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  1. judoist is offline

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    Posted On:
    9/19/2010 7:28am


     Style: Judo

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gidi View Post
    If you're taking requests, I'd love a post about Kuzushi for beginners, because that is always what I find the hardest to handle.
    Yup. Most of t3h n00bs in my judo club end up throwing themselves because of bad kuzushi.
  2. judoka_uk is offline
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    Posted On:
    9/19/2010 8:39am

    Join us... or die
     Style: Judo

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gidi View Post
    If you're taking requests, I'd love a post about Kuzushi for beginners, because that is always what I find the hardest to handle.
    It's very hard for me to know in randori when the person is off-balanced properly or am I attacking a prone partner.
    This post was about kuzushi, just not as you understand it...

    The thing about kuzushi is that coaches reduce it to a mere pushing and pulling action and the solution to every beginner's throwing problems is always 'moar kuzushi'!!!!!!!!!!

    Actually a beginners problems rarely stem from lack of kuzushi alone, what actually is at issue is a series of underlying systemic errors in the entire action, position and intention of the beginner attempting a throw.

    There's a reason I began with these two things - the triangle and tsurikomi.

    What beginners lack, which then feeds into their inability to correctly off balance a partner or opponent is control over themselves and control over their partners.

    So I'm giving your a series of conceptual tools and physical examples that will increase your control over yourself and uke and therefore increase the effectiveness of your kuzushi. There is no magic bullet or even say 5 pieces of advice I can give you that will fix your kuzushi

    If you don't have the skills to position yourself correctly in relation to your partner then you won't be able to control your partner. If you don't even know how to control your partner even if you were in the correct position to do so then, well, you're completely stuffed.

    There is no way anyone could write a 'how do kuzushi' post.

    The concept of the triangle is to teach you control over yourself. To position yourself correctly relative to your partner and to understand the importance of controlling the space between you and your partner.

    Tsurikomi is what enables you to have control over your partner, however, you can't apply tsurikomi effectively unless you have control over yourself and can position yourself effectively.

    Kuzushi is not just a matter of pull more or push more or pull/ push what where and how. Plus rep to whoever can spot the important part of that sentence...

    If you aren't correctly positioned in relation to your partner then your attempts at kuzushi won't be effective.

    If you don't have the ability to effectively control your partner then your attempts at kuzushi won't be effective. This is why I talked at length at elbow management positioning the tsurite in the pocket and using the hikite properly because doing these things right gives you control over your partner and therefore makes your kuzushi actions effective.

    Now I deliberately started explaining this in a static situation because it gives you the biggest margin for error trying to learn all this on the move is very very difficult for adult beginners, which I assume most beginners on bullshido are.

    Next week I will post about how to control yourself and your uke in a dynamic moving situation.
  3. hairydynamicist is offline

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    Posted On:
    9/19/2010 10:30am


     Style: Judo Crash Test Dummy

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Excellent stuff, Thanks to judoka_uk especially for both the initial post and also for responding to other peoples points in a sensible and constructive way. Thanks also for those who chose to post more informative comments than this outbreak of nuthugging. Ahem. It's like the internet turned its back for a second and we managed to get a page and a bit of info out there without a pissing contest breaking out.

    As you were, and rest assured that I'm going to study all the posts made here very closely with a view to reducing the overall shitness of my judo.
  4. adskibullus is offline

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    Posted On:
    9/19/2010 6:14pm


     Style: Lifting heavy stuff

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    Thank you you cant believe how helpfull that post and many of your others are! The HCG i was refering to is the same you described. I will make an effort to use the lapel grip instead of relying on the easier HCG in the future. Thanks again, this thread really needs to be made into a sticky.
  5. BKR is online now
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    Posted On:
    9/19/2010 11:14pm

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     Style: Kodokan Judo

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    Judoka UK's posts and replies reinforce my own view of teaching Judo to adult/teen beginners.

    1.) You have to teach how to grip the judogi, posture, and movement before just showing someone with no experience O Goshi and saying, "Here, do this, put your hand here pull here step here etc etc ad infinitum". Trying to get someone to do a throw who can't control their own body (posture and movement), and then expecting them to correctly control their own PLUS uke is borderline insanity.

    2.) Then, expecting two total beginners to be able to be decent uke for each other makes even less sense, as in JudokaUK's example of the one uke stepping around the other. In my experience, people learn and stick with Judo in spite of how they are trained/taught.

    3.) Throwing beginners in to full on (or any sort) of randori almost from the start of their training, or "well, your ukemi is ok now, go for it", is another pet peeve of mine. You end up with a major spaz fest, people getting injured, beat up, and frustrated unless they are the biggest, strongest beginner in the class. It is beneficial for beginners to "randori" with much more experienced judoka who can guide them and take falls for them, and throw/pin them as appropriate with great control.

    4.) Static vs moving: I teach beginners to throw with movement as soon as possible. And I'm talking about adults, not little kids. With a good uke, it's entirely possible. Some can do it almost right away, but you have to build a base of simple tai sabaki, gripping, and movement for everyone regardless of natural coordination/talent.

    5.) Questions on kuzushi? It can't be practically separated from any individual throw, as each throw has it's own unique aspects that require subtle shifts in body alignment...as JudokaUK noted, it boils down to control of your own body first so you can control/guide uke body. You learn a throw, your learn the proper body alignment for that throw with appropriate movement, and you then will have the kuzushi, all other things being equal. For example, compare Osoto Gari to O Goshi. Totally different body throwing principle and thus different body control/alignment needed.

    5.) Which brings me to what throws are appropriate for beginners to learn, with the goal of LONG TERM success/excellence (for the given individual) in Judo. Given that beginners have low levels of body control, on average, (for specific Judo purposes), it makes sense to start with simple movements first (gripping, posture, tai sabaki, movement) and the simplest throws that require the least control by tori (and uke), and that transition well to said "simplest" throws under simplest circumstances.

    This means throws in which both feet remain on the ground, that can be done with simple turning movments that require minimum complicated changes in posture, and allow maximum control of uke.

    I use O Goshi and Seoi Nage. For Ashi Waza, I use modified Ouchi Gari and Kouchi Gari (yes, those require balance on one leg to some degree, but do not require supporting both uke and tori weight by tori, and require no turning like Uchi Mata or Harai Goshi).

    You will note the lack of any sort of sutemi waza.

    Long term success in Judo is determined by how well you absorb/master the basics (kihon in Japanese). The whole process builds upon itself over time. Some people learn faster than others-everyone is on their own time line, in general.

    I write this in support of what JudokaUK has written. He is writing about the basics, kihon, of Judo, and so am I.

    Ben
  6. Just Guess is offline

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    Posted On:
    9/20/2010 11:23am


     Style: ukemi & tapping out

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Judo_UK, your post on gripping position reminded me of something my sensei once told me on where to get the lapel grip. He said that you should be able to easily place the palm of your hand in the crease made by the shoulder joint and the collar bone. That way if you need to push on the shoulder it won't slide off easily, and if you have to pull the forearm and elbow slides easily under the armpit.
  7. learnedhand is offline

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    Posted On:
    9/21/2010 11:30am

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     Style: judo

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!

    Awesome tips!! Is that Minami / Nakanishi in the clips?

    Holy crap, this post is amazingly helpful. There is a dearth of really good, insightful analysis of proper judo technique out there, and your post shows not only that you have skill and expertise, but that you are able to reflect on that skill, analyze, and communicate really good pointers. I've been in judo for a few years, and feel like my skill level is still stagnated at the same novice stage I was at a year or two ago, partly because nobody at the club I practice at analyzes the mechanics; partly because we only meet a paltry one time per week; and partly because the instructors are stuck in an old-fashioned mindset of equating calisthentics and endless static uchikomi (and not moving uchikomi or "half speed" randori as opposed to all-out randori) with learning judo. In other words, there is not enough good, basic insight, analysis, and instruction of the basics. In three years, nobody has explained the proper footwork, how important it is to ingrain stepping patterns into muscle memory, and ingrain proper tsurite / hikite movement into muscle memory BEFORE throwing beginners head long into randori where they flail, stomp, and kick around. Again, awesome post; I look forward to your next post on this topic (don't forget!).
    By the way--the clips in your post are fantastic...especially the morote-seoi and ippon-seoi nage....is that Minami and Nakanishi, who authored the Seoi-nage masterclass book? The clips are awesome because it is very helpful to have visuals to go with the Masterclass book photos. I've analyzed that book countless times, dissecting various sequences of photos, trying to answer my questions but always wishing there was a video to go with it! Where did you get that clip? Is it available for sale anywhere?
    Thanks!
    Last edited by learnedhand; 9/21/2010 11:44am at . Reason: Added title
  8. learnedhand is offline

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    Posted On:
    9/21/2010 11:31am

    Bullshido Newbie
     Style: judo

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!

    Awesome tips!! Is that Minami / Nakanishi in the clips?

    [Sorry for duplicate post....can't figure out how to delete entire post]
    Holy crap, your post is amazingly helpful! ....
    Last edited by learnedhand; 9/21/2010 11:43am at . Reason: accidental duplicate post
  9. judoka_uk is offline
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    Posted On:
    9/21/2010 12:06pm

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     Style: Judo

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    Quote Originally Posted by learnedhand View Post
    By the way--the clips in your post are fantastic...especially the morote-seoi and ippon-seoi nage....is that Minami and Nakanishi, who authored the Seoi-nage masterclass book? The clips are awesome because it is very helpful to have visuals to go with the Masterclass book photos. I've analyzed that book countless times, dissecting various sequences of photos, trying to answer my questions but always wishing there was a video to go with it! Where did you get that clip? Is it available for sale anywhere?
    Thanks!
    Thanks, glad you found the material useful. Its something that should be taught from day one and continually emphasised but sadly is often neglected in most Judo clubs.

    The Tai otoshi video featues exclusively Nobuyuki Sato. The Seoi nage video has, I believe, Shozo Fujii performing Morote seoi nage and the Ippon seoi nage is of course performed by Hidetoshi Nakanishi of Seoi nage masterclass and Human Weapon fame.

    Other clips I used come from the 'Judo Le perfectionnement' series and feature Hiroshi Katanishi as the tori. These videos are a truly excellent resource if you understand how to use them properly. As well as from the 'Judo kihon' series of videos from the 'kuldinE' youtube channel which feature Tadashi Sato.

    Quote Originally Posted by Just Guess View Post
    Judo_UK, your post on gripping position reminded me of something my sensei once told me on where to get the lapel grip. He said that you should be able to easily place the palm of your hand in the crease made by the shoulder joint and the collar bone. That way if you need to push on the shoulder it won't slide off easily, and if you have to pull the forearm and elbow slides easily under the armpit.
    Sounds like a good guideline, though of course as BKR and I discussed gripping position is affected by the height of the tori and uke etc...
  10. adskibullus is offline

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    Posted On:
    9/26/2010 7:09am


     Style: Lifting heavy stuff

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    Quote Originally Posted by judoka_uk View Post


    To address your problem I have to be sure we're talking about the same thing when we say high collar grip (HCG).

    I would consider this a HCG:


    Tori is holding so that his hand is positioned just underneath the ear of uke.

    This is different from a round the head grip:


    One of the problems with a HCG is that people tend to use it incorrectly, especially beginners. They hold with an absolutely or near straight tsurite arm. So that whenever they attack their throws are hindered by this staright arm and so in say O soto gari tori's arm remains absolutely straight and therefore is effecting zero kuzushi with the tsurite hand.

    This is a good example of incorrect use of the HCG:
    YouTube - Competitive Judo Training : Leg Sweep for Competitive Judo.


    I noticed that when the guys pulling to create kuzushi his arm that gripping the collar is coming up horizontally is this incorrect? Should it remain vertical?





    Quote Originally Posted by judoka_uk View Post
    Here is an example of the HCG used correctly for O soto gari:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zbs_aGNZVnI#t=1m26s

    Notice how Shinohara is actually moving uke's right side and head also you may not be able to notice it, but Shinohara's elbow is bent and his forearm is in contact with uke's chest this allows him the necessary lifting action with the tsurite to make effective kuzushi.

    Now taking a HCG in this manner is still somewhat limiting because it makes certain throws impossible - Morote seoi nage for example and so it does reduce the number of throws your opponent has to think about defending, however, it does allow you to exert more force and more control over uke's head and shoulders.

    Learning to control uke's head and shoulders is very important and doing it with the standard mid chest grip requires considerable experience, good elbow management, subtle of kuzushi and skill in gi control. Therefore a quicker easier version is to hold high on the collar or even totally round the neck so that head control is much easier.

    So what you have is a trade off between greater control of uke's head, and shoulders, with the HCG, and therefore certain throws are 'easier' and a reduced repetoire of throwing techniques. The pitfall however, is that because you're relaint on this less subtle form of control you never learn the subtleties of control and therefore as the skill level of your opponents increases you struggle more and more because their defensive skills are able to negate your crude attempts at control.

    Whereas with the normal sleeve lapel grip you have a wide range of throws but a much more complex set of processes of control to learn which initially makes throwing people much harder but if learnt means much greater Judo skill in the long run.

    One of the more rewarding points of my Judo career was doing randori with a strong awkward brown belt who I was throwing but not very cleanly because he was being highly defensive. The coaches at the club were calling out all sorts of advice to him and he shouted out back 'I can't do anything he's got total control over my upper body'. Now this came as a bit of a surprise to me considering how awkward he was, but it shows that with enough practice you can have a lot of control over someone from just the normal sleeve and lapel grip to such an extent that they feel so threatened that they go purely defensive.

    On this picture I have illustrated three common gripping positions:


    In green I have indicated roughly where a standard lapel grip would go, maybe a little low, but roughly right. In red I have indicated where a HCG would normally go and in yellow I have indicated a good half way house between the two.

    Now in order to utilise a grip around the yellow marker properly and so that you can still throw to both left and right it is very very important that you practice with your forearm against uke's chest whilst maintaining this grip. The effect of bringing your elbown down and forearm into contact with uke's chest or keeping it very near to it is that you completely control the space between you and uke it also utterly controls their lapel side and breaks their posture. It feels incredible threatening if your uke and all you want to do is break the grip and get the hell out because you feel like you could be thrown any second.

    Also by keeping the elbow down and the forearmy close you have near continuous 'presence' of your tsurite in the pocket created by uke's armpit. This means that with the control afforded to you over uke's head and shoulders by the grip its also easy to keep good tsurikomi and prevent elbow slip.

    What you have to do is experiement with various grips and be aware that you need to adapt them depending on the phsyiology of your opponent. However, bear in mind that taking quick fix solutions such as the HCG or behind the head grip although they will initially bear dividends will in the long run be a dead end.
    I Hear alot of people say about the HCG and other unorthodox grips that they are a quick fix and wont work against highly skilled opponents but the russian judoka and judoka from the ex soviet states fight with HCG and belt grips etc and do well with them. Why do they use these grips if there less effective? Is it a cultural thing due to the various wrestling styles around that region?
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