2015, Volume 11, Issue 1
Kōdōkan Jūdō’s Three Orphaned Forms of Counter Techniques – Part 1: The Gonosen-no-kata ― “Forms of Post-Attack Initiative Counter Throws”
Carl De Crée1
1Faculty of Arts and Philosophy, Department of Languages and Cultures, Ghent University, Belgium
Author for correspondence: Carl De Crée; Faculty of Arts and Philosophy, Department of Languages and Cultures, Ghent University, Belgium; email: prof.cdecree[at]earthlink.net
Background and Study Aim: The purpose of the present paper is to provide a comprehen-sive study of gonosen-no-kata [“Forms of Post-Attack Initiative Counter Throws”], a non-officially accepted kata of Kōdōkan jūdō made popular in Western Europe by Kawaishi Mikinosuke (1899-1969).
Material and Methods: To achieve this we apply historical methods and source criticism to offer a careful critical analysis of the origin, history and background of this kata.
Results: The first verifiable appearance of gonosen-no-kata is in 1926 at the occasion of the London Budōkwai’s 9th Annual Display, where it was publicly demonstrated by Ishiguro Keishichi (1897-1974), previously at Waseda University and since 1924 living in Paris. The kata builds on intellectual material conceived by Takahashi Kazuyoshi. A 1932 program bro-chure of an Oxford University Judo Club event is the oldest known source to link Kawaishi and gonosen-no-kata. Kawaishi considered gonosen-no-kata as the third randori-no-kata. Kawaishi’s major role in spreading jūdō in France and continental Europe between 1935 and 1965, and the publication of his seminal jūdō kata book in 1956, connected his name to this kata forever.
Conclusions: In the absence of any Kōdōkan standard the evolution of the kata over the past 75 years has led to substantial variations in the mechanics and approach specific to each coun-try and jūdō federation that endorse its practice. It remains questionable whether gonosen-no-kata historically has ever been practiced in Japan anywhere, and whether this ‘kata’ is any-thing more than a merely opportunistic name given to a one-time unstructured exercise firstly demonstrated in London during the 1920s.