Home ] William Wood ] Jigoro Kano ] [ Kawaishi ]

Centro de Artes Orientais www.cao.pt


Home ] William Wood ] Jigoro Kano ] [ Kawaishi ]

Centro de Artes Orientais www.cao.pt


Home ] William Wood ] Jigoro Kano ] [ Kawaishi ]

Centro de Artes Orientais www.cao.pt



Crono Ref.s

Budo Judo Aikido Karate-do



Mikonosuke Kawaishi


*1899@ Kyoto, Nihon,

†1969@ Paris, France

Ref.s: [W00a1]

Mikonosuke Kawaishi was born in Kyoto in 1899. He studied Jiu-jitsu at the Dai Nippon Butokukai (Greater Japan Association of Martial Virtue) in Kyoto. It is not known exactly what style of Jiu-jitsu he learnt. Although it seems it was a form of Aiki-jiu-jitsu. A group in England that continues to teach this form refer to their teachings as Kawaishi Ryu Jiu-jitsu.

In the mid-1920's he left Japan and toured the United States, teaching particularly in New York and San Diego. In 1928, he arrived in the United Kingdom and established a Jiu-jitsu club in Liverpool, where he taught Aiki-jiu-jitsu. He supplemented his meager income from teaching by wrestling professionally under the name "Matsuda", taking on wrestlers and boxers in the ring and on stage in music halls.

In 1931, he moved to London, founding the Anglo-Japanese Judo Club and teaching Judo at Oxford University. Around this time Kawaishi was awarded his third dan by Jigoro Kano. It was common at this time for Jiu-jitsu instructors to teach, or call what they taught, Judo. Moreover, Kano awarded many Jiu-jitsu exponents Judo black belts in order to recruit them into the Kodokan.

In 1936, then a fourth dan, Kawaishi moved to Paris where he taught Jiu-jitsu and Judo. During World War 2, Kawaishi returned to Japan and was imprisoned in Manchuria for a time, but he returned to Paris after the war to continue teaching.

Before the war, Kawaishi and his student Moshe Feldenkreis had prepared the photographs for a book on Judo. Feldenkreis had to flee France during this time. Kawaishi later used the photographs in "Standing Judo", while Feldenkreis wrote "Judo", and "Higher Judo".

Kawaishi came to believe that merely transplanting the teaching methods of Japan to the West was inappropriate. He developed an intuitive style of instruction and a numerical ordering of the techniques that he felt was more suitable for the occidental. This seemed to catch on in France and there was a rapid growth of interest in Judo.

After WW2 and through the 50's, the Kodokan moved more and more towards the sport of Judo; banning techniques from Shiai and dropping them from the Kodokan syllabus. Kawaishi, however, continued to teach many of these techniques. This led to several political splits and critics suggesting he had departed from the spirit of Kodokan Judo. His proponents, on the other hand, say that his teachings remained closer to Kano's Jiu-jitsu. In fact, the strength of his Judo has led some Jiu-jitsu historians to believe that he was a Judoka who also taught a system of Goshin-jitsu (self defence).

Professor Wally Strauss took Kawaishi's system of Judo, together with a knowledge of several other arts, to Australia from Europe. It is unclear when and where he had contact with Kawaishi, if indeed he did at all. In any case, the Australian Federation of Instructors continues to use Kawaishi's numerical system.

Kawaishi placed special emphasis on kata training. He promulgated Kyuzo Mifune's Gonosen No Kata (The Kata of Counters) in Europe and possibly his own version of Go No Kata, the kata of blows. He also wrote the book "Seven Katas of Judo". Gonosen No Kata remains comparitively common in Europe, but practically unheard of in the United States as a result of Kawaishi's (and Gonji Koizumi's) teachings.

Kawaishi Shihan died on January 30, 1969. Every year a group of his students visits his grave on the anniversary of his death to celebrate his contribution to the martial arts. His eldest son, Norikazu Kawaishi, still lives and teaches in France.


© Copyright José Patrão, 2002

Nota Importante:

Important Notice:

O autor tem plena consciência de que as biografias aqui apresentadas são incompletas, que o grau de desenvolvimento que possuem não é de modo algum compatível com a importância de muitas das personalidades a que se referem e que muitas e importantes personalidades do mundo do Budo ainda não estão aqui referidas. Além disso, sendo um praticante português de Karate-do Shotokai, Murakami-kai, é natural que o autor esteja mais familiarizado com as biografias de personalidades desse estilo e escola e que, consequentemente, sejam as personalidades dessa linha que aqui apareçam referenciadas em primeiro lugar e com maior detalhe. O autor espera sinceramente que as omissões deste trabalho possam encorajar o leitor não só a investigar mais profundamente, com recurso às referências bibliográficas que se apresentam, e a outras, mas também a contribuir com as suas sugestões e correcções para o aperfeiçoamento deste trabalho.

The author has full awareness that the biographies here presented are incomplete, that the degree of development is not, by no means, compatible with the importance of many of the personalities presented and that many and important personalities of the world of the Budo are still not related here. Moreover, being a Portuguese practitioner of Karate-do Shotokai, Murakami-kai, it is natural that the author is more familiar with the biographies of personalities of this style and school and that the personalities of this current appear here in first place and with bigger detail. The author waits sincerely that the defaults of this work can encourage the reader not only to investigate more deeply, through the bibliographical references presented here, and externally, but also to contribute with suggestions and corrections for the perfectioning of this work.