2015, Volume 11, Issue 1

Kōdōkan Jūdō’s Three Orphaned Forms of Counter Techniques – Part 2: The Nage-waza ura-no-kata ― “Forms of Reversing Throwing Techniques”

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

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Background and Study Aim: The purpose of the present paper is to provide a comprehen-sive review of nage-waza ura-no-kata [“Forms of Reversing Throwing Techniques”], a non-officially accepted kata of Kōdōkan jūdō made famous by the late Mifune Kyūzō (1883-1965), of which the date of creation has not been previously established, nor under what cir-cumstances it was created or what its sources of inspiration were.
Material and Methods: To achieve this, we offer a careful critical analysis of the available literature and rare source material on this kata.
Results: In 1903 Mifune entered the Kōdōkan and in 1904 he attended Waseda University’s Preparatory School for a year. The inspiration for Nage-waza ura-no-kata may be traced back to Waseda University, where Takahashi Kazuyoshi was Mifune’s contemporary. While Mi-fune, in combination with an intensive competitive career, also spent time researching new individual throwing techniques, it is Takahashi’s research that focused on the concept of ura-waza or reverse-throws. On Kanō’s invitation Takahashi authored many articles on this topic which appeared in Yūkō-no-Katsudō, the Kōdōkan’s official magazine. It is likely that draw-ing from Takahashi’s and his own research Mifune completed his nage-waza ura-no-kata probably around 1934-1938. The objective of the kata is not to copy a supposed gold stand-ard performance that then needs to be evaluated and scored by a jury, but to develop the abil-ity of performing jūdō at the supra-mechanical level of myōwaza [unexplainable sophisticated technique], irrespective of differences in minute technical details. Conclusions: Nage-waza ura-no-kata is an exercise devised by expert-technician Mifune Kyūzō which similarly to katame-no-kata complements nage-no-kata and of which the prac-tice is intended to contribute to developing the highest levels of jūdō technical ability.