Skip

Woman achieves Judo 10th degree black belt - at 98
August 9, 2011 11:12 AM   Subscribe

98 year old woman just got her 10th level black belt in Judo. Only three people in the world, all men living in Japan, have ever reached that mark. The martial arts promotion by USA Judo brought 98-year-old Fukuda to tears at the women's dojo where she still teaches in Noe Valley. Last week, Sensei Keiko Fukuda of San Francisco became the first woman to be promoted to judo's highest level: 10th degree black belt. Video about Fukuda Keiko.

Profiles of Kodokan 10th Dan Holders

The dan ranking system

Jūdōka are ranked according to skill and knowledge of judo, and their rank is denoted by a system of ranks in modern systems these ranks are reflected by their belt colours. Ranks are split into kyū grades and dan (Black belt grades.
posted by nickyskye (102 comments total) 23 users marked this as a favorite

 
Double?
posted by Foci for Analysis at 11:13 AM on August 9, 2011


This isn't a double, as this is about how she just received her 10th dan.

Just the fact that a student of Jigoro Kano is living, and to a degree, practicing is amazing.
posted by ignignokt at 11:15 AM on August 9, 2011 [3 favorites]


I keep reading it as, "Only three people in the world, and all men living in Japan, have ever reached that mark." My brain refuses to not see that "and".
posted by stavrogin at 11:17 AM on August 9, 2011 [4 favorites]


If I'm understanding how this works correctly, it must be a very strange thing, testing for a level that the people evaluating you will almost certainly never reach, themselves.
posted by gurple at 11:18 AM on August 9, 2011 [4 favorites]


and to a degree, practicing

According to the article, she's still teaching three times a week. I wouldn't really qualify that with "to a degree". That's plain old "practicing".
posted by neuromodulator at 11:20 AM on August 9, 2011 [5 favorites]


Only three people in the world, all men living in Japan, have ever reached that mark.

Wrong. From TFA:
Fukuda is now one of only four living people who've earned the tenth-degree (or dan) black belt. To put the accomplishment into better perspective, throughout history, only sixteen people have ever achieved this honor.
posted by ceribus peribus at 11:22 AM on August 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


She described the Jiguro’s school, known as the Kodokan, as "old-fashioned and sexist about belts and ranks." In fact, an edict that prevented women from achieving any higher than a fifth-degree black belt kept Fukuda at that level for thirty years.
She was finally elevated to sixth dan in 1972 when a woman's division was created.

posted by infini at 11:23 AM on August 9, 2011 [3 favorites]


I'm no blackbelt, but I'm pretty sure I could take her out.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 11:24 AM on August 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


I think that is really cool!
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 11:27 AM on August 9, 2011


I'm no blackbelt, but I'm pretty sure I could take her out.

And you would be the one who pays and she the one who tips.
posted by hal9k at 11:31 AM on August 9, 2011 [31 favorites]


Unless people "in the world" infers currently living people. To me, "people in the world who have ever achieved" means "any persons, internationally, throughout history".
posted by ceribus peribus at 11:34 AM on August 9, 2011


What do people in the world infer?
posted by found missing at 11:39 AM on August 9, 2011


I'm no blackbelt, but I'm pretty sure I could take her out.

"Could take [a person] out" is kind of an ephemeral concept.

I used to do kung fu with a school whose sigung was a 75-year old tiny guy from New Zealand. I had been practicing a few years, and I was sort of mid-level, still tending toward beginner. I was fairly skinny but tall and young.

Sure. Chances are, in a lot of open-space, "fair" conditions, I could probably have brute-forced sigung down with hits and kicks, as could most of the students. Whatever. But I felt that guy's grip any number of times, and saw him move in some incredibly devious ways. If I made any kind of mistake, or simply got too close, or he surprised me with the first move, or it was really dark and/or close quarters or any number of other tricky situations, I have no doubt he could incapacitate me in 30 seconds flat.

This lady may be 98, but I'm sure there are many circumstances in which she'd be likely to "take out" an untrained young bruiser.
posted by gurple at 11:39 AM on August 9, 2011 [11 favorites]


The belt system is bogus but I am thrilled for this woman who's obviously sacrificed a lot for something that means a lot more to her. She's earned it, but it should have come a lot earlier for her.
posted by Malice at 11:39 AM on August 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'd take her out for ice cream!
posted by Horselover Phattie at 11:46 AM on August 9, 2011


Judo USA!
I remember the april post on her. She is also 9th Dan in to other organizations, one being the first woman. Awww, great for her.
posted by clavdivs at 11:46 AM on August 9, 2011


to=two
posted by clavdivs at 11:47 AM on August 9, 2011


I remember the last time I read about Fukuda on MeFi, I watched an interview with her and lamenting about the sexist nature of Japanese martial arts. Upon reading this news, made me really happy. I'm relieved it happened, and even if "better late than never." It's certainly a step in the right direction and she should know the road she's paved (or at least a stand) for other women that decide to make Judo (or whatever else) their passion.
posted by xtine at 11:47 AM on August 9, 2011


I don't know that the belt system is bogus -- I do think that people assign the belts a great deal of meaning which was never intended. In any case, congratulations to Fukuda, this should have happened a long time ago.
posted by Comrade_robot at 11:47 AM on August 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


All I know is I really want to fight this lady, just to learn what would happen. I kind of have a hard time getting past the part where she's 98 and I imagine if she really had to fight for real maybe her old grandma bones might spontaneously snap under the pressure or something. She's under five-feet tall, and I think I might have a chance! I could always just sucker-punch her when she's reaching to grab me a butterscotch.
posted by floam at 11:52 AM on August 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


This lady may be 98, but I'm sure there are many circumstances in which she'd be likely to "take out" an untrained young bruiser.
Really? Except in the most contrived situation, I'm honestly having a difficult time imagining it.

Did you watch the video? She needs help in order to gingerly and ever-so-slowly get out of her wheelchair, or to take a few short steps once out of it. It sure seems like she'd be completely unable to avoid or deflect a simple direct full-on punch to the face, and it's hard to believe that she could stand up to it.

To be clear, I don't mean to belittle her or her accomplishment, or imply that she doesn't deserve it. I just have a very hard time believing that she could possibly succeed in an actual fight against pretty much anybody who is not infirm, let alone a "young bruiser".
posted by Flunkie at 11:54 AM on August 9, 2011


This Dan goes to 11!
posted by blue_beetle at 11:54 AM on August 9, 2011 [4 favorites]


[T]hroughout history, only sixteen people have ever achieved this honor.

Bullshit. When I was nine years old, every boy in my class claimed to be a tenth-degree black belt. They can't all have been lying.
posted by Zozo at 11:59 AM on August 9, 2011 [6 favorites]


My understanding is that she was awarded 10th dan from USA Judo, not from the Kodokan or from the United States Judo Federation, as expressed by this article. Obviously this is still a fantastic achievement, but can knowledgeable people here tell me what, if any, difference that makes? I've been led to understand that the Kodokan is the higher Judo authority, but I'm not really clear on what, if any, rivalries or inferiorities exist. Without recognition by the Kodokan, would she still be considered one of the 4 living 10th dan practitioners by most, or would that be disputed? To what extent do the US federations generally follow the Kodokan's lead?
posted by Errant at 12:01 PM on August 9, 2011


It sure seems like she'd be completely unable to avoid or deflect a simple direct full-on punch to the face, and it's hard to believe that she could stand up to it.

Right, I'm with you there. She could probably neither deflect, avoid, or possibly even live through a simple, direct punch to the face.

The only situations in which I'm suggesting that she could "take out" a strong young person are, I guess, contrived. Someone comes up behind her, puts her hand on her shoulder, and tries to spin her around to hit her. She's in a bar, standing (albeit with difficulty), and someone seated at a bar stool tries to grab her. She's holding an object of value in her hand, and someone tries to grab her wrist and remove the object from her hand.

Those kinds of "contrived" situations are the only ones in which I'm suggesting that she could take down someone much bigger and younger. Then again, they're much more realistic situations than a "fair fight" between a 98-year-old woman and a big young guy.
posted by gurple at 12:02 PM on August 9, 2011


I'm not convinced. Why do you think she wouldn't simply fall over when someone puts her hand on her shoulder and tries to spin her around to hit her?
posted by Flunkie at 12:05 PM on August 9, 2011


Even if she couldn't beat a gang of thugs, Kill Bill-style, at this current moment, I would think that in a sense this is more of an honor given based on her accomplishments that should have been recognized years ago when she was probably truly at the level 10th degree in her mastery of the art. She actually should probably be given her 10th dan just for looking so awesome at 98.

Because of my work in healthcare, I come across no shortage of awesome old people in their 90's who have lived all sorts of fulfilling and adventuresome lives, about which I sometimes get to hear small interesting tidbits. Easy to forget what people might have accomplished and lived through when I'm driving behind them trying not to rear-end them as they ride the brakes all the way up the hill at 20 MPH, but no less notable in truth. :)
posted by takoukla at 12:11 PM on August 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


So, a talented, incredibly determined, highly skilled, long-persecuted woman perseveres through decades of sexism to finally achieve recognition for her accomplishments in a male-dominated sport, and a bunch of the responses on Metafilter are from guys with nothing approaching her level of dedication and expertise jokingly and then not-so jokingly discussing how easy or not it might be to sucker-punch a 98-year-old lady black belt?

Carry on, then.

I hope she finds you and beats you all with one hand behind her back. And then laughs a gentle, elderly laugh.
posted by BlueJae at 12:11 PM on August 9, 2011 [49 favorites]


BlueJae, presuming you are referring in part to me, perhaps you did not notice that (1) I was directly responding to someone's claim, and (2) I directly stated that I did not mean to belittle her or her accomplishment, nor to imply that she doesn't deserve it.

But if you want to just squash all possible conversation outside of hagiography, well, "carry on, then".
posted by Flunkie at 12:14 PM on August 9, 2011


Thank you BlueJae, I was just about to say the same thing, but thought I'd add a "ditto" just to underscore how tasteless this discussion has been.

Also, you forgot to add the part where some commenters have dismissed the whole ranking system as bogus. Hardly anything left of the original accomplishment is there, after all that?
posted by salishsea at 12:15 PM on August 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


Right, I'm with you there. She could probably neither deflect, avoid, or possibly even live through a simple, direct punch to the face.

Since we're being ridiculous and talking about punching old people in the face....If there was an Ultimate Fighting Championship for 98 year olds, I'm guessing this woman would be a top contender.

Seriously though. Judo isn't about "beating people up".
posted by billyfleetwood at 12:16 PM on August 9, 2011 [3 favorites]


I studied Judo and it saved my life. Thanks to the fact that I sucked at Judo I got a lot of practice doing break-falls, and mastered the art of being thrown and generally hurled around. Then one night I fell out of a second story window drunk and hit the sidewalk so hard that I bounced. But my extensive training kicked in and I did a great break-fall.
posted by Huplescat at 12:16 PM on August 9, 2011 [11 favorites]


That's black label belt skill.
posted by found missing at 12:18 PM on August 9, 2011 [6 favorites]


If I were a 98-year-old martial arts practitioner, I'd think it was awesome if people were earnestly debating whether I could beat up a big young person under the right circumstances.

Yeah, yeah, that ability has very little to do with the reasons she's being given this recognition. But it's a martial art. It's not like she's receiving an award for painting.

(Huplescat, same here: the rolling training I did in my last martial arts class saved my ass the last time I fell off my bike)
posted by gurple at 12:20 PM on August 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


From the article:


Fukodo said she approached Judo and her life with the intent to "be gentle, kind and beautiful, yet firm and strong, both mentally and physically."
Fukuda says this kind of beauty is decidedly not external. "A compassionate soul is inner beauty," she explained to the paper. "I believe this is true beauty...All my life this has been my dream."


Metafilter's response:


I'm no blackbelt, but I'm pretty sure I could take her out.

posted by Stagger Lee at 12:23 PM on August 9, 2011 [15 favorites]


> Carry on, then.

Lighten up.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 12:23 PM on August 9, 2011


No, that was my response, not Metafilter's, Francis.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 12:24 PM on August 9, 2011


Old person receives honor for martial arts skills. Metafilter speculates about degree to which old person still has those skills. Carry on, then.
posted by found missing at 12:26 PM on August 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


Discounting the 30 year period when her advancement was stalled due to having no women's division available, it sounds like her progress was more or less on track with the other 10th dan recipients (who were mostly well into their 60's by the time they reached the milestone)
posted by ShutterBun at 12:26 PM on August 9, 2011


10th Dan is not a fighting rank. Performance in contest is not a factor in promotion past 6th Dan, and is not meant to be a symbol that your very gaze undoes the wicked. Yasuhiro Yamashita is considered one of the most successful Judoka of all time, and he is not a 10th Dan. If you are all "Pfft, I could take her, she's 98", you are assigning meaning to the rank which does not exist.

Here are the Kodokan requirements for testing.

In screening candidates for dan promotion, personality, acquirement of judo spirit, extent of the understanding of judo and mastery of technical arts, practical application of judo everyday life, and contribution to judo are considered. Those who are mean in character as whose speech and behavior are deviated from judo spirit will not be promoted irrespective of any other merit.

To see how far candidates have mastered technical arts, theory of techniques, carriage, attitude, efficiency and skill may be examined.

Candidates for dan promotion may be screened out not only by paper materials but also by practical skill, written and verbal examinations.

Candidates for promotion to the 6th, 7th and 8th dan are, as a rule, assigned examination in kata and written or verbal examination at Kodokan or at each local district branch of All Japan Judo Federation.

In screening candidates for promotion to the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th dan, the extend of acquirement of kata, contest result and the length of training years are to be included, along with the examination given according Article 4.
posted by Comrade_robot at 12:28 PM on August 9, 2011 [11 favorites]


I'll shut up after this, but...
If you are all "Pfft, I could take her, she's 98", you are assigning meaning to the rank which does not exist.
See, I think the exact opposite is true: People who claim "she could take you out" are the ones who are assigning "fighting" meaning to the rank. Responding to such a claim by saying that it doesn't seem realistic is pretty much the definition of not assigning "fighting" meaning to the rank.
posted by Flunkie at 12:34 PM on August 9, 2011


I just have a very hard time believing that she could possibly succeed in an actual fight

This is the kind of thinking that you abandon after you've actually been in certain martial arts long enough.
posted by hermitosis at 12:36 PM on August 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


I think perhaps those suggesting that should lighten up and stop trying to "squash" this vital, vital discussion on how a young man could best to defeat a 98-year-old woman in hand-to-hand combat should perform a quick check of their own lightened-up-ometers.

Because obviously I was entirely, entirely serious and writing without any trace of humor when I suggested that an old lady should track you down and beat you up for making ridiculous comments on teh internets.

Dang. I bet this lady could totally wipe the floor with you dudes just by distracting you first by yelling "Your comments on Metafilter are silly!"
posted by BlueJae at 12:40 PM on August 9, 2011 [3 favorites]


I'll also shut up after this, but...

I'm not claiming "she could take you out". I'm drawing on my own experience with a few aged, high-level martial arts practitioners who, despite their infirmities, nevertheless have real, physical skills that have seemed almost magical when applied to my body.

In fact, that's my only real point -- if you don't think that this old woman's skills could possibly have any real-world use left ("could beat up X" aside), it might be instructive to join a martial arts school with an aged instructor/grandmaster and feel firsthand what they can do.

I also think it's odd that a couple people seem to think I'm disrespecting this old lady, for some reason. This old lady is amazing, and quite a role model. She's doing something I would love to do but frankly don't have the natural talent or the long-term determination to see through.
posted by gurple at 12:43 PM on August 9, 2011


Guys, it's totally lame to beat up a 98 year old person.
posted by Divine_Wino at 12:44 PM on August 9, 2011


So, a talented, incredibly determined, highly skilled, long-persecuted woman perseveres through decades of sexism to finally achieve recognition for her accomplishments in a male-dominated sport, and a bunch of the responses on Metafilter are from guys with nothing approaching her level of dedication and expertise jokingly and then not-so jokingly discussing how easy or not it might be to sucker-punch a 98-year-old lady black belt?

Yeah, this takes "I'd hit it" to a whole new level.
posted by availablelight at 12:45 PM on August 9, 2011 [3 favorites]


She started it.
posted by found missing at 12:45 PM on August 9, 2011 [6 favorites]


She lived to be 98. I'd say her self-defense skills are pretty amazing.

You're much more likely to be taken out by heart disease than by a gang of thugs. Any physical hobby that keeps you active and fit (could be cycling, rock climbing, whatever) is real-world self-defense.
posted by LordSludge at 12:47 PM on August 9, 2011 [7 favorites]


But how many twelve year olds could she take in a fight?
posted by ceribus peribus at 12:48 PM on August 9, 2011


I believe the metric is generally expressed in toddlers.
posted by LordSludge at 12:49 PM on August 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


My understanding of belt systems in some martial arts is that your belt has little to do with being able to "take out" people holding lesser belts. In my limited experience, it has been meant to describe the amount of dedication to understanding technique and effort put into self-improvement and absorbing the ethos of the martial art.
posted by Salvor Hardin at 12:51 PM on August 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


Judo is not one of those martial arts that claims that ancient masters can beat up people in their physical prime. Fukuda knows she can't beat up young people. This is why judo tournaments have separate seniors divisions and masters divisions.

Ranking in judo is a reliable marker of competence up to black belt, but beyond 1st dan black belt, it's more about dedication to the judo community than it is about judo technique. A 10th dan award is more like receiving a lifetime achievement award from your peers.

The ultimate award of judo skill and ability is winning a gold medal in the olympics. So, the gold medalists are who you guys want to go challenge.
posted by ignignokt at 12:54 PM on August 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


No, I think folks want to challenge nonagenarians with gold medals.
posted by m@f at 12:59 PM on August 9, 2011


Hmm, I think the best we can find is Takehide Nakatani - born in 1941. He won the Judo (lightweight) gold in 1964. Of course, he's only 70, so you'll either have to take your chances or wait another 28 years.

On the plus side, you'll have plenty of time to hit the gym!
posted by m@f at 1:06 PM on August 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


There are seriously strong golem-esque 70-year-old judoka out there. I knew one. Unfortunately, he had a heart attack and had to limit his mat time doing warm-ups with the class after that. Strength and sense of balance can be retained longer than most physical attributes.
posted by ignignokt at 1:42 PM on August 9, 2011


"had to limit his mat time to doing warm-ups", that is.
posted by ignignokt at 1:43 PM on August 9, 2011


If I'm understanding how this works correctly, it must be a very strange thing, testing for a level that the people evaluating you will almost certainly never reach, themselves.

gurple, see: figure skating, gymnastics, political commentators, and the WWF.
posted by IAmBroom at 1:49 PM on August 9, 2011


Judo is analogous to Aikido in that it's heavy on dodges, counters, and throws, am I right? So, yeah, if you land a punch on this lady, she falls... but that "if" is projected on the side of a building in 2000-point Impact font.
posted by LogicalDash at 1:56 PM on August 9, 2011


So, yeah, if you land a punch on this lady, she falls... but that "if" is projected on the side of a building in 2000-point Impact font.

Come on, she can barely hobble. She needs assistance just to get out of her wheelchair. As others have said, this is sort of missing the point; This honor is clearly more akin to a "lifetime achievement award" than anything else, but you've got to be realistic about these things. The only way she could avoid a punch is if a lightning bolt struck the puncher and caused his arm to flail wildly away from her.
posted by Justinian at 2:07 PM on August 9, 2011


Great. You can beat an old lady's ass. So maybe if you have a moment to pull your head out of your own butt and click on any of the links and/or watch the video, then maybe this will be an enjoyable thread for those us who don't want to indulge in infantile theoreticals. It really is a testament to how stupid and superficial this place is becoming.
posted by phaedon at 2:13 PM on August 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


But infantile theoreticals are the best theoreticals.
posted by ODiV at 3:02 PM on August 9, 2011


those us who don't want to indulge in infantile theoreticals

I'm not sure if people understand the extent to which this actually does happens in real life. When I first started martial arts with my current teacher he would always say to not talk about martial arts or wear the school t-shirts because some people really do have a wild west mentality of testing you and/or themselves out. I didn't believe him at first. After a couple of encounters I started doing just what he said. As odd as it sounds people really do think "I wonder/bet/know I can take this guy out", and then sometimes they act on it. Nowadays I've had many face to face conversations with martial artists and never even mentioned that I study an art. It just isn't worth it on many levels. There is also a certain mindset that comes along with these things; willing to fight, or not, is the main one.

I remember asking my teacher, who was in his sixties at the time, if he was a martial artist just to see what he had to say. He replied with "I'm an old man."

Now my teacher is fairly well know internationally and he travels at least a couple of times a year all over the world to do seminars and teach. He's in his mid-seventies now and a few months back he was telling me about his trip to Europe and his stop in Geneva. He's a fairly astute observer of behavior and when he got going into his seminar he immediately saw a young guy sizing him up and he knew immediately that this guy wold start it. So for some whoknowswhy reason this guy decided to try out his grappling skills on a man 50 years his senior. Long story short, the guy shot in and got a handful of fingers to his eyes.

So for this woman to get recognized in some way for her dedication Judo is a great thing. But is it surprising to me when people(men) see or meet her, and they think "can I take her?" Not for a second.
posted by P.o.B. at 3:07 PM on August 9, 2011 [4 favorites]


then maybe this will be an enjoyable thread for those us

Nobody stops you from talking about whatever the hell you want to talk about. Since your entire contribution to this thread is the comment I quoted from, one assumes you don't actually want to talk about anything. But if there is a conversation you wish to have, by all means have it.
posted by Justinian at 3:15 PM on August 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


Study 'ju' for one year, then comment.
posted by dragonsi55 at 3:17 PM on August 9, 2011


Sweep the leg.
posted by panboi at 3:22 PM on August 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


Standard rule of martial arts fantasies: never fight an old person. The fact that they're still alive indicates that they're doing something dangerously right.

A great day for Judo. Honoring her could not increase the respect people feel for her, but does raise our opinion of Judo as a system capable of recognizing honor when it sees it.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 3:30 PM on August 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


But if there is a conversation you wish to have, by all means have it.

Oh, no I was calling you out for sounding stupid and superficial. I apologize if chastising a bunch of granny-beating monkeys is a little too high brow for you. Great post, btw.
posted by phaedon at 3:50 PM on August 9, 2011


I found it genuinely sad when she cried during the video, saying: "I just never imagined how long this road would be." I don't know, shouldn't there be some kind of internal peace at that point? Particularly with something like Judo? This woman has more inner balance than I can comprehend and yet a part of her regrets her life choices (as far as I can see) or at least feels their weight. That's sobering.

An incredible woman.
posted by litleozy at 3:52 PM on August 9, 2011 [3 favorites]


No such thing as an 'actual fight.' She'd have to volunteer. It's a contrivance that presumes to offset her resources (deescalation skills, reasoning), fame, social status and her environment.

Deeply revered Judoka with large following who needs assistance in wheelchair conveniently left alone in circumstances conducive to striking fighters, also suddenly struck by selective amnesia for all ancillary benefits of martial arts study such as deescalation techniques, situational awareness and community support.
Yeah, that'll happen.

Her immediate environment is a studio full of trained martial artists who deeply respect her in a social environment that has a thousand years of habituation to respect martial artists.
She's built up that capital over decades and stands at one of the top pinnacles of that system.
In what world is any possible threat to her going to be unchampioned by some very capable people?
It's not like she's a great typing instructor surrounded by typists.
In this "real world" we speak of, I wouldn't lay odds a young bruiser could get past her local support system to lay hands on her in the first place.

So then what, Judo is inferior? Ok, in what form does this 'fight' take place? We're in a ring? We're in 'the street'? It's just her? The confrontation takes what form? Because no one is going to let her get into competition, and she's not going out looking to bust heads, so you'd have to have an aggressor in an open environment, and there, again, she's got all kinds of backup and resources that would obviate confrontation, apart from whatever skills she's got in behaviorally disarming opponents.
You'd need Joe Serial killer to realistically force a confrontation. And there again, she's not from a typing pool, she's from a community that studies physical confrontation (granting the wide spectrum in form there).

I know it's rooted joke, no big. And talking theoreticals can be fun. But most of the time those conversations involve shifting the presumed circumstances to the best environment for one's premise.
And presumption is dangerous.

Because of who she is, not what she can physically do at 98, nearly any possible confrontation is going to be on her terms.

It really is a testament to how stupid and superficial this place is becoming.
Meh. People been saying that for years. It's just a joke. Kind of a funny image some guy trying to fight an old lady. People do that. Reliably fighting a bear. How many 12 year olds someone can fight, all that. We could put her against a hockey goon on ice. It's just blablah.
Happens in some threads. There are different cycles. People reference different mefi memes. Some of the same thoughts are expressed over, in the same or different ways by different members. LordSludge is saying something Tkchrist said 5-odd years ago (no slight int'd there to LS). Smedleyman rambles on and on taking up too much space in a threa.... uh...
posted by Smedleyman at 3:53 PM on August 9, 2011 [5 favorites]


There are different cycles. People reference different mefi memes. Some of the same thoughts are expressed over, in the same or different ways by different members. LordSludge is saying something Tkchrist said 5-odd years ago (no slight int'd there to LS). Smedleyman rambles on and on taking up too much space in a threa.... uh...
It's the Ciiiiiiiiiircle of Liiiiiiiife!
posted by ignignokt at 3:58 PM on August 9, 2011


"Remember, I have something stronger than a gun!"

"You mean......"

"That's right! Ju-jitsu!!"
posted by carping demon at 4:58 PM on August 9, 2011


I'll be honest. The only thing I'm thinking is:

"I can take down Judo's highest ranking honor. Judo sucks."
posted by hal_c_on at 5:32 PM on August 9, 2011


So who is more "bad-ass"?
A. The judoka who can kick the crap out of you. or
B. The judoka who has trained hundreds, if not thousands (consider how many schools she was responsible for) of judokas who can each kick the crap out of you.

Yeah, it'd be nice to have a C. All of the above, but Father Time always wins.

That said, here's a video of Helio Gracie rolling at 91 years old -- not too shabby!
posted by LordSludge at 5:50 PM on August 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


I just want to tell her - Congratulations! What a great honor.
posted by Bighappyfunhouse at 7:14 PM on August 9, 2011 [3 favorites]


...the amount of dedication to understanding technique and effort put into self-improvement and absorbing the ethos of the martial art.

Well, she's whipped your collective arses in my opinion, boys.

What a fantastic life.
posted by BlueHorse at 7:20 PM on August 9, 2011


Geeks, ya gotta love 'em...
posted by ergomatic at 7:30 PM on August 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


Study 'ju' for one year, then comment.
If i wanted to roll around on the floor and crouch all day, I would have stuck with wrestling. Though i find some aspects of Koshi-waza to be of great value.
posted by clavdivs at 7:48 PM on August 9, 2011


I clicked on her pic and woke up forty minutes later, slumped in a corner on the other side of the room. She's good.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 8:04 PM on August 9, 2011 [3 favorites]


It really is a testament to how stupid and superficial this place is becoming.

This is a thread about martial arts, the last thing we want to talk about is fighting!

cwaa
posted by Winnemac at 8:14 PM on August 9, 2011


Judo USA!
posted by clavdivs at 8:23 PM on August 9, 2011


If i wanted to roll around on the floor and crouch all day, I would have stuck with wrestling.

Judo is mostly throws from standing; (real nasty, esp on concrete); ground work is largely neglected. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is the one that focuses on groundwork. They both wear pajamas, however.

FWIW, a good wrestler is a lot harder to handle on the ground than even a black belt judoka. (Wrestlers have excellent base, hard to sweep, move well, but expose their necks too much and can't fight on their backs. Judokas are hard to sweep, have very strong grips, but roll like BJJ novices. Of course, BJJers have lousy throws and takedowns.) It's all about mat time. But BJJ is much more sophisticated than wrestling; when your opponent hits their back, the game is just beginning!

wrestling:BJJ::checkers:chess

posted by LordSludge at 8:27 PM on August 9, 2011


hi lordsludge
I know, I use to live in Davison Michigan, they wrestle in the streets, ask mike moore!

Jokey is cool, dont want to start a pissing contest. I dont think you are...er...


I respect Judo and wrestling, that is why I studied an art that is best at defeating these styles (DAM grapple)
IMO and my own out look, resorting to a kick spells defeat that is why judo/ wrestling is effective but is somewhat an ackward balance of time between offense and defense. best to go straight for the the maim/kill, anything else is "sport" as judo is listed as a "sport" as well as martial art.
Look, she recieved this from a pretty reputable association and she earned it for the knowledge in her head and out of honor and respect.

who knows, given the right moment she may find funny some blustery "i can beat you mame" comment.
posted by clavdivs at 8:41 PM on August 9, 2011


Judokas are hard to sweep, have very strong grips
DAM_DAM GRAPPLE, yup and dam near impossible to stop if taken off guard
posted by clavdivs at 8:46 PM on August 9, 2011


Jesus. It was an offhand joke. Yawl r dumb.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 9:52 PM on August 9, 2011


Sweep the leg.

Don't do it. It will haunt you.
posted by homunculus at 9:56 PM on August 9, 2011


Ju-jitsu and Judo have the same lineage. Jigaro Kano took out all the floorwork when he turned Judo into a sport. From what I gather it was commonly taught in a few private schools as part of the curriculum up through at least the '70s.
posted by P.o.B. at 10:05 PM on August 9, 2011


Disclaimer: My wife is a semi-professional Judo athlete. She competes at a high international level.

Dan level is not necessarily a ranking of "ability to win a fight" in black belts. Numerous Olympic gold medals in various weight classes have been won by first and second dan black belts. These are typically young people in peak physical condition. There are a lot of videos on Youtube of fights from the yearly Judo championships and from the 2004 and 2008 Olympics demonstrating this. It would actually be more rare to see an Olympic gold medal won by a 5th Dan black belt because such persons are usually age 45+ and retired from active competition. They're senseis.
posted by thewalrus at 10:16 PM on August 9, 2011


I can assure you that Judo is still a part of the curriculum at many Japanese schools.
posted by thewalrus at 10:23 PM on August 9, 2011


Ju-jitsu and Judo have the same lineage. Jigaro Kano took out all the floorwork when he turned Judo into a sport. From what I gather it was commonly taught in a few private schools as part of the curriculum up through at least the '70s.

There wasn't a single 'jujutsu' art that he modified. Rather, he picked techniques that were mechanically efficient from the various schools of jujutsu. These included ground techniques. Kano thought both standing and ground techniques were important but thought that if you only had time for one or the other, you should learn standing techniques first. In the '20s, he changed competition rules to limit the amount of time one could spend on the ground without making visible progress in order to encourage the favoring of throws. Some schools with less mat space stuck to the old rules, though, and ended up developing the judo groundwork further.

He didn't turn it into a sport, either. He created a sport, and that sport drives the training of the practitioners of the martial art. But, he still thought of judo as a way to better yourself in addition to being a way to defend yourself and being a form of competition.
posted by ignignokt at 10:35 PM on August 9, 2011


Yeah, I don't know if it's part of the curriculum at the level, of say, math, but judo is to Japanese and Korean high schools as wrestling is to American ones. There are high school judo teams in Hawaii, even.
posted by ignignokt at 10:37 PM on August 9, 2011


Eh? Who said anything about Judo not being part of any curriculum? I said the groundwork isn't taught as part of the curriculum anymore.

He didn't turn it into a sport, either. He created a sport, and that sport drives the training of the practitioners of the martial art.

He didn't turn it into a sport but created a sport... got it. I suppose I also said it wasn't a martial art?
posted by P.o.B. at 11:22 PM on August 9, 2011


He didn't turn it into a sport but created a sport... got it. I suppose I also said it wasn't a martial art?

Oh, sorry for misinterpreting you. In some parts of the Internet, that is definitely what they mean when they say a martial art has been turned into a sport.

To be clear, wherever judo is taught, groundwork has always been taught. 30%-50% of the class time will be spent on learning and drilling ground techniques and sparring with them, just like with the throws. Exactly what proportion of the time is spent depends on the instructors, but it will never be left out entirely.
posted by ignignokt at 11:57 PM on August 9, 2011


"The groundwork" is half of Judo. If it's being taught in Japanese schools, they are definitely teaching the ground part of it.
posted by thewalrus at 12:09 AM on August 10, 2011


LordSludge is saying something Tkchrist said 5-odd years ago (no slight int'd there to LS).

Yeah, that sounds like a tkchrist post for sure. Damn if I can find it now though. Nice epiphany for me at the time, anyhow, and helped me turn from "self-defense" oriented fighting arts to sport types (sport BJJ, which is fantastic grappling and lots of fun, but assumes no striking so hmmm not so great for a fight).
posted by LordSludge at 12:20 AM on August 10, 2011


I respect Judo and wrestling, that is why I studied an art that is best at defeating these styles (DAM grapple)

Either I've never heard of this style or I don't get the joke. Enlighten me?
posted by LordSludge at 12:50 AM on August 10, 2011


Oh, sorry for misinterpreting you.

No worries. Apparently I've taken liberties with what I've been told by some judo players and was under the impression that groundwork was mostly phased out.
posted by P.o.B. at 2:30 AM on August 10, 2011


I guess this is a martial arts thread.. but talking about being up old ladies makes me uncomfortable.
posted by TheKM at 8:38 AM on August 10, 2011


It makes the old ladies uncomfortable too
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 8:50 AM on August 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


The phrase 'last full measure of devotion' comes semi-appropriately to mind - as in the belt measures, not how dangerous she'd be in a fight, but how fully she embodies the principles of her art, devotion to a craft, to self-modification, to tradition. If she were publishing poetry at age 98 I'd be all misty-eyed with adoration and respect, as I am in fact right this instant despite my absolute ignorance of martial arts.

Her achievement has nothing to do with fighting, for Christ's sake. The key word in 'martial art' is not 'ass-kicking.'

No one in this thread will ever work as diligently, nor for as long, as this woman has worked on judo.
posted by waxbanks at 10:59 AM on August 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


People on MeFi work?
posted by Kokopuff at 11:59 AM on August 10, 2011


snake and crane me lord.
posted by clavdivs at 1:29 PM on August 10, 2011


Is snake and crane unstoppable?
posted by P.o.B. at 1:07 PM on August 11, 2011


« Older Homomorphic Encryption   |   You don't have to make a speech, big shot! Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments



Post