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Koppo: weird slapboxing/Chun/jujutsu/pro-wrestling hybrid, circa 1990

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    Koppo: weird slapboxing/Chun/jujutsu/pro-wrestling hybrid, circa 1990

    I vaguely remembered seeing a feature article on Koppo in a late '80s Black Belt magazine and wondered if there was any Koppo video online now that I'm living in the future. Yes, as it turns out, there is:

    https://youtu.be/8Stx-i-S4cs

    It's really odd. These guys (circa 1990) are clearly hitting each other pretty hard in their Chun-like sparring, but they also seem to be allowing at least some of the hits - as in leaving themselves open to be hit - and then "selling" the pain and impact like pro-wrestlers.

    Same thing when they shift into grappling, which is heavily based on standing arm-locks going down to the mat (not a lot of actual mat grappling, but whatever, different styles have different rules and conventions). I'd swear that, at least a lot of the time, they're going into an almost pro-wrestling-like "show mode" with the locks and escapes, but damned if they aren't really cranking the locks on ... and then even so, I think they're "selling" the pain for dramatic effect.

    https://youtu.be/PVgQAXsIYz4?t=5m33s

    A bit of Google-fu suggests that the founder (Seishi Horibe) is or was a Japanese nationalist and that the style had some sort of connection to Shooto, which might somehow explain the sado-masochistic performance aspect of their sparring. I'm also seeing references to Koppo fighters doing really badly in early MMA-type contests in Japan, which apparently led to defections and a big shift in emphasis; their current website eschews this type of sparring in favor of an also-odd slow-motion knife fighting style.

    #2
    Interesting. The slapboxing bit is a little silly, but they do work in some real strikes, and they are incorporating trapping, limb control, takedowns, and joint locks. It's somewhat reminiscent of the old kakedameshi practice in Okinawan karate, although I think they could have approached it better, and I think you're right about this largely being a performance. It has some good components, but the way they approached it seems like it's mainly for show, rather than practical training.

    Also, anti-eye-poke gloves :P

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      #3
      Ugh, that was pretty much fake IMO. Reminds me of the old Saturday night live skits.
      Yeah, here ya go...

      Comment


        #4
        It sorta reminds me of old Star Trek or Adam West Batman fight scenes.
        Last edited by Permalost; 3/03/2016 12:09pm, .

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          #5
          Originally posted by Permalost View Post
          It sorta reminds me of old Star Trek or Adam West Batman fight scenes.
          So, it's awesome?

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            #6
            Originally posted by ermghoti View Post
            So, it's awesome?
            I approve of any sport that encourages karate chops.

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              #7
              Originally posted by DdlR View Post
              I vaguely remembered seeing a feature article on Koppo in a late '80s Black Belt magazine and wondered if there was any Koppo video online now that I'm living in the future.
              Ugh, I remember that article too, and also remember wondering what the hell I was looking at. Even for the 80's, when you could make whatever ridiculous claim you wanted and there was no easy way to disprove it, his claims were a little out there.

              The lace-up blue vests, ribbons for rank being pinned to the vest, plastic boots ... the weirdness started with the uniform and continued unabated.

              Here we go, starts page 30
              https://books.google.ca/books?id=VNY...page&q&f=false

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                #8
                I remember koppo being referenced in Eric Van Lustbader's 70s novel THE NINJA.

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                  #9
                  Originally posted by ksennin View Post
                  I remember koppo being referenced in Eric Van Lustbader's 70s novel THE NINJA.
                  Yes, that jogged a memory in me when you mentioned that. I've read all of those...

                  That and "Sumai" the "combat Sumo" stuff...

                  Wasn't Lustbader an aikidoka ?

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                    #10
                    Originally posted by BKR View Post
                    Yes, that jogged a memory in me when you mentioned that. I've read all of those...
                    That and "Sumai" the "combat Sumo" stuff...
                    Wasn't Lustbader an aikidoka ?
                    Certainly feels like he came from that background when reading his stuff.

                    Fairly addictive fantasy novels, all of his, really. A lot of the Ninja craze movies of the 80s basically ripped off a couple bits from his books for each production.

                    I think he was the first to reference the Tenshin Shoden Katori Shinto ryu and all that.

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