1. #1
    DCS's Avatar
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    [History] Tomiki Kenji on buttscooters (1928)

    From a letter to Admiral Takeshita Isamu.

    In former years there were rival Judo matches between Senior Dai-ichi High School and Senior Dai-ni High School. As a result, although Dai-ichi High School had a leading third dan and a number of black belts, Dai-ni High School, who never had more than one or two black belts, would place higher in the competitions. What it came back to is that Dai-ni High School trained thoroughly in ground techniques, so Dai-ichi High School had no space in which to attack them. Kano Sensei was extremely critical of this:

    “The foundation of Judo is shinken shobu. In times past ground techniques were used after the first opponent was fully overwhelmed in order to completely control a second opponent. In comparison to those times Dai-ni High School responds to an attack with ground techniques from the very beginning. This is not a proper thing to do for shinken shobu, extremely cowardly..”

    A great controversy grew surrounding this.

    We didn’t like ground techniques and we felt that the behavior of Dai-ni High School was underhanded. However, in terms of theory we knew that they were absolutely correct. That is, modern Kodokan Judo is sports. Therefore, as long as something does not violate the rules of the decided upon method of competition the goal is to win. Things such as shinken shobu were outside of the equation in this case. Accordingly, I believe that the use of Dai-ichi High School’s weakness in ground techniques to get the win is only reasonable. This problem of ground techniques versus standing techniques is a continuing problem, even today.

    However, just delaying to a draw by responding unconsciously with ground techniques lacks an aggressive mindset – there is a great deal there that contradicts the warrior’s “battle to the death without surrender” attitude. And further, the fact is that one can practice throwing techniques for three or four years without developing real skill. In comparison, combining ground techniques with physical strength one can achieve significant results in only six months or a year, so they are very effective when going into competitive matches. What is prized in paired sports is victory in competitive matches rather than shinken shobu, so if the same mental and physical conditioning, sacrifice and effort is necessary to achieve that then I believe that it is best for us to take the route towards ground techniques rather than throwing techniques.
    Source: https://www.aikidosangenkai.org/blog...amu-takeshita/

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    hungryjoe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DCS View Post
    From a letter to Admiral Takeshita Isamu.



    Source: https://www.aikidosangenkai.org/blog...amu-takeshita/
    Awesome thread title.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DCS View Post
    From a letter to Admiral Takeshita Isamu.



    Source: https://www.aikidosangenkai.org/blog...amu-takeshita/
    That's an interesting bit of data added to the whole development of groundwork in Judo story.
    Falling for Judo since 1980

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    Nice find, love the early history of the Kodokan. Former instance of the same trope:

    In the September 1952 edition of Henri Plée's Revue Judo Kodokan, Kainan Shimomura, 8-dan, wrote:

    Encounters between professors of the state were the exception. However, public opinion got so worked up that in January 1891 an inter-group combat took place in which Tobari (then 3rd dan judo, he died an 8th dan) for the Kodokan opposed [Matauemon] Tanabe, expert of the Fusen-ryu school. One must not commit the error of considering the ancient jujutsu as being a priori inferior to modern judo.
    Straightaway Tanabe sought the combat on the ground, but Tobari succeeded in remaining standing up. After a fierce fight Tanabe won by a very successful stranglehold on the ground. Tobari, bitterly disappointed by the defeat, began to feverishly study groundwork.

    The year after, he challenged Tanabe again. This time it was a ground battle and once more Tanabe won. He was now famous and, in the name of the ancient schools, challenged the members of the Kodokan, and even Isogai (then 3rd dan, at the time of his death he was a 10th dan) was put in danger from his ground technique. The Kodokan then concluded that a really competent judoka must possess not only a good standing technique but good ground technique as well. This is the origin of the celebrated 'ne-waza of the Kansai region'. And in conclusion to all this one may very well say that Mataemon Tanabe, too, unconsciously contributed towards the perfecting of the judo of the Kodokan.
    Source

    Full thread regarding the Judo/Groundwork/BJJ links (linking a number of BS threads): MA StackExchange

  5. #5
    Raycetpfl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BKR View Post
    That's an interesting bit of data added to the whole development of groundwork in Judo story.
    We didn’t like ground techniques and we felt that the behavior of Dai-ni High School was underhanded.
    strangle holds, making it seem not fair since the dark ages. Lulz

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    Quote Originally Posted by Raycetpfl View Post
    strangle holds, making it seem not fair since the dark ages. Lulz
    Quote from above-mentioned source regarding "classic" wrestling vs. strangles (Tromp van Diggelen vs. Yukio Tani (9 stone) in 1908):

    To amuse the habitues of the famous club I agreed to have a contest with the wiry Jap. First we wrestled, and Tani was very fair and made no attempt to use his jujutsu locks. In a couple of minutes I had him pinned flat on his back. This had been expected of me and so I laughingly donned the special canvas jacket that one wears when indulging in the art of ju-jutsu. Seventeen seconds later I was not smiling, but choking, while I tapped the mat as quickly as I could. The Jap had neatly tripped me as I applied a hold to his jacket. I hit the mat and before I could spring to my feet, his two feet were at my neck, choking me. The feet were naked and all my strength failed to pull them apart. Not only strength but some peculiar knack was in that hold.

    I tried once more, but as I seized Tani's canvas jacket he fell backwards, a foot was applied to my abdomen and I sailed through the air as he hit the mat with his back. Again I had no chance of getting away, and again those sinewy feet held me by the neck and more strongly than any man's hands could! This time only fifteen seconds had elapsed before I was choking and tapping the mat with both hands [i.e., signalling submission] as fast as I could. As I walked off with my arms over the shoulders of the little 'Yellow Peril' I asked him if he really was the Japanese champion. 'No, no,' came the reply. 'That is only publicity talk. In Japan I am only third rate. The great champions are amateurs and they never give public shows of our art. To the masters of ju-jutsu, our science is almost a religion.'
    Long story short: Let the opponent have a collar/lapel and he's dead meat.

  7. #7
    BKR's Avatar
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    Shinken shobu as applied to any regular judo match, even in the 19-teens, is kinda silly. The contests had rules (were grappling only, for example).

    Shinken shobu is basically a match with "live blades", but the attitude was applied to non-weaponized matches as well. It's kind of dramatic on on even Tomiki part to use that term, but there you go.

    Tanabe basically pulled guard to avoid being thrown, and that is what the kids from the underdog school did as well. Tomiki points out that it's shiai (trial match/sport), so nothing really wrong with winning within the rules. The matches were team matches, so draws (hikiwake) didn't count (team matches are done the same way in Judo to this day). So if a weaker opponent can draw against a stronger opponent, the two team captains can fight it out on more equal terms in the last match. We do the same thing today in modern judo team matches. Of course, guard pulls (with no skill) are not allowed (penalized) nowadays, so we use other tactics to work for a draw.
    Falling for Judo since 1980

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