I'm envious you have such observant students. Perhaps your experience is different, but I've seen people with decades of judo that never grasp or 'derive the obvious'.Creamy creamy baileys wrote:Interesting topic. I was thinking last night (first class for a new batch of beginners) whether to specifically lay the seeds for happo-no-kuzushi or simply set the scene and let them derive the obvious. I ended up going with the latter (teaching ogoshi & kosoto gari). I think though that I would like to make the taisabaki & kuzushi thing more obvious at some point (say, in a month or three when we've gone thru the first set of the gokyo). IOW, give them the 'problem', let them work out solutions, then let's discuss how/why it works like that.
I think the issue with HNK is that it in part assumes rigid body mechanics (like tipping a cube over a corner). This type of thing is pretty easy to counter (imagine that same cube standing on a furniture cart, so that when you try to tip it, the wheels would roll back and the whole thing slides out of the way), so I think it might be of limited use ultimately.
Actually, that might make for an interesting set of explorations / drills. HNK, followed by counters to HNK. Not for a while though!
Come to think of it, the biggest issue I'm having is trying to distill years of experience and knowledge into something that's easy to pick up for someone brand new, without trying to do an instant brain dump. It seems to be a delicate balance between 'here's the situation and here are the constraints...I'm not going to explicitly tell you what to do; work it out' and 'pay attention and do exactly as I say'.
I don't mean to be critical, but I find it curious that someone with 'years of experience and knowledge' would not use the methodology developed by the founder of judo and his direct students, knowledge forged and refined over some 140 years of teaching, and several thousand man-years on the mat with literally millions of judo beginner students. Does your experience indicate that these methods do not work?
As far as the happo no kuzushi, if correctly applied, it is _not_ easy to counter. Typically you pull or push in an exaggerated fashion to demonstrate grossly, yes, thus creating the opportunity to counter, but if someone 'counters' the happo no kuzushi without moving their feet (thus taking away your cart analogy) they have to move their center of gravity in the opposite direction (as in, 'stick your butt out' to counter a forward kuzushi). Let them do so until they are overly committed, then dump them on said butt. After giving that brief introduction to the second lesson, then you can go back to lesson one - the happo no kuzushi.
I was teamed with a middle-aged judoka a few nights ago for uchikomi - he'd taken judo in high school and college, nothing for the next 20 years - and we were working on osoto-gari. Everything was wrong - kamae, grip, no kuzushi, maai, right hand was dead / left hand was wrong, step, wrong leg motion..... on the plus side, his gi was nice, and his belt was tied correctly. So, I broke it down to the basics of a throw to introduce the basics he claimed he'd never heard before (or forgotten if he'd heard it before) and he was starting to understand how all the basics work together to make a basic, static throw. Kamae, maai, proper grip, kuzushi..... it was starting to come together after 5-10 minutes. The gent is not stupid, just ignorant.
But a more senior (and pretty short) sensei with a great emphasis on competition, from the far side of the dojo decided that his problem was our height difference, and stepped in to demo some weirdo henka waza that started with punching me in the jaw and crow-hopping forward into a two or three step hacking side throw that, if it had a prayer of working, would probably wreck my knee, and had near no resemblance to osoto-gari. I played tackling dummy for a while, then got away as soon as politely possible. End result, for the rest of the evening the middle-aged judoka attempted to practice a really bad, completely inappropriate 'technique' he has zero chance of using on anyone with a brain and would hurt someone with a low level of experience, and left not understanding the very basics of osoto-gari or any other throw. Since the guy will never compete, I just wondered what the point was, other than the senior sensei thought she had a solution for someone my height, when her problem is her inability to set up someone for the throw in a normal fashion. (Maybe next time I'll punch her first and wreck her knee instead .... naw, too easy, and her ego would never recover.....)
In my mind, all because the senior sensei failed to recognize that the problem was not our height difference but the gent's lack of understanding of the very basics of the throw (or any other throw, for that matter) as you would introduce through the happo no kuzushi, trying for a competition solution to a much more basic problem.