Monday, June 15, 2015

Difference Between Throws and Takedowns Part 2

I started to share my journey in developing a definitive distinction between throws and takedowns in the martial arts in my last post.

Does judo teach throwing techniques and takedown techniques?

You'd think judo does teach throwing techniques and takedown techniques given Geoff Thompson's The Throws & Takedowns of Judo. Why then does Thompson not provide an explanation of the difference between the two types of techniques and refers to all the techniques in his book as throws? Are any of the techniques included in Thompson's book on throws and takedowns, takedowns but mistakenly referred to as throws?

Jigoro Kano's classification of judo techniques includes a class for nage waza (throwing techniques) but none for taoshi waza (takedown techniques). Does this mean judo does not teach takedown techniques? Or does it mean that judo does teach takedown techniques but doesn't consider their differences to be so telling as to warrant a separate class of their own? Or, as is more likely, does it mean that they don't understand the differences between throwing techniques and takedown techniques.

Eddie Ferrie, in Ju-Jitsu: Classical and Modern, has an interesting take on this issue. He refers to judo's Gokyo no Kata which includes 40 nage waza and suggests that 'there are many more throws commonly practiced and witnessed in competitions that are not included in go-kyo, many are classified as "takedowns" and do not have a proper name.'

Are those 'throws' not included in go-kyo throws or takedowns? These 'throws' are supposedly classified as takedowns, however, the judo classification does not include a class for takedowns. Why are these techniques not included in go-kyo and not have a proper name? Are takedowns the red-headed stepchild of judo; unacknowledged, unnamed, and not considered alongside the other, legitimate techniques of judo?

It would appear that some in the martial arts have adopted a new term - 'throws and takedowns' - to refer to all techniques designed to cause a person to fall to the ground. The reference to both terms suggests there are two different types of techniques, however, by lumping them all together, it suggests that the similarities are understood but the differences are not.

The journey continues with part 3.

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