Showing posts from November, 2020

Why Should Practitioners Care About Martial Arts History?

 Why should practitioners care about martial arts history?  Introduction To answer this question, I'd like to divide martial arts practitioners into two approximate, somewhat stereotypical, camps. Division should not be the goal of the martial arts community. However, it is difficult to analyze as broad a group as "all martial artists." My hope is that these terms will facilitate the identification of common characteristics and the formulation of reasonable conclusions. The first group consists of people who seek excellence by replicating or emulating the original teachings of their art. I call these practitioners emulators . The second group includes people who seek excellence by testing their art against other practitioners. I call them contestants . There is overlap among the groups, but this differentiation provides a rough starting point for the discussion. I seek no value judgement concerning either group and I have personally trained in both modes. Emulators Within

Five Facts about the 1879 Encounter Between Ulysses S. Grant and Kano Jigoro

  What do the English sources say about Ulysses S. Grant's encounter with professor Kano Jigoro in Japan?  Introduction  General and President Ulysses S. Grant (1822-1885) and judo founder Kano Jigoro (1860-1938) are my top two favorite historical figures. Imagine my surprise when I first learned that the two men had an encounter in Japan in 1879! Kano biographers will often tell the reader that Grant witnessed a jūjutsu demonstration in which Kano was a participant. I've wanted to know more about this event, so I researched a variety of resources, drawing on my experience with each man's life. This post will list five facts derived from English sources. Some of those English references are based on Japanese sources. This is the best I can manage at this time. I lack the Japanese sources and the ability to read Japanese. I invite readers who have both Japanese sources and the requisite language skills to add to the discussion! 1. Professor Kano offers a brief but primary ac