Classic Judo Techniques - Not Always Better…


Many Judoka are under the impression that the techniques used and taught by Jigoro Kano, and the first generation Judoka (many of whom made very high rank), that these techniques were the epitome of Judo, and could not be improved on. And yet, that’s not exactly true. Judo is an evolving art, as it should be. It adapts and changes to the changing circumstances. Techniques that are dangerous are slowly moved out of the mainstream of Judo (Witness the recent ‘execution’ of Kani Basami, for example.), and new techniques are being merged into Judo. 

Some techniques disappeared so long ago that modern Judoka have never even seen them, as the photo to the right shows… K. Samura (10th Dan) doing ‘Seoi Otoshi’ on K. Yasukuni. This photo came from “Judo”, by Sakujiro Yokoyama & Eisuke Oshima. Published in 1915, this shows how far Judo has progressed, as I doubt if you could even find a single Judoka who does Seoi Otoshi this way today.

So the old Classic Judo, while it has much to teach us, is not the ultimate in knowledge. All we need to do is follow the guiding principles of Judo - and we can’t go wrong. For just as America’s Constitution couldn’t possibly envision today’s world, Judo from 100 years ago couldn’t possibly imagine the sort of martial skills and training methods available to modern Judoka - but the guiding principles were correct. This is Jigoro Kano’s legacy to us. Not specific techniques - but the guiding principles.