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Old 12-08-2002, 06:22 PM   #1
Paula Lydon
Dojo: Aikido Shugenkai
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yawara

~~Anybody familiar with the word yawara? I've heard it described at different times as the earliest chronicled grappling style from old Japan and a 4 inch stick-like weapon held in the palm of the hand. Anybody?

~~Paula~~
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Old 12-08-2002, 06:25 PM   #2
Chris Li
 
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Re: yawara

Quote:
Paula Lydon wrote:
~~Anybody familiar with the word yawara? I've heard it described at different times as the earliest chronicled grappling style from old Japan and a 4 inch stick-like weapon held in the palm of the hand. Anybody?
"Yawara" is the same kanji as the "ju" in "judo" and just means "soft", or "flexible". Basically, it's one of the generic catch-all names for any unarmed Japanese combative art (like "jujutsu", which just means "soft techniques").

Best,

Chris

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Old 12-10-2002, 09:18 PM   #3
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Somebody with more info can answer this, but I have also read that it is the first word used to descripe grappling arts in Japan. That goes for Sumo too. DR claims to trace itself that far, and it is tracing itself to the word yawara.

Although yaware is definitely a reading of the kanji for soft, I highly doubt most Japanese would know what this word means if you just *threw it out* into a casual conversation...

Life is choice.
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Old 12-10-2002, 11:47 PM   #4
Jeff Tibbetts
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completely not what you're looking for, but there's an anime series called "Yawara, the fashionable Judo girl" Of course it's her name, that's pretty funny that it's another word for Judo sorry, had to say it

If the Nightingale doesn't sing-
wait
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Old 12-11-2002, 09:00 AM   #5
akiy
 
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The "ju" in "judo" is the same character as that of "yawara".

I think I remember giving my teacher a book on the history of "yawara" arts. I'll have to see if I can borrow it back from him some time...

-- Jun

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Old 12-15-2002, 01:54 AM   #6
Peter Goldsbury
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Quote:
Thomas Groendal (thomasgroendal) wrote:
Although yaware is definitely a reading of the kanji for soft, I highly doubt most Japanese would know what this word means if you just *threw it out* into a casual conversation...
Well, I put the question to my teacher in my weekly kanji lesson. We were having supper and his wife was also there. The question led to a great deal of discussion and the immediate reaction was that 'yawara' was another word for judo, and then, after a little more reflection, jujutsu. They cited the song 'Yawara', sung by the singer Misora Hibari, which was popular 20 or 30 years ago. They also mentioned the fictional character Sugata Sanshiro, created by Tsuneo Tomita and supposedly modelled on Jigoro Kano. There is no real connection between the two, except for the popular image of Sugata going to the dojo with his keikogi slung over his shoulder. Later on, the dictionaries came out and we saw that the explanation for 'yawara' varied from 'soft', as in yawaraka(i), to 'judo'/'jujutsu' in general monolingual dictionaries, with both being given as the first meaning according to the dictionary. Kanji dictionaries like Morohashi and the Kadokawa Daijiden, all give the first meaning as 'soft'.

There is another character for the concept, a, found in the verb 'yawarageru' (to soften). This, of course is the same character as in wa (a) Yamato (a).

Best regards,

P A Goldsbury
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Old 12-17-2002, 09:19 AM   #7
Paula Lydon
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~~Thank you all, especially Peter G. My first Jujitsu teacher told me that yawara was--as he put it--the name of Jujitsu (basic grappling, joint manipulation, etc.) before it was called that, in ancient Japan.

~~But has anyone heard of this small, sticklike weapon held in the palm of the hand and used for striking, pressure points and locking?

Thank you all for your time and interest.

~~Paula~~
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Old 12-17-2002, 09:47 AM   #8
Sherman Byas
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I belive that the item that you are asking about is commonly know as a yawara-bo. Yes, it is used for some painful stuff. Had it happen to me in a seminar. I think it's also the original version of the kubaton and its variants.
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Old 12-17-2002, 11:05 AM   #9
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Hi Paula,

I ran across this link on yawara stick techniques a while back. Supposedly, the author, Frank Matsuyama, taught in Denver.

http://www.yawara.com/YawaraStick.html

It's a scanned copy of his book from way back in 1948.

I've also had a bit of instruction with a kubotan, but it's been a while...

-- Jun

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Old 12-17-2002, 12:18 PM   #10
Sherman Byas
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Another yawara info site:

http://www.e-budokai.com/hibuki/yawara.htm

Hope it helps!
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Old 12-19-2002, 10:06 PM   #11
Paula Lydon
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Thanks for the sites!

~~Paula~~
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Old 08-25-2008, 01:20 AM   #12
aikidude1972
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Re: yawara

[I apologize in advance for a not perfect English! ]

This is the perfect thread for my question to you, guys (my first post here too!!).

We are starting a very new Aikido dojo in Stavanger (west coast of Norway) and we were thinking about a proper name for the kind of spirit and Aikido both the other instructor and me will try to teach and practice.

The other instructor has a long past in judo and Tomiki Aikido, even if now the dojo will be Aikikai. But he is really fond of the concept of "yawara"..

I am the one more interested in Japanese language, so I tried to "create" a name for the dojo that would in a way reflect this concept, and I thought of:
JU SHIN KAN
with JU, yawara, (soft, flexible) kanji and SHIN, kokoro, (heart) kanji, KAN as in school..

When I googled the name quite a few judo and jujitsu clubs pop up with similar or same name.

And now come the questions: should we be concerned about this? Do you think it sounds bad Jushinkan Aikido? Do you think it is too close to Yoshinkan (for Western people!!! Not Japanese!), since it is an Aikikai club?

As you may notice, it is the first time for me to start a dojo almost from scratch and maybe I am thinking too much about irrelevant details.. but since I thought about JU SHIN KAN, I feel it reflects the kind of Aikido I love and my favorite instructors practice..

Sorry I wrote so much.. I hope to hear some replies from you, more experienced people!

Thanks a lot in advance!

Andrea Raviglione, lover!
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Old 08-25-2008, 02:58 AM   #13
Josh Reyer
 
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Re: yawara

I think it's a fine name, neither too close to Yoshinkan for Western people, nor so grievously unidiomatic as to sound strange to Japanese people. Go for it!

Josh Reyer

The lyf so short, the crafte so longe to lerne,
Th'assay so harde, so sharpe the conquerynge...
- Chaucer
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Old 08-25-2008, 09:24 AM   #14
raul rodrigo
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Re: yawara

Quote:
Jun Akiyama wrote: View Post
The "ju" in "judo" is the same character as that of "yawara".

I think I remember giving my teacher a book on the history of "yawara" arts. I'll have to see if I can borrow it back from him some time...

-- Jun
In a 2005 seminar in Manila, Hitohiro Saito once said that the quality he was looking for in a certain waza was "yawarakai." It was translated for us by Dennis Tatoian as "supple" or "sticky", as in "sticking" to uke in order to control him. Is this accurate and if so, is it from the same root as "ju"?

best,

R
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Old 08-25-2008, 10:34 AM   #15
Josh Reyer
 
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Re: yawara

Quote:
Raul Rodrigo wrote: View Post
In a 2005 seminar in Manila, Hitohiro Saito once said that the quality he was looking for in a certain waza was "yawarakai." It was translated for us by Dennis Tatoian as "supple" or "sticky", as in "sticking" to uke in order to control him. Is this accurate and if so, is it from the same root as "ju"?

best,

R
Yawarakai is an adjective meaning "soft, supple" and is indeed derived from yawara and written with the same character as "ju-".

It does not, by itself, mean "sticky", but I can certainly imagine that one would have to be "yawarakai" in order to "stick" to uke.

Josh Reyer

The lyf so short, the crafte so longe to lerne,
Th'assay so harde, so sharpe the conquerynge...
- Chaucer
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Old 08-25-2008, 10:57 PM   #16
nagoyajoe
 
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Re: yawara

Just in case I missed a post above, the kanji is for yawa/ju is 柔.

何よりもわかりやすいことは
自分も死ぬ人間のひとである。
(金子大栄)
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Old 08-25-2008, 11:42 PM   #17
raul rodrigo
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Re: yawara

Quote:
Joshua Reyer wrote: View Post
Yawarakai is an adjective meaning "soft, supple" and is indeed derived from yawara and written with the same character as "ju-".

It does not, by itself, mean "sticky", but I can certainly imagine that one would have to be "yawarakai" in order to "stick" to uke.
Thanks.

best,

R
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Old 08-26-2008, 02:02 PM   #18
MM
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Re: yawara

Quote:
Paula Lydon wrote: View Post
~~Anybody familiar with the word yawara? I've heard it described at different times as the earliest chronicled grappling style from old Japan and a 4 inch stick-like weapon held in the palm of the hand. Anybody?
One of the best definitions I've found is from Kodo.

Quote:
Aiki News 73 wrote:
Here we would like to reproduce the main points of an article entitled, "The aiki Self-Defense Techniques of Daito-ryu" written by Horikawa Sensei and published in the "Yuseikoho" in Yubetsu: "Yawara (jujutsu techniques) which are peculiar to Japan have been transmitted for more than a thousand years. The basis of these techniques is called the "theory of yawara". In this system you adapt your movements to those of your opponent when he comes to attack you using force and you control him and defeat him using his power. Especially in the techniques of Aiki, there are techniques for all parts of the bodies including the hands, legs, shoulders and chest. With these techniques you can freely defeat your opponent in a thousand different ways by utilizing his power, taking away his power or attacking him on his unguarded side. You adapt yourself to the circumstances. These techniques are comprehensive in nature where you take quick measures suited to the occasion." Further, Horikawa Sensei explains that in Daito-ryu, "you don't cut your opponent nor are you cut by him, you don't strike him nor are you struck by him, you don't kick him nor are you kicked by him". These words not only represent the essence of Daito-ryu but also the beliefs and life view of Kodo Horikawa.
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