My Method Of Judo

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Author: Mikonosuke Kawaishi
Pub: 1955 by W. Foulsham & Co. Ltd.
Pages: 246
Ranking:Three star Rating
Out of Print


No photos, only line drawings... the translation by E.J. Harrison is fluid... contains techniques that are rarely seen elsewhere, such as the illegal kansetsuwaza. In spite of the impression given by the table of contents (below), all techniques are given their Japanese name. A worthwhile addition to any library.

 FOREWORD                                              1
 TRANSLATOR'S PREFACE                                  3  
 NOTICE                                                7
                             FIRST PART                
                Technique of Upright (Standing) Judo  
 SHISEI, The Postures                                 15
 UKEMIS, The Breakfalls                               17
 KUMI-KATA, The Hand Holds on Opponent's Jacket       19
 KUZUSHI, Methods of Disturbing Balance               21
 NAGE-WAZA, The Throws                                  
     I. Ashi-Waza, 15 Throws with the Leg             25 
    II. Koshi-Waza, 15 Throws with the Hips or Loins  43
   III. Kata-Waza, 6 Throws with the Shoulder         65
    IV. Te-Waza, 9 Throws with the Arms or Hands      73
     V. Sutemi-Waza, 15 Sutemi or "Sacrifice" Throws  85

                            SECOND PART
              Technique of Judo on the Ground

   I. KATAME-WAZA, 17  Immobilizations               105

  II. SHIME-WAZA                                        
        1st Series, 18 Strangulations                131
        2nd Series, 11 Strangulations                159

 III. UDE-KANSETSU-WAZA, 25 Armlocks                 175
        1st Position, 4 Armlocks                     178
        2nd Position, 3 Armlocks                     185
        3rd Position, 4 Armlocks                     190
        4th Position, 4 Armlocks                     197
        5th Position, 5 Armlocks                     203
        6th Position, 5 Armlocks                     210
  IV. ASHI-KANSETSU-WAZA, 9 Leglocks                 219
   V. KUBI-KANSETSU-WAZA, 6 Dislocation
        Necklocks                                    233




Every nation possesses its own customs which characterize it, certain ways of living which are personal to it.

Japan, for example, has some customs which differ greatly from those of European countries and it is in the bosom of this special Japanese environment that Judo was born and has grown.

Quite simply to implant this Judo in Europe, to make it grow and prosper while following step by step the principles of Japanese instruction without transposing them, nor adapting them to the occidental mentality, was to expose them to grave miscalculation. I have had occasion to travel through many countries. During these journeys have many times had opportunities to observe that the Judo which was taught was not adapted to the surroundings and was in some way or other out of its element, uprooted.

It was not the Judo which was at fault nor the men who lacked natural aptitudes. It was the method of instruction which was not appropriate. That is why I have created a method of Judo intended for Europeans, the Kawaishi Method. This method, which is that of French Judo, has already achieved great success. It is now taught and is developing in various countries of Europe. Its aim is to make known in its entirety Japanese Judo from the source, since at the present time in Japan Judo has been obliged to discard quite a number of holds regarded as dangerous because executed in opposition to the true spirit of Judo.

But it is on the other hand necessary not to lose sight of the fact that Japanese Judo has advanced alone while breaking away from the old Jujutsu.

Here Judo should develop, the latest comer, among other combative sports which have already reached their maturity, like boxing and wrestling.

All these differences of origin, of surroundings, of mentality, and of neighbourhood are so many reasons which have imposed on my method of Judo some differences of form from that which is practised in Japan. But, and this is essential, the fundamental spirit remains unchanged.

This little book is thus a complete manual of the basic movements of my method of Judo. It describes them in strict order and in their type of execution. It is thus the happy complement of teaching given in the clubs and at the same time a guarantee of the perfect knowledge of my method. But its object is solely to furnish a basis of theoretical work up to Dan, and not to take the place of the technical direction of the teacher.

The execution of every hold is strictly described, that is to say, in the most concise and at the same time the most detailed form possible, attention being drawn to all the essential points - posture, disturbance of balance, contacts - but without any description of successive techniques, of the manner of resisting or of dodging, nor of counter-holds, these questions forming the subject, after the Black Belt stage, of my teaching at the College, and assuming on the part of the pupil perfect preliminary knowledge of all the fundamentals.

And now some words of advice.

Learn thoroughly all these movements. Study them carefully in all their details. One can never know too much technique. And then above all at the Dojo train hard, conscientiously, seriously and courageously.

Try to attack as swiftly as possible. Practise Randori a great deal.

At the end of a certain time you will be conscious of facility and a preference for one or two movements.

Try them out specially on all possible opponents, endeavour constantly to improve them, and you will end by succeeding with them. What is necessary is to continue.




In my opinion this work by my friend Mikonosuke Kawaishi Shihan, 7th Dan, which I have been privileged to translate, is by long odds the best and most comprehensive exposition of the Art of Judo hitherto published in any language, not even excluding Japanese. It is not, of course, and does not profess to be exhaustive. Such a magnum opus has yet to be produced and if ever it is, then the price at which it can be published may very well prove almost prohibitive for the rank and file of judoka. In these circumstances and confronted by a problem well nigh insoluble at the moment, every contributor to the rapidly swelling judo bibliography must reluctantly yet ruthlessly sacrifice an enormous quantity of less valuable "corroborative detail" for the sake of including as many practical methods as possible within the maximum space vouchsafed him by his publishers. And, so it seems to me, such has been the primary objective quite brilliantly achieved by Mr. Kawaishi in his method of Judo.

Not so much the first part of his book devoted to Upright Judo or Tachiwaza which is fundamentally conventional, but the second part which deals at far greater length with judo on the ground will come as a revelation to most European judoka unfamiliar with the French original. They are more than likely to experience a shock - let us hope an agreeable one - when they see that Mr. Kawaishi has had the courage and good sense to ignore the fatuous Kodokan prohibition of dislocation locks on the leg and neck and the use of one or both legs in the application of strangleholds. For that reason every progressive judoka who shares my avowed contention that judo must be regarded not only as a high-class sport but also as a fighting art, and who is therefore anxious to keep himself appraised of the latest developments under this head, will be well advised to study carefully Mr. Kawaishi's convincing descriptions of no fewer than 29 Strangulations, 25 Armlocks, 9 Leglocks and 6 Neck Dislocations, many of these entirely new to most English and probably to numerous Japanese Yudansha as well. Even Tsunetani Oda, 9th Dan, whose method of judo on the ground I have tried to interpret in my latest book, has evidently found it necessary to defer to The Kodokan's ruling against leglocks and has therefore omitted them from his exposition of Katamewaza.

Now in the wake of Mr. Kawaishi's revolutionary step, unless The Kodokan looks to its laurels and is willing to relax its erstwhile embargo and permit the inclusion of leglocks and dislocation necklocks in the Yudansha curriculum, it may in the near future find itself outdistanced by non-Japanese Yudansha in this unorthodox branch of an art which must ever continue to be dynamic if it is to be spared the dreadful fate of slumping into a state of static complacency.

Mr. Kawaishi is rightly careful to warn his readers against reckless and irresponsible recourse to these dangerous techniques. It may even be advisable to exclude them from formal contests. But in this perilous and lawless age the protagonists of the great art of judo simply cannot afford to run the risk of humiliation at the hands and legs of ruffians who may have taken the trouble to specialize in precisely these hitherto tabooed and crippling locks calculated to cool the ardour of the toughest Uke subjected to them! To incur this risk would surely be tantamount to doing a grave disservice to the world-wide reputation of judo. And that disaster must not be allowed to happen. I have tried to discharge my grateful task as both translator and editor in a catholic spirit. Almost the sole latitude I have permitted myself has been the standardization of the English renderings of the author's Japanese names of the, so to speak, "classic" or approved methods, more or less in conformity with accepted usage at The Budokwai and in affiliated clubs in this country, in preference to a literal translation of their French equivalents in the original text. I have felt justified in doing this in order to avoid confusion in domestic judo circles and to facilitate the speedy identification of the relevant techniques. In the case of the less familiar and ample residue I have had to adhere more closely to the French version of the Japanese terminology. Moreover I have not scrupled to number Jean Gailhat's striking line drawings of all methods for the purpose of ready reference - an expedient neglected in the original but none the less advisable. However, apart from these minor deviations and the effort to make the English letterpress read not as a slavish translation of the French idiom but rather as an independent rendering, I have not presumed to tamper with the distinguished author's text. For the rest his Method of Judo may confidently be left to speak for itself.



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