Monday, September 21, 2009

Our first tournaments

Sensei Yaguchi was an instructor with the JKA during the early days of tournaments. He attended the first All-Japan Tournament, held in 1957, the year Sensei Funakoshi died. An exerpt from the book:

"Because this was the first tournament that many of us had ever attended, it provided a number of memorable moments. Nobody un derstood the rules completely. Some rules were made up on the spot. I made history by being the first person ever to foul out of an event -- we call it hansoku. I ws sparring against a Mr. Shimi, who kicked me in the face. I was hot-headed and I lost my temper and grabbed and hit him. Immediately, the referee, Mr. Kakagi, yelled "Yame!" (Stop!) and I was warned against illegal behavior. No grabbing. However, I was still angry at being kicked in the face, and when the referee restarted the match, I grabbed Mr. Shimi again and drove my knee into his body. This time he went down. "Yame!" again stopped the match.

Mr. Kakagi announced to the crowd that this was hansoku (foul), and I was now expelled from the tournament. About 10,000 people watched this "memorable moment."

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