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Itsutsu-no-kata from the 2011 All Japan Kata Championships Rate Topic: -----

#1 User is offline   Cichorei Kano 

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 12:13 AM





<_<
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#2 User is offline   chocolate_teapot 

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 09:35 AM

So fake, Uke blatantly jumped so many times...
:glass) :ph34r:
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#3 User is offline   Cichorei Kano 

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 01:47 PM

View Postchocolate_teapot, on 18 May 2012 - 07:35 PM, said:

So fake, Uke blatantly jumped so many times...

:glass) :ph34r:


Unfortunately, the itsutsu-no-kata is a very difficult exercise. It is one of the very last teachings in Tenjin Shin'yô-ryû jûjutsu and also the most advanced kata in Kôdôkan jûdô, where it was originally the sixth and last kata (later other kata were added or newly created which is why the expression "6th and last" nowadays will sound very odd). There is a reason for that. It's the kind of thing one probably should start thinking of doing when one can confidently say "I master all of Kôdôkan jûdô".

The kata really is totally unsuited for what it is used for here, i.e. competition, if one understands what it is about and what one is actually doing. Itsutsu above all is a ... "living calligraphy" more so than any other kata in jûdô. You can basically teach a monkey to copy cat the movements, but the kata itself is extremely challenging. Itsutsu-no-kata is not a kata one can or should 'perform', it's something one should become one with. It's something that cannot really be taught. One can teach the mechanics, but the kata itself, no. You also do not get to master it beyond a certain point by simply doing it or practicing it, which to some extent is also logical, given that the mechanics itself are not that difficult. Like with proper kuzushi, of which mastership takes very long, the achievement of the conceptual energetics framed within jûdô's principles takes a long time. What makes it even harder is that the itsutsu has a strong artistic dimension of which capturing, absorbing and re-emitting it is really, really, really hard. On top of that, unless one is trained into actually understanding it, sharing it would probably be merely pearls for the swines.

I have found the kata also probably the most tragic of all Kôdôkan kata. Having attended so many clinics of it at the Kôdôkan and elsewhere, having taught it and, yes, even competed in it (which helped as motivation trying to get to the core of it though but for the rest obviously did not help one bit), I realized one thing: no one explains it, no one attempts to explain it, likely because they can't. So even at the Kôdôkan the only thing you get is, endless repetition of the same ol' stuff, mechanics and mechanics. Someone demonstrates it, and you are requested to practice it until you can copy it, 'it' being something neither the audience, those practising or demonstrating understand, it seems. Strangely though not a single person speaks up asking: "what the heck are you doing ?" So, round and round it goes. And then one day you are the perfect copy cat. You have memorized movements, steps, synchronized movements with those of your partner, and now what ? Do you now 'master' itsutsu-no-kata ? Yes or no ? If yes, then please, explain, if 'no', then explain what else it is you are going to do or have to do since you can do the mechanics exactly as those you learnt from. So, what is it then you are going to do or expected to do to actually master it ? As with so many kata these days, the clinics are dominated by the expression "no, that's wrong". This means your copy is not exact enough of a copy. Thus, when your copy resembles better that of those demonstrating, it then is ... "no longer wrong" ? You then master it ? But you still have no clue about what it is you're doing ? Sure, general clicés like concentration of power, and void, are one-liners we sometimes hear in a clinic, on a DVD or in a book as the synthesis of wisdom that is supposed to envelop this kata. A tragedy, that is what it is. And yet, it really is such a gem ... :sad(
"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   heikojr 

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 07:53 PM

View PostCichorei Kano, on 18 May 2012 - 10:47 AM, said:

Unfortunately, the itsutsu-no-kata is a very difficult exercise... And yet, it really is such a gem ... :sad(


Hello again, Cichorei Kano! We haven't met up in so long and now a few time in as many days!

I know that you've trained with the late Dr. Ashida in the past and was wondering if you had ever practiced/trained Itsutsu-no-kata with Doc. I felt that he really tried to explain the kata and the deeper meanings behind the techniques and what they represent.

He even wrote a paper on Itsutsu-no-kata. I wish i could find it again. Do you have a copy?

heikojr
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#5 User is offline   Cichorei Kano 

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 09:29 PM

View Postheikojr, on 19 May 2012 - 05:53 AM, said:

Hello again, Cichorei Kano! We haven't met up in so long and now a few time in as many days!

I know that you've trained with the late Dr. Ashida in the past and was wondering if you had ever practiced/trained Itsutsu-no-kata with Doc. I felt that he really tried to explain the kata and the deeper meanings behind the techniques and what they represent.

He even wrote a paper on Itsutsu-no-kata. I wish i could find it again. Do you have a copy?

heikojr


Heikojr,

Good to see you are still around. It is and has been pleasure seeing your dedication to kata. I have enjoyed many of your national and international performances.

Dr. Ashida was a very wise man. Although I had a number of meetings and conversations with him and although I benefited from his guiding (for example, a number of times during his visits to Tôkyô), it would be an exaggeration to say that I 'trained' under him. I 'learnt' from him, that is certainly true; I think all who met him 'learnt' from him. Unfortunately we never discussed Itsutsu-no-kata. We discussed nage-no-kata, jû-no-kata, gô-no-kata, and koshiki-no-kata, but not itsutsu-no-kata. He also critiqued my jû-no-kata and improved it. He had a very sharp eye, and his comments were harsh, yet insightful and sincere. Actually, it is quite funny, because when I talked to him about gô-no-kata, he first misunderstood me and corrected me by saying, you mean "go [short 'o']-no-kata", thus the "Itsutsu-no-kata" ? I said, "no, actually gô-no-kata", and he then repeated "ah, gôôôôô-no-kata" (with an exaggerated long 'ô'). Dr. Ashida, was highly critical of kata in the US, and also in Japan. I mean, seriously. People sometimes think I am critical of kata, but Dr. Ashida started where I stopped. He absolutely vilified what he saw, but he only did when you explicitly asked of his opinion. My gut feeling is that he kept his mouth shut as much as he could for the simple reason that he realized that due to his knee protheses and health impairments he was no longer able to actually perform it himself. My God, that man had the spirit of a samurai, much like the storied which Hanon tells about people like Michigami.

I also must admit that I did not know of the existence of an Ashida-paper about Itsutsu-no-kata. I have nearly every source about Itsutsu-no-kata that was ever published, but I do not have that paper. So if you or anyone else has it I would seriously appreciate receiving a copy because I am currently writing up my research on Itsutsu-no-kata. If you do not have the paper, can you tell us more about it, like in what form it exists. Was it actually published, or just a private unpublished text ? If it was published, where ? About when ? About how long is it ? I really would love to see it. For reasons I do not exactly know, Dr. Ashida was quit reluctant to discuss the advanced kata, in particular as to how it related to his own Japanese roots. I know he had some awful experiences in Worldwar-II. As I understand it, Dr. Ashida was also still trained in Kitô-ryû in Kyôto, but he would not talk about those days. I also was never given the impression that he still owned any original or rare documents about any of these schools, but that was just my impression. To be honest, I think that he took most of his knowledge with him into his grave.
"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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#6 User is offline   Jonesy 

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Posted 19 May 2012 - 11:34 AM

View Postchocolate_teapot, on 18 May 2012 - 10:35 AM, said:

So fake, Uke blatantly jumped so many times...
:glass) :ph34r:

What were you looking for?
Dr Llyr C Jones
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#7 User is offline   RayEdinburgh 

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Posted 19 May 2012 - 12:30 PM

I have never practiced Itsutsu No Kata, nor even seen it practiced other than on video, so i have no idea of any of the ins and outs of its practice, i do though like very much the "Wave" and the centrifugal portions of the Kata. Intresting and enjoyable concepts!
Perhaps one day in the far future when i have a grasp of basic Judo, Itsutsu may become applicable to my practice.
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#8 User is offline   heikojr 

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Posted 19 May 2012 - 05:58 PM

View PostCichorei Kano, on 18 May 2012 - 06:29 PM, said:

I also must admit that I did not know of the existence of an Ashida-paper about Itsutsu-no-kata. I have nearly every source about Itsutsu-no-kata that was ever published, but I do not have that paper. So if you or anyone else has it I would seriously appreciate receiving a copy because I am currently writing up my research on Itsutsu-no-kata. If you do not have the paper, can you tell us more about it, like in what form it exists. Was it actually published, or just a private unpublished text ? If it was published, where ? About when ? About how long is it ? I really would love to see it. For reasons I do not exactly know, Dr. Ashida was quit reluctant to discuss the advanced kata, in particular as to how it related to his own Japanese roots. I know he had some awful experiences in Worldwar-II. As I understand it, Dr. Ashida was also still trained in Kitô-ryû in Kyôto, but he would not talk about those days. I also was never given the impression that he still owned any original or rare documents about any of these schools, but that was just my impression. To be honest, I think that he took most of his knowledge with him into his grave.


If i remember correctly, the paper was about five pages consisting discriptions of the technique of Itsutsu-no-kata and gave names for each from Tenjin Shinyo ryu jujutsu. It also had a small part about his training in Tenjin Shinyo ryu jujutsu as a boy. And it had a reference section.

I don't remember if it was published, and if so when. I will look around to see if i still own a copy, but i have many boxes of papers that i have packed away after reading --- i would not know where to begin.

Also, i seem to remember him refering to the kata as "Kodokan Itsutsu-no-kata" in the paper. It's hard to remember... have you ever heard of that before?

heikojr
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#9 User is offline   Cichorei Kano 

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Posted 19 May 2012 - 07:39 PM

View Postheikojr, on 20 May 2012 - 03:58 AM, said:

If i remember correctly, the paper was about five pages consisting discriptions of the technique of Itsutsu-no-kata and gave names for each from Tenjin Shinyo ryu jujutsu. It also had a small part about his training in Tenjin Shinyo ryu jujutsu as a boy. And it had a reference section.

I don't remember if it was published, and if so when. I will look around to see if i still own a copy, but i have many boxes of papers that i have packed away after reading --- i would not know where to begin.

Also, i seem to remember him refering to the kata as "Kodokan Itsutsu-no-kata" in the paper. It's hard to remember... have you ever heard of that before?

heikojr


It is certainly interesting, not just in general, but because I am in the process of wrapping up my research for this kata. While the term "Kôdôkan Itsutsu-no-kata" to the best of my knowledge has never been officially in use as a term, it is a correct description, since Kanô changed a couple of things from how the kata was performed in Tenjin shinyô ryû. One such change was the position of tori in the last movement, which originally was on all fours rather than lying on the back. However, strangely, today Tenjin Shinyô-ryû performs it with that change included. I don't recall how it was done in my Tenjin Shinyô-ryû branch since I was too young and inexperienced then to realize or ask, and my teacher and branch are long dead. I am now very eager to pursue finding this paper, and thank you for alerting me to it. One place that would strike my mind as location for such a piece would have been one of the old USJF magazines, but I have them all (as far as I am aware) and do not recall having seen it. The article of course could also predate those magazines and theoretically be in one of the old JBBA publications, but without narrowing it down in terms of month and year, it would not be very efficient to look for it. In any case, none of my sources refers to it, nor has my research recovered the existence of it, since I just learnt of it through you. I also would not know who might know. People such as Keiko Fukuda appear to not have any such sources, so you would not find it there either. Maybe, the most likely option would be his daughter Janet ? She might not know either, but she might be able to look for it and find out.

This post has been edited by Cichorei Kano: 20 May 2012 - 03:27 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)
"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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#10 User is offline   Taigyo 

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Posted 20 May 2012 - 03:17 PM

View Postheikojr, on 19 May 2012 - 06:58 PM, said:

If i remember correctly, the paper was about five pages consisting discriptions of the technique of Itsutsu-no-kata and gave names for each from Tenjin Shinyo ryu jujutsu. It also had a small part about his training in Tenjin Shinyo ryu jujutsu as a boy. And it had a reference section.

I don't remember if it was published, and if so when. I will look around to see if i still own a copy, but i have many boxes of papers that i have packed away after reading --- i would not know where to begin.

Also, i seem to remember him refering to the kata as "Kodokan Itsutsu-no-kata" in the paper. It's hard to remember... have you ever heard of that before?

heikojr

If you can find it, I would also like a copy
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#11 User is offline   Taigyo 

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Posted 20 May 2012 - 03:38 PM

So, has anyone ever talked much about the resemblance of many of components of this kata to some of the Chinese exercises to develop "internal power"? There are of course aspects of the kata that seem more interested in expressing kuzushi, timing and greater principles, but there is some other stuff in there too. Especially #1 resembles the "twisting" exercises. Without integrating your body into the motion there is no way you can rock uke and then project him with just the muscles of your forearm. Ellis Amadur wrote an interesting book called "hidden in plain sight" which examines the connections, mostly in regards to Aikido, but there is a large section that talks about Kito Ryu and what exactly the mysterious Chen gem pin(?)taught the ronin who went off and founded jujutsu ryu (one of wich was Kito Ryu).
I know people's cow poopie alarms are probably going off when internal power is mentioned, but I have seen it presented in a more rational manner, as in integration of the entire body, movement from center, shifting of weight, etc. Sound familiar?
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#12 User is offline   Jonesy 

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Posted 20 May 2012 - 03:58 PM

View PostTaigyo, on 20 May 2012 - 04:17 PM, said:

If you can find it, I would also like a copy


Me too please...

In the meantime, read this: http://budokan.wcart.net/Judo/kata.htm
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#13 User is offline   Taigyo 

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Posted 20 May 2012 - 07:58 PM

A nice little essay, but there is more to it than mere symbolisim. Do not really agree with some of his summaries though. In number 1 you do not simply push uke over, you have to establish a rocking motion, which gradually is amplified until uke is off balance, then you project him forward (somehow the word push does not seem quite right). Interestingly enough, if uke is rocked just far enough to one side and then released it causes a reflexive response to the push, which as tori switches his push to the other side goes with and amplifes, building up to the point where uke is off balance to the rear and his butt begins to pass his heels, then the projection occurs. I am most aware of the rocking as uke, I don't quite feel like I am getting it all the time as tori.
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#14 User is offline   Jonesy 

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Posted 20 May 2012 - 08:42 PM

I'm OK with the term "push" and perhaps the concept of "rocking" is overstated above. Tori essentially pushes Uke's chest applying alternate pressure with the thumb edge and little finger edge of his hand.
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#15 User is offline   Taigyo 

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Posted 21 May 2012 - 01:07 PM

View PostJonesy, on 20 May 2012 - 09:42 PM, said:

I'm OK with the term "push" and perhaps the concept of "rocking" is overstated above. Tori essentially pushes Uke's chest applying alternate pressure with the thumb edge and little finger edge of his hand.

alternation between the thumb and little finger side is what allows the "rock" to start. Action and reaction, the rock is uke's reaction to the push.
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