Tuesday, July 27, 2010


The acronym of the day is FOOSH.  It stands for Falling On OutStretched Hand.  John Coles has written an informative post on FOOSH injuries.

I just like the sound of the word.  Say it out loud: "FOOSH".  But I bet that's not what you would say if you sustained a FOOSH injury!

This is what a FOOSH injury looks like:

Ouch!!  Search YouTube for "skateboard wrist break" for more disasters.  Link.

This old post explains how the judo alternative, trained breakfalls, can lower the risk of FOOSH in day-to-day life.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Self-defence technique meets 1920s chic

Fabulous clip of 7 stone (44.5 kg) Miss May Whitley giving a lightning introduction to the role of unbalancing  in jiu-jitsu  before throwing her good friend "the bandit" repeatedly onto a hard stage floor.  Be sure to watch with the sound turned up to enjoy her wonderful accent and his howls of pain:

Attacks and jiu-jitsu counters demonstrated:
  1. Handbag snatch: Arm-lock plus projection throw
  2. Rear choke: 1st shoulder throw (kata seoi)
  3. Straight punch: Reverse arm-bar (waki-gatame)
  4. Front kick: Inner-rear sweeping throw
  5. Front choke: Circle throw (tomoe nage)
Thanks to Sue for highlighting this clip and more on her blog.

Simply spiffing: what, what!?

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

More Mifune

Here's some 90-year-old footage: judo randori from 1922 featuring a young Kyuzo Mifune (then only a fifth dan!) in action.

Lovely throws: fluid yet powerful, opportunistic rather than pre-planned.  This is what we should be striving for!

Monday, July 19, 2010

RIP Kancho

Today I attended the funeral of our Kancho, who died last week suddenly and unexpectedly at his home.

Barry William Bradshaw, 1939 - 2010

He will be sorely missed by his loving family, by his many friends and colleagues, and by the incredible number of students he taught, mentored and befriended in over 50 years as a martial arts instructor.  He lives on in all of us, as does his legacy.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Kyuzo Mifune: God of Judo

Kyuzo Mifune was possibly the greatest judo technician ever.  Beginning Judo training at age 13 or 14, by 30 he was already a 6th dan under Kano,  and nicknamed "The God of Judo".   At 40, and all of 5'2" tall and 100 pounds, he defeated a 6' tall 240 pound challenger who was skilled in sumo.

Mifune wrote one of the best Judo books, The Canon of Judo: Classic Teachings on Principles and Techniques.  Out of print for many years, a new translation is out as a reasonable price.

Fortunately for us, there is reasonable footage of him as an old man throwing younger and larger opponents all over the place.  In particular, at 2:30 Mifune demonstrates utsuri goshi  (our 9th hip throw) as a counter to harai goshi (5th hip throw), which I have been working on with a couple of my students; followed by utsuri goshi as a counter to hane goshi (6th hip throw):

Isn't that wonderful?  Observe how fluid and mobile Mifune is, generating enormous power (and lift!) from motion rather than brute strength.

Inspiring stuff.  Watch it again and again: repeat viewing will reveal new insights.

Friday, July 09, 2010

Judo as organized by Kawaishi

The judo I practice is a descendant of the method of the approach to judo devised by Mikonosuke Kawaishi adapted for teaching Europeans and partially documented in his book My Method of Judo (out of print).

One of my old posts includes a summary of Kawaishi's syllabus:

  1. The art of falling: Breakfalls and rolls
  2. Methods of disturbing the opponent's balance
  3. Throwing techniques
    • 15 leg throws
    • 15 hip throws
    • 6 shoulder throws
    • 10 hand throws
    • 15 "sacrifice" throws
  4. Ground-fighting techniques
Check out this web page for a complete listing of the techniques in his book.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Sword vs stick, fists vs throws

In a battle of sword vs stick, I'll take the sword:

Nice exhibition of throws, too.