Interesting Judo Photos
One of the interesting things about collecting Judo books, is that you occasionally run across photos of Judo from days gone by that others rarely see. I know that many Judoka are interested in the history of Judo, and what better way to show it than by photos? So, with somewhat irrelevant comments by myself tossed in, here we go...
Keeping in mind that most photos I provide can be clicked on to provide a larger view, the sharp-eyed among you may have already noticed the rather unusual method of tying the belt that Mikonosuke Kawaishi, that great leader of French Judo... those of you who are not so sharp eyed, I've also provided an enlargement:
So, the question becomes... have we been tying our obi's wrong all this time? Or was there a revolution in 'Obi' knots that never made it to the history books? Inquiring minds want to know! (This photo came from "A Complete Guide to Judo" by Robert Smith)
Now, I suspect that many of you are probably looking at this Hizaguruma the same way I am... If tori were my student, I'd be doing alot of correction on this form! Tori, by the way, is Professor S.K. Uyenishi. Unless otherwise noted, the rest of the photos on this page come from his book "The Textbook of Ju-Jutsu". You may also suspect, by the uniform being worn, that this is a fairly old version of Hizaguruma. I suspect that most Judoka can perform a somewhat better version nowadays...
Now, a quick quiz. Can you pick out the picture that shows Seoinage? Perhaps a closer look at the grip and position of the hands/arms will help you... I've provided a closeup here on the right... (remember to click on a photo for a larger view). Now, have you decided which photo shows Seoinage? You can move your cursor over the photo for an answer... Yes, the one on the far left is not Seoinage. I'll bet you'd have never guessed it to be 'Koshi-nage'. And taking a closeup look at the grips being used in the photo on the right, I've seen grips like that from many white belts! Can't recall seeing a grips like this being used by a black belt. Of course, in Prof. Uyenishi's defense, he didn't have very much material to work with!
This photo should put a stop to all those complaints about the mat being too hard, or too soft... looking closely, you'll discover these two are doing a little 'backyard' randori. Anyone notice anything funny about that Okuriashibarai? I'm lucky to pull it off on the 'fast' canvas covered mat. Prof. Uyenishi is pulling it off on grass, and manages to do it so well that he doesn't even need to drive the feet together! Sometimes when I see photos like this one, I break out the magnifying glass and look for the supporting wires!
Described in Prof. Uyenishi's book as "...one of the simplest and yet most effective of the many throws in Ju-jutsu" Well, 30 years later, I'm still learning how to use this 'simplest' of throws. And perhaps it's my imagination, but uke here looks like he's a student of Kawaishi, he seems to have learned the same method of tying one's obi. Another interesting point is the grip... uke'd be chastised today for such a grip.
Taiotoshi is one of those fascinating techniques that has undergone a great deal of change in the last 100 years. You can see a couple of versions here on the left. Most instructors would hold their breath if they saw one of their students doing a version like this. I can easily imagine alot of knee and ankle injuries if Taiotoshi were still performed this way. Luckily, Judo has progressed, and we do a much more effective, and safer version nowadays.
Although we call this Taiotoshi today, this is referenced in the book as "Hiki-Otoshi" - to pull drop. A rather interesting excerpt concerning this throw are given here:
One might ask, "What difference does it make whether you throw your man sideways or stright forward?" and the answer is simple enough. Although you timed the throw correctly, the chances are, as forward progression is the most natural to man, he will far more likely be able to save himself, and therefore a clean fall would seldom result, but side movement being most awkward for him, he has little or no chance of recovery.
Good advice, and very well stated!
Here on the left is a version of Taiotoshi that will be somewhat more familiar... this particular photo comes from Sakujiro Yokoyama's 1915 book on Judo. It will look familiar to those of you who own and study Kodokan Judo, as you will see Mifune Sensei doing Taiotoshi in a very similar manner. Interestingly enough, in his "Canon of Judo", Mifune does it both ways, here's a photo of Mifune on the right doing a more modern version of Taiotoshi. I find it interesting that both the original 1955 version of Kodokan Judo, and the newer 1986 version of Kodokan Judo, both show the version shown on the left... whereas most Judoka do a Taiotoshi more related to Mifune's version on the right.
Recognizable today as Osotogari, this throw was referenced as Kekaeshi - from Kaesu, to turn over, and Keru, to kick. This particular version isn't even close to what is considered classical form, and yet this is as old a photo as you are likely to be able to find demonstrating the technique. It seems clear that what we think of as "classical" Judo was more a product of the 1940's and onward, rather than the earliest Judo.
By the way, you might have noticed that I've not said anything about the outline figures on the right. Did you notice that they look slightly similar to the photos coming out of Prof. Uyenishi's book? They come from a book titled "Ju-Jutsu and Judo" by Percy Longhurst. I've been unable to locate any attribution in his book detailing where these sketches came from. In fairness to Mr. Longhurst, he wrote the last chapter of Prof. Uyenishi's book, and is therefore apparently connected somehow to the publishing of it.
Listed as "Ashi-nata", this is perhaps better known as "Kata Ashi Hishigi". Forbidden in shiai, and rarely practiced in randori... sambo and BJJ are today the strongest proponents of this move. More and more Judoka are being re-acquainted with this old technique, however, as they practice with other styles.
This photo would be a very good way to quickly differentiate between Judoka and BJJ'ers. For those of you who study BJJ, no, this is not a Judoka pulling his opponent into his guard! (Which wouldn't, in any case, be a legal manuever in Judo.) This is Yokogake, somewhat similar to a Haraitsurikomiashi with a sacrifice movement to the rear. A very nice technique to know, since it makes a very nice combination off of Haraitsurikomiashi, or Sasaeturikomiashi...
Now, just for the fun of it, here's three comic books I have in my collection... dating from August 1953, they are the earliest comic books I know of that are about Judo. There are only three, #1, #2, and #3, wonder why this wasn't a continuing series? I've also included the first four pages of the first comic... I would hesitate to show more due to copyright, but I wanted everyone to get the 'flavor' of the comics. Plus too, for those of you who are somewhat literate in Japanese culture, you should enjoy a laugh or two! Click on any one of these photos for an enlarged view.