Sanshiro Sugata; The Judo Saga!

Posted by: John W. Zimmer
Under: Movies
5 Aug 2009


I was flipping channels the other day and came across an old grainy black and white film on IFC where a martial artist was backed against a wharf and taking on his antagonists! The movie is called Sanshiro Sugata (the Judo Saga) and was filmed in 1943. What caught my eye was how he was dispatching his opponents – by throwing them over the side.


This was reminiscent of when I found the Seven Samurai movie on IFC. As the story unfolded it was apparently about the early days of Judo and its players being challenged by Jiu Jitsu combatants! In this post I will review the movie and speak about Judo’s beginnings as well as my views of Judo as an effective martial art. Here is a clip from the movie as the head of a Jiu Jitsu school faces one of the main Judo players (subtitled in French I think).


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Under: martial arts
30 May 2009


As I was searching for interesting martial arts stories I came apon the Journal of Manly Arts. Hmm I thought so I clicked in and found some historical stories about Western Martial Arts as well as some Eastern Martial Arts! I came across in volume 2002, 01/02, and exert from Theodore Roosevelt’s, “The Vigor of Life.”


Now I knew about our 26th President’s military experience in the Spanish – American War and his famous charge up San Jaun Hill, but I did  not know about his wrestling and boxing background. Mr. Roosevelt relates about his Harvard experience:

This was, as far as I remember, the only one of my exceedingly rare athletic triumphs which would be worth relating. I did a good deal of boxing and wrestling in Harvard, but never attained to the first rank in either, even at my own weight. Once, in the big contests in the Gym, I got either into the finals or semi-finals…

In this post I will talk a little about wrestling, boxing and transitioning to an eastern martial art. Theodore Roosevelt was a man’s man and apparently was an accomplished hunter. He had to shoot a grizzly bear in this film adaptation video I found.


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Under: karate
15 Aug 2008


I have been watching some Olympics off and on during the last week an even caught some fighting! I was watching some wrestling the other morning before work and I saw this guy (Adam Wheeler) from Lancaster, CA win the Bronze metal! That was cool as I understand because it is the only wrestling win for the U.S. so far. I reviewed a match a while back where a girl beat a boy to win the title. I can only guess that the Olympics is every wrestlers dream. This picture of a 3rd century B.C. Pankratiasten fight was taken by Matthias Kabel.



 I will review the fighting sports that are in the Olympics and how they might be applied to self defense situations. I will also touch on why my favorite sport, karate is not in the Olympics. Let me say in this day and age of mixed martial arts, each of these Olympic fighting sports are important components of many great fighters! Even though there are so many rules (which you need in an effort to make things truly fair), the true competitors still excel!


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