Judoist Haku Michigami
who was like a beer bottle
serious nature and the harsh trainings
feelings towards the victory at the Tokyo Olympics
Watching Geesink's match at the Tokyo Olympics (in the middle)
|In 1955, he becomes the head technical
advisor of the Dutch Judo Federation. One of his students
there was Anton Geesink, the future champion who will shock
though I started teaching in Holland, I only went there every
two months, since my main mission was in France. So I thought
of a plan to raise a model judoist in Holland to take my place
when I am not there.
young man caught my attention. He was 198cm tall and weighted
82kg. He was thin, had a very long face and neck, and looked
like a beer bottle. That was Geesink when he was 20 years
old. His serious character struck me, and I decided to make
him the model athlete.
the Dutch are known for their hard working nature, Geesink
was special among them. If I tell my students to run, he'd
run three times the distance of others. Soon, his thin neck
and body started to get bigger.
me tell this incident. His house was 30km away from Amsterdam.
On his way to the gym, his car broke down. There is a rule
in Holland that a man can not go on the tatami if he is late.
So he left his car, ran back home, and biked his way to the
he still was late and the Dutch coach told him to not come
up. When I was notified about his situation, I told him to
come up. He was always like that. Since he always tried hard,
he was also fast at improving technique.
related to judo in Holland were against my idea of giving
special attention to select individuals. Back then, social
hierarchy still existed to an extent. Geesink's father and
Geesink himself was a member of the working class. However,
I told them that I will stop coming if they won't listen to
me. That worked out, and Geesink's special training continued.
In 1961, Geesink won the Third World Championships held
in Paris. At the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, he won the open weight
division, all with ippons. Japan had lost its superiority
in its speciality sports.
tell you the truth, I had some mixed feelings. The reason
I started teaching judo overseas was not to make foreign athletes
win in competitions.
flew overseas for people to understand the ancient spirit
of bushido. I did not train them to bring Japanese judo into
was weak mentally at times. At the Tokyo Olympics, I stayed
at a temple in Kamakura with about 100 French judoists, and
planned to watch Geesink's match on TV.
Geesink said that he was anxious, worried, and wanted me to
be at the scene. So I rushed myself there and saw his matches.
pleased me was his attitude after he beat Kaminaga at the
finals. He stopped the Dutch people from coming up onto the
tatami, saluted Kaminaga, the Japanese imperial family, and
the Dutch queen, and left the floor.
I saw the spirit of bushido, which I valued the most. I believe
that many who saw that scene thought that Geesink was a great