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#1 User is offline   Maleran 

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Posted 14 October 2010 - 10:20 AM

I recently visited a few dojo where the members believe that Ju No Kata is a women's kata.
To my great surprise, this seems to be a fairly common belief in several dojo in the area.

Does anyone have any idea how this misconception came about and how widespread it is?
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#2 User is offline   Mitesco 

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Posted 14 October 2010 - 11:01 AM

I never hear such silly remarks in the Netherlands.
It could also be, because most judoka have never heard of ju no kata of course.

But it's a silly opinion, unless someone would think that the Founder was not a man. It used to be his favorite one...
I understand however that really tough judoka more love 'fighting' kata. If ever kata is macho enough...



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#3 User is offline   Hanon 

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Posted 14 October 2010 - 11:11 AM

View PostMaleran, on 14 October 2010 - 03:50 PM, said:

I recently visited a few dojo where the members believe that Ju No Kata is a women's kata.
To my great surprise, this seems to be a fairly common belief in several dojo in the area.

Does anyone have any idea how this misconception came about and how widespread it is?


A Myth............ :lol: Kano Shihan said this kata, at the time, was suited to women as well as men. This was, at that time, due to the situation that women didn't practice the randori no kata.

At no time has Kano shihan ever written that the ju no kata is a kata 'for women'. The Ju no kata was very well practiced by all his male students who where at the level to practice the kata in a judo sense.

Ju no kata is an extremely hard work out if performed properly. Not for the feint hearted of either gender :manoyes: .

Mike
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#4 User is offline   Hanon 

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Posted 14 October 2010 - 11:14 AM

View PostMitesco, on 14 October 2010 - 04:31 PM, said:


It could also be, because most judoka have never heard of ju no kata of course.




What? Not even the Busen ju no kata? :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Is the ju no kata not well known in the Netherlands? That I didn't realise.

Mike
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#5 User is offline   Cichorei Kano 

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Posted 14 October 2010 - 12:01 PM

View PostMitesco, on 14 October 2010 - 09:01 PM, said:

I never hear such silly remarks in the Netherlands.
It could also be, because most judoka have never heard of ju no kata of course.

But it's a silly opinion, unless someone would think that the Founder was not a man. It used to be his favorite one...


Please, note that Kanô's favorite kata was Koshiki-no-kata. <_<
"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)
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#6 User is offline   Cichorei Kano 

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Posted 14 October 2010 - 12:21 PM

View PostMaleran, on 14 October 2010 - 08:20 PM, said:

I recently visited a few dojo where the members believe that Ju No Kata is a women's kata.
To my great surprise, this seems to be a fairly common belief in several dojo in the area.

Does anyone have any idea how this misconception came about and how widespread it is?


This is an evolution dating from between 1933 and 1970. Kanô implemented a women's judo division roughly half a century after he had created jûdô. Initially there was a feeling (consider the time spirit) that not all of the jûdô program was suited for women, the concern being injuries or damage to their ability to do what in that time was considered to be one of the essential achievements of women, i.e. child bearing. Thus initially, jûdô in the women's department only contained kata and techniques. Randori was approached carefully, and randori between women and men considered a taboo. There are still remainders of the latter in Japan, even at the Kôdôkan. You should look very carefully when you visit the Kôdôkan. When you see women do randori with men, it are invariably foreign women. When you see Japanese women do randori, it is either with women (irrespective of whether they are Japanese or foreign) or with Japanese instructors, but not with ordinary men who are either foreign or not instructor. I remember very well that once in my home dôjô in Kansai I bowed in to a woman, and it was considered a clear violation of protocol. It was not done. The feeling I got at the time was one of great distrust, as if when a foreign man bows into a Japanese woman he has dishonorable motives with jûdô randori just being the cover, or the woman becomes somehow tainted by the contact with the foreigner.

I remember very well the first time this happened. It wasn't a case of the woman flatly saying 'no'. Not at all, there was an obvious and clear bewilderment on the face of the woman, with sensei or assistants immediately running up to us. In other words, this was clearly not an 'individual' act or a 'personal taste', it was a systematic thing, something recognized by everyone as very inappropriate.

Virtually all kata demonstrations of jû-no-kata from before kanô died were by men. But this changed, and by 1964 when during the Tôkyô Olympics, jû-no-kata was demonstrated before the audience, it was by Noritomi and Fukuda and had already become a "woman's kata". In fact in those days there was indeed a decrease in performance of jû-no-kata by men.

In addition, in most countries, it was a requirement in dan-rank exams for women starting at shodan, but for men only for 4th dan or higher. Since in the 1960' and early 1970' there were not so many people around in the West with dan-ranks over 4th dan, it is obvious that most people you saw this performing were women, since they already had to start learning it at 2nd or 1st kyû.

At risk for lawsuits based on nonequality between men and women most jûdô federation have removed different requirements in age or exam demands for rank promotion between men and women. This includes the Kôdôkan. This has helped reversing the opinion of jû-no-kata being a women's kata. But it is still an opinion you might encounter in people in their 50s or older whose rank is less than 5th dan and who have had this rank for a very long time, and whose main career was in the days that promotion demands for women were different from men, and when men in the West did not perform it. That's why. <_<

This post has been edited by Cichorei Kano: 14 October 2010 - 02:43 PM

"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)
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#7 User is offline   Hanon 

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Posted 14 October 2010 - 01:56 PM

A very good reply CK Sensei. You are on form. :manoyes:

Mike
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#8 User is offline   sugatasanshiro 

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Posted 14 October 2010 - 02:20 PM

View PostCichorei Kano, on 14 October 2010 - 07:21 AM, said:

Randori was approached carefully, and randori between women and men considered a taboo. There are still remainders of the latter in Japan, even at the Kôdôkan. You should look very carefully when you visit the Kôdôkan. When you see women do randori with men, it are invariably foreign women. When you see Japanese women do randori, it is either with women (irrespective of whether they are Japanese or foreign) or with Japanese instructors, but not with ordinary men who are either foreign or not instructor.


Funny you should mention this...I did randori with one of the younger women sensei who helps Mukai-sensei with the shonenbu. This was on a Wednesday after I had done newaza randori and randori with some of the university students and had attended Matsumura-sensei's newaza class. Well, I definitely got a few looks from the university crowd. They probably thought, "Ah, just another strange foreigner..." :lol:
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#9 User is offline   Taigyo 

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Posted 14 October 2010 - 02:32 PM

When I trained at Waseda in the early 80's Onozawa sensei had me do randori with females to help me learn to be lighter on my feet. Of course Waseda is not the Kodokan.
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#10 User is offline   NBK 

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Posted 14 October 2010 - 02:45 PM

Not that CK's note needs confirmation, this question touches on one of my favorite examples of how judo changed over time.

The sketch below is part of a serialization by Yamashita 7dan, Nagaoka 7dan, and Murakami 5dan in Yuko no Katsudo - I don't know the specific year of the articles, but I have a homemade collection of originals of the entire series of the major kata in Yuko no Katsudo, and it spans several years, and I don't have time tonight to figure it out. (circa 1920?)

I love it these sketches and books, though. What do I find interesting about them?

Attached Image

First, note that in order to differentiate between the two gents practicing, one has a cross hatch pattern on his gi. I used this article, edited by Kano shihan himself, to point out that if Kano were to develop a training manual today with photos, he would most likely use different colored or patterned gi to make the photos more understandable. (When I pointed this out to the Kodokan kata committee folks when we discussed new kata instructional manuals, I was met with .... silence....)

Next, Ju no Kata was taught to people of all ages, not just senior men. These articles, like several other instruction books aimed at teaching children, not only teach Ju no Kata to children, but also show middle-aged men (hint: slightly chunky, balding, moustaches) performing the kata.

Regarding the Japanese testing of females, just this year the judo organizations have switched to testing female shodan candidates in the first 3 sets of nage no kata, not ju no kata. I am assisting a young European lady prepare for her shodan with one of the Tokyo judokai, and she'll do the first three groups from Nage no Kata, just like any young man.

Regards,


This post has been edited by NBK: 14 October 2010 - 02:49 PM



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#11 User is offline   Jon Z 

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Posted 14 October 2010 - 03:19 PM

Just a historical footnote with no particular angle. I have read the following:

In 1910, Kanō gave a public demonstration of jū-no-kata with his daughter, Noriko. At the time Kanō was 51 and Noriko 17. As one historian has written: “If we recall that the average lifespan at the time was approximately 45, it can be said that it was a performance by an elderly man and a young woman and by performing it in this way in public it was a literal expression of the ‘Kata of Calisthenics’ as being suitable to both old and young, men and women alike and we can see an idea of planting that impression within the minds of the general public. The reflections of one reporter suggest as much: ‘I had of course to nod in agreement with the statement that this was suitable even for elegant young women. I could not help but being struck by its grace.’”

In 1926 the following was written in reference to jūdō in a text about physical education in schools:
“It is perfectly clear and goes without saying that men and women have different mental and physical characteristics. And so in choosing educational material this must be taken into account. For example, extreme or intense exercise or exercise that puts pressure on the chest must be avoided in the case of girls and it is necessary to choose material which is not extreme and takes things gradually like the jū-no-kata.”

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#12 User is offline   Maleran 

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Posted 15 October 2010 - 05:02 AM

Thanks for all the great replies
I have certainly noticed the taboo in Japan considering Randori between women and men. I haven’t noticed the same reticence when Japanese delegations travel abroad, at all though, perhaps a case of being let of the leash?

Can anyone point me towards any sources which discuss how Dan grade requirements have changed over time? My feeling is that in the pre-70s era, kata expertise was in some ways assumed (perhaps rightly so), and most gradings were by batsugan approach. What was the difference between gradings in Japan and outside and how has this changed over time too? (Perhaps I should start a new thread with this?)

I should also point out that the dojo I mentioned visiting are not in “the West”, but in Asia ex Japan.
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#13 User is offline   Hanon 

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Posted 15 October 2010 - 02:15 PM

View PostMaleran, on 15 October 2010 - 10:32 AM, said:

Thanks for all the great replies
I have certainly noticed the taboo in Japan considering Randori between women and men. I haven’t noticed the same reticence when Japanese delegations travel abroad, at all though, perhaps a case of being let of the leash?

Can anyone point me towards any sources which discuss how Dan grade requirements have changed over time? My feeling is that in the pre-70s era, kata expertise was in some ways assumed (perhaps rightly so), and most gradings were by batsugan approach. What was the difference between gradings in Japan and outside and how has this changed over time too? (Perhaps I should start a new thread with this?)

I should also point out that the dojo I mentioned visiting are not in “the West”, but in Asia ex Japan.


Hi,

Hows things with you?

Your question requires a small book for an answer. Massive subject and would vary from country to country and even individual to individual. I don't know where to start.

Do you like kata? Its a minefiled of a subject. :unsure:

Best wishes.

Mike
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#14 User is offline   Maleran 

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Posted 18 October 2010 - 03:42 AM

View PostHanon, on 15 October 2010 - 02:15 PM, said:

Hi,

Hows things with you?

Your question requires a small book for an answer. Massive subject and would vary from country to country and even individual to individual. I don't know where to start.

Do you like kata? Its a minefiled of a subject. :unsure:

Best wishes.

Mike

Hi, Thing's are going well with me. I hope you are doing well too.
I agree that the subject I raised is a very large topic, perhaps I'll start a new thread when I'm free.

I like kata very much. In my first judo career I rarely did any (only randori no kata), but after a serious competition injury I discovered Tomiki Aikido and subsequently was introduced to judo kata by a truly exceptional teacher. My understanding of the judo kata is especially poor though.

Recently, I have been moving around a lot and consequently don't have my regular kata partners to practice with, progress is coming very slowly.

This post has been edited by Maleran: 18 October 2010 - 03:43 AM

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#15 User is offline   Hyperborean 

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Posted 20 October 2010 - 12:50 PM

View PostMitesco, on 14 October 2010 - 01:01 PM, said:

I never hear such silly remarks in the Netherlands.
It could also be, because most judoka have never heard of ju no kata of course.

But it's a silly opinion, unless someone would think that the Founder was not a man. It used to be his favorite one...
I understand however that really tough judoka more love 'fighting' kata. If ever kata is macho enough...


Odd, I've heard it a lot. In my opinion, this comes mainly from Judoka whose main interest and focus in their Judo career was competition and who have no patience, appetite or appreciation for the subtlety and gentleness of Ju-no-kata..

I would say this has pernicious consequences. Namely, that people perceive ju-no-kata as a 'gentler' randori-no-kata, rather than being an essential component to understanding Judo. I find it distressing how many people spend their entire judo career without once even trying ju no kata..
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