Attitudes: Ashida Medhi & Morris

but no true comparison is ever possible. different talent pools; different nutrition from childhood on up; different environments; different training methods. they would be different people entirely.

but, take the pre-1964 team in any sport, and I would bet on the present day players. and I would also bet that the 2044 team would kick the crap out of the 2002 team.

Lots of great posts, thanks for your response.

I'll try to answer them as briefly as possible. When Judo became an Olympic Sport the training had to be modified to the rules and standards of the day. When you train to beat other opponents of equal size verses training to beat opponents of any weight class you have to consider different things. Since then techniques and their respective training methods have changed. Some for the better some not.

Randori No Kata combined with Randori was the one of the best ways to train for open class tournaments. But the current standard and rules have placed Kata on the back burner. As a result most American Dojos are run by instructors that don't have a clue as to how to use Kata to improve their technique. (Men like Ashida do) Those are the same people that say "Kata is worthless", and to them it is. If you're doing well without Kata and your system works for you then stick to it. But if you are interested in some of the many aspects not found in the average sport Dojo find one of these old guys, listen to the stories (because there is always a hidden message)and follow their advise.

There are three things needed to be world class in anything: A knowledgable teacher or teachers, an eager student, and time. The champions of the past as well as present have all had those things. In order to prepare for world class Judo tournaments you must focus on Judo. In order to prepare for world class BJJ or NHB you must focus on BJJ or NHB. Judo can be a very valuable part of BJJ and NHB preparation (this I have seen in several of my former students). But in order to leave one to go and fight in the other it would require a Judo competitor to spend a significant ammount of time away from sport specific Judo training. And most world class athletes would rather not do that. This does not mean that they won't learn and use some BJJ techniques as we all know how similar they are.

If you are coming from the perspective of winning a sport todays training techniques are much better for that than the old. But if you hold to the classic Judo system of Physical Education, Self Defense, and to quote Jigoro Kano "The development of human character is the most important aspect of Judo training." you would probably feel as I do. Todays Judo training is not as good as it used to be.

Again I would like to thank you all for your responses.


I don't see how I missed the point. When I compare your first post and your last post, seems to me that you are retreating to my position.

The salient point from your first post.

1) There is nothing new under the sun. New strategies, techniques etc are mostly rehashed from earlier times etc.

Then in your last post you said the 1964 player would adapt and use the new methods of the modern judoka. If it was all the same, why would he have to adapt? By making the excuse you are conceding that I am right.

That Kimura or any other old judoka might have done just as well if they were born 40 years later ain't the point. The Kimura from 1948 couldn't walk onto the mat and beat the 1984 version of Yamashita. That's the point.

The reality is that judo didn't change a whole lot from 1895-1964. Once the sport became an international sport there were a whole bunch of different approaches and techniques incorporated into modern judo.

When you go from 1 country of influence to 28 countries and then to the current 178 countries and the number of participants increases over 10 fold, there are gonna be alot of new ideas thrown out there.

We see it in the numbers. Judoka are using throws or versions of throws today they didn't use 40 years ago to win. Its so obvious, I'm surprised it requires more than one post to discuss.


My posts aren't meant to disparage the old school guys. They were some talented and bad ass mofos. They would tear up 99.99 percent of the judoka out there.

But the competition is alot more intense at the upper echelons than it was 40 years ago. Today's players have to exploit every little advantage and that has changed the game dramatically.

There was a lot more to Yamashita than just his size. He was known to have the speed and agility of a middle weight and had the benifit of being trained buy men like Mifune and Kimura at a very early age. It's difficult to say if Kimura could have beaten Yamashita. But you should consider that if they were to have a match it would have to be under the old rules without weight classes. The training methods of today are geared towards weight specific matches. That has changed how technique has developed over the last forty years. Men like Kimura knew how to handle men like Yamashita, but men like Yamashita are not training to fight outside their weight class.

It's unfortunate matches like that don't happen anymore as Judo would benefit greatly.

Thanks again,

Perhaps Yamashita is not a good example Gentleman because he won the All Japan Open class like 9 times. So saying he wasn't trained to fight outside his weight class is not appropriate.

Judo guy,

I guess I didn't do a good job of connect my points which he summarized very well.

The key issue is the "dynamic nature" of the individual who happens to study Judo and the sound, rock solid principles of Judo.

Let me deal with the "principles" of Judo. Every technique of Judo as well as the application of them can be traced to "principles" that are rock solid. Principles that are rooted in the laws of physic as well as fundamental principles of strategy.

The throws, chokes, joint locks work because of how well the conform to the laws of physic. Its all a matter of biomechanics. The strategy is quite simple but yet effective as well - unbalance, position, throw.

These haven't change and I doubt they ever will. Any so-call new innovation or application goes back to to the proper understanding and use of the principle and strategies Judo was based on.

Now moving into the "dynamic nature of the people who study Judo (I'm going to connect this to the above point). The idea for a person(s) that studies an art form like Judo is that they, at some point in their studies and years of training, become "independant" of the "system" (which in this case is Judo) to where they are actually applying the tecnhiques from the stand point of what makes them work in the first place. Since the principle and basic strategy of for example osoto gari is the same in 1895 as it was 1964 and still is the same today, any prudent practitioner only needs to "adjust" the application of the technique using his own understanding of the principle the "make" the technique "work" as the guide.

So for example, lets say Kimura tries an Osoto Gari on Yamashita. He tries it one way but it doesn't work. He analyizes why it doesn't work he notices that Yamashita is center his weight a certain way making Kimura's Osoto Gari ineffective. So Kimura, being the intellent, discerning individual he is makes the necessary adjustment by angling the force and direction of his throw slightly or by pulling Yamashita with greater or less force in this or that direction by a few or alot of degrees. The same can be said about Inoue going against Mifune or some body of the past.

The fundamental idea is a good fighter is going to do this anyway in his on era in his own generation because everyone he fights is going to be alittle different in size as well as skill level. so what would make it any different if the eras were magically changes and a 1964 prime Judoka found himself in 2002 Judo tournament.

You have to assume that they would at least study the competition to see how to best apply their techniques.

See, one of the fallacies I see in your point of view is the assumption of "learn, practice, and perform Judo by committee. Meaning every Judoka of every era didn't have a brain and did the techniques exactly the same way everyone else in their era did them. So in essence everyone move, breathe and competed exactly the same way. They couldn't "discern" how to adjust and/or make correction however small or big to make "their" techniques effective. This isn't the case. Individuality has alwayed existed.

I can't see how one can make the principle and strategies of Judo better. They are the same yesterday and are still the same today. everyone is an individual in 1895, 1964 as well as today. People have been making innovation ever since Judo was formulated. Situation would arise and different methologies were needed. Aspect of techiques that weren't used before were used "until" there wasn't a need for them. THEN all of a sudden generations later a situation would arise where different methologies were needed again. Aspect of a technique that weren't used in generations now are used again by a generation that had no clue that they were ever used in the passed. It is a continuing cycle. BUT the individual has the intelligence and discernment to make the adjustment he needs to still be effective and proficient.

TheGentleman wrote:"There was a lot more to Yamashita than just his size. He was known to have the speed and agility of a middle weight and had the benifit of being trained buy men like Mifune and Kimura at a very early age. It's difficult to say if Kimura could have beaten Yamashita. "

I'm a little confused by this. Do you mean that Yasuhiro Yamashita was trained by Mifune and Kimura, or that his teachers were similar in skill?

Y. Yamashita was never trained by Mifune or Kimura. I think that perhaps Yamashita's first dojo was one founded by Mifune, though. He was trained by Inokuma and Sato, though.

Ben R.

Kake wrote: "Perhaps Yamashita is not a good example Gentleman because he won the All Japan Open class like 9 times. So saying he wasn't trained to fight outside his weight class is not appropriate."

I humbly agree, But that is the difficulty with trying to compare the past greats with the present. My point was that Judo has gradually become more sport oriented over a period of time. Yamashita had the the best of both old and new. I think the style of training Kimura had was more combat oriented where Yamashita had to deal with the Koka and Yuko strategy of the day in order to stay on top in world competition. But as Judo Guy pointed out Kimura in his day had the the best of what was then old and new. If he were to train today he would take advantage of the new of today.

Ben wrote: "I'm a little confused by this. Do you mean that Yasuhiro Yamashita was trained by Mifune and Kimura, or that his teachers were similar in skill?"

I meant teachers of similar skill. Although was Mifune still alive when Yamashita was young. Athough very old he remained a part of Judo until his death which I think was in the mid 1960's. (Definitely going out on a limb with this theory.) So I wouldn't remove him from the picture entirely.

Judo Guy wrote:"They couldn't "discern" how to adjust and/or make correction however small or big to make "their" techniques effective. This isn't the case. Individuality has alwayed existed."

I agree individuality has always been the case. When I trained in Japan each Sensei had his own way of doing the techniques. This was at first very confusing but in the ong run it proved to be a very valuable tool. As it taught me how to apply the same technique to different sized players. It's that individuality that makes Judo flow.

It was funny because they would teach you O-soto, O-uchi, Morote Seoinage, and let you take it from there. By doing dynamic (moving)uchikomi you would learn to move and combine these throws. As you began to randori you would develope those techniques into your own style. As that progressed they would evaluate you and teach you other techniques that worked well with your particular style. In many cases a version of Uchi-Matta (as it was Yamashitas favorite throw and everyone in Japan was doing it). For me they added Sode-tsuri-komi-goshi. If you strayed to far from the original technique (as sometimes would happen with inexperience) they would gently nudge you back towards the true form, while still allowing you to grow individually.

With that handful of techniques you have all the fundamental principles of every Judo technique. In randori I would throw with Seoi-otoshi(from my own attack)that would sometimes spring into Harai-goshi, or a reverse grip Tai-otoshi or Uchi-matta if my opponent tried to jump out of the Tai-otoshi (as a counter). The Japanese used the Go-Kyo-No-Waza as a guide to personal development and allowed the student to flow.

Well guys gotta go I'm self employed and when I enjoy conversation with you, I don't get my work done.

Great responses I respect all of your inputs.

QUINCY RICE - "But my the first choke my Sensei was taught was Sankaku Jime"

Yeah,but what does that have to do with the price of rice in china?

You know how many people have known triangles who have never gotten Dan in one?

I dont care if the first move he learned was the flying butt plyers… That aint gunna get him nowhere into subbing severn…

The attack on BJJ is absolutely stupid,if you enjoy realistic judo,your respect for bjj should be great…I have no problem with thinking it is judo (as it is), but to say it stinks is just plain denial…Show up at a submission tourney and say that,it’s easy to talk from the pine.I dont buy your argument and dont think it’s backed in blood,so to speak…

Holy crap, a side of Quincy rarely seen. 

judo did. yamashita’s protege was inoue, who was a winner. he also coached the national team. japan has continually passed down it’s success.

korea’s greatest judoka jeon, was coach of the national team, which has won many golds.

many champions have successfully transitioned to coaching or infrastructure.
for example, i’d give nicholas gill a ton of credit for elevating canadian judo.

in bjj, okano trained alves, who claims to have created sweeps and champions ; )

even recently (over a decade later lol), jimmy pedro has travis stevens, ronda rousey and kayla harrison.

Man what an old thread. I was in Judo for a year when this was written. Most of those people aren’t around anymore.

Ron Tripp beat Rickson and Rickson pouted about not knowing the rules.

It’s amusing that some people still buy into the Gracie lore.

When was that?


Wow I was 25 that year. That was awhile ago.