Was Tai Chi a victim of Judo being too cool?
If I understand correctly, Kano wasn't trying to make a "grappling system" per say, he was actually trying to put together the best of the Japanese martial arts in a way that could be trained in athletically/modernly. Two guys grabing each other and struggling to the ground certainly is what most fights turn into.
Originally Posted by Mjelva
Some schools of Tai Chi are very focused on stand-up grappling, and I wonder if part of why Tai Chi has become the worst-case-scenerio of a martial art being watered down has something to do with many of it's techniques covering the same general catagory of techniques found in Judo.
I've heard rumors of Tai Chi push hands competitors in China cross training in Judo. (My source competed in push-hand in Hong Kong in the late 80's, and noted that a competetor had also been on some kind of competition Judo team (which came up when that competitor got a warning for partially executing an Ippon Seionagi type throw.) He showed me the tape.) This would make at least as much sense as Tai Chi guys doing boxing or kickboxing. (In the Yang Tai Chi I did it was considered part of training for stand up grappling in the "Chinese rules" kickboxing that we were also doing.) I've also seen another Tai Chi school (Wudang Dan Pai) practice in a way that was not totally unlike judo: http://www.bullshido.net/modules.php...article&id=235
So maybe Judo being so good is a big part of what made a lot of this other stuff suck - trying to seperate your style from Judo could make your art exclude some of its most important fundamentals - a focus on important fundamentals being Kano's intention of forming Judo in the first place. Trying to be "new and original" is an important part of marketing a martial art (so that martial arts will focus on their most unorthodox aspects - like high-slap-kicking in TKD or slow forms in Tai Chi - just to show what they offer that Judo (or boxing) does not already offer.)
Last edited by BFGalbraith; 5/28/2006 12:00am at .
That's not exactly true.
Originally Posted by BFGalbraith
Kano was tryng to produce a form of jujutsu that would be acceptable to the social climate of Modern Japan above all othe things. In order to do that he adopted an approach that relied upon scientific principles of anatomy and physics (or invoked those things as his rationale) for the efficiency, were safe for general practice and did not contain deadly methods, and could be taught to nearly anyone interested in learning.
Behind these intentions was a real love for jujutsu and a hope that it could be made into an acceptable part of Japanese culture rather then lost to Japan's modernization. As such Kodokan Judo presented a non-combative form of jujutsu and attempted to collect and preserve as much of older jujutsu ryuha in their archives and among its practitioners.
Beyond the motives the major contribution that Kano made to martial arts was the introduction of randori early and often in training. Since the core methods of Kodokan Judo were safe enough for this kind of training the people traning could push themselves to 100% of their skills and capacities, learning quickly and with a huge amount of feedback.
Now some things have actually suffered in Judo because of the emphasis on randori as the primary feature of Kodokan Judo rather then as mainly a training device. The atemi waza of Judo have almost been entirely lost to most practiioners as Kano never figured out a safe way to integrate it into Judo randori (oh to send an MMA glove back in time). The non-randori methods such as all of the joint locks other then elbow locks have also been lost, this time not because Kano didn't think they were useful but because of the white washing of Kodokan Judo to get past the post-WW2 ban on martial arts in Japan and then to qualify as an Olympic Sport.
If you're interested in seeing what Kodokan Judo looked like before the sports-izing check out _The Complete Kano Jiu-jitsu_ by H. Irving Hancock and Katsukuma Higashi. It's kind of an eye opener and is a really serious contrast to the current form that Kodokan Judo has.
Yep, the dogi and kyu/dan system were inventions of Kano Sensei.
The gi was an attempt at clothing that would stand up to grappling. Before then practitioners wore their regular clothes - kimono and whatnot. Unfortunatley, even the good ones can get shredded pretty quickly. Legend has it that the dogi was a modification of firemen's heavy quilted clothing. The jackets were dense enough to resist sparks and could be soaked in water for added protection. When Karate made its big marketing push people were used to the gi, so karateka adopted a lighter version.
Before Judo there weren't ranks in the modern sense. Various ryu-ha issued teaching certificates.
Another thing that Kano Sensei was responsible for was the title "Professor". I point and laugh when martial artists with barely a highschool education call themselves "Professor". Kano is often called Professor Kano because he really was one. He founded and ran universities as his day job.
Thank you. I had wondered where people got off calling themselves "professor." I now continue to feel justified asking at what university they teach.
Originally Posted by tellner
From my understanding Kano's intention was also to resurrect a form of Physical Culture in Japan that he had felt was dying out. There are a lot of parrellels between Judo and the Muscular Christianity and Gymnastics movements in Europe. The notion that through diligent training and testing one would also become a more noble (purer) person. (please feel free to school if I'm off on this one)
The other key art I think would be Shotokan Karate. It was Judo, plus the mainstreaming of Karate in to Japanese School systems and in Korea, that solidified many of the cultural practices that we know.
Ditto on all the TMA points raised thus far.
Ghost of Kawaishi
Originally Posted by Fitz
According to at least one major martial arts researcher, Hancock's book is not judo
according to Joseph Svinth:
"Richard Bowen has quoted Trevor Leggett as saying that Kano was rather upset by Hancock's usage, but as Japan was not a signatory to the Berne Convention at the time, there wasn't much he could do."
"The first edition of Hancock's book was published in New York in 1905, and the conference that codified judo did not take place until July 1906. The style shown is more likely the jujutsu practiced by Higashi, which *may* have been Tsutsumi Hozan Ryu. Therefore, for an idea about what judo looked like in the early days, a better source would be Arima's "Judo: Japanese Physical Culture," published in 1904 and introduced by Kano
That is one of the things that have always fascinated me about Judo. There is a strict rationale that explains why a judo throw works they way it does, why it carries so much power, why hitting the mat with your hand at a 45 degree angle helps break a fall, and so on. That is, almost everything has a explanation based on physics. I recommend reading "The Secrets of Judo" by Jiichi Watanabe and Lindy Avakian, in particular chapter 7 - "How to Practice Throwing" - it explains all the scientific principles behind a powerful throw.
Originally Posted by Fitz
There are some things I hate about Judo, though... like the insistence in giving your back to your opponent (crazy Judo comp rules) at times. :tard: :tard: :tard:
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The street argument is retarded. BJJ is so much overkill for the street that its ridiculous. Unless you're the idiot that picks a fight with the high school wrestling team, barring knife or gun play, the opponent shouldn't make it past double leg + ground and pound - Osiris
This is corrrect. Higashi was a Tsutsumi Hozan Ryu jiu-jitsu exponent and many of the techniques in that book seem to come from that school than from the Kodokan.
Originally Posted by Cdnronin
Xiao Ao Jiang Hu Zhi Dong Fang Bu Bai (Laughing Proud Warrior Invincible Asia) Dark Emperor of Baji!!!
Didn't anyone ever tell him a fat man could never be a ninja
You can't practice Judo just to win a Judo Match! You practice so that no matter what happens, you can win using Judo!
The key to fighting two men at once is to be much tougher than both of them.
Matt's right - the influence of European educational models, especially physical education, was highly influential on Kano's reform of the traditional martial arts in Japan. As a professional educator and passionate Europhile, Kano was concerned with preserving his own country's traditions and simultaneously reforming them to fit the emerging internationalism.
He is said to have been inspired by the philosophy of "Muscular Christianity" (one of the founding concepts of the modern YMCA). Similarly, consider the German Turnverein gymnastics program and the "Swedish system" devised by Pehr Ling. A bit later, the French physical educator George Hebert created his "Methode Naturelle". All of these systems encouraged highly scientific programs of physical culture, often combining combat sports (various wrestling styles, bayonet fencing, savate, etc.) with gymnastics, calisthenics and specific apparatus exercises.
Most importantly for Kano, these systems offered a model of "physical culture" which also stressed moral and intellectual development, at a time when physicality and especially close-combat training was generally associated with the lower classes and even with gangsterism. This was as true in Japan as it was in Europe. The highly structured European systems made physical training respectable and even desirable, and could be successfully integrated into high school and university curricula.
A close parallel to the development of Judo would be the scientific style of boxing, which was created at a time when prize-fighting was the subject of a great deal of moral controversy. Much-derided by professionals and traditionalists as an effort by "gentlemen" to co-opt a sport that had previously been associated mostly with the working classes, the scientific style was still largely successful in democratising and preserving the art of pugilism at a time when it came close to being banned in many countries. In a sense, the developers of scientific boxing did for that sport when Kano did for jiujitsu.
Wow, great stuff here. So:
A) Judo had it's own cultural pressures that it was developing under.
B) Kano was the Japanese equivalent of Horace Mann, so he was also making a statement about "how to educate" (he's also the Horace Mann of Martial Arts because Kano what trying to make "martial arts education" socially something more people could do, ie "standardization of training process.")
C) Judo didn't actually cover "all the basics" (namely atemi was missing. Sort of like Boxing, Judo tried to cover the basics of "fighting arts" but wasn't able to cover everything.)
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