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    Traditional Japanese Judo

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    makoto

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    Traditional Japanese Judo

    Post by makoto on Wed Aug 13, 2014 7:53 pm

    Nice video from old days... With Sumiyuki Kotani.



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    Anatol

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    Re: Traditional Japanese Judo

    Post by Anatol on Wed Aug 13, 2014 11:18 pm

    Very good intro!

    Thx a lot Mr. Makamoto!


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    wdax

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    Re: Traditional Japanese Judo

    Post by wdax on Wed Aug 13, 2014 11:24 pm

    Kotani appears at 2:05 and demonstrates some techniques. Having met him in 1981 I´m sure the footage with him is much older.
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    Cichorei Kano

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    Re: Traditional Japanese Judo

    Post by Cichorei Kano on Thu Aug 14, 2014 12:25 am

    An interesting part are the sequences at 05'00"- 05'30" where Kotani-sensei demonstrates kata. YOu can see that the mannered approach which you see today is totally absent and the execution much freeer. You see things in the nage-no-kata where the great Kotani clearly is not applying tsugi-ashi "as prescribed"; that is to say, it's tsugi-ashi but the second foot he retracts bypasses the other one. You do realize that today some federations and Western 'experts' would actually fail someone for shodan if he would do this, since after all in their eyes it means your kata is wrong, because it then deviates from what someone has shown at the Kôdôkan or from what is written in stone on some IJF page. Their conclusion is always that if you do something that is different from how it is on their sheet of paper, then you "make a mistake" or do not know kata. So in all the wisdom of the IJF and EJU kata specialists there would be only one conclusion: Kotani, despite being a student of Kanô does WRONG kata and would obtain a very low score at a kata competition and would be passed by most of the shodan with barely 5 years of jûdô experience. Does this seem right ?

    Kotani, together with Takata-sensei, were the last of the famous and original goshinjutsu performers and Kotani's goshinjutsu was legendary. Guess what ... no posing at the end, no freezing of the body and staring into oblivion for 5 seconds, no carefully measured number of steps after each moment, oh dear, oh dear, Kotani once more miserable fails the Kôdôkan and IJF standards, just like the IJF experts no doubt had already decided that Mifune had no clue about kata either. After all, kata is an exercise where you MUST copy exactly what is done on the Kôdôkan DVD and every deviation from it is of course a mistake that must be penalized with negative points, no ?

    Oh, and look at that nag-no-kata during the Kagami-Biraki at 06'00", why are those jûdôka adjusting their gi after every movement ?  Oh my God, they even perform sutemi such as tomoe-nage and ura-nage without stopping to adjust their gi !  How is that possible. And why all that dynamism instead of being preoccupied what side you turn and measure every stop you take. Oh dear, oh dear, they would no doubt end up at th lower end also passed by evry 18-year old Western shodan with 3 years of experience.

    At 10'00" there are some rare sequences from Joshi jûdô goshinhô with a young Akiyama Sumiko and the late Miyagawa-sensei with her luscious black hair, who always stood out in the joshi-bu because of her femininity. I've always wondered if for that reason perhaps they murdered her ...

    And yes, at 12'00", ouch, those memories of Okano-sensei's Seikijuku !  Today, it probably would not be so imaginable anymore to see Okano-sensei and the Kôdôkan appear in the same jûdô documentary. Some of the big names of the Western competitors of the past there, such as the late Peter Adelaar from Holland.

    There is one unexpectd thing for me in that documentary though, at 13'00" I notice two people with film camera's when Okano-sensei is demonstrating. I never saw that. That was highly unusual then, when video still did not exist except large video players perhaps that used actual reels.

    I reckon that this footage dates from somewhere around 1973.


    Last edited by Cichorei Kano on Thu Aug 14, 2014 9:32 am; edited 1 time in total


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    tafftaz

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    Re: Traditional Japanese Judo

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

    Just a curious point...what is the piece of apparatus being used about the 8 min mark?? looks like a trampoline.
    Which beggars the question why??

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    Re: Traditional Japanese Judo

    Post by Cichorei Kano on Thu Aug 14, 2014 2:18 am

    tafftaz wrote:Just a curious point...what is the piece of apparatus being used about the 8 min mark?? looks like a trampoline.
    Which beggars the question  why??


    It's the original prototype of the crashmat !!  Very Happy 

    No, seriously, I think that it is just an odd way to try visualize something in the absence of sophisticated scientific equipment. This recording is still from before the digital and computer era, so basic slow motion is all they got, hence ... enter the trampoline. That's at least my 2 cts.


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    tafftaz

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    Re: Traditional Japanese Judo

    Post by tafftaz on Thu Aug 14, 2014 2:28 am

    Cichorei Kano wrote:
    tafftaz wrote:Just a curious point...what is the piece of apparatus being used about the 8 min mark?? looks like a trampoline.
    Which beggars the question  why??


    It's the original prototype of the crashmat !!   Very Happy 

    No, seriously, I think that it is just an odd way to try visualize something in the absence of sophisticated scientific equipment. This recording is still from before the digital and computer era, so basic slow motion is all they got, hence ... enter the trampoline. That's at least my 2 cts.


    That is what I thought, but with all the negativity toward the use of crash mats from older members I was just curious as to what it's use was for.
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    Cichorei Kano

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    Re: Traditional Japanese Judo

    Post by Cichorei Kano on Thu Aug 14, 2014 3:07 am

    tafftaz wrote:
    Cichorei Kano wrote:
    tafftaz wrote:Just a curious point...what is the piece of apparatus being used about the 8 min mark?? looks like a trampoline.
    Which beggars the question  why??


    It's the original prototype of the crashmat !!   Very Happy 

    No, seriously, I think that it is just an odd way to try visualize something in the absence of sophisticated scientific equipment. This recording is still from before the digital and computer era, so basic slow motion is all they got, hence ... enter the trampoline. That's at least my 2 cts.


    That is what I thought, but with all the negativity toward the use of crash mats from older members I was just curious as to what it's use was for.

    Well, I think that that there is a major difference. I think that contrary to crashmats, this trampoline was not actually being used for jûdô practice, only to provide some graphics, even though biomechanically the trampoline example is way off from the real situation when thrown on a tatami.


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    tafftaz

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    Re: Traditional Japanese Judo

    Post by tafftaz on Thu Aug 14, 2014 3:22 am

    Yeah I agree with you totally CK. It is just that I have never seen anything like this being used for anything concerning judo.
    I also liked the way that balance was demonstrated with the push cart early on in the clip.
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    Jonesy

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    Re: Traditional Japanese Judo

    Post by Jonesy on Thu Aug 14, 2014 6:53 am

    The judoka at the very start is a younger Yoshimi Osawa - now 10 dan.


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    NBK

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    Re: Traditional Japanese Judo

    Post by NBK on Thu Aug 14, 2014 12:32 pm

    I don't understand the subject: Traditional Judo? but great video, thanks.

    Around 5:20 there's a quick shot of the outside of the Kodokan - I'm not sure what angle is shown but I assume it's from across the main street.

    Are the 4 upper floors (5-Cool in the annex new? Looks like that is only 4 stories.

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    Re: Traditional Japanese Judo

    Post by Cichorei Kano on Thu Aug 14, 2014 1:14 pm

    NBK wrote:I don't understand the subject: Traditional Judo?   but great video, thanks.  

    Around 5:20 there's a quick shot of the outside of the Kodokan - I'm not sure what angle is shown but I assume it's from across the main street.  

    Are the 4 upper floors (5-Cool in the annex new?   Looks like that is only 4 stories.


    Yes. The Kôdôkan in that form was completed in 1958, and the grand dôjô at that time was on the second floor, not the 7th, since there weren't 7 (or 8 stories on the second building). Construction to enlarge the building from 2 floors to 8 started in 1982 and was completed in 1984.


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    afja_lm139

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    The Way It Was

    Post by afja_lm139 on Thu Aug 14, 2014 10:20 pm

    I took these photos of the Kodokan sometime in 1961 or 62 when the main dojo floor was at street level on the left and only 7 floors in the building to the right. .  There was a gravel parking lot in front and an empty lot across the street.

    https://imageshack.com/a/ZuYz/1

    For some reason the Photobucket site is blocked by Norton's so I changed to "ImageShack"
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    afja_lm139

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    Re: Traditional Japanese Judo

    Post by afja_lm139 on Fri Aug 15, 2014 7:54 am

    I first met Kotani sensei in 1961 when he supervised our SAC-ARDC Combative Measures course at Kodokan and a few times after that.  He sat in on my demo part of shodan after batsugan and asked me to perform some kata.  He was Hachidan then but in 1962 at the 5th Air Force tournament they announced that he had been promoted to kudan and he and some Hachidan preformed several kata for us during opening ceremonies.   He as not yet 60 years old then and could randori with the best of them and us.  His manner in the video shows that he had aged by more than 20 years so a little stiff, as I am today as well.  The last time I saw him in person was in 1966 when he visited us at Bergstrom AFB, TX and was in great physical condition then.  

    In his company he never let us feel he as any better than we were and at times seemed to act as if we were more important people; true humility one could say.  Kotani sensei was very instrumental in furthering Judo in the USA and at times I think we forgot a lot of that he and others of his stature did for us.  As far as “traditional Judo” goes it is better defined as “the Judo I remember we did way back then.”
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    Cichorei Kano

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    Re: Traditional Japanese Judo

    Post by Cichorei Kano on Fri Aug 15, 2014 8:22 am

    afja_lm139 wrote:I first met Kotani sensei in 1961 when he supervised our SAC-ARDC Combative Measures course at Kodokan and a few times after that.  He sat in on my demo part of shodan after batsugan and asked me to perform some kata.  He was Hachidan then but in 1962 at the 5th Air Force tournament they announced that he had been promoted to kudan and he and some Hachidan preformed several kata for us during opening ceremonies.   He as not yet 60 years old then and could randori with the best of them and us.  His manner in the video shows that he had aged by more than 20 years so a little stiff, as I am today as well.  The last time I saw him in person was in 1966 when he visited us at Bergstrom AFB, TX and was in great physical condition then.  

    In his company he never let us feel he as any better than we were and at times seemed to act as if we were more important people; true humility one could say.  Kotani sensei was very instrumental in furthering Judo in the USA and at times I think we forgot a lot of that he and others of his stature did for us.  As far as “traditional Judo” goes it is better defined as “the Judo I remember we did way back then.”

    That seems about right, Kotani was promoted to 9th dan on November 17, 1962. He was born on the August 3, 1903, so indeed he was only 59 at the time of his promotion to kudan. Kotani was one of the youngest hachidan ever having obtained this rank at the young age of 41 yrs, which is even younger than Mifune, and below the minimal age currently allowed by the Kôdôkan.

    Many people do not realize that Kotani also had been an Olympic-level wrestler (1932 Olympics), so he must have been quite strong indeed. Here's an overview of his 1932 matches:

    http://www.sports-reference.com/olympics/athletes/ko/sumiyuki-kotani-1.html

    And here's the final outcome showing Kotani narrowly missed winning a medal ending fifth place:

    http://games-encyclo.org/index.php?id=10913&L=1


    Last edited by Cichorei Kano on Fri Aug 15, 2014 12:45 pm; edited 1 time in total


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    NBK

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    Re: Traditional Japanese Judo

    Post by NBK on Fri Aug 15, 2014 11:43 am

    afja_lm139 wrote:I took these photos of the Kodokan sometime in 1961 or 62 when the main dojo floor was at street level on the left and only 7 floors in the building to the right. .  There was a gravel parking lot in front and an empty lot across the street.

    https://imageshack.com/a/ZuYz/1

    For some reason the Photobucket site is blocked by Norton's so I changed to "ImageShack"
    Thanks, for years looking at the similarity of the old dai dojo (large dojo) on the top floor, I thought they'd only changed the windows but now see that the spectator section is raised more and the ceiling is high.

    Man, has the neighborhood changed... The Bunkyo-ku city hall around the corner is massive, there's virtually no parking anywhere, and the street is six lanes wide at the door of the Kodokan.

    Thank you
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    NBK

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    Re: Traditional Japanese Judo

    Post by NBK on Fri Aug 15, 2014 11:53 am

    Cichorei Kano wrote:
    afja_lm139 wrote:I first met Kotani sensei in 1961 when he supervised our SAC-ARDC Combative Measures course at Kodokan and a few times after that.  He sat in on my demo part of shodan after batsugan and asked me to perform some kata.  He was Hachidan then but in 1962 at the 5th Air Force tournament they announced that he had been promoted to kudan and he and some Hachidan preformed several kata for us during opening ceremonies.   He as not yet 60 years old then and could randori with the best of them and us.  His manner in the video shows that he had aged by more than 20 years so a little stiff, as I am today as well.  The last time I saw him in person was in 1966 when he visited us at Bergstrom AFB, TX and was in great physical condition then.  

    In his company he never let us feel he as any better than we were and at times seemed to act as if we were more important people; true humility one could say.  Kotani sensei was very instrumental in furthering Judo in the USA and at times I think we forgot a lot of that he and others of his stature did for us.  As far as “traditional Judo” goes it is better defined as “the Judo I remember we did way back then.”

    That seems about right, Kotani was promoted to 9th dan on November 17, 1962. He was born on the August 3, 1903, so indeed he was only 59 at the time of his promotion to kudan. Kotani was one of the youngest hachidan ever having obtained this rank at the young age of 41 yrs, which is even younger than Mifune, en below the minimal age currently allowed by the Kôdôkan.

    Many people do not realize that Kotani also had been an Olympic-level wrestler (1932 Olympics), so he must have been quite strong indeed. Here's an overview of his 1932 matches:

    http://www.sports-reference.com/olympics/athletes/ko/sumiyuki-kotani-1.html

    And here's the final outcome showing Kotani narrowly missed winning a medal ending fifth place:

    http://games-encyclo.org/index.php?id=10913&L=1
    Kotani sensei had talents that aren't even discussed today. His Olympic foray was apparently part of Kano's shihan experiment to use judoka in Olympic competitions, but it didn't end well. At the time there were very few Western wrestlers in Japan.

    He seemed to be an enthusiastic martial artist who would try other arts, not too embarrassed to learn something new. I think you can see the influence of certain other arts in how he modified certain techniques and kata.

    NBK
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    Ryvai

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    Re: Traditional Japanese Judo

    Post by Ryvai on Sat Aug 16, 2014 12:45 am

    makoto wrote:Nice video from old days... With Sumiyuki Kotani.


    At about 09:56, are we seeing some techniques from the Kodokan Joshi Goshin-Ho kata? Smile
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    noboru

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    Re: Traditional Japanese Judo

    Post by noboru on Sat Aug 16, 2014 12:49 am


    Sumiyuki Kotani - Hall of fame of Token Corp. and Zenjuren webpage

    http://www.judo-ch.jp/english/legend/kotani/
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    Cichorei Kano

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    Re: Traditional Japanese Judo

    Post by Cichorei Kano on Sat Aug 16, 2014 12:54 am

    If memory serves me well, I believe that forum member Ben Reinhardt once serve as uke to Kotani-sensei and described it as an unforgettable experience.


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    seatea

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    Re: Traditional Japanese Judo

    Post by seatea on Sat Aug 16, 2014 2:34 am

    Cichorei Kano wrote:At 10'00" there are some rare sequences from Joshi jûdô goshinhô with a young Akiyama Sumiko and the late Miyagawa-sensei with her luscious black hair, who always stood out in the joshi-bu because of her femininity. I've always wondered if for that reason perhaps they murdered her ...

    Murder? Can you provide some more details?
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    Cichorei Kano

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    Re: Traditional Japanese Judo

    Post by Cichorei Kano on Sat Aug 16, 2014 2:53 am

    seatea wrote:
    Cichorei Kano wrote:At 10'00" there are some rare sequences from Joshi jûdô goshinhô with a young Akiyama Sumiko and the late Miyagawa-sensei with her luscious black hair, who always stood out in the joshi-bu because of her femininity. I've always wondered if for that reason perhaps they murdered her ...

    Murder? Can you provide some more details?

    Tongue in cheek, my friend, no pun intended ...


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    Ben Reinhardt

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    Re: Traditional Japanese Judo

    Post by Ben Reinhardt on Sat Aug 16, 2014 9:28 am

    Cichorei Kano wrote:If memory serves me well, I believe that forum member Ben Reinhardt once serve as uke to Kotani-sensei and described it as an unforgettable experience.

    I did...he visited Ft. Worth Texas (and other locations in the US I assume) back in the mid eighties. I was still a brown belt at the time. Probably nikkyu? In any case, he came to a special training session at the Ft. Worth Jewish Community Center, where my former sensei (Ishibashi Michinori) held a judo class on Sundays.

    Kotani Sensei was very elderly, and his fingers were really arthritic. Despite that, he worked with the little kids (I was 19 years old, I think), and took ukemi for them a few times (being thrown). He seemed to really enjoy himself...

    Either he asked me to be uke for him, or my sensei told him I would be adequate, I don't remember. In any case, he threw me around for a couple of minutes, demonstrating different stuff, mostly ashi waza.

    He was like the proverbial empty jacket. I wasn't jumping for him at all, there was no need. He'd move slightly and I'd fly, it was amazing. He then helped me with my Ouchi Gari (which still sucks, no fault of his, LOL!).

    That's it.


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    afja_lm139

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    Re: Traditional Japanese Judo

    Post by afja_lm139 on Sat Aug 16, 2014 9:46 am

    Almost the same thing happened when he visited us in Austin and then Ft. Worth back in 1966.  What always impressed me about him was his memory for people he had met years before.  At the SAC-ARDC school at the Kodokan each one of us would be his uke for one reason or the other and at times would randori with us.  After I was awarded shodan he put me to my paces.  Like the wind he was. He would say to us occasionally, in Japanese and English - "The fog is so fine that you can't hold it in your hands, yet it can hide a mountain.”  That was in 1961 and 62.

    In Austin and Ft. Worth in 1966 he remembered me for some reason. He worked with us and especially like Gerry Reid, one of our heavy weight USAF/AAU competitors, he knew Gerry for years, and left him in the dust.  He was always pleasant and humble, and interested in each individual.  He really made his presence known by his obvious knowledge in the Way of Judo.

    After all these years and at my age I usually don't think of those people in the same way I did back then.  Now most of them were Judo people that one could take or leave, but a very few like Kotani sensei sticks in my mind as very special people. Away from the tatami he appeared as a normal human being without any special qualities.  That was the way he was on the tatami as well, but we all knew he was special.

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