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#1 User is offline   Cichorei Kano 

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Posted 28 November 2008 - 01:15 AM

Various people on this forum in the past for just being negative about people's kata performance, or even that I would just be out to get everyone. I have time after time explained that such is untrue. I have in the past often given critical remarks because no better performances were available on the Internet. I am very pleased now to finally be able to put om so great and exemplary performances. I have nothing negative to say about these, and even if there may be small mistakes, they are completely overshadowed by the skills and devotion of these practitioners.

It is a true pleasure to be able to have access to and publish a performance by Etsuko Yokoyama and Chigusa Ōmori. These are very devoted kata performers. One of their strengths is that both the tori and uke are very good at what they are doing. In many performers of kata we see today, there is often a distinctive difference in level between tori and uke, with the uke being noticeably more junior. Kata requires two good performers.

Another strength that both performers have is the naturalness of their movement and their degree of emptiness of the self. No doubt that it is the single most important quality that distinguishes them from European and American performers whose focus is still entirely on technique. Enjoy and cherish these performances:

http://www.ffjda.com...a%20-%20LAN.wmv

http://www.ffjudo.co...a%20-%20LAN.wmv

I also would like to draw your attention to the following Italian performers, which I reckon, are currently among the very best non-Japanese performers of ju-no-kata:

http://www.ffjudo.co...a%20-%20LAN.wmv

I am very curious if you guys can see the differences between the Japanese and Italian performances. The most crucial difference, is that the Italians are focused on perfect technique and delivering a perfect performance, but there is absolutely no emptiness or naturalness. It is a fine-tuned, extremely well exercised performance, the result of much training, to the extent that few of us could approach it. Their mind though, is set on winning, whereas their mind should be set on nothingness.

Nevertheless, all three performances can serve as a great example to learn, and I am elated that these performances are available now for all of you to watch.
http://www.ffjudo.co...a%20-%20LAN.wmv
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"Nothing is as approved as mediocrity, the majority has established it and it fixes it fangs on whatever gets beyond it either way." (Blaise Pascal)
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#2 User is offline   wdax 

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Posted 28 November 2008 - 08:30 AM

View PostCichorei Kano, on Nov 28 2008, 02:15 AM, said:

I am very curious if you guys can see the differences between the Japanese and Italian performances.

Yes, I can see the difference cearly.

Additonally I must mention, that I saw both couples live and that I have other videos of their performances, which I analysed carefully. And as something special - I praticed once with Chigusa Omori, so I could also feel a little bit of their kata.

I was a little bit diasppointed about Volpis performance. He lookes overmotivated and a bit "wooden". I remembered him more natural, but not really challenging Etsuko Yokoyama.

Beside that, the japanese performance is also in advatage concerning technical details.

It will be very, very hard to challenge these performances - well, we talk about the top of the world. But it´s not impossible.

The problems of the europeans (americans I don´t know) is the scoring system, that only counts mistakes and errors. So the strategy in training and competition is avoiding mistakes to win. So the concentration is mainly on technical aspects.

But in reality we must - beside the question "what is a mistake" - admit, that the judges often don´t see the mistakes or don´t score them. But this is something to discuss in a different thread <_<

This post has been edited by wdax: 28 November 2008 - 08:31 AM

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#3 User is offline   Cichorei Kano 

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Posted 28 November 2008 - 09:38 AM

View Postwdax, on Nov 28 2008, 05:30 PM, said:

Yes, I can see the difference cearly.

Additonally I must mention, that I saw both couples live and that I have other videos of their performances, which I analysed carefully. And as something special - I praticed once with Chigusa Omori, so I could also feel a little bit of their kata.

I was a little bit diasppointed about Volpis performance. He lookes overmotivated and a bit "wooden". I remembered him more natural, but not really challenging Etsuko Yokoyama.

Beside that, the japanese performance is also in advatage concerning technical details.

It will be very, very hard to challenge these performances - well, we talk about the top of the world. But it´s not impossible.

The problems of the europeans (americans I don´t know) is the scoring system, that only counts mistakes and errors. So the strategy in training and competition is avoiding mistakes to win. So the concentration is mainly on technical aspects.

But in reality we must - beside the question "what is a mistake" - admit, that the judges often don´t see the mistakes or don´t score them. But this is something to discuss in a different thread <_<


Good analysis. I have watched dozens of ju-no-kata performances in Japan, and even there few can approach Yokoyama/Ōmori. This is actually interesting, since Yokoyama's two previous kata-partners (before she started working with Ōmori) now compete together. They too, however, have the proper spirit; they would not beat Yokoyama/Ōmori, but they too would beat the Europeans and Americans. Note that Japan did not typically enrol two couples this time, but they likely will next year for the World Championships. Also, note that Russia is still holding off the ball, ready to enter a devastating blow coming out of nowhere. Hear my words. Yes, you are quite right about Volpi. He was better during the World Masters than this time.
"The world is a republic of mediocrities, and always was." (Thomas Carlyle)
"Nothing is as approved as mediocrity, the majority has established it and it fixes it fangs on whatever gets beyond it either way." (Blaise Pascal)
"Quand on essaie, c'est difficile. Quand on n'essaie pas, c'est impossible" (Guess Who ?)
"I am never wrong. Once I thought I was, and that was a mistake."
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#4 User is offline   wdax 

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Posted 28 November 2008 - 10:00 AM

View PostCichorei Kano, on Nov 28 2008, 10:38 AM, said:

Note that Japan did not typically enrol two couples this time, but they likely will next year for the World Championships. Also, note that Russia is still holding off the ball, ready to enter a devastating blow coming out of nowhere.

But they are not the only couples preparing for next year. If there is somebody else already on the (technical) top-level, there is about a year of time to "forget" the techniques. We could have a great competition in Madrid ;wry)
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#5 User is offline   tomas.rundqvist 

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Posted 29 November 2008 - 05:38 PM

View Postwdax, on Nov 28 2008, 11:00 AM, said:

But they are not the only couples preparing for next year. If there is somebody else already on the (technical) top-level, there is about a year of time to "forget" the techniques. We could have a great competition in Madrid ;wry)

This summer I attended Kodokan's kata seminare together with almost 300 others from all around the world. After 5 days of kata-practice they have a kata-competition on the 6th day. One thing that I like is that you compete both as tori and uke. So you do the kata 2 times. In this way you have to be both a good tori AND uke. I attended the Ju-no-kata competition. In this way you need/get a greater understanding of the kata, not one side or 'just stepping' throught it.
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#6 User is offline   Blind Dog 

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 05:57 PM

My kata partner recorded all these from the live streaming feed and burned them to DVD. I carefully watched each team's performance and these ladies from Japan are my new role models for this kata (only flaw I could possibly find was the uranage type lift, it looked forced to me). I also REALLY liked the mix pair from Germany, uke was astonishingly smoothe.

The Italians had a nice thing going with the "Mr. Clean Clone" look, ;wry). Excellent posture and movement but as stated earlier slightly lacking in the "Ju", as Shepard Sensei says, which was the main comment by the judges on our performance at the "President's Cup" last weekend.

Heiko and Jeff do a very nice job for a men's pair on this kata, also. Fukuda, Sensei worked with them for many hours tuning up their movements at the clinic before the Invitational. To bad they did Kime no kata at this event instead of Ju no kata, I think their JNK is better than their Kime, but they totally disagree with me. Too bad they could only do one.

I get great inspiration from all the kata performances at this event. I saw many interpretations of different kata, things I wanted to immitate and things I never want to manifest in my own performances. I do about an hour a day on an recumbant excercycle and I watch these performances while I ride. Its good for visual programming, I think. I got a long way to go.... "many miles before I sleep."

Thank you for posting these, Sensei. I enjoyed your comparrisons.

This post has been edited by Blind Dog: 16 June 2009 - 08:25 PM

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