Saturday, January 02, 2016

The staff of the excellent YouTube channel Judo Online put together their choices for the best throws and submissions of 2015.

Events included:
Tokyo and Paris Grand Slam;
Masters in Rabat, Morocco;
World Championships in Astana, Kazakhstan; and,
European Championships in Baku, Azerbaijan.

Stars and techniques include:
Tsukasa Yoshida – Uchi Mata
Hisayoshi Harasawa – Uchi Mata
Arsen Galstyan – Tani Otoshi
Musa Mogushkov – Kosovo Gake
Christian Toth – Combination Ura Nage Uchi Mata
Naohisa Takato – Kata Guruma, Ashi Guruma, Sode Tsuri Komi Goshi
Yuya Yoshida – Uchi Mata
Noël Van T End- Sode Tsuri Komi Goshi
Alexandre Iddir – Sode Tsuri Komi Goshi, Ippon Seoi Nage
Shangrim An – Drop Seoi Nage
Mikhail Pulyaev – Morote Seoi Nage
Loïc Pietri – Reverse Seoi Nage
Victor Penalber – Taï Otoshi
Haga Ryunosuke – Uchi Mata
Nagase Takanori – Combination Uchi Mata Ura Nage
Asley Gonzalez – Taï Otoshi
Telma Montero – Combination Tomoe Nage Jugi Gatame
Catherine Beauchamps-Pinard – Okuri Eri Jime
Kayla Harrison – Sankaku
Kim Polling – Ura Nage
Clarisse Agbegnenou – Utsuri Gosh

The video is queued to open with some of the most spectacular technique on the clip – the women’s footage.

Even  if your preference is for striking over grappling, Judo has tremendous strikes. Consider that a well executed throw has the same effect as being stomped by a boot the size of your entire body!

However, Judo is far deeper than simply technique.

The central principles of Judo are Seiryoku Zenyo and Jita Kyoei, which roughly translate as “maximum efficiency” and “mutual benefit.” Founder Jigoro Kano talked about the application of Seiryoku Zenyo with the concept of Ju yoku go wo seisu, or “softness subdues hardness.”

“In short, resisting a more powerful opponent will result in your defeat,” he wrote. “Whilst adjusting to and evading your opponent’s attack will cause him to lose his balance, his power will be reduced, and you will defeat him. This can apply whatever the relative values of power, thus making it possible for weaker opponents to beat significantly stronger ones.”

Kano understood that Seiryoku Zenyo, had a wider philosophical meaning, and was equally valid off the mats as on. This is why Judo is called Judo, and Jujutsu. Jutsu means collection of techniques. Do, which has the same root as the chinese Tao, means way.

So watch these techniques for their visceral appeal, but understand too that beneath the compelling throws is a body of philosophy, and within that are lessons for life, are a way to live life itself, with maximum efficiency, and for mutual benefit.