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Thread: Kata Guruma history

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    Default Kata Guruma history

    I was reading the history of Jigoro Kano on Wikipedia and it states that Kano sensei developed the kata guruma throw, basing it on techniques from Greco-Roman wrestling. I thought it was a koryu jujutsu waza. Are there any pre-Judo ryuha that utilized this throw?
    Kevin Geaslin
    Genbukan Ninpo & Kokusai Jujutsu

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    Watching with interest (as dropping KG is my tokui waza). I've heard the western wrestling story before, and I'm sure I've seen pictures of the fireman's carry in either medieval Fechtbuecher or on ancient Greek art (or possibly both).

    I'm a strong believer in parallel development in MA, so I would be very surprised if it didn't exist in Japan before Kano codified it.
    Cheers,

    Mike
    No-Kan-Do

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Geaslin View Post
    I was reading the history of Jigoro Kano on Wikipedia and it states that Kano sensei developed the kata guruma throw, basing it on techniques from Greco-Roman wrestling. I thought it was a koryu jujutsu waza. Are there any pre-Judo ryuha that utilized this throw?
    There is a similar technique in Yagyu Shingan Ryu called Kinu Katsugi, but it is executed differently resulting in a different outcome. It comes from the tachiai yawara syllabus of YSR. It is not known if there is any connection with this technique and Kata Guruma of Judo.

    Regards,

    Matt White
    Matt White

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    There is also a similar technique taught in Takeuchi Ryu, close enough to Kata Guruma to bear more than a fair resemblance, and there was also a good amount of connection between early Kodokan and Takeuchi Ryu practitioners, so the possibility of the link is there at least..
    The way we do it is slightly different from the Judo version of course, but the essence is the same...
    Regards.
    Ben Sharples.
    智は知恵、仁は思いやり、勇は勇気と説いています。

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    Kata guruma like techniques are indeed to be found in Western books on unarmed combat. Mostly from Germany but also from Holland. Worstelkonst by Nicolaes Petter is one example which shows a form of kata guruma.
    From memory Worstelkonst was published around 1670 or so.

    I know the story about Kano and kata guruma. Maybe Western wrestling inspired him or so but I can't believe the Japanese wouldn't come up with a technique like that from their own.

    Happy landings,

    Johan Smits

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    Kata-Guruma can be found in a good number of koryu jujutsu ryuha and even in Sumo, predating the Kodokan formualted technique.

    The old standard 418 Sumo Kimarite techniques included a technique called Kinu Katsugi, which was almost identical to kata-guruma. A similar technique in the kimarite is called tasuki-sori.



    Koryu jujutsu also have the technique in their repertoire under various names, These ryuha include; Yoshin Koryu (Akiyama line) Hoki-ryu, Sekiguchi-ryu, Shibukawa-ryu, Tenjin Shinyo-ryu, Asayama Ichiden-ryu, Yagyu Shingan-ryu and as Ben said, Takenouchi-ryu (Takeuchi-ryu). The technique in it's many incarnations had innocuous names, such as ganseki-otoshi, mae-ginu, ushiro-ginu, tengo-sho, oni-otoshi and other variations.

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    Quote Originally Posted by johan smits View Post
    Kata guruma like techniques are indeed to be found in Western books on unarmed combat. Mostly from Germany but also from Holland. Worstelkonst by Nicolaes Petter is one example which shows a form of kata guruma.
    From memory Worstelkonst was published around 1670 or so.

    I know the story about Kano and kata guruma. Maybe Western wrestling inspired him or so but I can't believe the Japanese wouldn't come up with a technique like that from their own.

    Happy landings,

    Johan Smits
    Hallo heer Johan, lange tijd niet gehoord van u!

    Deze draad is heel informatief. Hartelijk dank aan alle contributors!

    This thread is very informative, many thanks to all the contributors!
    Ben Haryo (This guy has low IQ and uses a dialect which vaguely resembles Bad English).

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    I agree that Kata guruma can be found in koyru systems and it is more than likely that Kano had previously been exposed to a variety of waza that were similar to the kata guruma found in the Kodokan. However, one of Kanos main principles was to apply science to his art and make sure that the damage he had recieved through his training didn't happen to the followers of his school. So it is possible that he had dismissed the koryu jujutsu methods of applying this type of technique but then reintroduced it after witnessing a Western fighting art having discovered a way that tori can apply it without putting pressure to the lower back and/or neck.

    Only a hypothesis but it strikes me as being plausable.

    Take care,

    Lawrence Fisher.

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    Lawrence - that sounds very plausible to me, too.
    Cheers,

    Mike
    No-Kan-Do

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    I also agree with Mr. Lawrence's hypothesis. From what I have experienced of gendai jujutsu and judo influenced throwing, this particular kind of throw (learned as a 'cartwheel throw' in the dojo I last trained at) was emphasized on allowing uke to fall properly to avoid serious damage. Later versions of the throw taught at higher levels started to resemble a traditional fireman's carry less and less, however, as the thrower started to go to one or both knees, changing their foot work and the direction of the throw to end their opponent flatly on their skull.

    I had a discussion once with a teacher of mine who indicated that the throw has an old application called 'turning over the tortoise shell' in reference to the tortoise shell shaped helmets worn in the medieval era. This version of the throw is done behind the opponent and grips the rear breastplate rather than an arm, bridges them backwards and dumps on the top of their skull (the top of the tortoise shell), preferably breaking their neck and/or fracturing their skull.

    This would seem to indicate to me that it has roots in not one but both.

    - Chris McGaw

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    Hi Ben,

    Yeh busy, busy, busy, work - a new job, the family, training and teaching and occasionaley some time for research. The days are pretty packed. I hope all is well with you and your family.

    " However, one of Kanos main principles was to apply science to his art and make sure that the damage he had recieved through his training didn't happen to the followers of his school. "

    Lawrence, it does indeed sounds plausible. One thing however. It may be a thing of Kodokan's judo advertising itself very good from the beginning.
    I think the older schools of jujutsu also applied science to their arts - Japanese and Chinese science - not Western science. Using this last thing Kano was very much in league with his times. His methods were based more on Western science this does not make them necessarily better than the methods used by the older arts, just different and maybe more geard towards modern times.

    Happy landings,

    Johan Smits

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    Jan de Jong had a modern reproduction of Worstelkonst by Nicolaes Pette and showed me the kata garuma technique. He told the story of Kano, he said, "invented" the technique but showed that the Dutch had been using it for centuries. Tsutsumi Ryu has the technique and I believe that it was part of the system for a long time.
    Greg Palmer

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