• My thoughts on the DO

    Starting practice is one of the most precious moments. It can be very exciting and eventually leads to fabulous growth. Now is the very moment to decide if to go all the way through.

    When I started judo practice I decided, that I would have done it for the rest of my life and that my Master would have been a constant presence in my thoughts.

    Fundamental to the DO is one ingredient: COMMITMENT, indicating, that self-discipline and persistence must be kept regardless of how hard it is.

    Practice puts us under constant stress, but without it we would never be able to develop our personality.

    Commitment and self-discipline are precious as gold for those seeking the DO.

  • In the Sixties

    1960: Bruno Carmeni throwing his opponent with seoi nage

  • More than 40 years later!

    2007: Bruno Carmeni throwing his opponent with seoi nage

Judo Techniques and MMA – Part 3 Masahiko Kimura

Continuing with the week-end series on “Judo Techniques and MMA”, this time it is Masahiko Kimura’s turn, not because of chronological reasons, but because he was one of the most oustanding judokas of all times. His “mixed martial arts” experience brough him to another vistory, but at the same time to a loss. Here the story.

1951 – Masahiko Kimura

Masahiko Kimura (10th September 1917 – 18th April 1993) was born in Kumamoto (Kyushu). He started his judo training when he was 10 years old and already at the age of 16 was promoted to 4th dan. He did not only beat six 3rd and 4th dan judokas in a row, but also performed outstanding judo techniques

Two years later in 1935 he was promoted to 5th dan as he won eight fights one after the other. He dedicated nine hours a day to training, which of course contributed a lot to his success.

But that year he also lost the only  four fights of his entire career, against Niyajima from the Meiji University, Kenishiro Osawa, Kenshiro Abe and Hideo Yamamoto. He was so disappointed, that he almost decided to quit judo. But his friends encouraged him to continue his training and so he did. He spent nights improving his osotogari, trying it on a tree and after six months this judo technique became his killer weapon. 

He had a great come back in October 1935 wining his first Title at the University Championships and did so also in 1937 (being held every second year). He was the first student to be allowed to enter the Professional Japanese Judo Championships and so at the end of 1937 he won the All Japanese National Judo Championships and did so for the following thirteen years until he retired

In the 1940 edition he won against the 5th dan Yasuichi Matsumoto, who became later the legendary Judo Professor at Tenri University from 1960 to 1980.  Matsumoto was not only known because of his outstanding height, but also for the great contribution he gave to Tenri’s judo with his techniques, which up to today have left a signature. I have been his student for two years from 1964 to 1966.

In 1947 Kimura was promoted to 7th dan and in 1949, after having won against all famous champions of those days he faced his last Championship. For the fourth time he met Takahiko Ishikawa in the final, which lasted twenty minutes and ended up with no score. Mifune, the most famous 10th dan of judo’s history, declared the match even.

In July 1951 Kimura was invited to Brazil in order to compete in a “mixed martial arts” match: jujutsu and judo. He accepted and left Japan with Yamaguchi (6th dan) and Kado (5th dan), who had accepted the challenge of Helio Gracie (the Brazilian Champion for twenty years).

According to the rules, the fight could end for following reasons: surrender, if the trainer threw the towel, by decision of the commission. Throws and ground techniques would not be considered. Kado was defeated by the Brazilian, who almost became a National hero and challenged Yamaguchi the following week. The latter did not accept, but Kimura did instead.

There were twenty thousand spectators that day, among which also the Brazilian President and Vice- President. Kimura strangled Helio Gracie, who resisted so much, that Kimura had to let go and went for an arm lock (ude garami) wining the match. It was an historical victory for this outstanding judo champion. But the Kodokan never forgave Kimura for having accepted to enter a “mixed martial arts” match and cancelled his membership at the Kodokan Judo.

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2 Responses

  1. very nice post, good judo work 🙂

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