July 23, 2002
Judoist Haku Michigami
Learning the "Opponent Adaptive Movement" at the Busen
Shut down from the GHQ, and the shift of mainstream judo to Kohdohkan
Rejection of the warning to preserve traditional judo

Socializing with his apprentices at a cafe (4 from the right)
Born in 1912 at Yawatahama-shi, Ehime prefecture, he builds his passion for judo by reading Mitsuyo Maeda's Sekai Kenka Ryokoki which became the routes for Gracie Jujutsu. At Kyoto Busen, he learns the depth of judo.
Kyoto Busen is the only school established by the Dai-Nihon Butokukai specialized in martial arts. I got stuck in the health examinations in the first test. It was because I had a scar from an operation back when I was small. So entered Ritsumeikan University which was also in Kyoto. I retook the test after a year and entered Busen.
At the Busen, we had academic classes in the morning and judo classes after noon. It wasn't rare for a day with 1000 uchikomis. After practice, I would go up Yoshida Mountain which was nearby. There, I would put on a belt around big trees and perform my moves. I trained my waist and hips through this routine, until it got very dark.
Back then, weight classes did not exist. A small man to fight a bigger opponent. It was given for one to perform the "happo no kuzushi"(fighting the opponent through the eight directions). Performing different moves depending on the opponent's height, weight, length of limbs, and point of balance; repeating matches is the only way to achieve this. I called this "Action-Reaction", and made it the theme of teaching judo overseas. Judo is complicated and is more difficult than playing the piano. A pianist hits stationary keys but a judoist confronts a moving opponent. But since they move, one can use his opponent's force to throw him. This is what I learned during the 4 years at Busen.

The General Headquarters shut Butokukai and Busen down after WWII. Japanese judo centers around Kohdohkan from this point.

Butokukai was filled with yamatodamashi(Japanese spirit). That is probably why it was seen as a dangerous organization. If it had continued, Judo would have been different both in technical and mental aspects.
All people in the Butokukai have learned judo to a very high level. I am sure that Kohdohkan also had those people, but teachers had the atmosphere of a researcher and/or a businessman. Jigoro Kano, the man who established Kohdohkan, was a very intelligent philosopher.
At Busen, the seniors go on a training tour. Depending on the year, seniors went to Taiwan, Manchuria, and other areas. In my year, we traveled around Japan. When we met Master Kano during the tour, he told us that we are specialized in judo and that he wanted us to spread our technique and spirit throughout the world.
I did not forget those words after I flew to France. When I returned once to Japan in 1961, I requested a meeting with the head of Kohdohkan to discuss about the future of Japanese judo and the ranks promotion system.
When they finally responded to my third request, they only gave my 20 minutes. That only gave me time to salute him. He told me that he will soon visit France and that we will meet again then. That never happened.
The next day, I heard that he said that a next meeting was unnecessary. He also commented that "Michigami has nothing to do with Kohdohkan."
Without hope, I wrote "The Bombshell Announcement Towards Kohdohkan Judo" to the Bungei Shunju in 1963, an year before the Tokyo Olympics. I meant to give a warning to preserve traditional judo, but the message did no go through. After that incident, I've had no relation with Kohdohkan. It's a shame, but there is nothing that can be done about it.