Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Tsunetane Oda and an Interesting Look at the Origin of BJJ

Tsunetane Oda shows his skill, including knee-on-belly and an omoplata.

Recently, videos of old judo practitioners have been uploaded to youtube. Why is that so interesting? Because they include some of the skills that are widely believed to have been invented by BJJ guys. The guy showing his skills in the video is Tsunetane Oda. Oda was born in 1892 in Yamanashi, and was known as "Newaza no Oda," or "Grappling Oda." He reached ninth dan in judo at the Kodokan. This video includes French words, so there is a possibility it was made by a Frenchman.

Many newaza skills are omitted from sport judo, where the referee can call "mate," meaning the judokas are separated and reset standing. This video teaches us many things about where these skills originally came from.

Special Thanks to Jordan Breen for English support.


  1. This is not accurate. Oda did not get his black belt and do his research into Jujutsu ground work until well after Maeda left to spread the art. Maeda's ground work came from the direct influence of Mataemon Tanabe

  2. What I want to say here is some skill people think BJJ invented are already exist in Judo or Jiujitsu. I don't mention Maeda or Mataemon here.

    I understand you said Maeda is older person than Oda, but not by far (14 years old). I don't think that make this article pointless.Because Maeda is older guy not make that video's skill BJJ invented.

    I didn't mention Maeda at this article, so I didn't think this article is inaccurate. But I appreciate you making point since I had interesting conversation.