Tomita Tsunejirō, the Guardian of the Kōdōkan.
February 28, 1865
Numazu, Shizuoka, Japan
|Died||January 13, 1937 71)(aged|
|Native name||富田 常次郎|
|Rank||Judo: 7th Dan|
|Notable students||Mitsuyo Maeda|
Tomita Tsunejirō (富田 常次郎, February 28, 1865 – January 13, 1937), born Yamada Tsunejirō ( 山田 常次郎), was the earliest disciple of judo. His name appears in the first line of the enrollment book of the Kōdōkan. Tomita, together with Saigō Shirō, became the first in the history of judo to be awarded the rank of Shodan by the founder of judo, Kanō Jigorō, who established the ranking system that is now commonly used in various martial arts around the world. Tomita was known as one of the "Four Kings" of Kōdōkan judo for his victorious efforts in competing against jujitsu schools. He was awarded 7th dan upon his death on January 13, 1937.
As the earliest student at the Kodokan, Tomita was known as Tsunejiro Yamada. He was adopted by a family named Tomita and his name was therefore changed.He entered the Kodokan in June 1882 as an uchi deshi or live-in student at the recommendation of Jigoro Kano's father. He became Kano's usual training partner. Although he was the least physically gifted of Kano's earlier students, he was dedicated and strong-willed.
Tomita had his first match on behalf of Kodokan in 1884, when Tomita was challenged by Hansuke Nakamura of Ryoi Shinto-ryu during a Tenjin Shinyo-ryu dojo opening in which they were both guests. A police instructor and a man of large size, Nakamura was nicknamed the "Demon Slayer" and considered the toughest man in Japan.As he was much heavier and more experimented than Tomita, Nakamura dared him to fight, believing himself to be superior. However, as soon as the match started, Tomita immediately scored a tomoe nage, and he repeated the technique two more times before his still shocked opponent managed to block it. Nakamura further blocked an ouchi gari and attempted to counterattack, but then Tomita performed a hiza guruma and locked a juji-jime on the ground, making Nakamura pass out. Tomita was hailed by the spectators and heralded as a hero due to his victory.
When Kanō Jigorō began to develop judo from jujutsu, his efforts met with opposition from jujutsu practitioners. However, Kano drew a loyal following that included exceptional fighters. Hence the term "Four Guardians of the Kōdōkan" came into existence referring to Tsunejiro Tomita along with Yamashita Yoshitsugu, Yokoyama Sakujiro, and Saigō Shirō.
Inspired by Yamashita Yoshitsugu's success in the United States (Yamashita taught judo to President Theodore Roosevelt, among others), the 39-year-old Tomita decided to move to New York City.Like Yamashita, Tomita brought a young assistant with him as an exhibition partner. The young man was Maeda Mitsuyo, 26-year-old judoka who later became fundamental to the development of Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Tomita, Maeda, and Soshihiro Satake arrived in New York City on December 8, 1904, just one year after Yamashita came to the States.
Jiu-jitsu is an almost extinct art, and a savage one that were better extinct. The real art of self-defense is ju-do. Jiu-jitsu was developed 350 years ago, at a time when there was tribal warfare in Japan. Then a man with a long sword and a man with no sword would meet in the streets. And out of their undying hatred for one another, tribally speaking, it became necessary for the man with no sword to learn a few tricks for dislocating the joints of his enemy, choking him, and rendering him unconscious, etcetera.
In April 1905, Tomita and Maeda started a judo club in a commercial space at 1947 Broadway in New York. Members of this club included Japanese expatriates,plus a European American woman named Wilma Berger.
During his return to Japan in 1910, Tomita visited Seattle. To celebrate his visit, the local judo club known as Seattle Dojo held a judo tournament on October 27, 1910, that was attended by local reporters.
Tomita's son, Tomita Tsuneo (富田常雄), was a novelist, best known for his judo novels Sanshiro Sugata (1942) and Yawara (1964–65).
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Mitsuyo Maeda, a Brazilian naturalized as Otávio Maeda , was a Japanese judōka and prizefighter in no holds barred competitions, also being one of the first documented mixed martial artists of the modern era for he frequently challenged practitioners of other arts and sports. He was also known as Count Combat or Conde Koma in Spanish and Portuguese, a nickname he picked up in Spain in 1908. Along with Antônio Soshihiro Satake, he pioneered judo in Brazil, the United Kingdom, and other countries.
Carlos Gracie was a Brazilian martial artist who is credited with being one of the primary developers of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Along with his younger brother Hélio Gracie and fellow students Luis França and Oswaldo Fadda, he helped develop Brazilian jiu-jitsu based on the teachings of Mitsuyo Maeda in Kano Jiu-Jitsu and is widely considered to be the martial-arts patriarch of the Gracie family. He purportedly acquired his initial knowledge of Jiu-Jitsu by studying in Belem under Maeda and his students. As he taught the techniques to his brothers, he created a martial arts family with Hélio and with other members of the Gracie family who provided key contributions to the style and development, eventually creating their own self defence system named Gracie Jiu-Jitsu.
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Kanō Jigorō was a Japanese educator and athlete, the founder of Judo. Judo was the first Japanese martial art to gain widespread international recognition, and the first to become an official Olympic sport. Pedagogical innovations attributed to Kanō include the use of black and white belts, and the introduction of dan ranking to show the relative ranking among members of a martial art style. Well-known mottoes attributed to Kanō include "maximum efficiency with minimum effort" and "mutual welfare and benefit".
Yamashita Yoshitsugu, was a Japanese judoka. He was the first person to have been awarded 10th degree red belt (jūdan) rank in Kodokan judo, although posthumously. He was also one of the Four Guardians of the Kodokan, and a pioneer of judo in the United States.
Jujutsu (English:joo-JOOT-soo; Japanese: 柔術 jūjutsu
Four Guardians of the Kōdōkan refers to the four notable judo competitors of the early Kōdōkan: Tsunejiro Tomita, Yamashita Yoshitsugu, Yokoyama Sakujiro, and Saigō Shirō.
Shiro Saigo was one of the earliest disciples of Judo. Saigo, together with Tsunejiro Tomita, became first in history of judo to be awarded Shodan by the founder of judo Jigoro Kano, who established the kyu-dan ranking system. He was one of the Kōdōkan Shitennō or Four Guardians of the Kodokan along with Yoshitsugu Yamashita, Sakujiro Yokoyama, and Tsunejiro Tomita.
Yokoyama Sakujirō, was one of the earliest disciples of Kanō Jigorō. He was part of the Kōdōkan Shitennō or Four Guardians of the Kodokan along with Yoshitsugu Yamashita, Tsunejirō Tomita, and Shirō Saigō.
Atemi Ju-Jitsu, in Japanese: Atemi (当て身) Jujutsu (柔術), also called Pariset Ju-Jitsu, was established in France in the 1940s by the late Judo and Ju-Jitsu legend Bernard Pariset to revive and preserve old martial techniques inherited from Feudal Japan. The Pariset family is sometimes referred to as the 'French Gracie', after having developed their own self-defense Jujitsu style directly inspired from the original Judo and older koryū jujutsu systems developed to train Samurai warriors for defeating an armed and armored opponent on the battlefield. The Pariset family studied directly with Mikonosuke Kawaishi, his assistant Shozo Awazu, and Minoru Mochizuki. Kawaishi was a student of Jigoro Kano - founder of Judo, and Mochizuki was a student of Jigoro Kano, Gichin Funakoshi and Morihei Ueshiba - founders of Shotokan Karate and Aikido respectively.
Antonio Satake, born Soshihiro Satake, was a Japanese-born Brazilian martial artist and teacher. One of the teachers of Brazilian martial artist Luiz França, together with Geo Omori and Mitsuyo Maeda, Satake was one of the primary founders of Brazilian jiu-jitsu (BJJ). He pioneered judo in Brazil, the United Kingdom, and other countries.
Mataemon Tanabe was a Japanese jujutsu practitioner and master of the Fusen-ryū school. He became famous for defeating multiple members of the Kodokan in challenge matches, and came to be considered one of the greatest modern jujutsuka.
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