Kano, Judo und westliches Ringen

In einem meiner vorangegangenen Blogeinträge habe ich versucht, Kanos Interesse am westlichen Boxen zu verdeutlichen.

Dieser Beitrag nun soll sich der Frage widmen, welches Interesse Kano am westlichen Ringen hatte und inwieweit westliches Ringen das Judo möglicherweise beeinflußt hat.

Wir lesen dazu bei Shishida:

Since Yoshitsugu Yamashita taught judo to U.S. President Roosevelt in 1904, Tsunejiro Tomita, Mitsuyo Maeda, Akitaro Ohno, Tokugoro Ito, Shinshiro Satake, Heita Okabe, and other strong judo instructors who were confident of their ability, fought with western wrestlers or studied wrestling.

(Shishida 2010)

Bekannte und kampferfahrene Judoka traten also gegen Ringer an und machten sich mit deren Methoden vertraut.

Dabei sind wohl vor allem die zahlreichen Kämpfe, die Mitsuyo Maeda in Amerika und Europa absolvierte, in Erinnerung geblieben…

In particular, Maeda’s many dispatches regarding his bouts with other martial artists were published serially in some magazines and later published in book form.

(Shishida 2010)

Kano selbst scheint das eher mit gemischten Gefühlen gesehen zu haben:

However, Kano took a negative attitude to a bout between a wrestler and a judoist.
In 1921, when Ad Santel, professional wrestler, visited Tokyo to fight with judoists of the Kodokan by the brokerage of a promoter, the public opinion was in a fervour over the bout.
The basis of Kano’s argument (1921, pp.2-5) was that in the narrow sense, judo is the best way of using body and mind aiming at offense and defense.

Therefore, a judoist uses any weapons, like, bo (stick), sword, pistol, if it is useful.

If so, a bout with a judoist could not be organized unless a challenger is prepared to die.

Kano says, “I would like you to keep in your memory that a bout between a judoist and another martial artist is organized only as a real fight.”

(Kano, J. (1921), The bout against Santel, “Yuko-no-katsudo [Effective activities]”, vol. 4., in: Shishida 2010)

Wir finden hier eine sehr klare Stellungnahme Kanos, die gegen die Annahme spricht, Judoka wären zu Kanos Lebzeiten stets nach sportlich-fairen Regeln gegen die Vertreter anderer Kampfsysteme angetreten.

Shishida beruft sich auch auf Heita Okabe:

In fact, according to Heita Okabe (1957), Kano wanted to give his consent to the judoist who tried to fight with Santel, but many objections from senior judoists made Kano issue an edict. It was important for Kano as the head of Kodokan judo to study wrestling to make judo improve as a martial art, not just to fight with a wrestler.

But on the other hand, he well knew that a victory against other martial arts would improve the image of the foremost authority in the world of martial arts.

(Okabe H. (1957), A story of Sports and Zen, Fumaido, Tokyo, in: Shishida 2010)

Interessant dabei dürfte wohl vor allem dies sein:

Kano might not have emphasized the importance of wrestling with regard to its value in actual fighting as compared to karate, boxing, aiki-jujutsu and so on, because wrestling has a definitive fault in that it lacks atemi, like sport judo.

Maeda, Ohno, Ito etc., some strong judoists were able to often win a bout against wrestlers when they reached the following agreement: the prohibition of atemi and wearing judo uniform in a bout, while some judoists lost their bouts.

(Shishida 2010)

Zu Beginn des 20. Jahrhunderts war es durchaus üblich, dass beim Ringen auch geschlagen und getreten wurde.

Die Judoka achteten daher wohl darauf, sich jeden nur denkbaren Vorteil zu verschaffen, indem sie darauf bestanden, dass Schläge und Tritte ausgeklammert wurden und der Gegner einen Gi trug. Dennoch konnten sie diese Vorteile manchmal nicht nutzen…

But there was an example that a strong judoist, Ohno, became unable to continue fighting due to a punch by Charlie Orson at the beginning of the bout in Asheville, in the South of the U.S., in 1905 (Marushima, pp.61-63).

(Shishida 2010)

Woran das lag, kann man bei Shishida nachlesen:

Watanabe, a famous boxing instructor, who was one of referees of four matches between four judoists and Santel and Henry Weber, Santel’s accompanying wrestler, described in a general magazine, April issue, 1921:

„Santel is not a boxer but a wrestler. There is an atemi in judo but judoists don’t study it. […] So they have practiced it only as kata, almost nobody has examined its effectiveness. […] When a judoist stabs, he can not extend his arm. When he tries to extend it, the shoulder part is stiff.“ (Marushima, p. 202).
Kano would have to read it.

Ein Boxtrainer las also schon damals den Judoka die Leviten…

Kanos Interesse am westlichen Ringen scheint ebenso groß gewesen zu sein wie sein Interesse am Boxen.

On the other hand, Kano recognized wrestling as one of amateur sports that should be encouraged in the Olympic Games.

In fact Kano was a leading figure in amateur sports as the first member the Japan Olympic Committee from 1909 and the first president of the Japan Amateur Association from 1911 through 1921.

However Kano’s strong desire to learn ways to improve judo did not change. On April 27 of 1931, Ichiro Hatta, a member of the Waseda University judo team, who had experienced the strength of wrestling in the U.S. in 1931 on his visit there as a member of the Judo team, established a wrestling club at Waseda under judo instructor Hikoo Shoji’s guidance (Kodokan, p.47).

It appears to be the first Japanese university wrestling. club

(Shishida 2010)

Wenn ich Shishida richtig verstehe, dann interessierte Kano sich aus zwei Gründen für Boxen und Ringen – einmal, weil er beides als Amateursportarten in die Olympischen Spiele integriert sehen wollte und zum anderen, weil er beiden Kampfsystemen nützliche Anregungen für sein Judo entnehmen konnte. Daher förderte er beide Sportarten in Japan nach Kräften.

Kano visited Waseda University and observed its practice June 10, 1931.
Meanwhile Kano continued to develop the comprehensive program at the Kodokan, saying as follows (1932, pp.2-3),

„I decided to start to make members practice wrestling, besides continuing to make them practice bo-jutsu… The study of kenjutsu, boxing, and other arts will be started by degrees. Hereby I will train the greatest authorities of martial arts in the country first, in the world next.

(Kano, J. (1931), Seiryoku-zenyo-Kokumin Taiiku and Existing Kata and randori, “Judo”, vol.6.
Kodokan (1931), “Judo”, vol. 6., in: Shishida 2010)

Ich denke, man darf davon ausgehen, dass Kano – folgt man den von Shishida angegeben Quellen – sein Judo durchaus gezielt darauf ausrichtete, auch gegen westliche Ringer und Boxer bestehen zu können. Das wurde dann wohl auch ausgiebig getestet:

After Yoshitsugu Yamashita’s success in teaching judo to U.S. president Theodore Roosevelt in 1904 and cadets at the at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, several judoists visited the U.S. and fought boxers and wrestlers.

(Shishida 2010)

Ich möchte in diesem Zusammenhang noch einmal darauf hinweisen, daß Boxen und Ringen bis in die 20er Jahre des 20. Jahrhunderts nur sehr wenig mit den gleichnamigen Sportarten, wie wir sie heute kennen, zu tun hatten.

Dieser Hinweis scheint mir wichtig und notwendig zu sein, um zu verdeutlichen, wie sehr die Kämpfe der Judoka, die sie gegen Boxer und Ringer austrugen, sich von heutigen Sportereignissen unterschieden.
Für die Zeit nach dem 1. Weltkrieg lesen wir:

There was virtually NO „authority“ or „expert“ in this field who DID NOT advocate a „MIX“ of striking/kicking and grappling either as a combined „method“ or as found singularly as in „real“ Japanese jiu-jitsu. When it was „for all the marbles“ NO ONE would be as short-sighted as to negate ANY and ALL possible methods of attack and defense. As far an „aliveness“ training goes, jiu-jitsu (NOT Kodokan Judo) „free practice“ of this period allowed virtually ANYTHING. Including atemi to almost ALL kyusho points, including the testicles, base of skull etc. The ONLY „advisement“ proffered was NOT to hit so HARD as to KILL your training partner, SAVE that for „matches“ against OTHER jiu-jitsu schools!

ONLY in the arena of sporting combat did this division of method, pitting one against another, become a somewhat popular past time. Matching wrestlers against boxers, either of the two against jiu-jitsu men, or Savate fighters against boxers (Biddle fought in such a match while in Paris) was done under a constantly varying set of rules so that it became virtually impossible to ever really determine what „method“ was superior, and even then, as some sportswriters of the time pointed out, what did ANY of this have to do with REAL fighting when NO rules applied.

Even Jigoro Kano’s nephew got involved in promoting these types of matches between western boxers and native Japanese Judoka.

They were called „JU (as in Judo/Jujutsu) – KEN/KENTO (as in fist or fist-fighting)“.
Even Choki Motobu when asked if his Kempo-Karate was „superior“ to boxing (after his KO of a western style pugilist) said that in order for his „method“ to be used against a boxer specialized training specific for that type of match would have to be undertaken.

Judoka interested in these JU-KENTO bouts sought out SPECIFIC instruction in just HOW to make Judo work against boxing. An entire book on this subject was published in Japan in the early 30’s. It is of the UTMOST importance to remember that ALL of these bouts had strict rules and regulations of engagement!

Few if any of these mandates would have had much bearing on what one could do in a real pier-six back alley brawl. As an example: Judoka were almost ALWAYS forbidden to use any methods of ATEMIWAZA (striking, punching, kicking, butting and smashing).

However, Judo „experts“ of the time have advocated often and in their writings that ATEMI would be the MOST preferable method of attack and defense in a serious engagement.

The bottom line here is simply this: for use in a REAL violent assault NO ONE, but an utter FOOL, would suggest an attitude or method approaching anything LESS than that of an ALL-IN „anything goes“ doctrine. In regards to „sporting combats“ NOTHING was ever, or could ever be, conclusively proven to be superior to anything else. At one time or another ANY of these various „methods“ had BOTH big and impressive WINS and equally impressive FAILURES.


Ich denke, wir haben nun ein wenig mehr Klarheit gewonnen…

So, wie es die von Shishida zitierten Textstellen zeigen, scheint es spätestens ab 1918 Kanos Absicht gewesen zu sein, die Reputation des Judo als ernstzunehmende, effektive Kampfkunst wiederherzustellen. Ich jedenfalls ziehe aus den entsprechenden Zitaten diesen Schluß…

Sollte meine Schlußfolgerung ganz oder teilweise zutreffen, ergeben sich natürlich sofort viele weitere Fragen.