Thursday, August 25, 2016

Extracts from “What is Judo” (1947) by the Kodokan

When copying passages from this work, there were many formatting problems to correct. Any errors are my own. The spelling is an older form of English.



standard of  the  grappling teclmique.


The exercise of  the  Grappling   techniques  should be  based  upon  that  of the  holding.     The   techniques of  choking   and  those  of   bending   and   twisting   the joints  might  be  practiced  in  a standing   position.     In reality,  however,   they  are  mostly   practiced  in   Randori  in  the  l ying  position.    In  these cases, the various actions and  f undamental  managings   of   body   can   be trained  very safely and  effectively  with  the techniques of  holding.     And   those   of   choking,    and   those   of bending  and  twisti ng  the joints are very often followed  or changed  from   those   of   holding.     


So,  as  the techniques  of  throwing  and  grappling    are   performed successively,   those   of   holding,    choking    and   joint tricks are  always   practiced   in   a   trial.       One   must choose  some  to   meet   the   attack   of   the   opponent. Thus trained  and  applied  accordingly,  the   techniques shall  be  drilled  more  and  more,  and  the   interest   for t he  an shall  be deepened  ever  more.


For  the exercise  of  those  techniques,  as  in  those of throwing,   they   should   be   performed   gently   and bearingly, shunn i ng  always  the  rigidity  of    body  and the  stiffeni ng of  mind .


about the techniques of holding

These  techniques  are  performed  in   holding   the opponent  thrown  on  the  back.    To hold  the  oppenent  thrown  on  h is face is   not   the   proper   Holding. That is  because  there  is  a  way  of   thinking   that   in the  latter  posture,  it  is much   eas1er  to   rise   for   the held  one  than  when  thrown  on  the   back,   the  effect of  holding  in  this case  is  not   so   perfect   as   in   the former.


'The opponent  to   whom   the holding  technique is applied  will  do·his  best  to  rise or   to   change  the position.     The  holder  should  control  him completely, not  only   with   the   strong   hand ,   but   with   all   the power  of  his  body  accordingly  and effectively  against the  every  attitude  of   the   opponent   as   the   occasion

may demand.


In  the   Holding,    the   following   points   demand considerations.

To hold  with  one's all  energies.

To hold  every  spot  to  prevent  the opponent's rising.

To make  the opponent  fail in  all his effort to rise,  not   to   concentrate   one's    strength   on one  side.


It   is   not   allowed,     though   in   the   excess  of endeavour   hold  or  to  rise,  to  touch the  oppenenr's face or  to grasp  him at  random  except  the  costume.


about  the technique of  choking


There   are   two    kinds   of   techniques :    Neck Choking   and  Trunk Squeezing.     Only  the  former  is exercised.


Choking   means to oppress  the  neck   from   both sides,  and  not  to  strangle.     To be   effective   in   this technique,  the following  points demand  considerations.


To control  all  bodily  actions of the opponent. To press  the opponent's neck  with the narrow part of  the  arm.        


To keep  one's  body  quite  free,  so  as to  take an  active  part  if  necessary.


ln  the exercise,  it  is    not   allowed   to   shut   the oppenent's   mouth  or   nose   with   one's   palm,   or   to grasp  the  throat .  It is a matter  of course   these   behaviors could  not  be  regarded  as the  proper  tricks.


about  the techniques  of   bending and   twisting the joints.


There are  many  varieties  in  this  category.     Exercises are  performed only  on  the  elbow   joint.    The methods  prone  to  break  the  neckbone   or   the  back­ bone are  stricktly   prohibited.


The exercise on  the  elbow   joint,  the   following points should  be taken  into  considerations.


To  control  all  the  bodily  actions  of   the   opponent. One's  strength  should  be   used   by   the   principle of  fulcrum.

To keep one's  body quite free for every action.


form  (kata)


form   is a system of . exercises arranged   and  systematised  for  the most    appropriate    application    of techniques  in  some  determined case.   By   the   practices  of    Kata one  can  easily  learn  the   theory  of attack  and  defense and at  the same time  the  applications  of the  fu ndamental  tricks.    But, one  can never be   'trained'   oneself   by   the  forms  only,   because  the  forms are  always prearranged  exercises.

not the photo in the book which was to small to reproduce

 The forms  taught  generally  in  the   Kodokan  are as  follow :

1.    Forms  of  Throwing,

2.     Forms  of  Grappling,

3.    Forms  of  Gentleness,

4.    Forms  of  Decision,

5.    Form Antique,

6.    Forms  of  •Five,'

7.    Forms  of  the   National   Physical   Education

(based  on  t he  principle  of Maximum-Efficiency.)


In  each  of  these  Forms,  many tricks are arranged for  a  certain  object,  selecting  those  which are  theoretically  or  practically  valuable among  the  innumerable methods  of  attack  and  defence.


Forms  of Throwing and  Grappling  are called en bloc  Forms of  Randori  (Free   Exercise).       These are arranged  for  the study  of theory  and   practice   of   all the. techniques  of   throwing   and   grappling   generally employed  in  Free  Exercise.


The Forms  of   Gentleness   are   all   very   gentle actions,  and  arranged  for  the  regular  exercise  how  to manage  the  body  in  attack  and  defence,  and  how  to employ  one's  strength  most effectively.    


The physical education  is specially  taken  into  consideration   for  the choice of  these  forms : so  they  are  adequate   for  the st udy of  Jud o  and  for .the  practice of  its  movements, irrespective   of   age   and   sex.     Furthermore,   as   the methods of  attack and defence   are   there   manifested expressively,  the  study  of these  forms   are   quite   enjoyable,    and   are   prone   to   deepen   the   interest   of Judo.   These forms can  be  performed   regardless   of dress and  location.


The Forms  of  Decision  aim  at  the   teaching   of the  principle   of   body-managing    and   the   theory   of attack and defence with  t he   techniques  of   attacking the  vital  points.


The so-called  Forms  Antique and those of •Five' teach  the  general   principle   of   techniques,   including many  interesting  phases of Judo : so  they  can be said "Art in judo."


The  Forms    of    National    Physical    Education (based  on  the  principle  of Maximum-Efficiency) were devised  for a   gymnastic   system,   as   the   nomination shows.     Its  Single  Exercise  aims  at   the   training   of techniques  of  attacking  the  vital  points, and the Companionate   Exercise    is   chosen   from  the forms of Gentleness    and   of    Decision,   aiming   at   the   same points  of  importance  in  these  forms.




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