2009, Volume 5, Issue 1

Kōdōkan Jūdō’s Elusive Tenth Kata: The Gō-no-kata ―“Forms of Proper Use of Force” – Part 2

Carl De Crée1, Llyr C Jones1

1International Association of Judo Researchers, United Kingdom

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Background and Study Aim: In recent years, gō-no-kata (“Prearranged forms of correct use of force”), a generally considered obsolete and reclusive ‘tenth’ kata of Kōdokan jūdō, has become the subject of some renewed interest within jūdō circles. Most information on gō-no-kata, as available in the West, is ambiguous and often even blatantly erroneous. The purpose of the pre-sent paper is to remove the confusion and mystery which surrounds the gō-no-kata.
Material and Methods: To achieve this, we offer a careful critical analysis of the available lit-erature and rare source material on this kata.
Results: Gō-no-kata is not, nor in any form has it ever been a kata of blows. Its aim was to serve as an intense fitness exercise and to examine and illustrate the basic principle of efficient use of force and resistance. Original comments provided by Kanō-shihan, show beyond any doubt that the gō-no-kata was and is a special and never completed set of ten exercises for two people. Kanō-shihan’s own writings indicate that he was not entirely satisfied with some elements of the gō-no-kata and therefore abandoned, or at least, delayed its development. Kanō-shihan passed away before having been able to rework, revise or expand the gō-no-kata.
Conclusions: Gō-no-kata, must be considered an unfinished exercise created by Jigorō Kanō-shihan. Kanō-shihan, however, never rejected the kata or its practice; it would be overstating the case to suggest otherwise.

Key words: go-no-kata, jigoro kano, judo, kata, kodokan