2011, Volume 7, Issue 3

Kōdōkan Jūdō’s Inauspicious Ninth Kata: The Joshi goshinhō ―“Self-Defense Methods for Women” – Part 2

Carl De Crée1, Llyr C. Jones1

1International Association of Judo Researchers, United Kingdom

Author for correspondence: Carl De Crée; International Association of Judo Researchers, United Kingdom; email: prof.cdecree[at]earthlink.net

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Background and Study Aim: The purpose of the present paper is to provide a comprehensive review of Joshi goshinhō (“Self-defense methods for Women”), the now reclusive ‘ninth’ kata of Kōdōkan jūdō, once part of the standard women’s jūdō curriculum in Japan.
Material and Methods: To achieve this, we offer a careful critical analysis of the available literature and rare source material on this kata.
Results: Despite precedents of women koryū jūjutsu,the Kōdōkan’s historic women’s jūdō curriculum was more driven by health promotion-oriented calisthenics, while never shedding its opulent paternalistic attitudes. Women practiced a less physical jūdō than men, and were as part of their jūdō curriculum also extensively instructed in etiquette. Joshi goshinhō would meet the increasing demands from female jūdōka for actual self-defense. Technically, Joshi-goshinhō consists of two large groups of exercises (solo vs. partner exercises) and contains 18 named individual techniques. The solo-exercises essentially teach proper use of body move-ment (Tai-sabaki), while the second group consists of mere te-hodoki [hand releasing] type of escape techniques; the third group comprises more elaborate techniques where an initial es-cape is followed up by a more decisive counterattack.
Conclusions: Joshi goshinhō is worthy of a place in contemporary jūdō. As a series of tech-nical skills rather than a ceremonial performance exercise it helps installing self-confidence, situational awareness and mastership of simple escape skills which may be effectively com-bined with randori techniques during an emergency situation. Joshi-goshinhō should not be misconstrued as as a comprehensive fighting system or a tool against trained well-fighters.

Key words: angō jirō, ata, goshinhō, kōdōkan, noritomi masako, ō jigorō, ukuda keiko