• 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 – 1964 Tokyo Olympics Bruno Carmeni 68kg Part 1

At the beginning of the 20th century it was already Sensei Kano’s dream to see judo included in the Sports’ Program of the Olympics. He had been working hard to promote judo and its techniques around the world. His wish almost came through in 1942, but WWII blocked many activities among which the Olympics, besides the fact, that Sensei Kano died in 1938.

More than 20 years later judo made its debut at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, considering that Japan is the home of this sport and discipline. At the beginning it was not quite clear how the whole matter was supposed to take place. There were several discussion going on among the International Judo Community if to have a kata competition or shiai. At the end the later was adopted and there was a kata demonstration.

It was an outstanding start for judo as for the first time the Olympic Games were broadcast worldwide on TV and it were the first ones to take place in Asia. Japan of course did an exceptional organization work to impress the entire world as an emerging industrial country.

The Japanese knew that their chances for medals were in sports such as wrestling and gymnastics, but their hearts were all beating for judo, not only being a “homemade” product, but also the only sport, which origins were Asian. For them it was a must to win all four gold medals in that sport. And everybody knows about the terrible deception when Kaminaga lost  twice against the Dutch athlete Anton Geesink, the giant.

The competition took place at the Nihon Budokan Hall with a capacity of 15000 spectators. Before it started there was a “Nage No Kata” demonstration performed by Saburo Matsushita and the Englishman John Cornish, followed by a Kendo, Kyudo and Sumo demonstration.

Every day of competition the Hall was overcrowded and the spectators were asked not to only applaud their national heroes, but also all the athletes from the other nations. The visit of the Emperor Hiro Hito was organized on the 3rd day, when Isao Inokuma won the gold medal in the up to 80kg. weight class. It was a strategic move of the organizers as they were not sure, that on the 4th day Kaminaga would have made it against Geesink. His defeat would have been considered a national failure and this could not have happened while the Emperor was in the Hall.

I was there representing Italy in the up to 68kg. It was rather exciting. I arrived in Japan at the end of August and thanks to my Sensei Noritomo Ken Otani had the chance to train the entire month of September at theTenri University, Nara, which was considered the “forge of the judo champions”.  After the Olympics I got a scholarship to study Japanese there for two years and to continue my trainings in order to improve my judo techniques..

Before arriving I had to go through a long selection process in my home country. However the determining factor was my silver medal at the 1963 European Championships in Geneva, as the Italian Judo Federation had decreed, that only the European medallists would participate at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics: of course no one had expected my medal!

Nevertheless here I was in Tokyo at the Nihon Budokan Hall getting ready for my competition on the 1st day… to follow next week.

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3 Responses

  1. Caro Maestro,
    mi confonde molto questa contradizione tra il Judo alle olimpiadi e quello che sto leggendo in alcuni libbri di Judo, dove Jigoro Kano dice che non e’ suo desiderio nel promuovere il judo come sport, per la paura di farlo retrocedere a quello che era il Jujistu, ma di mantenerlo solo come arte e strumento di contruzione fisico- mentale ai beni della societa’, e dove il randori,dice Kano, e’ riconosciuto unico mezzo dinamico del Judo ma sempre ai fini di crescere insieme (beneficio comune) anziche’ prelevare uno all’altro.

    La Sua opinione a riguardo , sara’ molto gradita e considerata .

    Grazie

    Paolo Quaglia

    • Caro Paolo, è vero quanto riferisci inerente al Prof. Kano. E’ stato molto lungimirante in quanto in effetti oggi si è verificato quanto aveva previsto nella sua lettera che inviò a Koizumi nel 1936. Purtroppo l’evoluzione sportiva in generale porta all’agonismo estremo, spesso mostrando il lato peggiore. Se vai a vedere la ginnastica artistica, tutte le atlete sono sformate. E così nel judo anche i maschi spesso mostrano la parte negativa. Molti judoka nel mondo sono contrati alla depravazione di questa disciplina. L’inserimento del judo ai Giochi Olimpici ha portato in parte a rinnegare i principi originali del Prof. Kano. Come avrai notato ho letto nella mia pagina ho avuto il privilegio alla prima aparizione del judo ai Giochi Olimpici a Tokyo 1964. Essendo stato la prima volta a quel livello avevamo ancora un concetto del judo legato ad alcuni principi etici e morali che nel tempo sono andati via via scemando. Oggi le competizioni si chiamano di judo, ma fanno altro. All’onor del vero questo si verifica anche negli altri sport, l’esigenza agonistica e quella educativa spesso fanno a pugni. A questo aggiungi che oggi si è aperto un dibattito tra che cos’è sport e disciplina. Se per sport intendiamo un’attività praticata con abilità tecnica risvegliando ardore ed interesse possiamo concepirlo come tale. Il judo educativo, ricerca tecnica si è allontanato dal judo agonistico. Potremmo dilungarci con altre argomentazione ma per ora ci fermiamo qua. Un caro saluto Bruno

      • Caro maestro,
        la ringrazio infinitamente della sua risposta

        Paolo Quaglia

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