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Friday, February 12, 2016

COMBAT JUDO: MIKONOSUKE KAWAISHI'S METHOD OF SELF DEFENSE

The book "My  Method Of Self-Defense" written in 1957 and long out of print it is quite unlike other Judo books. This is a book that to this day there hasnt been another judo book quite like it. 

MIKONOSUKE KAWAISHI  was an  8th degree black belt in Kodokan judo. He developed and taught a terrific and extremely deadly form of judo — close combat/self- defense. This system of judo he described and outlined in this classic book.

Kawaishi knife fighting  techniques in his book “My Method of Self Defense”  seemed to reflect heavily from the knife fighting techniques that can be found in WWII U.S. military Hand to hand combat field training manuals. Kawaishi ‘s sole concern  insofar as self-defense  was involved  was practicality and realism.

MY METHOD OD SELF DEFENSE by Mikinosuke Kawaishi

INTRODUCTORY REMARKS

In his Foreword the author emphasizes the point that he has elaborated his Method of Self-Defence with the constant view of maintaining close contact with judo. It is therefore contended that the student's progress in both these arts will be reciprocally stimulated by their concurrent practice.

Do not forget that quasi-mechanical repetition of self-defence methods should be accompanied by what is called taisabaki, or the art of managing the body for the purpose of eluding attack and defending yourself. This rotation must be made with the entire body ("tai") starting from the hips. The taisabaki enables you to preserve perfect balance and to counter with an atemi method with the maximum of decon-traction, speed, precision and efficacy. The potency of an atemi technique is the function of the "moment" when it is delivered. It should reach the adversary when he is relaxed and off balance. The blow ought to be dealt with all its strength and density only at the instant of impact. This is a condition essential to its success. And the difficult art of defence, once acquired, should be resorted to only in cases of extreme urgency.

For a better understanding of the following pages it should be noted that the various phases of the movements are explained separately by paragraphs. Tori executes the defence and Uke submits. Uke is the aggressor and Tori the demonstrator of every self-defence method. For the sake of clarity Tori is always depicted with black hair and wearing a black belt, whereas Uke is always depicted with light hair and wearing a white belt. Every phase of the defences forms the subject of a drawing and the whole reads normally from left to right and from top to bottom.

In all the figures the movements and contacts are indicated by arrows. In each series the parries follow as far as possible an analogous progression: attacks effected from a distance, then from short range, holds most customary or least dangerous at first and in case of need attacks from the front, side and back.

 Lastly, these numerous parries are complementary and interchangeable in the sense that they are valid against various attacks. It will then be appropriate to master at the outset the holds in the order indicated, but it will soon be realized that the range of parries is infinitely wider still, above all when combined with the atemi described in the second and last part of this work which for that reason must never be lost sight of, as in many cases they form an integral part or element of the given method of defence.

BASIC SELF-DEFENSIVE POSITIONS

These defensive positions are not designed to constitute a definite guard as in boxing or fencing. They are rather a style of holding oneself, a series of ATTITUDES which naturally link up with one another and enable the defender with maximum facility to pivot, retreat and advance in order to foil the attack, to block it, then to counter it or even to forestall it. The essential principle of this Self-Defence may be summed up as follows:

  2. Parry and counter-attack.
The first atemi is a preliminary counter which affords an opening for successfully applying the counter, e.g. a lock, strangulation or throw. The second atemi permits the defender to finish off his opponent, if necessary.

The practice of the Defensive Positions trains you not to be taken off your guard in the face of an attack and instantaneously to place yourself in the best position for defence and counter.

Much as in judo the execution of the kata or pre-arranged forms displays the degree of your knowledge and assimilation of techniques, so here in self-defence the manner in which you adopt these positions reflects your comprehension and your mastery of the whole.

MORE TO COME.......