• 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 & MMA – Part 6 Yoshitsugu Yamashita

Judo Techniques and MMA – Part 6 Yoshitsugu Yamashita

 Yoshitsugu Yamashita, also known as Yoshiaki, was born in 1865 in Kanazawa, Ishikawa Prefecture. He started very early with martial arts training at the Yoshin-ryu and Tenjin Shin’yo-ryu as his father was of the samurai class.

In 1883 and 1884, after he entered the Kodokan Judo School – very soon becoming one the leading people there – he participated at the tournaments against the Tokyo Police Jujutsu Team. He did not only perform outstanding judo techniques, but was another rather quarrelsome fellow, who often got involved in mixed martial arts fights on the streets.

It is known, that while still in Japan, he got involved in a fight with about fifteen people in a restaurant. Due to the excitement of the situation he overreacted and broke one fellow’s neck killing him. The others ran off all bruised. The police arrested him, but very soon he was freed as he could prove, that he was assaulted by all fifteen. Nevertheless he got temporarily suspended by the Kodokan.

In 1902 Sensei Kano, who was often contacted by judo enthusiasts of other nations wishing to have Kodokan teachers, decided to send Yamashita to the States, in order to teach judo to the Americans.

Yamashita started with a dojo in Washington DC and also taught at Harvard University, where his first student was Mary Lee, the grand-daughter of General Robert E. Lee. Then thanks to President Theodore Roosevelt, who also became one of his student, he became a judo teacher at the Naval Academy. 

While there he accepted a mixed martial arts fight with an American wrestler, George Grant (6’3” 230lb), whom he beat without any problems, throwing him twice with his outstanding  judo techniques and then pinning him to the ground. Thanks to this victory, which impressed everybody there, his teaching contract was prolonged for another two years.

Even though he had all these successes, he was rather lonely in his life and had difficult times, because of the language, which he did not fully understand and a lack of money. Once he was challenged by a boxer from New York, who called him “small Japanese”.  Everybody got really excited about this mixed martial arts challenges between a judoka and a boxer and tickets for the match got literally sold out.

Each one of the fighters entered the ring with its typical outfit. The boxer charged Yamashita with his punches, but with no effect as the “little Japanese” was able to escape all of them. While doing this he studied the boxer and just waited for the opportunity to get his arm in order to throw him, which happened immediately with a hane goshi. The spectators just heard the loud noise of the boxer falling on the ground and a few seconds later again with a beautiful seoi nage.

Yamashita won the match, the crowd was so excited and enthusiast, that later on a stamp was emitted, in order to commemorate this moment of an outstanding judoka also performing well in a mixed martial arts fight at the beginning of 1900.

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