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Kosen Judo (training report)

Discussion in 'Grappling Technique' started by sha, May 22, 2008.

  1. sha Geekjitsu Black Belt

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    The name "kosen judo" always pops up in jujitsu vs judo discussions, as in "the omoplata wasn't invented by brazilians, kosen judo guys were already doing it in 1890".

    This style of judo puts the emphasis on groundwork, and has no time limit for newaza in competition. Reminds you of something ? Actually it is very similar to BJJ (or maybe I should say BJJ is similar to Kosen Judo) since they share the same roots.

    I had the occasion to try it for myself in Kyoto University, where the style was born and evolved, and I wasn't disapointed.

    The people there were much better on the ground than the average judoka, and played very active open guard games. They also had all of judo's strong points: agressive armbar atempts from all positions, good pressure and great pins, and good stand up/ground transitions (one guy was flying armbarring everybody !).
    Another thing that was different from traditional judo class is the large amount of sparring. After maybe 20 minutes of warm up and uchikomi, we spent about 1h30 doing randori.

    Overall it felt like doing BJJ with guys that are good on their feet, too (although this didn't keep them from pulling guard on me a few times...) !
    I found this great because usually if you train standing up with BJJ guys they'll pull guard to drag you into their game, and if you train groundwork with judo guys they'll turtle up to stall.
    It's not often that you find people who blend both games seamlessly, although I think the trend in both sports is evolving in this way.

    So a big thank you to the Kyodai judo club for welcoming me for one class !
     
  2. ozyabbas Purple Belt

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    It sounds like you had a really cool experience. Just a few questions

    1) What were the instructors like.
    2) From what positions did they spar from, was it strict newaza and randori. Could you do standing passes.
    3) Were there any illegal techniques or holds.

    Cheers
     
  3. blanko Guest

    interesting, because when doughbelly was in japan years ago, the so called "kosen" and kodokan judo guys didn't do too much newaza. But then again that was years ago.
     
  4. sha Geekjitsu Black Belt

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    Strangely enough the "sensei" (older stern looking guy who I assumed was in charge) didn't lead the class or do anything besides watching. The class was led by one of the black belts, who showed a few pins and escapes from pins, but then other guys chimed in and added details or other escapes, so it was not really like a traditional class.

    They sparred from standing up, but about half of the time they would pull guard or go for a flying armbar instead of doing more "normal" judo.
    They did standing passes too, in fact I was a little bit confused by the rules at first. But basically it was BJJ minus leglocks.

    I don't know if I dropped in on a special newaza class or if they always train like this. I assume they have nage waza (throwing) oriented classes too because they were good standing up too.
     
  5. georgejjr Black Belt

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    Reportedly if you go to the Kodokan there's very little instruction, almost all of the time is spent in randori (or so I was told by our national team coach, Nick Gill, who'd been there more than once). Perhaps some of the heavy emphasis on randori in the Kosen club is just the Japanese tradition.

    Mind you, the Kodokan might run different kinds of practices ... Gill was a two time olympic medalist, so they might not have seen much point in putting him in a class full of instruction.

    Kosen certainly sounds interesting. Another interesting flavor of judo is Kawashi (he was sent by Kano to introduce judo to Europe a long time ago), if you can find it - they still do leg locks. I had an old instructor who came from that style, though I suspect there's only a handful of clubs left.
     
  6. sha Geekjitsu Black Belt

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    There might be a few Kawashi instructors here in France, I know I've heard about him before.
    But I'm not sure how alive the style is. It's probably integrated into standard judo, I doubt they still do leglocks.
     
  7. sha Geekjitsu Black Belt

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    There might be a few Kawashi instructors here in France, I know I've heard about him before.
    But I'm not sure how alive the style is. It's probably integrated into standard judo, I doubt they still do leglocks.
     
  8. furdog Blue Belt

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    Modern "Kosen" Judo is for style elitists who don't want to admit they're doing BJJ. They usually cross train or have instructors who cross trained in different arts and then incorporate it into their Judo. It's most likely that those guys at Kyoto University cross trained or had instructors who cross trained in catch or BJJ.
     
  9. Mohawk79 Orange Belt

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    How do you know that? BJJ is not nearly as popular in Japan as it is here in the states. I think most of you keep forgetting that BJJ came from Judo, and there are lots of Judoka's in Japan that spent a lot of time developing ground fighting techniques and focusing on groundwork before the Gracies came to the states and marketed their own form of Judo. Everyone here in the states gets so defensive whenever they hear of Judoka's that can kick ass on the ground, and accusing them of training in another art to learn techniques and call it their own is bullshit. Why would they need to do that when they have already been doing it in Japan long before it became popular here? The Japanese are the ones who invented all the techniques you see in BJJ, whether most people want to acknowledge it or not.
     
  10. sha Geekjitsu Black Belt

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    Although it wouldn't surprise me if they have been exposed to BJJ before, I can assure you their style is different from BJJ and evolved on its own.

    you can learn more about Kosen judo here:

    History

     
  11. ryouboard Blue Belt

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    Um. No. You should really read up on Kosen Judo and the roots of original Judo before you come around and proudly bare your ignorance for everyone to laugh at. It sounds more like you're the style "elitist" in that you think anything that has to do with groundwork is most likely BJJ or some catch wrestling.
     
  12. georgejjr Black Belt

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    Actually most of the base techniques in judo and BJJ have been around for millennia ... the ancient Greeks had them, and they probably didn't invent them either. You can see the techniques in Native North American wrestling for instance, and they were cut off from the rest of the world for 20,000 years. There are medieval European manuscripts showing all the techniques (and a lot that are in neither judo or BJJ - eye and groin techniques for instance). Most likely most of the techniques were invented by caveman Thog 50,000 years ago - the human body only moves in so many ways, and people have been grappling since we were people (actually probably since we were primates).

    What judo and BJJ did was refine the setups of some of the techniques, and make them more efficient, mainly for use of gi (jackets). Judo mainly for throws, BJJ mainly for submissions. Other than that, from what I've heard BJJ isn't as popular in Japan as it is here ... which is as surprising as hearing that judo isn't as popular in the US as it is Japan. Go figure. :icon_chee
     
  13. sha Geekjitsu Black Belt

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    BJJ guys have a way of doing things, and kosen judo guys have their own way. When was the last time you trained pins in a BJJ class ?

    But I disagree that judo or bjj techniques have been around for long. A lot of things in both sports make sense only in the context of that sport, so would not have been invented earlier.

    (Thog by armbar)
     
  14. Q mystic Silver Belt

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    Does kosen comp score differently from bjj comp?

    That would seem the only diff to me really.
     
  15. georgejjr Black Belt

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    They've both added things (setup is a very important addition - you can find amusing clips on youtube with bears wrestling using o goshi and the guard, but they don't use much of the way of a setup :icon_chee), but the basic techniques are found all over the world, and in pieces going back to at least the ancient Greeks. There was a thread on it on judoinfo awhile back, and on MMA.TV, with a fair number of references - I'm not a scholar, so I can't produce them by memory.

    But I might start using "Thog by armbar" as my signature, if you don't mind :icon_chee
     
  16. furdog Blue Belt

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    I've read a lot about Kosen Judo. No, you're ignorant, not me.
     
  17. furdog Blue Belt

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    Because from what I know, there are very few if any actual Kosen Judo practitioners or instructors that actually descended from that lineage.

    That has nothing to do with any of this. Who cares where BJJ came from? I am saying that Kosen Judo was basically something nearly eliminated and now the people who practice it have instruction from people who've cross trained.

    That's not what I did at all. I am in fact a judoka and believe there are many judoka with great ground work.

    There is effectively no Kosen Judo at all... there is only Judo cross trainers reviving an old name.

    Because "they" haven't been doing it. And by "they" I mean all judoka. Kosen Judo was nearly dead in the 1980's. You know a partial history of Judo and not the full thing--Kosen Judo was practiced at one time, long ago, but even in Japan, catch styles and BJJ are likely to have more practitioners than straight descendants of the Kosen school.
     
  18. Q mystic Silver Belt

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    I agree, from what little I have read, with everything you said Furdog.

    edit. Except, I don't believe ALL kosen types are crosstrainiers. I do believe some had to have just worked from judo texts.
     
  19. Bilial White Belt

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    I thought Hirata Kanae had a pure Judo lineage and taught Kosen before he died. Wouldn't his students have a Kosen lineage? From what I hear, having a pure Kosen lineage is very rare, but it is possible.

    YouTube - Budo Masters: Kosen Judo Hirata

    I was going to post this, but realized that one of his students is wearing purebred gi pants. I'm not sure if that's from Enson's gym or a gi company in Japan.
     
  20. ryouboard Blue Belt

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    Try reading the text instead of just looking at pictures or spouting your own hare-brained ideas around.

    link: History

    Note Kosen's history and continued competition with no regulations on newaza. Then also note: "The first head of our Judo Club was Prof. TAKAGI Hideo at the Faculty of Science, who practiced judo, particularly Newaza judo, in Kosen competition." After the second world war, when judo was allowed to be practiced again in Japan, instruction in newaza judo continued from a practitioner of the old Kosen style competition.

    link: sensei6

    Kosen judo was not widely practiced. But it never died out either. Its art and instruction and competition continued throughout Japan's history. As you may well know, Maeda was a Kosen judoka sent to teach in Brazil.

    Now I'm not denying that there is a possibility that some practitioners today are cross-training their ground skills with some BJJ. That's entirely possible. But it would be wrong to state that Kosen judo completely died out and that its instruction was no more. Check out some the Kosen Judo DVDs that have been released. They show some old time Kosen Judokas training and teaching in the Kosen style. And don't tell me that they crosstrained in BJJ when BJJ was in its infancy when these men were growing up.
     

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