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judoka_uk
1/29/2011 7:32pm,
I have received many requests for doing a piece on ‘kuzushi for backwards throws’. This is probably because in my previous pieces on kuzushi I have focused mainly on forward techniques.

If you review those articles you will find several points that transfer across between applying kuzushi for forward throws and backwards ones.

The four of the most salient are:
Coordinating both hands to work together
Generating power from the lower body
Applying kuzushi in a continuous manner throughout the technique

No matter how good your kuzushi is it must be combined with; control, positioning and an awareness of and ability to capitalise on, the moment of opportunity.

The central principle I want to convey in this article is that when attacking with a backwards throwing technique it is crucial that you concentrate on attacking the chest. The reason behind this that attacking the chest means you ideally gain control over the upper body and head and use it to disrupt uke’s balance.

If you take a moment to stand up and conduct a little experiment you will know what I am talking about.

Adopt this posture
http://i832.photobucket.com/albums/zz250/VQ1E4/taiotoshiweight1.png

Legs evenly spread head above hips and everything set so your weight is equally distributed.

Now without moving your feet at all, move your head about 12 inches to the right.

You should now feel the majority of your weight concentrated in your right leg.

Now return to the original balanced posture.

Now move your head 12 inches to your rear.







Did you fall over?

Then you’re a muppet.


Now sit back down again.
The point behind this is that where your head goes your weight will follow as your hips shift under you and your balance is transferred.

This is why attacking the chest is important because attacking the chest will move the head, which will shift a person’s entire balance and destroy their equilibrium.

Using the hands
So let’s look at the principle of attacking the chest in action.


To properly attack the chest requires correct positioning of the tsurite arm as in the tsurikomi action this is one of the most poorly done, most misunderstood and abused kuzushi actions in Judo.


Your forearm must be against uke’s chest
http://i832.photobucket.com/albums/zz250/VQ1E4/OSG5.png


And in the majority of throws you should seek to attack upwards towards uke’s chin.


The number one error amongst beginners when trying to induce kuzushi for backwards techniques is to raise their elbow in the air in a chicken wing motion.
http://i832.photobucket.com/albums/zz250/VQ1E4/OSG4.png


This is anatomically very poor for power transfer and normally in beginners has the effect of pushing the partner away from them rather than breaking their partner’s balance.


So the correct tsurite action for most backwards throws involves the forearm making sustained contact with uke’s chest.
http://i832.photobucket.com/albums/zz250/VQ1E4/OSG3.png


The other critical hand action is the coordination of both the tsurite and the hikite hand. The two hands should work together in a smooth controlled action to effect kuzushi.


In this video Yamashita demonstrates and emphasises these two important principles attacking the chest with forearm contact and coordinating the actions of the tsurite and hikite hand.


YouTube - Yamashita O Soto Gari Part 2 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6V8odHAc1bo)


Sustained forearm contact is observable as a core component of balance breaking in all of the family of ‘gari’ techniques.


Ko uchi gari
http://i832.photobucket.com/albums/zz250/VQ1E4/attackchest2.png


Ko soto gari
http://i832.photobucket.com/albums/zz250/VQ1E4/attackchest4.png


O uchi gari
http://i832.photobucket.com/albums/zz250/VQ1E4/tsunoda3.png


Chest to Chest

Along with correct and coordinated use of the hands a central component of balance breaking for forward throws is how tori positions his upper body.
A common error is that tori has his body twisted too far so that it is perpendicular relative to uke’s body, like so:


http://i832.photobucket.com/albums/zz250/VQ1E4/attackchest14.png


Whilst its physically very difficult to keep your chest directly parallel to uke’s for throws like O uchi gari and Ko uchi gari, tori should endeavour to keep his chest as close to parallel with uke’s as possible.



Here in an example of Ko uchi gari, tori has rotated his shoulders so that they’re roughly parallel to uke’s
http://i832.photobucket.com/albums/zz250/VQ1E4/attackchest12.png


Here in O uchi gari, tori has managed to achieve direct chest to chest contact whilst entering
http://i832.photobucket.com/albums/zz250/VQ1E4/attackchest1.png


Chest to chest contact is not a cast iron rule so much as it is an aide memoir for several key facets of effective balance breaking for backwards throws. The most important being that the impetus for the entry to the technique comes from the hips and that the hips of tori should be below those of uke.


Hips

Another central mistake when entering for throws which is reflected in poor application of kuzushi, for backwards techniques, is that tori’s hips are above those of uke’s upon entry.


When attacking with a ‘gari’ technique it is pivotal that during the kuzushi and tsukuri phases to not only lower your own hips, but also to apply kuzushi in such a manner as to raise uke’s hips.


In this video Shozo Fujii demonstrates Ko uchi gari,


YouTube - 10 Kouchigari (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qt9rvH1LbjQ)


Fujii shows the utilisation of the tsurite to disrupt uke’s balance and shift uke’s weight onto his heels whilst raising his hips
http://i832.photobucket.com/albums/zz250/VQ1E4/attackchest11.png


Here he shows the positioning of his hips below those of uke
http://i832.photobucket.com/albums/zz250/VQ1E4/attackchest9.png


In a dynamic situation you see the full extent of the height differential between tori’s and uke’s hips
http://i832.photobucket.com/albums/zz250/VQ1E4/attackchest6.png


This principle is also reflected in:


Ko soto gari
http://i832.photobucket.com/albums/zz250/VQ1E4/attackchest4.png


O uchi gari
http://i832.photobucket.com/albums/zz250/VQ1E4/attackchest1.png


Positioning the hips below uke’s demonstrates not only correct application of kuzushi, but also that tori’s kuzshi and tsukuri was generated from the hips as a whole body action rather than merely from the upper body.


So when executing kuzushi for backwards throws and in particular those from the ‘gari’ family. It is vital to attack the chest using the correct tsurite action in order to shift way through affecting the positioning of the head, to achieve chest contact and to generate power from the hips in order to apply it in a concentrated whole body action to attack the chest.


As always, comments, critiques and questions are welcome.


Cross posted on



http://thedifficultway.blogspot.com/



FoJ- Tsurikomi and the triangle

Fundamentals of Judo - Tsurikomi and the Triangle - No BS MMA and Martial Arts (http://www.bullshido.net/forums/showthread.php?t=100103)

FoJ- Practicing Combinations
Fundamentals of Judo – Practicing combinations - No BS MMA and Martial Arts (http://www.bullshido.net/forums/showthread.php?t=100320)

FoJ – Continual Kuzushi
Fundamentals of Judo - Continual Kuzushi - No BS MMA and Martial Arts (http://www.bullshido.net/forums/showthread.php?t=100434)

FoJ - Hips
Fundamentals of Judo - Hips - No BS MMA and Martial Arts (http://www.bullshido.net/forums/showthread.php?t=100942)

FoJ - Tokuiwaza
Fundamentals of Judo – Tokuiwaza - No BS MMA and Martial Arts (http://www.bullshido.net/forums/showthread.php?t=101226)

Notquitesane
1/31/2011 2:06am,
As always, you've outdone yourself. An excellent post. I agree with everything you say.

C0WB0Y
1/31/2011 2:32am,
I've always thoroughly enjoyed your posts and thought I should finally take the time to says thanks, so "Thanks!".

Keep up the great work!!

Res Judicata
1/31/2011 11:53am,
Good description.

These concepts are why the the over the back (or around the head) grip is so powerful and effective (albeit sometimes crude). It does at least two key things: (1) controls the head, usually by forcing it down, and (2) allows for very close chest contact.

For example, even if throwing from a standard grip, the tsurite arm can float over the back in throws like uchi mata. Sometimes the tsurite hand is more trouble that its worth and you just want to get it out of the way.

Coach Josh
1/31/2011 1:14pm,
Good description.

These concepts are why the the over the back (or around the head) grip is so powerful and effective (albeit sometimes crude). It does at least two key things: (1) controls the head, usually by forcing it down, and (2) allows for very close chest contact.

For example, even if throwing from a standard grip, the tsurite arm can float over the back in throws like uchi mata. Sometimes the tsurite hand is more trouble that its worth and you just want to get it out of the way.
What?

Res Judicata
1/31/2011 1:28pm,
What?

For forward throws, not backward throws. Should have made that clear. Although Kashiwazaki-style o uchi from the Russian grip is evil.

Otherwise, I'm not sure what the "what" was about.

judoka_uk
2/03/2011 11:34am,
I'm not sure what has confused Coach Josh, but I didn't really get what you were driving at with your second paragraph about the tsurite being more trouble than its worth.

Res Judicata
2/03/2011 1:13pm,
How often to you see, say, uchi mata or harai goshi thrown in competition from a standard lapel grip? Competition style is almost invariably a high collar or over the back grip. And, if you look closely, the tsurite-side elbow usually flares up or out, particularly in the European power style and uke is pulled right on to tori, even up to the armpit. From the standard grip -- if you don't get it just right -- the tsurite arm blocks you. Get the tsurite hand out of the way and its easier to pull uke on to you, kind of like in makikomi.

BKR
2/03/2011 9:11pm,
How often to you see, say, uchi mata or harai goshi thrown in competition from a standard lapel grip? Competition style is almost invariably a high collar or over the back grip. And, if you look closely, the tsurite-side elbow usually flares up or out, particularly in the European power style and uke is pulled right on to tori, even up to the armpit. From the standard grip -- if you don't get it just right -- the tsurite arm blocks you. Get the tsurite hand out of the way and its easier to pull uke on to you, kind of like in makikomi.

If your tsurite arm is blocking you, you need to work more on it.

No doubt, though, clamping one's arm around uke neck does tend to give a bit more control if less flexibility.

Ben

Coach Josh
2/03/2011 10:10pm,
11951

Not competition but after doing it wrong for a long time when done correctly its much easier.

Over the head and belt gripping is a different variety that relies on momentum and not on totally correct technique. Consequentially that version will score in a Judo match but leave you screwed in a a BJJ/nogi/MMA match or in an confrontation. Whereas the correct version works in every situation.

Taking these types of shortcuts are fine as long as you know the fundamentals of the proper technique. When your goal is to win a Judo match

Res Judicata
2/04/2011 5:05pm,
You're not wrong. And I know the guys whose entire goal in Judo is to pull the other guy's head down, pull him on, and then buck him off like a bull. I fight enough of them to know--and to avoid letting them take that grip! Over the back grip is great -- until you run into someone who absolutely will not let you take that grip or let you pull his head down. And who will smash you with te guruma if you try.

But I've also found useful to learn to throw from a variety of grips -- lapel, over back, deep over the back (with or without belt), under hook (with or without belt); and variant sleeve grips -- end, middle, the "pocket" grip.

The attachment didn't work.

Coach Josh
2/04/2011 11:32pm,
11957

Kaffe
2/05/2011 10:58am,
Solid thread as always. Failing to bring the hips into the equation properly is something I've been guilty of quite often.

I will make sure to recommend your blog to my fellow amateur judoka.

judoka_uk
2/05/2011 11:42am,
Solid thread as always. Failing to bring the hips into the equation properly is something I've been guilty of quite often.

I will make sure to recommend your blog to my fellow amateur judoka.
The best way to conceptualise utilisng the hips for O soto gari, which I imagine is the most common backwards throw people use, is to think about it as if you're throwing a ball or even better a javelin.

A common error is that people lead from the shoulders rather than leading from the hips. So their entry and body position looks something like this:
http://i832.photobucket.com/albums/zz250/VQ1E4/osghips2.png

Now that's not to say that you should move in as if lasooed around the waist in some weird way like this:
http://i832.photobucket.com/albums/zz250/VQ1E4/osghips1.png

However, for ideal power generation and body structure on entry you should try and lead from the hips.

This brings me back to the javelin throw. The way power is generated for a javelin throw and channeled into the trailing arm or tsurite is a very good metaphor for applying kuzushi for O soto gari.

11959

http://i3.squidoocdn.com/resize/squidoo_images/-1/lens1513570_5096696.jpg1206724387

Obviously they aren't exact mirror image copies of each other in terms of body positiong and movement. However it is conceptually useful as an aide memoir.

Coming back into the 'attacking the chest' concept as with a javelin throw you don't stop momentum once you've reached the 'peak' of the movement rather you carry on and follow through. O soto gari is similar if you conceptualise yourself as trying to go through uke attacking through their chest.

Also whilst I was looking for javelin pictures

I found Leryn Franco

http://images.askmen.com/photos/leryn-franco/82905.jpg

Well done Paraguay.

Kaffe
2/05/2011 12:42pm,
Thank you very much for your additional input, judoka_uk.

As for the last part of your post: Woah! Javelin throwing just got a lot more interesting.

BKR
2/07/2011 12:20am,
A major problem people have is coordinating their upper and lower bodies. they either step with their feet ahead of their hips, or their upper body ahead of their hips. This is often reinforced by instruction cues like "step here", put your foot here, your hand their, pull their chest to your chest \(not always incorrect, depends on context), etc.

\I have been having some success with "put your body here", or "fill the space here with your body".

I think basic solo tai sabaki drills can help with the idea of putting the body in a place instead of separate body parts. Another cue I use is to visualize that your foot is connected to your hip/butt. This eliminates the leg and stepping. That's what it feels like to me.

Ben