Go-Kyo - Principles of Judo

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Author: Anton Geesink
Pub: 1967 by Arco Publishing Co.
Pages: 96
Ranking:Two Star Rating
Out of Print


Using between one to four B/W photos for each technique, Anton Geesink leads us through all the 40 throws of the Gokyo. The descriptions are adequate, if brief, and nothing makes this books stand out other than the identity of the author. His first book, My Championship Judo, was far better, as it was something that only he could have written. This book on the Gokyo could equally have been written by most Shodans. Purchase this one only if it falls into your lap...

             Introduction -- The Principles of Judo             6 -- 8
             Fastening the Belt                                 9 -- 10
             Aisatsu -- Salutation before Contest or Practice  11 -- 12
             Ukemi-Waza -- Falling Technique                   13 -- 16
             Zempo Kaiten -- Forward Roll                            17
 Series  I                                                     18 -- 31
             De-Ashi-Barai -- Ankle Sweep                      20 -- 21
             Hiza-Guruma -- Knee Wheel                               22
             Sasae- Tsuri-Komi-Ashi -- Lift-Pull Leg Block           23
             Uki-Goshi -- Floating Hip.                        24 -- 25
             0-Soto-Gari -- Major Outer Leg-Sweep              26 -- 27
             0-Goshi -- Major Hip                                    28
             0-Uchi-Gari -- Major Inner Leg-Sweep                    29
             Seoi-Nage -- Shoulder Throw                       30 -- 31
 Series  II                                                    32 -- 45
             Ko-Soto-Gari -- Minor Outer Leg-Sweep             34 -- 35
             Ko-Uchi-Gari -- Minor Inner Leg-Sweep                   36
             Koshi-Guruma -- Hip Wheel                               37
             Tsuri-Komi-Goshi -- Lift-Pull Hip                       38
             Okuri-Ashi-Harai -- Sliding Leg-Sweep                   39
             Tai-Otoshi -- Body Drop                           40 -- 41
             Harai-Goshi -- Sweeping Hip                       42 -- 43
             Uchi-Mata -- Inner Thigh                          44 -- 45
 Series  III                                                   46 -- 61
             Ko-Soto-Gake -- Minor Outer Leg Hook              48 -- 49
             Tsuri-Goshi -- Lifting Hip                        50 -- 51
             Yoko-Otoshi -- Side Drop                          52 -- 53
             Ashi-Guruma -- Leg Wheel                          54 -- 55
             Hane-Goshi -- Crescent Hip                        56 -- 57
             Harai-Tsuri-Komi-Ashi -- Sweeping Lift-Pull Leg   58 -- 59
             Tomoe-Nage -- Whirl Throw                               60
             Kata-Guruma -- Shoulder Wheel                           61
 Series IV                                                     62 -- 77
             Sumi-Gaeshi -- Corner Throw                       64 -- 65
             Tani-Otoshi -- Valley Drop                        66 -- 67
             Hane-Maki-Komi -- Crescent Winding                68 -- 69
             Sukui-Nage -- Scoop Throw                         70 -- 71
             Utsuri-Goshi -- Change Hip                              72
             0-Guruma -- Major Wheel                                 73
             Soto-Maki-Komi -- Outer Winding                   74 -- 75
             Uki-Otoshi -- Floating Drop                       76 -- 77
 Series V                                                      78 -- 95
           0-Soto-Guruma -- Major Outer Leg Wheel              80 -- 8l
           Uki-Waza -- Floating Technique                      82 -- 83
           Yoko-Wakare -- Side Avoiding                        84 -- 85
           Yoko-Guruma -- Side Wheel                           86 -- 87
           Ushiro-Goshi -- Back Hip                            88 -- 89
           Ura-Nage -- Back Throw                              90 -- 91
           Sumi-Otoshi -- Corner Drop                          92 -- 93
           Yoko-Gake -- Side Hook                              94 -- 95


by Anton Geesink

When Dr. Jigoro Kano founded his system of Judo at the end of the last century, he established the classification of the then developed throws into Five Series-the famous Go-Kyo. These are the basis of the classical Judo technique, and on them the champions build up their repertoire. In this book Anton Geesink, who has achieved the highest honours in championship Judo, presents the Five Series to the West.

He is well qualified for the task, for he not only studied these techniques under the leading Japanese teachers in the main Japanese training-halls, but he has repeatedly demonstrated his mastery of many of them in contest against the top-level Japanese contest experts themselves.

He has gone further. Dr. Kano himself said that the development of technique in Judo is limitless, and Geesink is one of the few Westerners to develop special skill in certain variations which are gradually tending to become new throws in their own right. It is his view that the time will come when these new techniques will be formed into a new Series-the Sixth Series.

In this book he gives an authoritative account of the present Five Series, which must be the basis of the technique of every aspiring Judo student.


Go-Kyo-Kano's "Five Series"

Kano, the father of Japan's national sport, created his Judo from Jiu Jitsu; the first principles of Judo he developed with a number of his pupils in his academy, the Kodokan, towards the close of the last century. In doing so he eliminated the dangerous elements from Jiu Jitsu and thus created a fascinating and manly form of combat, a sport whose object it was to throw or master one's opponent without inflicting any injury on him. He had followers from all over the world. Kano's main principle amounts to this: Uke (assailant) attacks Tori (defender) with a direct forward movement and the latter, retreating a step, seeks a weak spot in Uke's attack to use to throw him.

Kano's first throw was the Ashi-Barai (Ankle Sweep). It will be quite clear from the technical observations and explanations in this volume that Kano's second throw, the Hiza-Guruma (Knee Wheel) was a logical development of the Ankle Sweep. And so too the Sasae-Tsuri-Komi-Ashi (Lift-Pull Leg Block), my favourite weapon (see "My Judo"), was also a logical sequence to the Hiza-Guruma.

We may safely say that in building up his Judo, Kano worked almost along scientific lines. It took him eight years to complete his first series of eight throws based on his Judo principles. There are now five series of eight throws and each forms a natural group. In point of fact, each series indicates a certain period in the development of Judo. For just as in history we can speak of Pre-history, Antiquity, the Middle Ages, etc., so we can, when discussing the principles of Judo, speak of First Series development, Second Series development, etc. Knowing Japanese Judo, I should not be at all surprised if, in the near future, we no longer speak of Go-Kyo but of Roku-Kyo-that is to say, a sixth set of Judo principles will have been added to the five already existing ones. ("Go" means five, and "Roku" means six).


The Kawaishi System

It was the Japanese Kawaishi, who for many years lived in France, who began to popularise Judo in Europe. It did not take him long to realise the impatience of the European as opposed to the quiet patience of the Asiatic, and to meet it, he introduced a change in the grading system for Europe. In Japan they had-and still have-three belts only, namely, white, brown and black. Only for official occasions do 6th, 7th and 9th Dans wear a belt of alternate red and white lengths, and 9th and 10th Dans a red one.

The Japanese must exercise a great deal of patience for his promotions, but to practise patience is an essential part of Japanese education. He is used to it. It is quite another matter for the European. He knows, of course, the proverb "Patience is a virtue" but it will never be easy for him to live up to it. Therefore Kawaishi wisely came to his aid and designed a system offering chances of quick promotion. A few months' practice, an examination, and the white belt was replaced by a yellow one. From yellow, progress was rather rapid to orange and so to green, blue, brown and black. This system has greatly contributed towards the popularity of Judo throughout the world and all countries with the exception of Japan and Korea have followed Kawaishi's example in this regard, a fact which surely speaks for itself.

Unfortunately, Kawaishi did not stop there. Whether it was to comply with the western desire for rigid schematization or so that people would speak of Kano's Judo and Kawaishi's Judo I should not like to say; but in any case, Kawaishi thought he had to throw Kano's principles overboard. He ignored the natural development in building up the principles, and made a new classification as follows: he combined all leg throws under one head, numbering them from one to 15 inclusive, did the same with hip throws, shoulder throws, holds, grips, strangles and arm locks and even with the leg and neck locks prohibited in Europe. Moreover, he included throws which do not occur in Kano's principles.

This new classification at first appealed to many people, especially as it seemed to be more comprehensive and less involved, but it soon appeared that it could not be maintained despite its numerous advantages. It will be a long time yet before we no longer experience the results of the use of the Kawaishi system, for it happens only too often that in examinations we see candidates (even teachers!) presenting Kawaishi movements when demonstrating a set of the Go-Kyo principles, which from a technical point of view is quite wrong! We must first be sure of the principles; only then can we proceed to the well founded Go-Kyo-Henka-Waza, i.e. variations of the basic movements used in contest Judo which take into account one's build, natural aptitude, dexterity, speed, etc., by which one can succeed in building up a Tokui-Waza of one's own, viz., a series of personally preferred techniques, as outlined in "My Judo".


Japanese and Dutch Judo

Japanese Judo, chiefly practised at the universities (approximately 60 to 70 per cent) and in the police force, is predominantly contest Judo. For this reason dan promotion is based on quite another system than with us.

Wearers of the black belt, as the reader will probably be aware, can be graded from the 1st to the 10th dan, inclusive. In Japan this dan grading is chiefly based on contest achievements. In the Netherlands, unfortunately, contest is not sufficiently taken into account and grades mainly depend on examination results. The following examples will serve to illustrate my meaning.

Peter Snijders, European youth champion, third in all categories in the 1965 World Championships held at Rio de Janeiro, European middle-weight champion at Luxembourg in 1966, would on his merits in Japan have at least become a 4th dan (5th is the highest contest grade in Japan; the highest grades are only awarded for instructing, study and the promotion of Judo throughout the world, the donating of great financial support to the practice of Judo, etc.). He only recently became a 3rd dan (after passing a technical examination). Ruska, European champion heavy-weight 1966, who recently became 3rd dan, would long ago have reached a higher grade in Japan. The same can be said of Poglajen, middle-weight champion of Europe in 1965.

In short: in Holland, too little account is taken in gradings of contest Judo. I can, however, understand that some people do not favour contest Judo. Both groups should have equal grading chances. It would therefore be a fine thing in the Netherlands and other countries of the Western World if two forms of examinations were introduced for the awarding of dans:

(1) examination in technique
(2) examination in contest.

Utrecht, November 1966


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