Oct 072011


 You might have to go full screen to catch it all. I don’t know about you, but when I hear “Forbidden” technique, I assume we are talking about something totally deadly and way better then the techniques you are allowed to use. Kind of the nuclear bomb of fighting. I wish that was the case. The throws you will see in this video (except for one) will instead make you ask, “Why is that illegal?” I don’t know. Most of these are legal in BJJ and all of these are legal in MMA. I don’t know why Judo has been systematically getting rid of their more effective throws for years, but I really wish they would stop it.

 Posted by at 1:03 am  Tagged with:
Sep 202011

 Every martial art tends to venerate its founder. Those of us who grew up on a diet of martial arts movies and shows attribute almost supernatural powers to the old school masters. For example Chuck Norris can solve a rubix cube in one turn. Its true, I read it on the Internet. Bruce Lee can apparently defeat anybody at anything. His surviving students claim that if he had wanted to, he would have been one of the top three boxers in the world, and that he was really a great grappler, he just never taught it to anyone. No matter how you look at it, we had a time where there were some really great martial artist wondering the world. The question is always asked, how good a fighter were these men really. We hear about how awesome they were, how fast, how deadly, but who did they ever fight? So I’ve compiled a list of famous martial artists and their respective fighting records.

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Aug 302011

Wow, first off most of us Americans think that if you are from Japan you must know some sort of martial art, Japan is trying to make that a reality! +10 points to Japan because they are going to make Judo required in school!

I’m having trouble embedding this video so follow the link….I’ll wait.

Judo in Japanese schools

Anyway people are concerned about the safety of Judo. Apparently in Japan in the last 30 years they have had 114 child deaths from judo and another 261 have been seriously injured. I would question how many deaths and injuries have resulted from soccer or football, on the other hand these are not required sports.

I doubt that I myself or since this is a martial arts blog, and therefore most of you reading this are or are in favor of martial artists, can really be fair when examining this issue. On the one hand I see the good martial arts have done in my life, but on the other hand, I have to say that the worst injuries I’ve received have been from Judo. I don’t know if people should be forced into learning martial arts. If you watched the video the man from the education ministry says that he can promise there will be no more deaths or injuries….I don’t know how anyone can make that kind of claim. We can’t do that with anything else in life, I doubt we can do that with Judo.

 Posted by at 10:05 am  Tagged with:
Aug 232011

Kata Ashi Hishigi from the The Textbook of Ju-Jutsu by Professor S.K. Uyenishi

The funny thing about any traditional martial art is that justification for anything that is not immediately clear is normally cleared up using the word “traditionally”.
Student, “Why do we wear flower pots on our heads?”
Sensei, “Well traditionally all students of the style wear flower pots on their heads.”
And far be it from any of us to question tradition. I’m still wondering why we wear singlets in wrestling. I totally get why we wore them back in the day, but we have grown as a culture since then…
But I digress.
To be totally honest, I love tradition in martial arts, the question is, at what point does something become traditional? Lets be honest, the Gi, the traditional martial arts uniform for most martial arts isn’t all that old. In fact most martial arts are even younger than the gi is. All this long preamble is to address a bone of contention a lot of us cross training martial artists have with the competition rules of Judo.

Regardless of what anyone says, Judo always has been, and hopefully always will specialize in nage-waza, or throwing. However, when Judo first started competing, it was against other styles of ju jitsu who didn’t really like the new kid on the block. Kano (founder of Judo) said this about the constant challenges to the style, “It seemed that the Kodokan had to take on the whole of Japan, and had to have a spirit of being ready for anything.” In 1886 the first high profile tournament, (in which they were challenged by Totsuka-ha Yoshin-ryu jujutsu) several of their matches lasted more than an hour! At the time, any throw and any lock was legal. Things went until they were finished.

Naturally these kind of matches were not what Kano was working towards, nor the rules used within the Judo schools themselves. However it wasn’t until 1887 that Kano banned finger and toe locks in competition, which normally means they had been doing that before the ban. It wasn’t until 1899 that wrists and ankle locks were banned. Things progressed until 1916 when they banned twisting knee locks and submissions by squeezing the ribs (apparently they were having problems with that). They waited almost another ten years and in 1925 gave up and banned any lower body locks or submissions.

Things cooled down for a while, and up until the 1970s matches were still allowed to be 20 minutes long! As glad as most of us were to get smaller rounds, they made up for it by introducing a penalty for “passive judo” which in practice was a penalty for not attacking every 15 seconds, or as I like to call it, “Ready or not here I come!” They also banned the kani basami (flying scissor sweep), and although I love that throw, I really do see the danger in letting people use it. They also added and removed various small points and penalties.

Finally almost to the present, 2010 they removed using anything that involves grabbing, scooping or touching below the belt. (think Greco Roman wrestling) unless its part of combination, which in real life is really difficult to pull off.

So if we are going to say “We are doing this because of tradition.” it makes you wonder which tradition we are following.