2010, Volume 6, Issue 4

Judo’s techniques performed from a distance: The origin of Jigoro Kano’s concept and its actualization by Kenji Tomiki

Fumiaki Shishida1

1Waseda University, Tokyo, Japan

Author for correspondence: Fumiaki Shishida; Waseda University, Tokyo, Japan; email: fuzanaoi[at]waseda.jp

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The purpose of this study is to clarify the origin of Jigoro Kano’s concept regarding Judo’s techniques performed from a distance, and to indicate its actualization by Kenji Tomiki, through primary historical materials. Kano mentions that judo techniques also include atemi, the striking and kicking techniques that are prohibited in ‘sport randori’. Therefore, the style of competitive judo which is now an Olympic sport is only one part of judo. Kano was concerned with the future of judo due to the deterioration of randori and its becoming stiff. He wanted to combine judo’s close range techniques with techniques performed from a distance in order to create the ideal judo. Jiro Nango, the second president of the Kodokan, assembled high-ranking judoka at the Kodokan for a lecture about the relationship between judo and aiki-budo by Kenji Tomiki. In summer of 1941, a committee for studying “techniques performed while keeping distance in Judo” was established at the Kodokan. In 1942, Tomiki published an article entitled The Systematic Study of Techniques While Maintaining Distance in Judo: The Principles of Judo and the Techniques of Aiki-budo. Tomiki successfully integrated randori and atemi into one theory using the fundamental laws of judo. That was an improvement that Kano did not bring about. In particular, Sen and Metsuke are very important principles in kendo, swordsmanship as well as aiki-budo.

Key words: aiki-budo, bo-jutsu, boxing, jiro nango, karate, non-sport confrontation, shiro saigo