PDA

View Full Version : zen judo



rsamurai2
30th December 2001, 23:07
I found a web sight on Zen judo. I downloaded the syllabus and read the philosophy. They say the are mifunes vision of judo is. I seem to agree with them and find myself wanting to become part of that organization. I noticed that they do not follow the gokyo and have different throws than those listed in that book. My question is, are any of you people on this list belong or know of that organization. I am very discouraged with modern sport judo. Although i enjoy practicing judo, i am after all a shodan, but watching the matches bore the crap out of me. And fail to see the purpose. i would rather watch a bjj match or ufc tape. So again, does anybody have any experience with this organization?
www.zenjudo.com

MarkF
31st December 2001, 17:05
The term "zen judo" isn't new, but I hadn't seen this web site before. I also noticed it hadn't been updated since 8 Oct. 1999. Lots of things could have changed.

The best source, IMO, of Zen and judo, is the late Trevor P. Leggett. He had been with the Budokwai since forever, or at least up until his death in August 2, 2000. He wrote many books on Zen, trained "enough" champions, but I had first learned of him in the late sixties through a couple of articles which interested me on the subject of Zen. It wasn't until later, I read of his judo prowess.

The errors in the short history aside, it isn't a bad web site, and it does seem by some of the names of waza that he liked Kawaishi very much. His list of books to read is on the short side.

Kano did feel through practicing judo was his way of "enlightenment" so calling kodokan Judo "Zen" could also be along the lines of "everything is Zen." On a broad scale, this could be true.

Competition in judo was one of the refinements made to the jujutsu styles of the day. No wars, no use for budo. In competition, winning the battle is symbolic of battlefield victory and also is an answer to what many of the other schools played out what they learned by basically being thugs. It was a channel through which the human instinct to fight or flight could be controlled. It is also human to try to control these basic animal instincts, and through judo, this is possible.

OK, so enought the sermon, Richard.

Have you contacted them yet? Check out the Budokai, too, since it is mentioned often on the web site, and the Kano Society.org site. There is a lot of reading material along the way, and you probably would have liked Leggett. He had his "hell dojo" as well, on most Sundays.

It doesn't say which judo organization he received his rokudan, but he did mention the USJA so I'm assuming it is that organization.

You also aren't the only person who likes to participate but hates to watch. If by watching you mean videos, I'm in agreement to some degree, also. Much better to fight than to watch a TV image, especially for long periods. I saw what was called a "Synchroized Forms World Championships" on ESPN recently and what was particularly funny was that a Paul Mitchell Team won in most events. The program was sponsored by Paul Mitchell. An aikido team won the "self-defense forms" competition while performing, the commentator disclosed no prearranged attacks. A "Forms" Championship?
****

Anyway, check them out. Other than giving certain names for certain grades, I've seen much worse than this.

Good luck! If you can contact them, please feel free to let us know what you find out.

Best Regards,
Mark

Ben_Holmes
1st January 2002, 06:29
The best source, IMO, of Zen and judo,

Might I suggest, that a book titled "Zen Judo", written by Brian Bagot, with a forward by the *originator* of Zen Judo, Dominick McCarthy, might perhaps be a better source of information?

See my review on the book at: http://www.bestjudo.com/brzenjudo.shtml

I have one extra copy that I'll probably put up at Ebay sometime, but I can't honestly recommend this, at least, judging from the book. The real test, of course, is in the dojo.

rsamurai2
2nd January 2002, 04:42
found a new link
www.zenjudo.co.uk

hydestewart
2nd January 2002, 14:43
I have read the web site and book on Zen Judo by Brian Bagot and met a student from one of the clubs. Whilst this style of Judo does no one any harm it is a long way from my experience of Kodokan Judo in England and Japan. It seems to have been founded by someone whose main experience of Judo came from other peoples books. My Japanese is rusty but there are many errors in the use of the language in the book and web site, eg korobi instead of kuro-obi (black belt). Other pictures show throws supposedly being completed without proper grips. No grip no kuzushi.

Signed

Stewart Hyde

User name
hydestewart

will szlemko
4th January 2002, 01:22
Hi,

No grip throws are very enlightening. This is something I am playing with now. Being in Alaska I often wear gloves and an attacker would likely have a fairly heavy coat. With this combination it is impossible to grab, all I can manage is to hook and use that to pull. While this would probably not work in competition being able to perform throws without grabbing is important for self defense.

will

rsamurai2
4th January 2002, 05:06
we throw without grips in jujutsu all the time. we have even thrown without using the arms. but you have to have a committed attack from uke. and then you have to commit to the throw. but you don't need a grip for most selfdefense/combat throws. remember kano designed the gi for more throwing techniques wich required grips. i.e loose jackets, long sleeves. also remember in shiai you have to have a gi with specific requirements so your opponet can grip. everything equal. no advantage.

hydestewart
8th January 2002, 15:21
Quite right, throws without gripping the jacket are possible. What I was really trying to say, in the politest possible way, was that the demonstrations on the Zen Judo book were rather poor.

Stewart Hyde

MarkF
9th January 2002, 09:41
kuzushi, too, is possible without touching anything. Movement can create the openings and have the opponent off-balance. Many tachi-waza can be done without gripping the dogi and katame-waza after a life time of gripping is one of going back to basics, as a beginner.

Try to hold someone in hon-kesa gatame and see if you can manage uke. It isn't easy, I've found.


Mark

MarkF
9th January 2002, 10:09
I found these two open letters to be of interest on the Zen Judo web site.

http://www.zenjudo.co.uk/bzja.htm and

http://www.zenjudo.co.uk/response.htm

Fracturing of schools isn't new though it seems the those of this Zen judo (and karate and aikido) would produce more cohesion.


Mark

MarkF
9th January 2002, 10:23
I apoligize for all the posts but the more I read on this site (do you think he could have written it in just a wee bit bigger font?) the more amazing I find it.

http://www.zenjudo.co.uk/wadokan/news029.htm


For those who wish to learn more about the master from the master's own words I recommend Dr. Jigoro Kano's
book, "Kodokan Judo" (Kodansha International, 1986). Finally, for those curious about the days of the early Kodokan
and how Dr. Kano organized his workouts, I recommend a book by the British master E.J. Morrison, "The Fighting Spirit
of Japan" (Charles E. Tuttle Company, 1982). Here you'll find a fascinating first person account of the early days
of the Kodokan. Shihan Morrison was one of the first Europeans to cross the threshold of Kano's school.
Happy readings!

CATCHING UP WITH THE REST OF THE JUDO WORLD
Those of us in the Zen Judo world who have some experience with Kodokan Judo remember the time when the
standing techniques in the Kodokan syllabus were divided into two parts: the Gokyo no Waza (five sets of eight
throws corresponding to the five color belts in Judo's program that was set forth by Kano in 1895 and revised in
1920) and the Shimmeisho no Waza (a set of techniques that were added to the original syllabus in the 1950s).
That was the standard syllabus for the Kodokan for much of the 20th Century. But lately the Kodokan decided to
revise its syllabus again.
So we now have the Rokyo no Waza (six sets of eight throws) and an enlarged Shimmeisho no Waza. For those of
you who wish to catch up on your Kodokan syllabus, or those of you who are curious as to how much Zen Judo
techniques and Kodokan techniques are similar or different, I recommend a visit to Sensei Neil Ohlenkamp's
website: http://JudoInfo.com/menu.shtml. I consider Neil's site the most complete Judo reference website in the
world. When you get to the site, click on the link "Techniques of Judo" and enjoy. My thanks to Sensei Leo Valdes
of Richmond, Virginia, for alerting me to the changes!

***

There is so much here I didn't know.;)

Mark

Ben_Holmes
10th January 2002, 16:54
Those of us in the Zen Judo world who have some experience with Kodokan Judo remember the time when the standing techniques in the Kodokan syllabus were divided into two parts: the Gokyo no Waza (five sets of eight
throws corresponding to the five color belts in Judo's program that was set forth by Kano in 1895 and revised in
1920) and the Shimmeisho no Waza (a set of techniques that were added to the original syllabus in the 1950s).

I do hope you mean 1982 for the Shinmeisho no waza. This paragraph really doesn't make sense to those of us who *have* been in Judo for a long time. If you're a long term Judoka, you surely remember the *40 throws* of Judo.

Kit LeBlanc
11th January 2002, 01:05
E.J. MOrrison?

Ben_Holmes
11th January 2002, 02:54
Strangely enough, I'm sitting here with *my* copy of E.J. Harrison's fine book entitled "The Fighting Spirit of Japan"... I'm amazed that there's someone else out there with the same initials, who wrote a book with the same title! So Kit, I'm with you! :)

MarkF
11th January 2002, 12:28
That comes from the new Zen Judo web site. I didn't think I had to list the errors on that site. Some of the photos, look, well, hinky to me as well.

Variations are fine, but not in the history of judo. Perhaps this is the reason for differentiating from *zenjudo* and Kodokan Judo.

What did y'all think of the the photos, at least those of the waza?

Mark

rsamurai2
11th January 2002, 17:16
from what i have been able to learn. zen judo is a combat/self defense judo art. competition is frowned upon. this being the case a different emphasis is placed in training. effective street throws opposed to sport throws. remember many kodakan throws were designed for a gi. these same throws don't work if uke is wearing a t shirt. also most sport judo schools don't teach leg locks anymore or anything that is considered ilegal; in a shiai. zen judo does teach these throws. as far as name differences. in my jujutsu school we have different throws for the same name technique as in k- judo and different names for the same throw in k- judo. we also do tai otoshi slightly different than judo. all the different koshi waza in kodakan judo we just considerd a variation of o goshi. now i can't comment on the judo history differences i have read conflicting articles on the web but i tend to lean towards the conventional wisdom. every art splits off when the oldest students leave. and when they do they take a different view point or emphasis with them. look at all the styles of karate, jujutsu and aikido. they all started with one root system and as the students split off the styles changed and different emphasis' were placed. and history a little changed the germans view ww 2 differently than the americans or polish. same with judo. tomiki, kimura maeda all view judo differently than kano. the kodakan didn't like mma contests in the old days and many of these people did them anyway using different emphasis in traing for these contests. and i am postive everything we say about the zen people they are saying about us.

just a thought

MarkF
12th January 2002, 12:38
Yes, there are different view points on *kodokan* judo. There is no other.

How did Kimura and Maeda differ? That there were many years between the two means nothing. Maeda was around closer to the beginning.

But, no matter how you view the application of judo, it is still judo. There are many more judo nage waza which can be done without a jacket then there are those which cannot, and even those which appear being possible only with the uwagi can also be done without. Variations are plenty, but the principles remain the same.

I studied at Jack Seki's dojo in LA for a year, and in that time, not one technique we did wasn't from the Kodokan syllabus, the emphasis was different (that and a man who went from sandan to godan to hachidan in less than a year). Should this be called jujutsu? Or judo with a different emphasis, not counting the emphasis on high rank.
****

The comments were mostly based on the obvious errors made on this web site. The photos of the throws were almost childish. It isn't the different names, all the more famous judoka had different names for the same throws, and different throws under the same name. I found nothing on this site which would leave me to think it was "combat oriented."

If it were truly zen, why all the belts and the respective names such as renshi, hanshi, shihan, etc? M. Kawaishi had a different emphasis too, and different names for throws, not to mention some throws in different categories than that of the Kodokan. On the other hand, all the names appearing differently had been used at one time or another by those who were practitioners of the Kodokan way.

Rod Sacharnoski says that there isn't any reason why he shouldn't be Kano's equal because of his "combat Judo" being a new school or style of judo.

So the problems with the web site, the syllabus, etc., are not different than Kodokan judo, it is simply laden with mistakes, and more obvious ones I've never seen, not in a group which claims it is zen because it is a "family." Why did the American branch of Zen Judo split with the European branch? Was there a divorce?

The only person who was legitimately ranked as "shihan" was Jigoro Kano, but most also think of him as one of the founders, not the only one. Many people developed the original gokyo, Kano's principles were the basis for his judo and was used to form each waza.

Lastly, there were more people learned in judo and zen then this McCarthy person, with T.P. Leggett coming to mind. He didn't regard his Kodokan judo grade as anything more than it was. Many said when he was still alive that if anyone deserved to be judan it was him, but he was a 6-dan for more years than I've been alive.

No matter what the emphasis, if it is judo, it is Kodokan, and if Kodokan, it is judo. The basic principles have not changed.

Mark

dakotajudo
13th January 2002, 02:54
Originally posted by MarkF

If it were truly zen, why all the belts and the respective names such as renshi, hanshi, shihan, etc? M. Kawaishi had a different emphasis too, and different names for throws, not to mention some throws in different categories than that of the Kodokan. On the other hand, all the names appearing differently had been used at one time or another by those who were practitioners of the Kodokan way.



That hits the nail on the head. If you're interested in a more "combat" oriented style of judo, look to Kawaishi. From what I can gather about Zen judo, their only claim to being "Mifune's vision" is that they de-emphasize shiai.

Brian Bagot's book on Zen Judo reads it was written by a judo brown-belt; I can't help but come away with an impression of watered-down Kodokan judo. The information posted on the web site cited by Mark doesn't help.

Kawaishi (translated by Harrison), on the other hand, reads like a jujutsu master. Look for "My Method of Judo", which is out of print.

MarkF
13th January 2002, 11:02
At least two of his books have been reprinted of late, one which I bought for about ten dollars, The Complete Seven Katas of Judo. EJ's translator comments are included.

The Overlook Press ISBN 0-87951-156-7

Third Printing 2000.

Mark