Learn to relax . . . wish I could! I'm a yellow belt and my sensei is constantly busting my balls for stiff-arming. He's totally right but, even when I think I'm loose and floppy, I'm totally stiff-arming. Any tips would be appreciated.
Also, committing to throws. I can get a pretty solid death clutch of a grip but I have a hard time committing to throws and often wind up stumbling onto the ground and hoping my (limited) newaza will take care of the rest. I'm sure it's a kuzushi issue but if you guys have any tips on how to commit to and follow through with throw attempts, I'm all ears. I don't have major problems getting good kuzushi and doing basic throws (ex: uki goshi, seioi nage, etc.) when doing standing and moving uchikomi . . . it's when I'm doing randori that I seem to freeze up and stumble through them.
Stiffness starts in the grip, so in randori don't take that death clutch of a grip. Just get your grip in a relaxed manner, tighten up when you go to throw.
One way to relax a bit in randori is to just go throw for throw, so when it's your turn to throw you're not worried about defending or getting countered, you're just trying to throw your moving, hopefully lightly resisting opponent. Randori doesn't have to be a competition, in fact most of the time it shouldn't be. It's free practice, and you're free to make it loose and learn something from that.
Just my .02.
Thanks for the tips, Neil!
So you want concrete things to improve your Judo, which will see results?
Originally Posted by Bayonet
Follow these patented, research based methods, and like me you can go from being a white belt* to winning your black belt via line up in only 16 months.
First things first is to understand some fundamental concepts.
Positioning for throwing practice
Practicing breaking balance
Picking tokuiwaza to practice combinations thereof
Once you're read all of that, read this and realise everything you've been told about kuzushi is a lie!
*Not totaly true I did Judo between ages 10-12 then restarted at 18
you failed in your lloydism, in that you didn't charge him for the info. tsk tsk.
Originally Posted by judoka_uk
To the OP, post video for specifics...if you are like most everybody else you are making fundamental errors (unknowingly) that will screw you up in the long term.
Include some moving around and throwing.
That's the perfect description of every yellow belt I know! A yellow belt really hasn't learned much but a few throws out of a total of 67 to be learned. You are still learning and practicing balance. It takes time and practice to learn the basics of several usable throws and then even longer to begin to recognize opportunities to use those throws. As you become more aware of your vulnerability, the natural tendency is to stiffen up and try to use strength to defend yourself. The only problem with that is that it will tire you out and, if the other guy is stronger, he will win.
Originally Posted by Keej613
You spend the first year in judo un-learning a lot of natural instincts. When we fall, we have an instinct to put our hands down and protect ourselves. A judoka has to unlearn that and practice a new way of falling. If someone pushes us or pulls us, our normal action is to resist. A judoka learns to flow with the application of external force. If someone grips us tightly, it's instinctive to stiff-arm and push ourselves to a safer distance. A judoka learns to relax instead.
To un-learn the stiff-arm instinct, try doing some randori holding on to your partner with just your thumb and two fingers on each hand. This takes away the strength. You can still throw, but you can't use strength to do it. You can also practice by having your partner attack you and you defend with no hands at all. Just use your balance, not your hands. Eventually, you'll learn that you can stay on your feet without even having to hold onto your partner.
In time, you'll learn more technique and see the opportunities to throw. You'll be fast enough to execute when you see them. Eventually, your responses get faster as you begin to anticipate moves. It just develops over time with practice. Keep working at it!
My Sensei always says the 'The hardest thing you will ever learn to do is relax' and boy is he right. From my experiance the more exposure we have to something the more we learn to be relaxed about it. For example it is common for someone who has a fear to be subjected to it until the fear either goes or can be controlled. I believe the more we practice the more relaxed we become but there are ways to speed up the process.
Randori is a great way to learn to relax more but when beginners go all out ever time they do it you usually see a fear of the exercise builiding up. I think mixing full on Randori with transitional drills and complient sparring can help to develop our comfort levels and therefore help to our development.
As far as the orginal thread goes I found exposing myself to lots of techniques and then selecting the most natural to my abilities and working on them helped greatly in both my grappling and ground game. I also had my Sensei help me to develop transitions so I could move from one of my throws to the next should the execution not come off and therefore allow me to develop a base level of effectivness to work from.
I think the main thing is to experiment and find out what works for you and develop your own way. Once you have a level of competance you can then build on this and begin to either negate your weak areas of erridicate them. Just comes down to hard work in the end.