MG interesting post (always enjoy your perspective)
As it does apply to a couple of areas in my life I have had interations simiar to what you are describing. There are things I both really like and respect and come to loath about it (similar to any culture).
MG interesting post (always enjoy your perspective)
Leaves me bummed there are not more like it in the general forum.
Yeah, same here. But the experience made me step back a take a good look at things. The perspective I've gain is worth alot.
We don't do everything right in our culture nor everything wrong. And the same can be said about other cultures. What I learn that was very helpful is getting to the meat or the prime reason why certain things are done in certain ways in other culture and even in my own culture. Once I gained and understanding of that, things became easier to adapt to or even not adapt to.
m.g is right.
PS Mike; e-mail me; I want to tell you something!
Archive this thread?
Great questions. Almost all of the break away republics of the former USSR utilize the "Russian" grips. The most unorthodox grips are used by the former Soviet republic of Georgia. It makes me wonder if they were not the originators.
I have seen Koreans from about 170 and up use the high collar grip but it never really occurred to me before your question that they use it commonly.
The great U. S. judoka, John Osako,
utilized and taught the high collar grip to all of his students in the 1960s.
One obvious reason for differences in gripping styles are differences in physiques but I think it runs deeper than that or there are other reasons such as national wrestling styles, gi and no gi, i.e. sambo, kuresh, schwing (sp).
Maybe most freestylers in Russia also have trained judo or sambo so the gi and no gi is blended. I know that in the U. S. most folk, greco and freestylers have not done any gi training.
I was wondering what circumstances brought about certain distinct qualities in the judo of particular countries. For example, In another thread, we talked about why traditional Japanese judo has their practitioners standing very upright. I hear some people say that the Russians have a strong wrestling influence in their judo. Why is it that the Russians are known for the over the back belt grip? When training with my instructors, I remember one on them say how Koreans like using the lapel/high collar grip. Why do Koreans like that grip?
I still think it is an over generalization that Japanese grip standing up right. My teach is japanese and has never taught me to grip that way. Furthermore I since Japanese competitors in competition and they don't stand that up right.
Bolo wrote:"I was wondering what circumstances brought about certain distinct qualities in the judo of particular countries. For example, In another thread, we talked about why traditional Japanese judo has their practitioners standing very upright. I hear some people say that the Russians have a strong wrestling influence in their judo. Why is it that the Russians are known for the over the back belt grip? When training with my instructors, I remember one on them say how Koreans like using the lapel/high collar grip. Why do Koreans like that grip? "
I think all nations have some form of native or folk wrestling. Georgia has at least one style of jacket wrestling (it's covered in "Russian Judo" from Ippon Books). Mongolian wrestling uses a leather jacket, I think. There is a form of Welsh wrestling that uses jackets (name escapes me at moment).
The europeans got the "Russian Style" from their competitions with the former soviet union etc.
As to the Koreans using the high lapel grip, it's quite common among Japanese as well. The two Japanese instructors I have had both used it extensively. It's a good way to control an opponents upper body, but takes some skill to use effectively, and doesn't work for all throws. Also, if you are short, it's hard to use on a taller person. So, I don't really use it a lot, except in my own weight division.
Say hi to DAve for me,
Great post Sothy.
A Korean Black Belt came to our school once, his grip was 90% of the time behind the back, grabbing the belt, almost like O-Goshi. He stated that most of the players in his college gripped like that.
Jacket wrestling seems to have not been as developed/not as common in the "West" (by which I mean western europe and the 'americas'), prior to the popularity of judo and sambo.
As such, when Kano sent his judokas into different parts of the world (Maeda to the Americas, Kaiwashi to France, etc.), they often introduced jacket wrestling/judo to these parts it seems (or at least a highly developed form of it). Thus, the Japanese grips/strategies were the norm all over the world.
The Russians, however, were introduced to judo by one of their own. Oscepkov was a judo black belt who was Russian and spread judo to Russia. Instead of just copying Japanese judo, he investigated the native wrestling styles (many of which were jacketed making them extra useful) of the USSR (huge country...). Overtime, sambo was formed and judo forgotten in that country. So, they weren't under the Japanese and they had a different 'jacket' on (a kurtka). Kurtkas are easier to grab at the belt, have shoulder epilets (to grab), have wider sleeves (to grab inside), etc. On top of this, all of those native style in the Soviet Union (such as the Georgian Chidaoba) had their own grips...so when the Soviets returned to judo (because it was in the Olympics) they had their own style as a result...that wasn't influenced by the Japanese formality/rank system (ie. they didn't have to do it the way the Japanese did it and were free to explore). Mind you, I agree with Osaekomi in that the Russian grips aren't always better, just different.
Korean judo comes directly from Japanese judo (as does Taiwanese judo...since your parents come from there)...this is due to the Japanese Occupation of their country at the time when judo was being developed (1910-1945). Koreans are kinda an inbetween nowadays of Japanese and Western European Judo so I wouldn't be surprised if they go high collar...generally taller people like high collar and shorter people like lapel...the stereotype is that Koreans are the tallest East Asians (along with Northern Chinese)...don't know how true that is though.
Peter Seisenbacher, the Olympic champ from Austria, gives an interest reason why the upright stance is favored in Japan.
He stated in his book "modern Judo", co-authored with his coach George Kerr, that one wouldn't survive to long using a couching wrestler stance when doing the amount of Randori done in Japanese dojos. Because one would get fatigued very quickly. The up-right stance is used because it is a more relaxed stance where the practitioner can't conserve his energies.
But aside from that, in my personal experience the Japanese don't fight from the so-called Japanese grips nor do they fight up-right. My teacher told me that standing up-right and taking those traditional grips are no good. I was told to take a more of a wrestlers stance (though not as deep) grapping the opponents collar at the back of the neck and to pull him down as much as possible. The other hand goes for the sleeve.
From here I was instructed to go for the belt grab (the so-called russian belt grab).
At my dojo, we have a Japanese Judoka who has been doing Judo since he was a child (20= years) and he also doesn't grip the so-called Japanese way. Although he is more up-right than my teacher, he uses the over the back belt grip alot. In fact he showed me how he lures an opponent into position to get that grip. He would kill me with it all the time. Actually both he and my teacher are very skill in getting that grip and they would both seek to get it every time. They don't use the so-called "traditional Japanese gripping method".
This method maybe used for demostrations and the like but competition time there is a greater degree of variations and use.
I think part of the problem is alot of americans think the Japanese use the traditional grips in competition and they don't,not as much as we think.
The Japanese, at least the ones whom I've been in contact with, are big on individual style development. The teacher give the students the tools he needs and the student is required to do something with them. So it is up to the student to develop his gripping style and method. There is no style of gripping that is a must do. The Japanese students style of gripping is truly his own.
Not to long ago, a student asked my teacher where exactly he needed to put grip with his left hands when he did the Seoi Nage, my teacher responded that it doesn't matter he can put it where ever it is comfortable; the important thing in was what he was suppose to do with his right arm and the motion of his body. There was no particulars for the grips.
Grips in Japan is an individual thing and not so type of method taught to the masses
Nothing in Japan is an individual thing =)...you should go and see, group mentality rules the place :o)
Bear in mind that your Japanese coaches live in America...
The Americans (and I assume the Canadians) do often play a more traditional style than the Japanese though according to Draegar or Geesink. So you are right in that sense...
That isn't true. Yes they tend to be more group oriented then we Westerns are. However, each group is only as strong as each of its members. Individuals are encourage to develop their own skills to help the group. Everyone has to pull their own weight.
Yes my Japanese coaches lives in America, but only one of them has been here for awhile (20+ years). The other one is fresh from the land of the rising sun. He hasn't been here to long and really doesn't get out to much. He lives with my teacher with a group of other Japanese students fresh from Japan.
Believe me when I say this, I'm usually the only American in the class. It has been this way for a long time (almost 10 years). The rest are Japanese from Japan. I've learn to train with them by adapting to their customs and ways. They're essential Japanese nationals training in the U.S as if they are in Japan.
I've observe their group mentality and even have been critcize for not being a group player in their Japanese perspective.
I've learn to understand the role the individual and individuality plays in their culture.