The Complete 7 Katas Of Judo
No photos, and the line drawings are difficult to follow. Translated by E.J. Harrison from Japanese, the language is still difficult in places and stilted. Although it's worth reading for some, I wouldn't recommend this book unless you are seriously interested in kata. Unfortunately, there's not a whole lot of reference material available on kata, so you may want to pick this up anyway...
contents PAGE Author's Foreword .......................... 7 Prefatory Note ............................. 13 Translator's Preface ....................... 15 I. First Kata or NAGE-NO-KATA Kata of the Throws ... 15 movements ... 19 1st Series ............ 3 ............. 23 2nd Series ............ 3 ............. 29 3rd Series ............ 3 ............. 33 4th Series ............ 3 ............. 39 5th Series ............ 3 ............. 43 II. Second Kata or KATAME-NO-KATA Kata on the ground ... 15 movements ... 48 1st Series ............ 5 ............. 50 2nd Series ............ 5 ............. 58 3rd Series ............ 5 ............. 67 III. Third Kata or GONOSEN-NO-KATA Kata of the Counters . 12 movements ... 75 IV. Fourth Kata or KIME-NO-KATA Kata of Self-Defence . 20 movements ... 93 1st Series "IDORI" .... 8 ............. 99 2nd Series "TACHI-AI"..12 ............. 110 V. Fifth Kata or ITSUTSU-NO-KATA Kata of the Five Principles 5 movements 129 VI. Sixth Kata or JU-NO-KATA Kata of Suppleness ... 15 movements ... 139 1st Series ........... 5 ............. 141 2nd Series ........... 5 ............. 149 3rd Series ........... 5 ............. 158 VII. Seventh Kata or KOSHIKI-NO-KATA Ancient Kata ........ 21 movements ... 171 1st Series "OMOTE" ... 14 ............. 174 2nd Series "URA" ...... 7 ............. 194 Conclusion ................................. 203
IN Japanese the word "Kata" signifies "fundamental or basic form". Although in Japanese the same character serves for both singular and plural numbers, it has been deemed advisable in the interests of non-Japanese readers to indicate the plural in the text by adding an "s" to the word Kata.
A Kata of Judo is the demonstration of a fundamental or basic interdependent form of attack and defence. The party who throws and defends himself is called Tori, he who executes and demonstrates the relevant method. The attacker is called UKE, i.e. he who finally submits. These terms are somewhat arbitrary and at first sight confusing. Literally Tori means Taker and UKE Receiver. The point is that UKE, the formal assailant, is always defeated and succumbs to Tori's counter-attack.
Tori and UKE must resolutely execute and demonstrate the chosen movements, and in so doing completely and efficaciously utilize all their mental and physical energy in conformity with the great ideal of Judo which consists in the maximum employment of one's capacities directed to a fixed purpose through the application of the technique of Judo.
In the Katas we should find exemplified the three basic principles of Judo, viz., (1) The optimum employment of energy, i.e. the maximum of efficacy combined with the minimum of effort, or in Japanese "Seiryoku Zenyo"; Mutual aid, mutual prosperity and amelioration which are the contemplated aim or "Jita Kyoei". The Kata is team work with care and personal improvement and of conclusive and educational value; (3) The "manner" and the Judo technique which consists in lithely giving way in order better to conquer.
The customary movements of the different Katas which follow in a rigorous progression are the result of century-old experience and profound reflection of the best and oldest Masters. All the holds, all the positions down to their smallest detail have been meticulously chosen, improved and classified to result in a definitive shape, perfected, true, the most beautiful, the purest and most representative of the spirit and ideal of Judo.
Another merit should be recognized for the Katas, which is by no means negligible: that of having preserved and transmitted the tradition of the old techniques of Jujutsu, even when certain abuses have rendered Jujutsu rather unpopular in Japan, and have thus contributed in no small degree to the creation and development of Judo.
In old Japan Judo did not exist, so that the art is barely 75 years of age. But JUJUTSU, its ancestor, knew many Katas, such as the KOSHIKI-NO-KATA, which constituted the "exercises of style" of which it may even be said that the practice bore a quasi-religious character, in any case clearly mystical and which at the same time aimed at setting off the beauty of gesture and at showing that the performer had perfectly assimilated, in the first place, the spiritual mastery, then the technique of combat thus illustrated in its martial whole and in each of its processes.
I insist on this point: The spiritual and mental grasp of the whole preceded detailed knowledge of each technique and conditioned its assimilation. When the demonstrator was in the first place capable of putting himself in "the state of grace" essential to the sincere execution of the Kata -- almost as in the delivery of a prayer -- the effective presentation of the successive forms was nothing more than a question of application and of time. When, on the contrary, he applied himself only to detail without the determination to identify himself with the whole, then the form escaped him and the Kata was no more than a pale and lustreless reflection without truth or depth. In other words, in every movement of Kata the judoka (in France it has become customary to call anybody, no matter whom, practising Judo a judoka, whereas in Japan the judoka is at least a 4th Dan and below that grade the student of Judo is styled a judoshugyosha) inspired by these ancient examples ought not to seek solely for a pretext to give a good demonstration of detail but also to translate the truth, the continuity of an entire mental state through a physical representation.
In Judo regarded strictly as a sport the Kata also has its place. In Japan the young champions are apt to devote themselves to randori-competition or to shiai, i.e. to competition only, and this is a great mistake. That is why the study and practice of the Katas tend to relegate Judo combat to its true place and why practice of the Katas equally constitutes a fatiguing and difficult exercise which enables one to make great progress and affords one an opportunity to correct and complete the technique. The basic condition of the sincere and correct study of a Kata is the respect for form.
Whilst impregnating himself with the spirit, as in the old jujutsu, the judoka attains the perfect execution of the true and beautiful form, but reciprocally adheres to respect for detail and rediscovers the century-old experience of the old Masters and the general signification of the whole. Moreover do not believe that in such a way we are departing from the domain of sport. In a sport, whatever it may be, understood in a true and broad sense, the respect for form, the solicitude for style, the beauty of gesture have always been characteristic traits of the greatest champions, of those who truly represent the spiritual and educational value of their sport, of those whom the young performer should seek to imitate and if possible to surpass.
What then should be the place of the Katas in the teaching of the judoka? In my opinion, Kata and Randori must be studied (there is a study of Randori) and practised on an equal footing. In Judo there is not an age for Randori and for competition and then later an age for the Kata. If it is quite normal to leave to the older Masters the illustration and the public demonstration of the Katas, it is equally necessary not to dissociate in the progressive study of Judo these two complementary aspects, Randori and Kata.
The Kata will temper the combative ardour of the young performer and will undoubtedly also enable him to discover the reason for certain errors which he commits in competition; will give him the key to the disequilibriums or the entries for which he has vainly searched by means of "butsukari" alone (or "uchi-komi", training by rapid attacks repeated on a partner). Thus the Kata is a valuable source of technical progress. But intrinsically it is also a difficult exercise, a rigorous discipline, a veritable physical education and it is equally under this aspect that it ought to be considered.
We have seen seasoned champions as well tested after the demonstration of a Kata as after a competition, and this was already at any rate a proof of their sincerity of execution. The accomplishment of a Kata is a physically fatiguing test through the effort exerted, the tension of spirit due to care for perfection of style, to the quest for a true gesture, strict and complete. Consequently even the Kata is also sport.
Another question: among all the Katas and basic exercises, are there some, so to speak, more fundamental than others? Yes, two Katas particularly "open the way", facilitate apprenticeship to Judo, constitute a teaching and a training, furnish a solid technical base and at the same time an excellent preparation for competition.
The matter concerns -- which is normal -- the two first Katas, the NAGE-NO-KATA, or Kata of Throws, and the KATAME-NO-KATA, or Kata of Judo on the ground. The entirety of these Katas is sometimes called RANDORI-No-KATA.
I earnestly advise pupils, with the consent and in accordance with the guidance of their teachers, to familiarize themselves relatively soon with these two Katas, i.e. starting from the green or blue belt. They will be surprised at the progress they will make. The other Katas studied in this book are the following: --
The 3rd Kata, GONOSEN-NO-KATA, or Kata of standing counters, specially practised at Waseda University, of which I have been a member;
The 4th Kata, KIME-NO-KATA, or Kata of Defence;
The 5th Kata, ITSUTSU-NO-KATA, or Kata of the Five Principles;
The 6th Kata, JU-NO-KATA) or Kata of Suppleness, sometimes called gentleness;
The 7th Kata, KOSHIKI-NO-KATA, or Ancient Kata.
There are, I repeat, many other Judo Katas. I shall mention only a few which have fallen into disuetude:
The SHOBU-NO-KATA, or Kata of Attack (more literally Contest);
The GO-NO-KATA, or Kata of Force or of blows, more characteristic of KARATE-Do (the technique of the Atemis).
At the Kodokan they still study the SEIRYOKU-ZENYO-KOKUMIN- TAIIKU-NO-KATA, or Kata of Physical Training, as also two derived from the KIME-NO-KATA, a Kata of Defence for Women and another a little different for Men.
In this work I propose before the study of each Kata to give a brief analysis designed to elucidate its essential characteristics: history, object, spirit, rhythm. I shall also point out, when the opportunity offers, the slight differences introduced, according to the Schools, in the execution of certain movements.
I trust that this book may serve all French judokas by helping them to understand, practise and love the Katas which constitute, as my Master Jigoro Kano has very justly said, "the essence and the beauty of Judo", and the best means of finding the "way". "Study the Katas and you will arrive at the truth and the beauty of Judo".