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  1. #1

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!

    Intensity vs Fluidity

    When I was in wrestling, my coach told me that stability and a strong base was key. He never specifically brought up tensing up verses relaxing, but the way he taught us how to wrestle seemed to imply that being tense was at the very least, not necessarily a bad thing.

    Now I am learning Judo, and i am constantly being told that I need to relax while I spar. I find that i actually have to make a huge effort to relax to the point where they give me the nod of approval. In my mind, thinking about throwing someone to the ground doesn't reconcile with relaxation.

    Does being tense have any place in Judo, if not, then how come i have so much trouble relaxing and how can I overcome it, and if being tense is applicable to judo, how do I use it without telegraphing?

  2. #2

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    You want to be relaxed when entering for a throw, because you move faster and telegraph less. However, unless the thrown has amazing timing, you'll usually need to finish the throw with some degree of commitment, and that implies muscles and effort, not relaxation. If that makes you feel any better.
    Besides finishing, tensing up is really only useful when you are defending and can't move out of the way, or fighting for control of the clinch (for the same reason you tense up when locked up in collar ties, to keep your weight and body in the right place). However, its hard not to telegraph after this, at least to the point that when you relax, they know you are ready to enter for a throw.
    As for getting used to relaxing, its just practice and awareness (i.e. knowing when you start tensing). Everyone is tense when they start, it might just take a bit longer for you, because you need to break an old habit before starting a new one.

  3. #3
    SFGOON's Avatar
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    Intensity and fluidity are not mutually exclusive. Try rolling at 30% and focusing on staying relaxed. This will require some (gasp!) compliance from you and your training partner, so you won't be able to pretend you're defending the UFC world heavyweight title while you practice.

    As you get better with the "relaxation training," you can go harder and harder until you don't need it anymore. Start a class nice and easy, slowly ramp it up, and save 100% for the last five minutes of class. Train like this twice per week and see what happens.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cullion
    You sound like a foaming-at-the-mouth-loon out of Dr. Strangelove.
    Sometimes, we put Ricin in the Cocaine. :ninja7:

  4. #4

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    you shouldn't be tense most of the time you wrestle either, I used to think you had to be too, til one of my coaches said 'look dude you really really need to relax, youre concentrating on staying in position so much, your getting tense and its making you stiff, which makes it easier to get you out of position' once i worked on relaxing everything worked better.
    intense ~= tense, you can be aggresive, and working hard without being tensed up, yes frequently you need to use your strength to do something, but even that doesn't mean you have to make that muscle tense. like if you have ever used a baseball bat grip with a gi, you need that arm to be able to keep the person flat when they try and rise out of their guard, or pull you in to break your posture, but if you keep it tense youre begging for an armbar.

  5. #5
    International Man of Pancakes
    meataxe's Avatar
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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    I would define 'tense' as using strength where it is not needed. It is OK to use it where it is necessary (eg. throw example in the second post). I like watching high-level wrestlers in MMA--for the most part they know how to avoid being tense. I think a lot of the guys who have a reputation for 'great stamina' are actually guys who use less energy to do the same job.
    Anyone who has the power to make you believe absurdities has the power to make you commit injustices.
    - Voltaire

  6. #6
    theotherserge's Avatar
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    yeah, on all accounts its better to be selective about tension.

    For Judo, kuzushi/balance-breaking is all about getting your opponent to tense up in one direction and exploit that.

    Because of the jacket, this is more evident/obvious than in no-gi and you can exploit the leverage gained...

  7. #7
    theotherserge's Avatar
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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    this is epic fluidity, one of my favorite vids ever!

    Try to pick up the moments where Katanishi is tense/engaging his muscularity, it is not easy to pick up. That dude has earned his red+whites!

    [IMG]YouTube - JUDO Le perfectionnement des seoi 2
    Many things we do naturally become difficult only when we try to make them intellectual subjects. It is possible to know so much about a subject that you become totally ignorant.
    -Mentat Text Two (dicto)

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by theotherserge
    this is epic fluidity, one of my favorite vids ever!

    Try to pick up the moments where Katanishi is tense/engaging his muscularity, it is not easy to pick up. That dude has earned his red+whites!

    [IMG]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ylEGLwRklEo
    Flawless. I suck at that throw. I can never get the timing right.

  9. #9
    theotherserge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by musicalmike235
    Flawless. I suck at that throw. I can never get the timing right.
    you realize that he's varying his grips and footwork slightly as well?

    Feck, I've got 15 years of this and I suck in comparison!
    Many things we do naturally become difficult only when we try to make them intellectual subjects. It is possible to know so much about a subject that you become totally ignorant.
    -Mentat Text Two (dicto)

  10. #10

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by theotherserge
    you realize that he's varying his grips and footwork slightly as well?

    Feck, I've got 15 years of this and I suck in comparison!
    I noticed the footwork as well. My big problem with that throw is that when I try to enter in to it, I usually don't get my hips close enough to his, or I end up with my feet too far apart.

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