makura kesa gatame?

can anyone describe this holddown? I though it was just the kesa gatame variation where your hand under uke's head grabs your own thigh? alot of debate over this in my dojo as several ikkyu's are preparing for their shodan grading

doesn't makura mean "pillow" and refer to actually placing your leg under uki?

"doesn't makura mean "pillow" and refer to actually placing your leg under uki?"

That is what I've been told also.

you have to know that for shodan?? it isnt enough to just be able to demo differnet versions of the pin, but you have to know "makura" by name??? jeez-us, that is being overly nit-picky if ever ive heard of it.

i really dont see the point. to me, this is part of the reason why promotions in some places are a waste.. if the guy has earned the belt, give it to him.. dont sit there tossing out obscure bullcrap at the guy for a lousy shodan.

yes makura means pillow. I've seearched my various judo books and none except for Kashiwazaki's describes it. still, we've got like 3 potential versions we think is is, but we don't know for sure.

josh, I know what you mean. I'm having to relearn formally how to do quite a few things the "proper way" vs. just doing what I know works. e.g. "proper" hand placements for some pin variations & aesthetically pleasing looking chokes as per how'd they be done in the katas.

anyways, that's the way we have it here in Canada. 4 of the ikkyu's from my dojo are all grading soon in December. Since I'll be out of town in December, I'm still training along with them, but will attend the next grading in April or June. we may not have to perform it, but its on the list of stuff the grading board can choose from at random -- so we're covering everything.

it just kills me how the damn kata loving people get to rule over those of us who have dedicated ourselves to other "sects" of judo when it comes time for us to get black belts.

there is a lady in the bay area now who was a brown belt about 6 years ago.. she refuses to enter tournaments becuase they are "against the spirit of judo" and she basically gets killed in randori as well.. anyways, somehow she is now a yodan. and why??? it isnt as if she has any honest knowldge or abilities that competitive people dont.. all she has done is memorize somebody else's ideas and the ability to regurgitate them on demand..

it makes me sick and im sorry that your guys have to put up with garbage like that.

I love how people claim that competition is against the spirit of Judo. Sounds more like a lot of aikidoka I've known and read than a judoka.

Kano himself said randori, kata, and shiai. He actually wrote that, as most of you know already.

Maybe competition is against HER spirit, but it wasn't against Kano's that is for sure. Overemphasis on shiai, sure, but not NO shiai.

Ben R.

Josh, knowing what Makura Kesa Gatame is by name isn't really a big deal. I had to know it for shodan, and my Judo education sure wasn't dominated by "kata people", not by a long shot.

Ben R.

ben, im not saying it will kill them.. but it sure ownt help them become a better shodan either. its well known that in north america we expect far too much in the testing for shodan arena of competitve judokas. it is as if a shodan has to be a master of all the facts of judo..
its insanity to me. never in my life have i head people say "shodan is just the beginning really" yet test people as if they are PhD's....

Makura Kesa is explained very nicely with variations in one of Anton Geesink's books. Mine are all still packed in boxes or I'd look it up and tell you which one.

I just tell people to show me a certain number of pins or variations. If they want to use makura as a "different" pin, that's fine with me. I do make people know the names of the pins though. I use the JA test as a guidleline where the student gets to pick the techniques.

I'm going to be promoting several of my guys to the next level (still below shodan) for helping me get my floor set up this weekend. Service to the sport!

dont get me wrong guys, i don't think kata is totally useless. but its the overemphasis on the synchronization aspect of making it look "good" vs. being able to REALLY throw, choke or pin that bugs me.

lets put it like this, i have a background in traditional martial arts ... which I did for years ... but I eventually lost faith in "kata" a few years ago when people that were more practically trained were kicking my ass in sparring. ok not totally kicking my ass, but enough so that I had an ephiphany.

as a result i got into more practical arts where you proved your worth by doing/learning the moves in sparring/randori like BJJ, judo, and filipino martial arts. although i still (rarely) enjoy karate and japanese JJ for the memories of training and camraderie, nowadays I definitely disdain "theory" for what works!

the irony is, now that my judo shodan grading is approaching, I'm now having to go back and do stuff the "proper way". and why? not because what I do is wrong or doesn't work ... but is for some reason not "proper". i think my judo buddies in Japan would laugh their heads off.

"ben, im not saying it will kill them.. but it sure ownt help them become a better shodan either. its well known that in north america we expect far too much in the testing for shodan arena of competitve judokas."

I do think that shodan tests are a bit too hard for the most part, especially for people who are primarily competitors. The thing is that to most Americans, black belt means "expert", and we all know that a shodan is NOT an expert at Judo. I think that is a big reason that the shodan requirements are so tough in the USA.

On the other hand, if we had more young people doing Judo for longer before they became seniors, then a tougher shodan test would not be so bad, because as juniors they have time and luxury to learn all that stuff.

Ben R.