Judo Saga 2 was filmed in post-war Japan, after its loss in World War II. One of the film’s subplots has nationalistic overtones but it does not tout Japan as superior to another nation. Rather, it centers around standing up to abuse by occupying forces.
Over fifty years before mixed martial arts reached mainstream popularity, the film depicts mixed martial arts competitions. Specifically, western boxing versus judo and judo versus karate. The striker vs. grappler matchup is similar to the final bouts of the first five Ultimate Fighting Championships.
Sanchiro Sugata is the judoka fighting in both of these competitions, and true to the spirit of judo, he doesn’t seek to harm his opponents. Rather, he defeats them with minimum effort and maximum efficiency, with no thirst for violence.
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