Kangeiko and Shochugeiko

In 1939, I was told about the Kangeiko and the Shochugeiko at the Kodokan for the judo. I was then a strong 3rd dan in Britain and I was not at all upset by the idea of practising during the heat or practising in the early morning in the extreme cold of the winter. There were one or two foreigners at the Kodokan at that time. They told me that the Kangeiko especially was terrifying. It was freezing cold in the Japanese winter, much colder than in Britain, and there was no heating in the Kodokan. But I thought, “Oh no, I know all about this”, and I waited for the winter without any anxiety at all. I had thought it would be like some of the Western austerities which sportsmen do. I did not know that the real idea of the Kangeiko is something quite different from the Western idea of dogged endurance and fighting spirit. Westerners are often surprised when they first hear about the Kangeiko in Japanese Budo. We have the idea of training oneself in endurance of heat and cold, but it is not the same thing. When I was a student, every fortnight I used …

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The second kind of pupil

When I began to train at Judo under Yukio Tani, I was in my late teens. I was very ambitious, and at first thought only of getting more skilful and winning contests. The other teacher at the London Budokwai, Gunji Koizumi, was an artist and a man of great culture. From listening to him, I learnt that Judo should mean much more than showing off on the tatami. He said that the principles of Judo must be applied in every situation in life. This seemed almost meaningless to me at first. After graduating in Law I worked in an office in a big company; how could Judo be applied to my job there? Koizumi showed me that even sitting in a chair can be done properly. Most people sit in an unbalanced position. So they must keep re-adjusting themselves. I practised his method, and found that sitting in a balanced position made the job far less tiring. Tani gave examples from the Budo techniques. He told a few of us about the traditional samurai. In his own family, the father and grandfather had been teachers of Jujutsu. He said that such a samurai was always in a balanced position, so …

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Too much Man, Too little Man

The principle of Maximum Efficiency — Saidai Noritus Genii,was stated in these words by Dr.Jigoro Kano. When I was sixteen, I heard him explain it, in his beautiful English, at the Judo hall in London. He said that it applies in every action in life: do not use too much force, and do not use too little. Use exactly the amount of force that is necessary. To do this, he said, is Right Use, Zen-Yo. He slso told us that this is the true meaning of the word Ju in Ju-do; to use too much force is Wrong Use, what he called  Hardness or Go-do. (The next day, he brushed some huge Chinese characters on a long roll of paper; it was framed and hung high on the wall of thd judo dojo in London. The words were read and then translated for us: Ju Sai Sai Go o sei-su: ‘the gentle Ju indeed controls the forcible Go’.) In the lecture, he said that Zen-Yo or Right Use applied not only to the amount of force to be used, but also to the amount of material. He gave the example of a tank of goldfish. If the water is absolutely …

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Do Social Service social service, on an entirely voluntary and unpaid basis

About 5,000,000 people in Britain do some form of social service, on an entirely voluntary and unpaid basis. That is about 9 per cent of the total population. In terms of man-hours, these volunteers make a contribution greater than that of all the paid staff in the social services departments of the local authorities. It has been found that the Welfare State cannot do all that is required. In many places, voluntary organizations are the only providers of, for example, youth clubs, advice centres, or preschool playgrounds. It is an interesting and important fact that more  than half these volunteers are young people under 24. Many of them spend one or two evenings a week in some form of service. Some go out in groups to do repairs and cleaning for old people living in dilapidated houses. Of course, often the work is not done with professional skill, but as one old lady said to me, ‘I know these young people have come to see me, just to see me — that’s the great thing. It doesn’t matter if the repairs are a bit rough. It is hearing their cheerful voices, and then afterwards we all have tea together — …

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Tips and icebergs

As you know, the iceberg is supposed to be ten per cent, or one per cent some people say, on the surface and the rest is hidden. My method of presentation here (it’s not the only one) is to present just a small proportion and people can find out the rest of the iceberg. In this method of teaching, a number of illustrations or stories are given, but they’re meant as, so to speak, seeds to work on. And unless they change our lives, then they’re just entertaining stories. I’m telling these stories because some of them have been helpful to me and so I have confidence in them. But it’s necessary that, like a seed, it should go into the ground. You know the parable of the sower in our Christian Bible. There’s a famous paint­ing of ‘the sower went forth to sow’ which has been adopted as the sort of crest by Iwanami, one of the most famous Japanese publishers. It shows the sower with the pan­nier of seeds and he’s just scattering them broadcast, without looking. But that’s not, in fact, the way you sow. You make a fur­row in the ground and you put the seeds …

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Kata judo introduction second part

‘Katame ’ is a Japanese root meaning to harden or tighten or hold still; to clench the fist, for instance, could be rendered in Japanese by this word. The Katame-no-kata, or form of Katame, is in Judo often referred to as the ‘groundwork’ Kata, but the last one, for instance, begins in a standing posi­tion. The Katame-waza or Katame techniques are really the methods of immobilizing the opponent, whether by restricting his movement by a technical hold, or by threat of causing pain or unconsciousness. It is true that in general it is easier and more appropriate to use the Katame techniques at present permitted in Judo when on the ground. In this connec­tion it may be noted that this same final technique of the Kata, namely Ashi- garami, involves a lock on the knee which would not now be permitted in contest. The great difficulty with Katame-no-kata is to prevent its becoming ‘dead’ in performance. Uke has to lie still while Tori is taking up his position, and that means that a feeling of unreality begins to pervade the whole thing. This must be prevented at all costs, and while the main responsibility lies on Tori, Uke also has an …

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Kata judo introduction first part

Kata or formal demonstration is an important part of Judo training. A pre­arranged opportunity is given and then the appropriate technique exe­cuted. Under these ideal conditions, a far greater degree of perfection is required than when a throw is brought off in the flurry of Randori or free practice. It is now compulsory for students to prepare themselves for examination in the Kata here described before they can take the ist Dan (first Black Belt grade) in the British Judo Association, the official Olympic body in this country. This book is designed to help them; by studying the explanations and pictures, it will be possible to master all the main points and most of the fine points as well. I introduce each throw with the formal ‘standard’ text, as laid down by the Japanese Convention on Kata held in i960. This text can be taken to be the official version of Kodokan Kata all over the world. Alongside the text are simplified drawings to show the main points. For these I am grateful to Mr. T. Broadbent (ist Dan). It helps to look first at a drawing where only the essential lines are shown; photographs can confuse by too much …

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