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    A summary of Judo in forumites own words

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    Davaro

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    A summary of Judo in forumites own words

    Post by Davaro on Thu Feb 21, 2013 6:16 pm

    Hi Forumites

    I am in the process of applying for a municipal building for purposes of a small dojo.

    Within my application, I would like to include a short but powerful description of what Judo is. Something that would impress the lay-person, including the educational and pedagogical principles and intent.

    I invite you all to make a post, with YOUR description of what Judo is, from which I will hopefully get decent ideas of what to include in my proposal. Please try to keep it brief as possible. Say not more than 3 paragraphs or so?

    Please participate. This thread could turn into something that can be referred to by newcomers and all those interested in judo that want a brief but powerful description of the activity we all love.

    Cheers,

    Dave


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    Davaro

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    Re: A summary of Judo in forumites own words

    Post by Davaro on Thu Feb 21, 2013 8:56 pm

    Ok... to get the ball rolling. My first initial thoughts on the subject.

    Please feel free to shoot this full of holes or to suggest any changes. Dont be gentle...

    Judo (Meaning “The Gentle Way”)

    Judo was created by its founder Jigoro Kano in Japan in 1882

    It has subsequently grown into a very popular sport and was incorporated into the Olympic Games officially in 1964 (although it was first seen as a demonstration in the 1932 games) – Whilst the sport, or competitive aspects of Judo are perhaps more well known, little is known about its principles and pedagogy.

    Judo has at its core, principles of maximum efficiency, minimum effort together with mutual welfare and benefit. In short, a simple way of describing these principles is that of not meeting force with force, but rather evading or using breaking of balance can overcome a stronger adversary. Mutual welfare and benefit comes into play in that the judo student would not attempt to hurt his partner while they are gaining fitness and health as a result of physical exercise. Judo’s philosophies would rather have the astute student living his life employing these principles. Judo is thus seen as a “way” rather than as an “art”

    Judo can become a life-long pursuit ensuring fitness of body and mind. It is not unusual to see active judo players well into the twilight of their lives still employing these principles, whether in the judo studio or elsewhere.


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    cuivien

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    Re: A summary of Judo in forumites own words

    Post by cuivien on Thu Feb 21, 2013 9:03 pm

    I'll continue the discussion by quoting myself from a abstract I wrote a couple of years ago for class. It may not be 100% suited for your needs, and perhaps a tad "academic", but maybe as a starting point...? Very Happy

    ---
    When most people hear the word 柔道 jūdō, it brings to mind images of people in white pajamas: sweating, maybe shouting, and throwing each other to the ground with a loud 'thud'. Yes, jūdō are those things, but both the name itself, as well as the philosophical and ethical musings from the arts' founder Jigoro Kano (1860-1938) all point away from the perceived violent nature of the art. Rather, one finds a desire to create something more than just a replacement for the German Turnbewegungen (sometimes misnamed "Scandinavian gymnastics"), which he felt were movements without any relevance to real life. Specifically, he wrote that there were three "levels" or "purposes" to his jūdō: a) 体育法 tai'iku-hō, or physical training; b) 勝負法 shōbu-hō, or martial training; and finally c) 修身法 shūshin-hō, which refers to moral or ethical training. This notion of combined personal, physical, and intellectual development are contained in the two maxims 精力善用 seiryoku zen'yō (also known as 精力最善活用 seiryoku saizen katsuyō; "best use of one's energy") and 自他共栄 jita kyōei, commonly translated as "maximum efficiency with minimum effort" and "mutual benefits" respectively.
    ---

    After this, the abstract starts going in to areas not relevant for this discussion, so I cut it off here for now Smile





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    Creamy creamy baileys

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    Re: A summary of Judo in forumites own words

    Post by Creamy creamy baileys on Thu Feb 21, 2013 11:35 pm

    I believe the translation is closer to 'pliable method' rather then 'gentle way'. Perhaps you could mention something about learning to be adaptable under difficult circumstances as being a core lesson of Judo?
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    Davaro

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    Re: A summary of Judo in forumites own words

    Post by Davaro on Thu Feb 21, 2013 11:56 pm

    Thanks to both ^

    Good points and taken as such.


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    Neil G

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    Re: A summary of Judo in forumites own words

    Post by Neil G on Sat Feb 23, 2013 1:46 am

    Judo is a modern martial art adapted by its founder, Jigaro Kano, from older Japanese martial arts. On the surface, it is wrestling while wearing heavy clothing, allowing throws, pins, joint locks and chokes. However, Kano had more serious intentions than just another variation of grappling.

    First, he had the innovation to modify and restrict the allowed techniques so that proponents could train safely against a fully resisting opponent. Up until that time, most Japanese martial arts were trained through forms and drills.

    Second, he had the intention to create a system not just for fitness or self-defence, but that could be used to educate people to become better citizens and better people in general. Thus the principles of efficiency, cooperation and respect can be learned through judo and applied in life. This is the idea of "budo", a way to improve yourself through rigorous training in martial arts, that can have a profound impact on those who practice judo with the correct mindset.
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    genetic judoka

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    Re: A summary of Judo in forumites own words

    Post by genetic judoka on Sat Feb 23, 2013 2:30 am

    one of the clubs I visit shares a building with a gymnastics school. I will share the summary of judo given by a 6 year old gymnast who once watched a class. "judo? isn't that those guys who put their pajamas on and snuggle?"


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    Re: A summary of Judo in forumites own words

    Post by Wandering WB on Sat Feb 23, 2013 6:35 am

    Nice post, genetic.

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    Re: A summary of Judo in forumites own words

    Post by hedgehogey on Sat Feb 23, 2013 7:53 am

    "You get slammed like a pro wrestler, strangled and a silly fat man sits on your head. Somehow this is all about "gentleness"."

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    Re: A summary of Judo in forumites own words

    Post by Wandering WB on Sun Feb 24, 2013 1:13 pm

    Nice post, Hedgehoney.
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    Re: A summary of Judo in forumites own words

    Post by Jonesy on Sun Feb 24, 2013 7:27 pm

    "ju" does not mean gentle as others have said.

    To the OP, why ask Forum members for a summary definition of judo? Why not go to the literature e.g. The Kodokan dictionary etc. and use a proper one


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    finarashi

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    Re: A summary of Judo in forumites own words

    Post by finarashi on Sun Feb 24, 2013 8:54 pm

    I whemenently object to being called forumite clown


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    Re: A summary of Judo in forumites own words

    Post by Wandering WB on Mon Feb 25, 2013 3:43 am

    When I think of judo, I do not consider it any different from any other full contact combat sport that I've practiced.

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    Re: A summary of Judo in forumites own words

    Post by medo on Mon Feb 25, 2013 3:55 am

    Wandering WB wrote:When I think of judo, I do not consider it any different from any other full contact combat sport that I've practiced.

    Different than being a ninja I presume lol! thumbs Keep thinking WB Sleep Welcome to this forum. Hows the training going for your first grade. Any vids for me to see how your coming along.
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    Davaro

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    Re: A summary of Judo in forumites own words

    Post by Davaro on Mon Feb 25, 2013 4:54 am

    Jonesy - I stay in South Africa... as stated in the OP, I am looking for something the lay-person would understand. We, or the people I am trying to impress, are not all PhD level individuals. Ps- If you say Ju does not mean gentle, please dont just leave it there. If you state an error, I would think that you would state what the correct translation, in Kano's terms if you want. I have always thought Ju to mean gentle. Please educate us?

    Fin - what are you then? Objection noted...

    WbW, as always you and Hedge have really provided insight...

    Neil G - Thank you. I like where you went with that.


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    We could have a poll - but if the majority vote for "Judo roly poly" its going to ignite fascist dictatorlike tendencies lurking within me.


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    Re: A summary of Judo in forumites own words

    Post by medo on Mon Feb 25, 2013 5:14 am

    I have always looked at Judo as teaching the art of falling over safely, or making someone else fall over, coupled with how to restrain someone once they have fallen over. Laughing

    Is that a little to lay person!

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    Cichorei Kano

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    Re: A summary of Judo in forumites own words

    Post by Cichorei Kano on Mon Feb 25, 2013 6:10 am

    Davaro wrote:Jonesy - I stay in South Africa... as stated in the OP, I am looking for something the lay-person would understand. We, or the people I am trying to impress, are not all PhD level individuals. Ps- If you say Ju does not mean gentle, please dont just leave it there. If you state an error, I would think that you would state what the correct translation, in Kano's terms if you want. I have always thought Ju to mean gentle. Please educate us?

    Fin - what are you then? Objection noted...

    WbW, as always you and Hedge have really provided insight...

    Neil G - Thank you. I like where you went with that.

    I am not Jonesy, but ... words have multiple meanings depending on the context. 'Jû' does not mean 'gentle'. Do you see anything 'gentle' in jûdô, with exception perhaps of a very feminine performance of jû-no-kata ? Do the descriptions of the initial contests by the Kôdôkan suggest anything gentle ? Do the first work-outs at Eishôji temple with the tablets falling down and the abott complaining sound like 'gentle' ? Does anyone think that an average workout in jûdô is gentle ?

    The jû or yawara kanji also means meek, soft,  tender,  limp,  or subdued, but once more not all those meanings apply to what 'jû' means in the noun 'jûdô'. Kanô has clearly defined its meaning by use of the sentence "jû yoku go (w)o seisu". The Jû implies a 'nonresistance', not 'gentle'. Jûdô's parent schools are inundated with further clarifications, such as Yôshin-ryû and the bending of a willow branch under snow until the snow drops off. That's not about 'gentleness', but about giving way to weight and force. In the meaning is a sense of 'pliable' contained, but not in an absolute sense. For example, a contortionist is much more pliable than any of us, but that clearly is not what jû in jûdô aims to be, it is not about exceeding others or certain limits in how far one can ply or bend. For that reason 'pliable' is a poor choice as a translation too.

    One should bear in mind though that jû as used in Kôdôkan jûdô means as how Kanô has defined it. The word 'jûdô' by no means was original. It was used in schools such as Jikishin-ryû and some branches of Kitô-ryû, but these were not gendai budô (modern ways of military skills), but bugei or koryû. For that reason jûdô as used by them is not identical as jûdô used by Kôdôkan, even though the defining sentence "jû yoku go (w)o seisu" appears in the kuden (oral transmissions) of Tenjin Shin'yô ryû and in explanations about the principles of Kitô-ryû. However, it also isn't true that the spiritual dimension of Kôdôkan as used by Kanô was incredibly original. Like most things in Kôdôkan jûdô Kanô simply copied or took from existing materials elsewhere rather than create new from scratch. The spiritual dimension of Kôdôkan jûdô clearly comes from the Kitô-ryû branch studied by Kanô. It is likely no coincidence (and this should not necessarily be interpreted as 'positive') that Kanô stuck with schools that ... could be explained ... depending on one's view as ... "strongly spiritually developed", or ... "had completely lost realistic fighting skills and practice, and had become mere performance arts aiming to please the eye".


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    Re: A summary of Judo in forumites own words

    Post by Wandering WB on Mon Feb 25, 2013 12:08 pm

    CK
    An informative digest of the japanese vocab, thanks.

    "with exception perhaps of a very feminine performance of jû-no-kata ? "
    What is ju-no-kata and what's the point of doing it? I thought what I needed to beat judo guys was lots of randori.

    medo
    Hows the training going for your first grade. Any vids for me to see how your coming along.
    My training is going fine. I am focusing on execution of the moves I know rather than learning new ones and having success with it in class. Everything I see in class is actualy review and any move I see I am probably going to nail in class that day. Other than that, I get asked to lead the warm ups. BJJ black belts still wipe the mat with me. Makes me wanna ambush them after class with something heavier than just my fists. Maybe the military has a tank I can borrow.

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    Re: A summary of Judo in forumites own words

    Post by Cichorei Kano on Mon Feb 25, 2013 1:02 pm

    Wandering WB wrote:CK
    An informative digest of the japanese vocab, thanks.

    "with exception perhaps of a very feminine performance of jû-no-kata ? "
    What is ju-no-kata and what's the point of doing it? I thought what I needed to beat judo guys was lots of randori.

    In the view of the founder, a combination of two forms of practical jûdô exercises are necessary to achieve the level of proficiency postulated as ideal. One type of exercise was free improvisation or "ran (w)o tori" (more commonly known as 'randori'), the other form being the repetition of selected patterns of action/reaction (kata).

    Because the founder had multiple objectives for jûdô, which in addition to developing fighting skills also had to include gymnastics to keep a healthy body, improving one's intellectual knowledge through mental development, and moral development in the sense of optimizing how to deal with emotional stress and similar, a variety of exercises were developed that also had to suit developing these other skills.

    A taisô-no-kata (predefined gymnastic exercise forms) was developed that had gymnastic purposes, but gymnastics not based on the classical Scandinavian model, but on moves derived from Japanese physical activities. These moves were developed in such a way that they were practised with a partner and illustrated the principle of giving way rather than resisting force. To do so, the moves mimicked attacks but in a stylized and slow-motion way. Even though it is not real fighting, understanding its principles rather than merely superficially repeating it, helps both strategically and intuitively applying true fighting skills in randori, by becoming more and more inclined to choose techniques as well as moments to apply techniques in such a way that they optimally adhere to minimally application of inefficient power, and maximal application of opportunity and efficiency. This is, for example, achieve both by applying an actual technique only when the opponent is maximally out of balance, and by tai-sabaki and avoidance of his application of powerful actions rather than by catching or blocking his energy. The exercise called jû-no-kata contains 15 scripted stylistic patterns divided over three series. After the founder's death, the exercise frequently became practised detached from the perspective for which it was created, and instead became something presented as a performance art with the main goal now seemingly having become to be visually pleasing to the eye. This is very much attested by the fact that those vigorously engaging in randori and those vigorously engaging in jû-no-kata practice are often two different groups whereas in the view of the founder both should be engaged in by the same people, with the one caveat being that the evolution of one's age and physical abilities logically would cause that there will be changes throughout someone's judo career as to what kind of exercises are most suited and most feasible.


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    Davaro

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    Re: A summary of Judo in forumites own words

    Post by Davaro on Mon Feb 25, 2013 8:44 pm

    Cichorei Kano wrote:
    Davaro wrote:Jonesy - I stay in South Africa... as stated in the OP, I am looking for something the lay-person would understand. We, or the people I am trying to impress, are not all PhD level individuals. Ps- If you say Ju does not mean gentle, please dont just leave it there. If you state an error, I would think that you would state what the correct translation, in Kano's terms if you want. I have always thought Ju to mean gentle. Please educate us?

    Fin - what are you then? Objection noted...

    WbW, as always you and Hedge have really provided insight...

    Neil G - Thank you. I like where you went with that.

    I am not Jonesy, but ... words have multiple meanings depending on the context. 'Jû' does not mean 'gentle'. Do you see anything 'gentle' in jûdô, with exception perhaps of a very feminine performance of jû-no-kata ? Do the descriptions of the initial contests by the Kôdôkan suggest anything gentle ? Do the first work-outs at Eishôji temple with the tablets falling down and the abott complaining sound like 'gentle' ? Does anyone think that an average workout in jûdô is gentle ?

    The jû or yawara kanji also means meek, soft,  tender,  limp,  or subdued, but once more not all those meanings apply to what 'jû' means in the noun 'jûdô'. Kanô has clearly defined its meaning by use of the sentence "jû yoku go (w)o seisu". The Jû implies a 'nonresistance', not 'gentle'. Jûdô's parent schools are inundated with further clarifications, such as Yôshin-ryû and the bending of a willow branch under snow until the snow drops off. That's not about 'gentleness', but about giving way to weight and force. In the meaning is a sense of 'pliable' contained, but not in an absolute sense. For example, a contortionist is much more pliable than any of us, but that clearly is not what jû in jûdô aims to be, it is not about exceeding others or certain limits in how far one can ply or bend. For that reason 'pliable' is a poor choice as a translation too.

    One should bear in mind though that jû as used in Kôdôkan jûdô means as how Kanô has defined it. The word 'jûdô' by no means was original. It was used in schools such as Jikishin-ryû and some branches of Kitô-ryû, but these were not gendai budô (modern ways of military skills), but bugei or koryû. For that reason jûdô as used by them is not identical as jûdô used by Kôdôkan, even though the defining sentence "jû yoku go (w)o seisu" appears in the kuden (oral transmissions) of Tenjin Shin'yô ryû and in explanations about the principles of Kitô-ryû. However, it also isn't true that the spiritual dimension of Kôdôkan as used by Kanô was incredibly original. Like most things in Kôdôkan jûdô Kanô simply copied or took from existing materials elsewhere rather than create new from scratch. The spiritual dimension of Kôdôkan jûdô clearly comes from the Kitô-ryû branch studied by Kanô. It is likely no coincidence (and this should not necessarily be interpreted as 'positive') that Kanô stuck with schools that ... could be explained ... depending on one's view as ... "strongly spiritually developed", or ... "had completely lost realistic fighting skills and practice, and had become mere performance arts aiming to please the eye".

    Thank you CK, as ever your insights are very thought provoking.

    Based on what you wrote, what then, would be the correct "western" (If I may) translation of the word "Judo"?

    I think I, and many others, can be forgiven for thinking it was the "gentle" way based on the plethora of obviously incorrect material available and from that which was passed down and probably lost in translation, by a multitude of Sensei...

    Or is it perhaps best to just say it is "Judo" the Japanese term for the activity?

    Your thoughts on this would be appreciated.



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    We could have a poll - but if the majority vote for "Judo roly poly" its going to ignite fascist dictatorlike tendencies lurking within me.


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    hedgehogey

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    Re: A summary of Judo in forumites own words

    Post by hedgehogey on Mon Feb 25, 2013 10:07 pm

    Addendum: Also people will have completely po-faced debates over a joke.
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    Davaro

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    Re: A summary of Judo in forumites own words

    Post by Davaro on Mon Feb 25, 2013 11:21 pm

    Hey, no one is debating WBW???


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    We could have a poll - but if the majority vote for "Judo roly poly" its going to ignite fascist dictatorlike tendencies lurking within me.


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    Cichorei Kano

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    Re: A summary of Judo in forumites own words

    Post by Cichorei Kano on Tue Feb 26, 2013 12:17 am

    Davaro wrote:
    Cichorei Kano wrote:
    Davaro wrote:Jonesy - I stay in South Africa... as stated in the OP, I am looking for something the lay-person would understand. We, or the people I am trying to impress, are not all PhD level individuals. Ps- If you say Ju does not mean gentle, please dont just leave it there. If you state an error, I would think that you would state what the correct translation, in Kano's terms if you want. I have always thought Ju to mean gentle. Please educate us?

    Fin - what are you then? Objection noted...

    WbW, as always you and Hedge have really provided insight...

    Neil G - Thank you. I like where you went with that.

    I am not Jonesy, but ... words have multiple meanings depending on the context. 'Jû' does not mean 'gentle'. Do you see anything 'gentle' in jûdô, with exception perhaps of a very feminine performance of jû-no-kata ? Do the descriptions of the initial contests by the Kôdôkan suggest anything gentle ? Do the first work-outs at Eishôji temple with the tablets falling down and the abott complaining sound like 'gentle' ? Does anyone think that an average workout in jûdô is gentle ?

    The jû or yawara kanji also means meek, soft,  tender,  limp,  or subdued, but once more not all those meanings apply to what 'jû' means in the noun 'jûdô'. Kanô has clearly defined its meaning by use of the sentence "jû yoku go (w)o seisu". The Jû implies a 'nonresistance', not 'gentle'. Jûdô's parent schools are inundated with further clarifications, such as Yôshin-ryû and the bending of a willow branch under snow until the snow drops off. That's not about 'gentleness', but about giving way to weight and force. In the meaning is a sense of 'pliable' contained, but not in an absolute sense. For example, a contortionist is much more pliable than any of us, but that clearly is not what jû in jûdô aims to be, it is not about exceeding others or certain limits in how far one can ply or bend. For that reason 'pliable' is a poor choice as a translation too.

    One should bear in mind though that jû as used in Kôdôkan jûdô means as how Kanô has defined it. The word 'jûdô' by no means was original. It was used in schools such as Jikishin-ryû and some branches of Kitô-ryû, but these were not gendai budô (modern ways of military skills), but bugei or koryû. For that reason jûdô as used by them is not identical as jûdô used by Kôdôkan, even though the defining sentence "jû yoku go (w)o seisu" appears in the kuden (oral transmissions) of Tenjin Shin'yô ryû and in explanations about the principles of Kitô-ryû. However, it also isn't true that the spiritual dimension of Kôdôkan as used by Kanô was incredibly original. Like most things in Kôdôkan jûdô Kanô simply copied or took from existing materials elsewhere rather than create new from scratch. The spiritual dimension of Kôdôkan jûdô clearly comes from the Kitô-ryû branch studied by Kanô. It is likely no coincidence (and this should not necessarily be interpreted as 'positive') that Kanô stuck with schools that ... could be explained ... depending on one's view as ... "strongly spiritually developed", or ... "had completely lost realistic fighting skills and practice, and had become mere performance arts aiming to please the eye".

    Thank you CK, as ever your insights are very thought provoking.

    Based on what you wrote, what then, would be the correct "western" (If I may) translation of the word "Judo"?

    I think I, and many others, can be forgiven for thinking it was the "gentle" way based on the plethora of obviously incorrect material available and from that which was passed down and probably lost in translation, by a multitude of Sensei...

    Or is it perhaps best to just say it is "Judo" the Japanese term for the activity?

    Your thoughts on this would be appreciated.


    No, that it incorrect, but it is also not completely crazy. After all, the one thing that is about totally unknown in the West and also largely unknown in Japan, is that as Kanô's ideas had evolved towards the 1930s, he saw jûdô as an overall encompassing concept and specifically saw budô as a part of jûdô rather than the other way around, which is how jûdô is understood by almost everyone. If one considers that towards the end of his life, Kanô advocated a return to koryû and wanted to organize other arts at the Kôdôkan (see also professor Shishida's most recent publication) then this is not so strange or difficult to understand. However, I am not going to elaborate further on this as I am addressing some of it in research that it currently either under review for publication or in press.


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    "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 ?)
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    Re: A summary of Judo in forumites own words

    Post by judo101 on Tue Feb 26, 2013 12:53 am

    Davaro wrote:

    .................. what then, would be the correct "western" (If I may) translation of the word "Judo"?


    I believe the translation for judo in the kodokan dictionary is:

    “the way of softness and flexibility”
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    Davaro

    Posts : 224
    Join date : 2013-01-04
    Location : South Africa

    Re: A summary of Judo in forumites own words

    Post by Davaro on Tue Feb 26, 2013 2:43 am

    Judo! The soft but not, flexible but not, pliable but not, meek but not, tender but not,limp but not gentle way! Perfect for the philisophical but not, or warrior but not, person who may or may not want to hurt his opponent, depending on, but not, his mood or the era in which it is performed. But not.

    I finally get it! Suspect But not.


    In all seriousness, I do. Thank you...

    CK - how would you answer my OP?


    _________________
    Dew wrote:
    We could have a poll - but if the majority vote for "Judo roly poly" its going to ignite fascist dictatorlike tendencies lurking within me.


    http://www.saizenjudo.wozaonline.co.za/

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    Re: A summary of Judo in forumites own words

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