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Why was Judo invented?
From The Underworld Forum
J-Trigger (7/8/99 4:51:31 pm) Why was Judo invented? Why was it put together? Why not just stick with the Japanese Jiu-Jitsu? What made ? Kano put together Judo?
Mit (7/8/99 5:49:37 pm) Hope Faxia doesn't mind if I take a stab. Around the time that the samurais were falling out of favor (1800s) and usefulness, they started to share their techniques with just about everyone. So jj was no longer for the samurai and ruffians and commoners started to do it. Jujutsu then garnered a bad rep from this. Kano learned Jj as a way of increasing his health. He was a natural at it. He saw jj as a cultural component of the Japanese. After a while he gathered everthing he learned in jj and applied principles to the tech. This was to make it systemized and make it easier to learn. He originally called it Kano Ryu Jujutsu. But with the rep Jj had he then changed it to Judo (which was not his idea originally) and people started to catch on. But it was not until the Great battle of the Kodokan in which the Judoka defeated the Jujutsuka in contest that Judo really supplanted Jj as a main art. There is way more to the story but that is in any Judo book. Also look for the "Judo Information Site", it has lots of info. Mit Ps: I'm sure Faxia will add this as he is great with specifics.
faxia roxa (7/8/99 6:56:38 pm)I just got back from practice, thanks for the hand Mit! As you said, Judo was created at the beginning of the Meiji Restoration, when the feudal system had finally been totally abolished in Japan. It was a time in which the government was trying to create a more peaceful atmosphere. The Samurai class, founders of Jiu Jitsu, had their rights, such as carrying of a sword, taken away (the only class retaining this right where the Sumos, for cerimonial purposes).
Mit is completely right, Kano felt that the respectability of JJ was detoriorating in the eyes of the Japanese public. He saw the true beauty and power of the art, and desperately wanted to save it. So, he created Judo, which was to be an art that could safely and usefully be practiced by the general public, as well as an archive of the ancient ryu. This doesn't mean that he removed techniques that were dangerous, they were just taught in a safe manner, and generally after the fundamental techniques (e.g. the Gokyo no Waza (40 basic throws divided into five sets that were the largest part of the original requirements for the 5 kyu ranks), basic newaza, the Nage no Kata (Form of throwing) and Katame no Kata, etc.) had been polished.
He gave Judo a sporting aspect (shiai) mainly to attract the general public, and to provide a ground where Judoka's techniques could be tested in a friendly manner. These were the most clearly obvious reasons, but there were others. The "do" in Judo means way or path, Judo was meant to be a path of life. The koryu JJ schools were designed singularly for the battlefield. When the need for JJ in the battlefield dissapeared, there seemed to be little reason to train in it, except for fighting in the street, which is what many of the former Samurai were reduced to.
Kano developed Judo to give the average person a reason to practice the arts. It was no longer just about defeating an opponent on the battlefield. There is still that aspect, preserved in self defense techniques and also in shiai, but with less of an eye towards total victory than to learning and promoting mutual benefit and welfare. But Judo was also meant as a way of life, something that could improve the quality of its students' lives and of those theyu came in contact with. Finally, there are a few substaintial difference between Judo and koryu JJ.
First, and most obviously, Judo is a synthesis of many koryu styles. Kano was trained mainly in Kito Ryu and Tenshin Shinyo Ryu, and was certified under the old rank system to teach both, but many styles contributed to Judo. Kano had the masters of all the old koryu schools come together and formally give there approval of the Kodokan syllabus. It was meant to be a complete view of JJ as it was in the days of the Samurai. And other arts have contributed to Judo as well. It is said that Kano learned Kata Guruma (the fireman's carry throw) from western wrestling. He sent one of his top students, Kenji Tomiki, to study under Morehei Uyeshiba, founder of Aikido, and a good degree of the Kodokan Goshin Jutsu (the primary group of modern Judo self defense techniques), came from what Tomiki learned in Aikido.
Kano was instumental in popularizing the Shotokan Karate of Gichin Funakoshi in Japan, and may have taken some techniques from there as well. And of course, there was the Kodokan's defeat by the Fusen Ryu whioch prompted them to learn the newaza of that ryu, which forms the basis form newaza as it is practiced today. So Judo is much more broad-based than any single ryu before it. And Kano also had some principles of his own design which are integral to Judo, that were not found in any of the old ryu, the foremost being kuzushi, or off-balancing.
Before Judo, throws were performed mostly without breaking the opponent's balance first. This is an integral part of modern Judo, and the principle that allowed Kano to finally defeat his old Kito Ryu instructor in randori. Kuzushi is perhaps the greatest innovation in the last 150 years in the arts. And before Judo, kata was the primary tool of instruction in JJ. These were not necessarily the same as kata today (i.e. they were not so formal, and the opponent actually resisted the technique), but they were not toally "live" either. Judo was the first style to emphasize randori (free practice) over kata, which has revolutionized the training in most MA today.
pdeking (8/7/99 6:55:24 pm) According to "The Men Who Created Judo (in Japanese)", the main reason Kanou started jujutsu was that he was often bullied (punched in the face) in school since he was a typical nerd, superb academic performance but physically frail. He took jujutsu to defend himself from the bullies. Using his extraordinary intelligence, he analyzed every move in jujutsu using his knowledge of human anatomy and mechanics which he excelled in high school. The rest is as written by Faxia.
faxia roxa (8/7/99 7:28:39 pm) That is an excellent point. Besides creating Judo, Kano was one of the greatest educators, believers in education, and indeed intellects in the history Japan (and also the world in general).
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