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#116540 - 04/16/01 11:30 AM Anyone ever heard of this?
Don Cunningham Offline
Newbie

Registered: 04/02/01
Posts: 6
Loc: Aurora, IL, U.S.A.
I thought I had heard all the judo history and stuff before, but this one is new. Has anyone got any information on something called a "kassapo ceremony"? I'm reading a novel, Stranglehold by Gregory Knapp. In this fictional novel, the main character attends a kassapo ceremony at his former university dojo in Tokyo. The ceremony consists of freshmen being choked out beyond unconsciousness until their hearts stop beating and then revived by kappo techniques. According to the story, this ceremony must be held in secret since being banned as a "barbaric practice" by the Occupation forces after WWII.

I know it's fiction, but Knapp was a 3rd dan and other judo descriptions in the book are accurate.

When I was promoted to yudansha, they had a sort of initiation at the dojo I trained with in Yokohama. All the new blackbelts were choked out, then revived with kappo waza, basically a vigorous chest massage. Since I had been choked by shimewaza to unconsciousness before in competition, I wasn't too concerned. It was sort of done in fun, there wasn't any real ceremony. We certainly weren't choked until our hearts stopped beating. I also remember reading something by Trevor Leggett or maybe Jay Gluck about a similar activity at the Kodokan, but it was more like a game where each person tried to withstand the choke longer than the others. Another person said this was actually in Fighting Spirit of Japan by E.J. Harrison, but I can't find it in the edition in my library. (I know there are many editions with considerable differences in this title, so it still may have been in there.)

Is if this really is a ceremony held at judo dojos? Does anyone have any personal experience with it? I would also like to know that if so, was the ceremony actually banned?

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#116541 - 10/24/01 07:51 PM Re: Anyone ever heard of this?
JabonnF Offline
Newbie

Registered: 10/24/01
Posts: 20
Loc: texas
Mr. Cunningham,

Did you ever find the article or the information that you were looking for?

"Another person said this was actually in Fighting Spirit of Japan by E.J. Harrison, but I can't find it in the edition in my library. (I know there are many editions with considerable differences in this title, so it still may have been in there.)"

I just came across the post and thought it sounded intersting. Just wondering if you found any additional information.

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