2009, Volume 5, Issue 1

Kōdōkan Jūdō’s Elusive Tenth Kata: The Gō-no-kata ―“Forms of Proper Use of Force” – Part 1

Carl De Crée1, Llyr C. Jones1

1International Association of Judo Researchers, United Kingdom

Full text


Background and Study Aim: Kōdōkan Jūdō is a Japanese form of pedagogy, created by Jigorō Kanō, based inter alia on neoconfucianist values and modern Western principles developed by John Dewey, John Stuart Mill, and Herbert Spencer. It was Kanō’s intention to educate both the mind and body. The practical study of jūdō includes randori (free exercise), nine different kata (predetermined and choreographed physical exercises), and kōgi (lectures). In recent years, Gō-no-kata (“Prearranged forms of correct use of force”), a generally considered obsolete and reclu-sive ‘tenth’ kata of Kōdokan jūdō, has become the subject of some renewed interest. The purpose of the present paper is to provide a comprehensive study of this kata which once formed a part of the standard jūdō curriculum. We also aim 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: The name gō-no-kata sporadically appeared in some of early Western jūdō books. Flawed research methods, as well as the appearance of a true hoax presumably created with commercial intent, have led to widespread confusion and misinformation in the West about the contents of the elusive gō-no-kata.
Conclusions: The origin of the misinformation on gō-no-kata can be traced back to modern jūdō authors failing to recognize both important mistakes contained in early Western jūdō books and the fabrication in recent years of a bogus gō-no-kata.

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