An Interview with Steven R. Cunningham: “The Dynamic Nature of Judo Kata,” by Linda Yiannakis

Jigoro Kano executing hiki-otoshi technique

This excellent interview is relevant to aikidoka since it was Kenji Tomiki Sensei–also a high-ranking judo instructor–that devised the Kodokan Goshin Jutsu kata. Tomiki attempted to apply a similar philosophy to aikido, providing a theoretical and practical basis for a form of competitive aikido.

“The idea is also that the basic syllabus of the Kodokan—the Go Kyo, and the Nage, Katame, and Ju no Kata—all give you the foundation to understand Kime and Koshiki, but these operate at a higher level. They have more advanced principles and they are designed to teach you things like strategy, ma-ai, riai, all these other kinds of higher concepts. They are designed to elevate you even more beyond these basics. So to do Kime or Koshiki without first having a good grounding in the Go Kyo and the Randori no Kata and so on, would just be meaningless. You’re totally unprepared to take the lessons that these kata are going to provide you.”

Click here to read “The Dynamic Nature of Judo Kata”

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