E-Judo

Judo network and forum


    Kano was a swordsman?

    Share

    frank raud

    Posts : 1
    Join date : 2015-10-17

    Kano was a swordsman?

    Post by frank raud on Wed Feb 24, 2016 2:14 am

    On the back cover of the 1986 edition of Kodokan Judo, it states, "Over a hundred years ago Jigoro Kano mastered swordsmanship and hand-to-hand combat." I can't find anything that shows Kano studied sword to any extant. Is this statement correct?

    NBK

    Posts : 1059
    Join date : 2013-01-10
    Location : Tokyo, Japan

    Re: Kano was a swordsman?

    Post by NBK on Wed Feb 24, 2016 5:14 am

    If Kano shihan studied much kenjutsu, he sure kept quiet about it. I've never seen him mention it. It is pretty clear that he studied a number of jujutsu schools that are not generally recorded in the standard histories, but it's not clear why. Perhaps because he didn't get any rank in them.

    He did study what he called 'bojutsu' with instructors at the Kodokan, what we today call jojutsu - the 50 inch staff that Japanese riot police carry. He work a long introduction to 'bojutsu' citing as the most logical weapon for modern society (most folks can't carry swords, you can find a stick anywhere, etc.).

    He was apparently enthusiastic about the jo - wanted his judo instructors to become proficient and teach it around the world. And, for what it's worth, he wanted to eventually fold kendo under his leadership, too, although he got pretty much nowhere with that.

    The bo / jo instruction died out after he died in 1938.

    Anatol

    Posts : 181
    Join date : 2014-01-20

    Re: Kano was a swordsman?

    Post by Anatol on Wed Feb 24, 2016 7:57 am

    I found this article some time ago, because I wanted to know more about some key terms Judo and Kendo share like "debana" and "ma ai"

    Jigoro Kano’s pursuit of ideal judo and its succession: Judo’s techniques performed from a distance

    by

    Fumiaki Shishida
    Waseda University (Japan)

    Abstract:

    Jigoro Kano, the founder of judo, had great interest several other martial arts: boxing, karate, aiki-jujutsu, bo-jutsu, wrestling
    and others. He studied them enthusiastically to improve judo with the objective of making it the best that it could be. The new
    training method that Kano conceived in 1918 was to be a combination of judo and kendo and was the result of his studying those
    other martial arts. The purpose of this study is to examine Kano’s involvement with those five other martial arts. By following the
    details of that process, we will learn how Kano enthusiastically pursued his ideal judo and was dissatisfied with judo as it was. Jiro
    Nango, the second president of Kodokan, succeeded Kano’s will by establishing the group to study Judo’s techniques performed
    from a distance. Kenji Tomiki, one of the group’s instructors, completed the article entitled The Systematic Study of Techniques
    While Maintaining Distance in Judo: The Principles of Judo and the Techniques of Aiki-budo, on the basis of accumulation of study
    theretofore. The article is considered as an answer to the question posed by Master Kano.

    http://www.judoteachers.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/Kanos-Ideal-Judo.pdf

    http://www.judoteachers.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/Judo-from-a-distance.pdf






    Reinberger

    Posts : 130
    Join date : 2013-12-02

    Re: Kano was a swordsman?

    Post by Reinberger on Wed Feb 24, 2016 8:44 pm

    NBK wrote:... It is pretty clear that he studied a number of jujutsu schools that are not generally recorded in the standard histories, but it's not clear why.  Perhaps because he didn't get any rank in them.  ...

    Perhaps high standards regarding the amount of time and effort, as well as the level of dedication and deepness of introduction necessary to rightly say one has "studied" such a school might be a criterion?

    This may have changed in the course of time, similar to the utilization of expressions like "jūdōka", "budōka" etc., used so much more generous these days than it was done in the past.


    _________________
    Kind regards, Robert

    NBK

    Posts : 1059
    Join date : 2013-01-10
    Location : Tokyo, Japan

    Re: Kano was a swordsman?

    Post by NBK on Thu Feb 25, 2016 12:30 pm

    Reinberger wrote:
    NBK wrote:... It is pretty clear that he studied a number of jujutsu schools that are not generally recorded in the standard histories, but it's not clear why.  Perhaps because he didn't get any rank in them.  ...

    Perhaps high standards regarding the amount of time and effort, as well as the level of dedication and deepness of introduction necessary to rightly say one has "studied" such a school might be a criterion?

    This may have changed in the course of time, similar to the utilization of expressions like "jūdōka", "budōka" etc., used so much more generous these days than it was done in the past.
    Sensible enough - perhaps his biographers don't mention his study of other jujutsu schools because he didn't reach the point where he could claim some mastery thereof.

    Today many of those same koryu schools have a hybrid system - awarding dan ranks plus the traditional 'mokuryoku', 'menkuyo kaiden' etc. I have such ranks below the traditional ranks, but these are clearly post-Kano recent innovations, not traditional.

    NBK

    Posts : 1059
    Join date : 2013-01-10
    Location : Tokyo, Japan

    Re: Kano was a swordsman?

    Post by NBK on Thu Feb 25, 2016 12:38 pm

    Anatol wrote:I found this article some time ago, because I wanted to know more about some key terms Judo and Kendo share like "debana" and "ma ai"

    Jigoro Kano’s pursuit of ideal judo and its succession: Judo’s techniques performed from a distance

    by

    Fumiaki Shishida
    Waseda University (Japan)

    Abstract:

    Jigoro Kano, the founder of judo, had great interest several other martial arts: boxing, karate, aiki-jujutsu, bo-jutsu, wrestling
    and others. He studied them enthusiastically to improve judo with the objective of making it the best that it could be. The new
    training method that Kano conceived in 1918 was to be a combination of judo and kendo and was the result of his studying those
    other martial arts.
    The purpose of this study is to examine Kano’s involvement with those five other martial arts. By following the
    details of that process, we will learn how Kano enthusiastically pursued his ideal judo and was dissatisfied with judo as it was. Jiro
    Nango, the second president of Kodokan, succeeded Kano’s will by establishing the group to study Judo’s techniques performed
    from a distance. Kenji Tomiki, one of the group’s instructors, completed the article entitled The Systematic Study of Techniques
    While Maintaining Distance in Judo: The Principles of Judo and the Techniques of Aiki-budo, on the basis of accumulation of study
    theretofore. The article is considered as an answer to the question posed by Master Kano.

    http://www.judoteachers.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/Kanos-Ideal-Judo.pdf
    http://www.judoteachers.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/Judo-from-a-distance.pdf
    I know Shishida sensei - we exchange info on our research.
    And I am pretty sure in this sense that he is saying that Kano shihan 'studied kendo' in the quasi-academic sense, thinking of it and how judo could use the motions, or incorporate it into judo (which he mentions), but not studying kendo in the sense that he donned bogu and took his shinai and whacked people for hundreds of hours. There is plenty of evidence of the former and none for the latter.

    In that sense one could also say he 'studied' boxing - in that he invited boxers to provide instruction, watched matches, talked to folks about boxing and boxing training, wrote about boxing and took criticism of his ideas (typically, he didn't take criticism well, mind you) - but there's no evidence of which I am aware that indicates he laced on gloves and went after a punching bag or partner.

    PS - I guess there may be an exception to the kendo instruction - supposedly he studied bojutsu (i.e., jojutsu, see above) and using the jo means that you have to understand and apply at least at a basic level simply sword attacks and defenses.

    NBK

    Posts : 1059
    Join date : 2013-01-10
    Location : Tokyo, Japan

    Re: Kano was a swordsman?

    Post by NBK on Thu Feb 25, 2016 5:43 pm

    Interesting - just hrs after posting this, I picked up an old book I just bought, and found a reference citing Kano shihan as one of the new generation of traditional yet innovative Japanese teachers who became intimate with his students as he 'exchanged blows with his students in the kendo shed'.  Shocked

    Reinberger

    Posts : 130
    Join date : 2013-12-02

    Re: Kano was a swordsman?

    Post by Reinberger on Thu Feb 25, 2016 9:31 pm

    NBK wrote:Interesting - just hrs after posting this, I picked up an old book I just bought, and found a reference citing Kano shihan as one of the new generation of traditional yet innovative Japanese teachers who became intimate with his students as he 'exchanged blows with his students in the kendo shed'.
    Nice co-occurrence, NBK!

    Exactly what is cited there, is, for example, something we also do from time to time within the framework of our Jigenryū hyōhō iaijutsu training. But while we practise with nihontō, other types of "live" swords, iaitō, bokken (bokutō), suburitō and even with shinai (at the occasions I mentioned), and some of the students (and even the current sōke) have or have had formal Kendō training, we wouldn't even dream about claiming any proficiency in - let alone mastery of - Kendō because of that.


    _________________
    Kind regards, Robert

    Sponsored content

    Re: Kano was a swordsman?

    Post by Sponsored content Today at 10:51 am


      Current date/time is Sun Dec 04, 2016 10:51 am