and to the point and that was when our friend NBK was doing the translations. Regrettably, he did not get the full recognition for his skill and help either, and God forbid the idea of him or any other non-Japanese being invited to line up with the other Kōdōkan instructors.
    ......
    Given that equal rights and nondiscrimination are still hard to find, jūdō's second principle of mutual welfare and benefit becomes particularly cynical. Who exactly is this Japanese-style mutual welfare aimed at when discrimination based on gender, nationality and ethnicity is pervasive in the organizations who are the guardians of Kanō's thoughts ?

    It is perhaps an unexpected angle that highlights the severe weaknesses of this principle since at the same time it highlights that it is possible to become very senior in jūdō, even 8th, 9th, or 10th dan and be a total racist, or someone insensitive to human suffering or equality. This is seriously problematic.

    ....
    Throughout his life Kanō went through different phases, something everyone who does serious research in jūdō history quickly realizes. Kanō made some considerable revisions, and at the end of his life was well aware of some serious flaws in jūdō, the return to koryū being one of the possible solutions.

    After his death, jūdō became totally sportified and isn't really delivered any longer as an education although in superficial IJF and federation marketing tools you might still see references to moral values. Jūdō today is nothing but an Olympic sport just like so many others. Being the best, winning, scoring is what counts and to where all the support and sponsorship is going. Jūdō is not supported as education is, and neither the Kōdōkan nor other places where jūdō is taught are accredited institutions or learning. They are either non-profit organization, while others are run as commercial businesses. The IJF is involved with big money, media and TV rights. This is not the kind of thing that an institution of education would be involved with.

    So, the second and highest principle of jūdō is the most utopian. Although a discussion was recently held about Kanō and religion, generally suggesting that Kanō was anti-religious, this expression may be too strong. Kanō was not in favor of the vices that religion can bring such as power and dogmas, but that does not mean that someone is anti-religious per se. Much of the moral code and ideals in jūdō is rooted in religion. In some sense one can argue in how far things such as Confucianism are a religion or merely a moral code. Irrespective of that, most of the highest skills of jūdō's and values of jūdō are of Zen-Buddhist and Taoist origin, and the highest principle of mutual benefit clearly is not free of Buddhist influences. At least in Buddhism as a religion, extensive teachings are provided as how to reach these highest goals, but jūdō has no clear strategy for it, and simple long-time practice fails to do so.

    Even for its other principle, everyone is in awe of seeing Mifune move on the tatami. No doubt he is a prime example of jūdō performed as practical and physical discipline according to the principle of maximal efficiency. The question, however, is how YOU are going to arrive at that level, or how YOU are going to teach someone else to reach that level ?  Who among the readers here has reached that level ?  Who among the readers here has taught someone else to reach that level ?  Most of us will miserably fail at both, which illustrates the difficulty and the lack of practical tools to make this goal very realistic.  

    The whole situation is even more problematic for the second goal. For the first goal we can still emphasize and train ourselves like crazy in kuzushi, tsukuri, debana, and we have some training forms that may help, such as kata, kihon, uchi-komi. However, for the second goal there is nothing, other than attempting to understand that the principle of jū needs to be brought to a supra-physical level, a moral level. Even so, if you succeed in doing that, the question is if you now have realized mutual benefit.

    ....
    Neither religion nor parts of jūdō withstand the challenge of ratio and science very well. Does it make religion or jūdō completely useless ?  Of course not. They allow as a model to enforce good things in our students, and they allow a theoretical imaging of the possible consequences and painful things we all may face. But ultimately it is really the teacher rather than the course he teaches that can install values in our students.
    ....
    I was in awe of those few personalities whose knowledge about jūdō far exceeded that of others, and in this way naturally I came across the writings of the late Trevor Pryce Leggett. It was clear that the man was very knowledgeable. In a time and era that most Westerners saw jūdō merely as a set of tricks, Leggett was talking about jūdō’s moral and educational aspects which he interspersed with personal anecdotes. The man set a standard for me and I devoured his writings. Though I never met the man himself, he still was inspired me. Leggett had an unusually high rank in jūdō long before any Westerner. In January 1955 he became the first and only Westerner in that time to hold a Kōdōkan 6th dan. He had met and known Kanō in person. After the death of Kanō he attended a lecture of Nangō Jirō, the second Kōdōkan kanchō, and commented on how little the man understood about Kanō. ....
    Ironically, comprehending jūdō seems a journey that required an enormous investment with very little yield, right the opposite of maximal efficiency, so it seems.

    Interesting post, though one not likely to earn you any friends in the Kodokan.

    Regarding moral education, I am not at all sure that the parents of children anywhere are interested in having a gym teacher providing ethical / moral teaching.  I think that providing a good example goes a long ways, and if someone was interesting, having the tools to provide further reading and references.  But even that is not likely to ever happen again.  

    I think Nango Jiro knew Kano shihan much better than Leggett would ever understand, but aspects of Kano that are not discussed today. Imperial Navy Rear Admiral Nango Jiro kancho, Kano's nephew, the child of Kano's elder sister, lived with Kano as a child lived at the Kano juku (private school) and was a personal studies and judo student of Kano shihan for years.   A 3 dan 'til he died, he could demonstrate judo and advanced techniques of body control (Internal Power!  Ki!!) well into old age.

    Regarding the language issues, I think it very difficult for the good folks at the Kodokan and their close proteges to assess objectively their own foreign language (almost exclusively English) skills, and to understand how much of a block it can be to communication.   Nevertheless, it is a real issue.  In my own judo and broader martial arts associations, we've discussed formal English training programs for advanced martial artists / instructors to acquire the basic skills in the most common language.  

    Recently I attended some kata training, and next to my area watched a senior instructor pointing out some points regarding basic ukemi to a (apparently French) white belt out to prepare NNK for his black belt test.  Time after time he made a point, demonstrating proper and improper, but the foreigner simply didn't understand, his partner didn't understand, the Japanese standing about didn't understand or wouldn't intervene.  Finally, I motioned, and said, do this with you hands, not that, and voila', he understood.  Was this appreciated?  No, I got the clear impression that the instructor was miffed that I spoke out, even though it was clearly a matter of Jita Kyoei... the opposite was muda, a waste of time for everyone.  Never mind the miscommunication involved in trying to explain the more arcane points of the kata itself.  So I just went back to working on my own kata.  

    NBK

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    Re: Shoji Muneoka interview - by Gotaro Ogawa

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