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    Isao Okano

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    Billy bongo

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    Join date : 2013-03-31

    Isao Okano

    Post by Billy bongo on Mon Jun 03, 2013 4:31 am

    I have been studying a lot of this judokas stuff as I can on line. Can anyone tell me more about him other than the stuff on wikipedia. I have known about him for many years but have only recently started to take a closer look at some of his technique. To me his technique is amazing. I watched his documentary and saw how much effort he put into everything. Why did he retire at 25? I also heard that he had a falling out with the kodokan, can anyone elaborate on this? Please give me anything you have as I want to know more. Any help would be appreciated!

    Cichorei Kano

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    Re: Isao Okano

    Post by Cichorei Kano on Mon Jun 03, 2013 5:11 am

    Billy bongo wrote:I have been studying a lot of this judokas stuff as I can on line. Can anyone tell me more about him other than the stuff on wikipedia. I have known about him for many years but have only recently started to take a closer look at some of his technique. To me his technique is amazing. I watched his documentary and saw how much effort he put into everything. Why did he retire at 25? I also heard that he had a falling out with the kodokan, can anyone elaborate on this? Please give me anything you have as I want to know more. Any help would be appreciated!

    There really isn't much to add to what is in wikipedia or in his books or interviews mostly because if it isn't there it most likely belongs to his private atmosphere. After all, we are talking about a living private person. You may, however, find the following scholarly paper useful which addresses your specific questions:

    Finch D.: Okano Isao's impact on judo since the Lausanne World Championships. Journal of Asian Martial Arts 12, 4 82-etc, 2003.

    I would like to add that we often get to see just a very narrow picture of an athlete, namely the amazing person who accomplishes legendary feats we can only dream off. We don't get to everything that surrounds that or builds up to that. Okano-sensei told me in detail how totally stressed out he became living up to those contests. Besides, he had won everything there was to win: Olympic gold, world champion, All Japan Championships, and he had injuries too. There's a lesson there too. It isn't necessary as a jûdôka to the point that people have to say "he should have retired years ago". While one could argue that it is impressive for a jûdôka to continue to way in his 30s, one could also play the devil's advocate and call it pathetic wondering why one would need the continuing attention and medals. Does one prefer to rather watch a career such those of Inoue and Suzuki, where one also has to watch for years what comes after they had reached the zenith. Yamashita got saved from it just in time, but he too had a hard reality in the last match against Saito. Okano perhaps quit at the right moment, right at his top. So did Ruska who 40 years later still is in the books as the only athlete who ever won in the same year the double Olympic title and the double European title, even though Ruska was considerably older than Okano when he stopped. Let's also not forget that Okano substantially contributed to the success of others who visited his Seikijuku, such as notably Ruska, Starbrook or as coach of the 1976 Japanese Olympic team essentially helping Uemura to finally take the gold of the Open class (really the only medal that meant to Japan, since for the Japanese it meant the medal that had been 'stolen' from them in 1964).


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    Jonesy

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    Re: Isao Okano

    Post by Jonesy on Mon Jun 03, 2013 5:22 am



    Isao Okano is arguably the greatest judoka ever, without exception. He was an Olympic (1964), World (1965) and All Japan (Open) Weight Championships, as a middleweight (1967 and 1969). He was also Coach to the Japanese Judo team at the 1976 Olympics, where Toshiro Daigo was his assistant.

    Throughout his career his fitness, fighting spirit and technical sophistication were unparalleled and he took judo to a new level. He is also very skilled at kata.

    The origins of his dispute with the Kodokan lie in the fact that he was (tricked into being) photographed wearing a coloured (non white) judogi. This was part of an effort by Anton Geesink to "spice up" judo some time ago. The Kodokan took offence at this and pegged Okano-sensei's rank at 6 dan - denying him the promotions that his accomplishments and talent merited. By every right Okano-sensei should by now be 9 dan, and on the path to a certain 10 dan.

    It says on Wikepedia that Okano is an 8 dan. If this is true it is a very recent promotion. I am looking into this claim.

    Billy bongo

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    Re: Isao Okano

    Post by Billy bongo on Mon Jun 03, 2013 6:40 am

    Jonesy wrote:

    Isao Okano is arguably the greatest judoka ever, without exception. He was an Olympic (1964), World (1965) and All Japan (Open) Weight Championships, as a middleweight (1967 and 1969). He was also Coach to the Japanese Judo team at the 1976 Olympics, where Toshiro Daigo was his assistant.

    Throughout his career his fitness, fighting spirit and technical sophistication were unparalleled and he took judo to a new level. He is also very skilled at kata.

    The origins of his dispute with the Kodokan lie in the fact that he was (tricked into being) photographed wearing a coloured (non white) judogi. This was part of an effort by Anton Geesink to "spice up" judo some time ago. The Kodokan took offence at this and pegged Okano-sensei's rank at 6 dan - denying him the promotions that his accomplishments and talent merited. By every right Okano-sensei should by now be 9 dan, and on the path to a certain 10 dan.

    It says on Wikepedia that Okano is an 8 dan. If this is true it is a very recent promotion. I am looking into this claim.

    You know when you watch Ronnie Osullivan play snooker you get that feeling that he was put on this earth to play snooker likewise roger federer playing tennis. I get this feeling when I watch okano do judo. Everything seems so easy and natural. I know from experience that mostly its hard work and lots and lots of practice. I really am finding him quite interesting.

    How did he take the pegging back, did it inspire him to prove them wrong or did he just take a back seat and carry on doing his own thing?

    His Seoi nage to ko uchi gari is something from another planet. The strangle where he puts himself in a hold down is so clever! I like how he works with renraku waza, renzoku waza and kaeshi waza, this for me is the skill of a true master of his passion!

    Billy bongo

    Posts : 10
    Join date : 2013-03-31

    Re: Isao Okano

    Post by Billy bongo on Mon Jun 03, 2013 6:44 am

    Cichorei Kano wrote:
    Billy bongo wrote:I have been studying a lot of this judokas stuff as I can on line. Can anyone tell me more about him other than the stuff on wikipedia. I have known about him for many years but have only recently started to take a closer look at some of his technique. To me his technique is amazing. I watched his documentary and saw how much effort he put into everything. Why did he retire at 25? I also heard that he had a falling out with the kodokan, can anyone elaborate on this? Please give me anything you have as I want to know more. Any help would be appreciated!

    There really isn't much to add to what is in wikipedia or in his books or interviews mostly because if it isn't there it most likely belongs to his private atmosphere. After all, we are talking about a living private person. You may, however, find the following scholarly paper useful which addresses your specific questions:

    Finch D.: Okano Isao's impact on judo since the Lausanne World Championships. Journal of Asian Martial Arts 12, 4 82-etc, 2003.

    I would like to add that we often get to see just a very narrow picture of an athlete, namely the amazing person who accomplishes legendary feats we can only dream off. We don't get to everything that surrounds that or builds up to that. Okano-sensei told me in detail how totally stressed out he became living up to those contests. Besides, he had won everything there was to win: Olympic gold, world champion, All Japan Championships, and he had injuries too. There's a lesson there too. It isn't necessary as a jûdôka to the point that people have to say "he should have retired years ago". While one could argue that it is impressive for a jûdôka to continue to way in his 30s, one could also play the devil's advocate and call it pathetic wondering why one would need the continuing attention and medals. Does one prefer to rather watch a career such those of Inoue and Suzuki, where one also has to watch for years what comes after they had reached the zenith. Yamashita got saved from it just in time, but he too had a hard reality in the last match against Saito. Okano perhaps quit at the right moment, right at his top. So did Ruska who 40 years later still is in the books as the only athlete who ever won in the same year the double Olympic title and the double European title, even though Ruska was considerably older than Okano when he stopped. Let's also not forget that Okano substantially contributed to the success of others who visited his Seikijuku, such as notably Ruska, Starbrook or as coach of the 1976 Japanese Olympic team essentially helping Uemura to finally take the gold of the Open class (really the only medal that meant to Japan, since for the Japanese it meant the medal that had been 'stolen' from them in 1964).

    Thank you!

    Udon

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    Re: Isao Okano

    Post by Udon on Mon Jun 03, 2013 8:34 am

    I hope Jonesy, that you can report the rumor is true..And that Okano is 8th dan

    Jonesy

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    Re: Isao Okano

    Post by Jonesy on Mon Jun 03, 2013 9:06 am

    Fraid not. The Japanese pages of Wikipedia correctly have him as a 6 dan, which he has now been for over 40 years!

    If the injustice to Okano-sensei is to be corrected by the Kodokan, then a promotion to 9 dan as a minimum would be necessary.


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    tafftaz

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    Re: Isao Okano

    Post by tafftaz on Mon Jun 03, 2013 9:36 am

    Do you think a promotion to 9th dan would be likely to happen in his lifetime?

    Steve Leadbeater

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    Re: Isao Okano

    Post by Steve Leadbeater on Mon Jun 03, 2013 10:21 am

    If Okano Sensi ever gets promoted to 9th Dan ....as he rightly should be by now......it will be a case of:

    "...er...but I just signed his certificate yesterday evening,
    and now you tell me he passed away during the night.....Damn !!"

    Lets hope this does not occur.

    judophotos

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    Re: Isao Okano

    Post by judophotos on Fri Jun 07, 2013 2:30 am

    This is a copy of the French Judo Magazine from April 1975 that upset the Japanese hierarchy so much that Nobuyuki Sato immediately replaced Okano as the team manager for the October 1975 Vienna World Championships. Inside the article is spread over 7 pages and includes an A3 poster of Geesink and Okano in red and blue judogi. This is the reason that Okano is stuck at 6th dan.

    How about a world wide petition to the Japanese Association requesting that Okano is rewarded with a 9th dan?

    After so much trauma over bullying they might consider this an opportunity to improve their image to the world. Especially as they are trying for the 2020 Olympics.





    Billy bongo

    Posts : 10
    Join date : 2013-03-31

    Re: Isao Okano

    Post by Billy bongo on Fri Jun 07, 2013 2:40 am

    judophotos wrote:This is a copy of the French Judo Magazine from April 1975 that upset the Japanese hierarchy so much that Nobuyuki Sato immediately replaced Okano as the team manager for the October 1975 Vienna World Championships. Inside the article is spread over 7 pages and includes an A3 poster of Geesink and Okano in red and blue judogi. This is the reason that Okano is stuck at 6th dan.

    How about a world wide petition to the Japanese Association requesting that Okano is rewarded with a 9th dan?

    After so much trauma over bullying they might consider this an opportunity to improve their image to the world. Especially as they are trying for the 2020 Olympics.





    It never surprises me now how much politics ruin judo in every country, I would sign any petition!

    Ranma

    Posts : 18
    Join date : 2013-08-25

    Re: Isao Okano

    Post by Ranma on Sun Aug 25, 2013 3:39 pm

    I had the (mis)fortune of randori with one of his sons on a few occasions.  The feeling was that you instantly recognized a unique level of skill.  It was a struggle to maintain my balance at all times, but it wasn't because he was crushing me at all.  A normal grip but able to move me at all times knowing exactly where I was weak.  With most players you get some sort of break but in this case you just struggled until you are caught or get exhausted and fall over.

    Anatol

    Posts : 181
    Join date : 2014-01-20

    Re: Isao Okano

    Post by Anatol on Mon Jan 20, 2014 11:22 pm

    Happy Birthday and many thanks for your lifetime contribution to Judo in so many ways.


    Okano Sensei is 70 today.


    .

    noboru

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    Re: Isao Okano

    Post by noboru on Fri Jul 24, 2015 10:29 pm

    Grandes maestros de Judo - Isao Okano
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hyFRkoS_KDw

    afja_lm139

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    Re: Isao Okano

    Post by afja_lm139 on Sat Jul 25, 2015 2:39 am

    While this photo was taken 4 years later this is how I remember him:   http://www.e-budo.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=10859&stc=1&d=1437747473

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