Judo Formal Techniques - A Complete Guide To Kodoka Randori No Kata

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Author: Tadao Otaki & Donn Draeger
Pub: 1983 by Japan Publications Trading Co.
Pages: 451
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Although this book only covers the Nage no Kata and Katame no Kata, the depth of detail makes this a very desirable addition to any library. The English is flowing and smooth, which is a great contrast to many of the 'translated' Judo books. This book also has a great deal of historical information. If you only own two Judo books, this and Kodokan Judo should be the two. You can spend many hours reading and re-reading the text. Highly recommended.

Judo Formal Techniques - A Complete Guide to Kodokan Randori no Kata

        ACKNOWLEDGMENTS                                                   9
        PREFACE                                                          11
        HOW TO USE THIS BOOK                                             13

CHAPTER 1 : HISTORICAL BACKGROUND                                        15
        The Combative Roots of Kodokan Kata                              15
        The Formulation of Kodokan Kata                                  20
        Kodokan Kata Today                                               28
CHAPTER 2 : OUTLINE OF Judo KATA                                         32
        Kodokan Patterns and Scope                                       32
        Non-Kodokan Kata                                                 33
CHAPTER 3 : UNDERSTANDING KATA                                           35
        What Is Kata?                                                    35
        Why Study and Practice Kata?                                     39
        Limitations of Kata                                              45
CHAPTER 4 : FAMOUS JAPANESE JUDOISTS ON KATA                             47
        Introduction                                                     47
        High-Ranking Kodokan Teachers                                    48
        Champions, Famous Coaches, Instructors                           50
CHAPTER 5 : KATA FUNDAMENTALS                                            58
        Theoretical and Spiritual Facets                                 58
          Roles 58, Spirit 59, Etiquette 61
        Practical Facets                                                 61
           Wearing the Judogi 61, Breathing 63, Opening Requirements
           64, Opening Standing Salutation 65, Opening Facing Action
           65, Opening Sitting Posture 66, Opening Sitting Salutation 68,
           Opening Return to Standing 68, Engagement Position 69,
           Center Performance 70, Sounds and Gestures 71, Adjusting
           the Judogi 71, Closing Disengagement 71, Closing Salutation
           Position 72, Closing Sitting Posture, Sitting Salutation,
           and Return to Standing 72, Closing Facing Action 72,
           Closing Standing Salutation 72
CHAPTER 6 : TECHNICAL ASPECTS OF NAGE NO KATA                            73
        Theoretical Facets                                               73
           The Categories of Throwing Techniques 73, Attack-Defense
           Theory 74
        Practical Facets                                                 81
           Postures gl, Stepping Movements 86, Engagement Distance 87,
           Symmetry and Center Performance 89, Gripping 92, Uke's
           Striking Actions 93, Uke "Gives" His Body 96, The Closed-
           Gate Effect 96, Ukemi 98, Tori's Kake Balance 100, Mairi
           Signal 102, Rising and Facing Actions 102, The Rhythm of
           This Kata 106
CHAPTER 7 : TECHNICAL ASPECTS OF KATAME NO Kata                         110
        Theoretical Facets                                              110
           The Categories of Grappling Techniques 110, Attack-Defense
           Theory                                                       1l1
        Practical Facets                                                114
           The Far and Near Positions 114, Postures 116, Stepping
           Movements 118, Uke's Lying-Ready and Sitting-Ready
           Positions I21, Opening Assumption of Kyoshi 124, Closing
           Procedures 126, Gripping 127, Uke "Gives" His Body 129,
           Tori's Attack Signal 130, Uke's Escape Patterns 130, Mairi
           Signal 131, Sounds and Gestures 132, Symmetry and Center
           Performance 132, The Rhythm of This Kata 133
CHAPTER 8 : NAGE NO KATA                                                139
        Opening                                                         139
        Te Waza                                                         143
           Uki-otoshi 143, Seol-nage 150, Kata-guruma 157
        Koshi Waza                                                      165
           Uki-goshi 165, Harai-goshi 173, Tsurikomi-goshi 181
        Ashi Waza                                                       190
           Okuri-ashi-harai 190: Sasae-tsurikomi-ashi 197, Uchi-mata
        Ma Sutemi Waza                                                  212
           Tomoe-nage 212 Ura-nage 221, Sumi-gaeshi 228
        Yoko Sutemi Waza                                                238
           Yoko-gake 238, Yoko-guruma 247, Uki-waza 255
        Closing                                                         263
CHAPTER 9 : KATAME NO KATA                                              267
        Opening                                                         267
        Osae-komi Waza                                                  273
           Kuzure Kesa-gatame 273, Kata-gatame 282, Kami-shiho-
           gatame 290, Yoko-shiho-gatame 299, Kuzure Kami-shiho-
           gatame 310
        Shime Waza                                                      320
           Kata-juji-jime 320, Hadaka-jime 330, Okuri-eri-jime 339,
           Kataha-jime 346, Gyaku-juji-jime 353
        Kansetsu Waza                                                   364
           Ude-garami 364, Ude Hishigi Juji-gatame 374, Ude Hishigi
           Ude-gatame 381, Ude Hishigi Hiza-gatame 389, Ashi-garami
        Closing                                                         406
CHAPTER l0: THE STUDY AND PRACTICE OF KATA                              411
        Consider Kata a Training Method                                 411
        When to Begin Learning Kata                                     412
        How Much Kata Training?                                         412
        How to Begin Learning Kata                                      414
        Which Kata to Practice                                          415
        How to Practice Kata                                            416
        The Beginning Role in Kata                                      425
        Cautions in Practice                                            425
        The Size of Kata Partners                                       427
        The Repetition Method                                           428
        The Self-Practlce Method                                        428
        The Form-Only Method                                            429
        The One-Sided Method                                            429
        Interpreted Patterns                                            430
        Private Variation Patterns                                      431
        Kata as Preparatory Exercise                                    431
        Kata in Demonstrations                                          431
        Katame Strength-Building Methods                                433
        Developing Muga-mushin                                          433
        Kata Tips                                                       434
    CONCLUSION                                                          437
    APPENDIX: The Historical Significance of Seiza and Zarei            439
    NOTES                                                               441
    GLOSSARY-INDEX                                                      447
       Nage no Kata Techniques                                          447
       Katame no Kata Techniques                                        447
       General                                                          448



Here at last is a comprehensive manual on the basic formal techniques of Kodokan Judo, the Randori no Kata (including Nage and Katame no Kata). These kata provide the fundamental train-ing in throwing and grappling that is essential to effective Judo, as well as being required for advancement in Judo rank.

This authoritative guide, illustrated with over 600 photographs and 400 drawings, gives complete step-by-step descriptions of the roles of both training partners. Besides the throwing and grappling techniques themselves, the important transitional movements between them are clearly explained, so that each kata can be understood as a continuous process. Grips, stances and postures, and displacement movements are discussed, along with less obvious but equally significant aspects such as the rhythm and spirit of kata. The last chapter contains invaluable study and training tips. Too many modern judoists - and Judo textbooks - misinterpret kata as dull, artificial ritual. Actually, as the core training methods of Judo, kata are concerned with real throwing, real falling, and energetic grappling. This work explains how kata build the basis for success in free exercise (randori) and contest performance (shiai), as well as self-defense (goshin-jutsu). And beyond that, kata transform Judo into a balanced system of physical education.

By studying the notes and diaries of Jigoro Kano, the founder of Kodokan Judo, the authors have been able to recapture the original spirit and intent of kata. Within this context, the kata themselves are presented in their most up-to-date standard Kodokan versions, as refined by generations of master judoists. Thus the reader benefits from the best of the old and the best of the new. Expertly written and richly illustrated, this unique book is destined to become the "kata bible" for Judo trainee and instructor alike.

Tadao Otaki, a high-ranking Kodokan expert, is one of Japan's foremost judoists. He has instructed many Japanese national, world, and Olympic champions; he is also a popular teacher among non-Japanese judoists both in Japan and abroad. As a professor of physical education at Tokyo Education University, he is engaged in historical and technical research concerning the role of Judo in education. Professor Otaki's long experience in teaching Judo and his contributions to its teaching methods have brought him worldwide acknowledgment.

Donn F. Draeger is an internationally recognized authority on Asian martial culture, and has authored many books in the field. Now director of the International Hoplological Research Center in Honolulu, he was formerly an instructor in the International Division of the Kodokan, where he trained numerous Japanese and non-Japanese judoists who went on to become national, world, and Olympic champions. He holds Kodokan certificates in six kata. He was the first non-Japanese to demonstrate kata (as Tori) at an All-Japan Judo Championship and at the Olympic Games; he was also the first non-Japanese to compete in the All-Japan High Rank Holder's Judo Tournament at the Kodokan.



Since this book deals with a highly technical area of Judo training, the Kodokan Randori no Kata, the authors have been quite anxious to have the most authoritative reading of the manuscript possible. We are therefore deeply indebted to Sumiyuki Kotani, former Chief Instructor of the Kodokan International Division; to Takashi Uzawa, Kodokan historian and former administrative assistant-secretary to Jigoro Kano; to Yoshizo Matsumoto, head of the Kodokan Editorial Section; to Teizo Kawamura and Toshiro Daigo, members of the Kodokan technical and instructional staff; and to Nobuo Nishimori, an outstanding high-ranking Judo teacher in the U.S.A. All gave generously of their time and provided valuable technical suggestions.

Special thanks are extended to the Kano family, whose permission to peruse and quote from the personal diaries and technical notes of Jigoro Kano has given this text its core. The classical Japanese work on kata, Murakami's Randori no Kata, fourth edition (Kodokan Bunkakai), originally edited by Jigoro Kano, provided many of the technical data which are to be found in this book. Thus it has been possible to recapture the original spirit and intent of Kodokan kata from its source, and to explain it so that its importance may be discovered by the reader. Technical details have also been taken from the contemporary kata standard of Kodokan, and many high-ranking Judo teachers have therefore made distinctive individual contributions. However, it is the authors who assume full responsibility for any technical errors of substance or omission.

Excellent cooperation in demonstrating skills for the pictures in this text was given by Isao Inokuma, two-time All-Japan Judo Champion, 1964 Olympic Heavyweight Judo Champion, and 1965 -- 66 Unlimited and World Judo Champion, who performs as Tori; and by T. Matsukawa, a teacher of physical education in Tokyo and instructor in the Kodokan International Division, who performs as Uke. Additional thanks are extended to Joel Stewart and Howard K. Alexander, Canadian former Judo kenshusei at the Kodokan, who demonstrate many of the technical key points. Daniel Wacksman and Navon Doron of Israel, students at the Kodokan, demonstrate some special technical matters. Tsunemori Kaminoda, senior combatives instructor for the Metropolitan Tokyo Police Department, served as model for the illustrations concerning the relationship between swordsmanship and Judo.

The pictorial appeal of this book is largely due to the great photographic skills of A. Jinguji, Pascal Krieger was responsible for the outstanding accuracy of the graphics, without which the work's technical complexity would prove a burden to the reader. A great debt is owed to Dr. John B, Hanson-Lowe for the care and time which he devoted to conscientious proofreading of the manuscript as well as the many valuable suggestions he made in preparing it for publication. Trevor P. Leggett, the senior-ranked non-Japanese judoist, too, has been most helpful in identifying classical Japanese texts used in preparation of the manuscript. The work of the Yale University Library staff, which cooperated in certain phases of the research, is also much appreciated. Finally, the authors wish to thank Yasuko Nagazumi and Sakiko Odajime for their long and faithful hours in the tedious work of interviewing and translation.



This book has been prepared as a technical manual for all judoists, whether trainees or instructors. It describes the basic formal techniques of Kodokan Judo, the Nage and Katame no Kata. The primary purpose of this book is to give judoists an adequate source of reference for the study and practice of these basic kata. It contains the most recent amendments and modifications made by the Kodokan in arriving at the formulation of a definitive kata standard. Additionally, this book extrapolates from Jigoro Kano's technical notes in order to remove the appearance of uselessness which is often projected by modern interpretations of kata.

It will be readily seen that this book is unique in several major areas. The precision with which kata must be performed requires that an adequate description of it be somewhat lengthy and detailed. Kata must be given its just place in a full-length text without trying to cram too many types of kata and too little about each into the limitations of a book. Therefore, this book provides more pages of illustrated text than are usually found in a work on this subject.

Heretofore, books on Judo kata have been mainly concerned with describing the actual techniques of throwing and grappling. They have concentrated mainly on the role of Tori, almost to the exclusion of the role of Uke, which is very vital to kata. We object to this method of presentation as being full of technical gaps which weaken learning. These gaps have made kata study from most existing books a loosely connected series of performances and next to impossible. In kata the connecting movements are highly significant, and need to be practiced as correctly as the individual techniques. This book gives a full and accurate description of the roles of both Tori and Uke, making the whole kata understandable as a continuous process, without omitting the technical details necessary for a smooth and complete performance. Understanding the direction of movement and the rhythm involved in the performance of each technique places the strength climaxes properly and makes them easily identifiable. The "in-betweens," or transitional movements from the completions of techniques to the subsequent techniques required of the performers, are described so that the physical positions and attendant movements can readily be practiced throughout the whole range and depth of their fields. Additionally, the positional attitudes taken by Tori and Uke from start to finish of each technique are clearly illustrated and explained. Emphasis is also given to the correct spirit and etiquette of kata, without which kata is meaningless.

This book stresses, in progressive steps, the necessity for the integration of the objectives of kata. The primary intention of this stress is to contribute to the overall Judo education of judoists. The book also deals with the many components to making kata interesting and learnable; specifically it discusses the unification of kata into the realm of practical Judo training. It is this portion of the book that should appeal most to the reader. A stereotyped and inflexible curriculum of demonstrational kata will see many judoists grow bored, and rightly so. The student's distaste for kata ill-presented can be turned into a love for kata correctly presented. Kata, as indicated in this book, is concerned with real throwing, real falling, and energetic grappling; the suggested application of kata in training is the basis for the development of a judoist's skills so that they may endure.

Incompetent or, at best, indifferent Judo instructors who indict the practice of kata as slavish adherence to the traditionalist approach, and condemn it as meaningless form, are irrefutably rebutted by documentary testimony to the value of kata training. Some of the most outstanding Japanese judoists, famous in international circles as contest champions and high-ranking teachers, give their opinions about kata here. It is evident from their testimonies that only the judoist with rich past experience appreciates and understands kata, and that it is the inexperienced judoist who lacks an ability to enlarge and make meaningful the course of kata study.


Note: It is deeply regretted that one of the authors, Donn Draeger, did not live to see the publication of this book. We are fortunate that Mr. Draeger did find an opportunity to check the printed proofs and layout of this work, the fruit of his lifelong devotion to martial arts.



There are many sound approaches to the use of this book. You may of course choose your own procedure; but one way which makes full use of this text, and the one which we think best, is as follows:

Read Chapters 1 through 3 inclusive; you may also begin reading Chapter 10. You may do all this before taking your first kata instruction, or you may read along as you train. However, it is perhaps best to have the information in those chapters in mind prior to your actual lessons. If you are already familiar with kata, these chapters will add to your store of knowledge.

When you begin your actual practice of kata, turn directly to Chapter 8 or 9 as appropriate, and begin reading the technical descriptions of the techniques you will practice. As you read and as you practice in the dojo, certain technical points are bound to confuse you. You may be able to understand them as they arise by reading Chapters 5 through 7, which give detailed insight into many of your potential problems. You will notice that this book contains a unique structural presentation of kata in Chapters 8 and 9; that is, the roles of Tori and Uke are given a two-column arrangement. This arrangement has much in common with a musical score in that each part may be read and practiced independently, or may be practiced in concert with the other to produce the desired whole. It will be greatly helpful to have a third training partner read the text, step by step, as you and your training partner follow his spoken instructions; "walk" through your first few such training sessions without completely applying the techniques-that is, omitting the throw and resultant fall, or the struggle on the mat - until you have the familiarity with the mechanics of the techniques which permits you to give a complete performance. Other judoists can sit and watch your performance, criticizing by noting any differences in it from what has been read in the text. When you have the technical details firmly in mind, you may then practice without the aid of these additional training partners.

This book contains action photographs of all the techniques of Nage and Katame no Kata, exactly as they are performed, by two young, leading world kata experts, one of whom (Tori) is not only a two-time All-Japan Judo Champion but also an Olympic and World Champion. There are no posed photographs in the technique sequences. You may note some minor inconsistencies between the pictures and the text; this may be due to photographic difficulties (angles, timing, etc.) in obtaining exactly what the text requires, rather than a technical deficiency in the performers. At any rate, when such differences are detected, follow the text.

Rereading any portion of this book will always greatly improve your Judo study and practice, Refer to the appropriate chapters by consulting the Table of Contents and the Glossary-Index, which will help you to find what you are searching for. For ease of reference, the Glossary-Index has been divided into three parts: Nage no Kata Techniques; Katame no Kata Techniques; and General.

Those judoists who may criticize this text as being too involved and detailed are reminded that the book has been written precisely with the idea of including such detail. kata cannot be correctly performed without strict attention to detail, and adequate explanations of kata must discuss indispensable detail. Casual reading is not desirable; this text is meant to provide a basis for the study and practice of Nage and Katame no Kata for the Judo lifetime of any dedicated judoist. Would those who criticize its length expect a book on equally technically difficult subjects to be brief? A dictionary, a text on anatomy and physiology, a text on electrical theory or automotive mechanics given in summary form would be of little or no value to the user. The old adage "One picture is worth ten thousand words" often gives rise to the design of books which are based on explanation by pictures. Magnificent books have been so published, lavishly pictorial but sparse in textual content. They make their appeal to the lazy reader. These books cannot impress the reader deeply, even when elaborately and carefully planned. They appeal only to curiosity of a superficial nature, because unless the reader can correctly interpret the pictures, he cannot learn the intricacies and technical precision that are required by kata or any other complex subject; important details in the photographs will escape his untutored eye.

Read and reread the text, often and carefully. You will always find something new to improve your kata ability and knowledge. But, beyond that, in all techniques described herein and their related counters, neutralizations, and escape procedures, are values that should be applied when practicing randori and shiai.



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