Kosen judo

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refers to a style of Kodokan judo with particular emphasis on ground grappling techniques such as pinning hold (osaekomi-waza), joint locks (kansetsu-waza) and chokeholds (shime-waza), referred to as newaza in Japanese martial arts.


Technical limitations of protective floor matting in the early 20th century lead to the emphasis of newaza at this level to limit injuries incurred on inexperienced judoka from . In 1925, Jigoro Kano introduced new rules limiting the amount of time the judoka could stay on the ground. It was stipulated that techniques had to start from tachiwaza (standing stance) and if you pulled your opponent down more than three times he was declared the winner. However, schools continued to hold tournaments with former rules and the style compatible with this ruleset became popularly known as Kosen judo. Kosen judo, as a distinct style, flourished in the Kyoto region until around 1940. The style and the peculiar ruleset is still studied for tournaments of (former) imperial universities practising them.


The rules of a Kosen Judo match were the same set of rules of pre–World War Judo, which, in contrast with current Judo rules, allowed direct transition to newaza (ground grappling) without the mandatory skillful application of a movement to unbalance the adversary first. This allowed for scenarios where one less...
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