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    Number of techniques versus proficiency for beginners

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    Michael-H

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    Number of techniques versus proficiency for beginners

    Post by Michael-H on Mon Dec 30, 2013 4:32 am

    We're discussing grading requirements for beginners at our club. At the moment we are following the national grading system which is strongly technique focused. I'm guessing it looks about the same all over the world. For each belt you are supposed to be able to do a number of techniques. The table below shows the number of techniques per grade, with the running total in parenthesis.

    gradetachi-wazane-wazaminimum age
    6k436
    5k5(9)2(5)7
    4k10(19)10(15)9
    3k13(32)9(24)11
    2k15(47)12(36)13
    1k8(55)(36)14
    Firstly, my feeling is that in total that number is too high, and that is before adding gripping, combinations, counters, turnovers and escapes. If they are to learn and remember all techniques, then they get very little time per technique, and that is without focusing on any favourite for application in randori and shiai. At the gradings it is obvious that neither children at the minimum age limit, nor adult beginners have had the chance to master any techniques within the first year or two. They certainly have no more than name-recognition for the bulk of techniques, if even that.

    In contrast, actively competing athletes usually get around with 4-6 techniques that they regularly do. But importantly, once they reach 2-1 kyu they can easily use their proficiency in general to quickly learn the names and basic movements of the techniques they haven't used before for a successful grading.

    Secondly, while the techniques are ordered in a somewhat orderly fashion, the first couple of belts by now means include well fitting groups of techniques for everyone. By choosing only a couple of techniques for each student they would be able to focus more on movement, breaking balance, timing and entry, which I feel are much more central to the essence of judo than learning many techniques.

    My question for you is:

    How do you do and why do you think that is the right way?

    Yours,

    Michael

    still learning

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    Re: Number of techniques versus proficiency for beginners

    Post by still learning on Mon Dec 30, 2013 5:13 am

    The BJA syllabus in the UK is split between junior and senior grades.

    If I focus just on the senior syllabus then the number of tachi waza techniques is lower than that shown, however there are other elements, such as combinations and randori requirements.

    Given that gradings are progressive, you would expect that as someone approaches their dan grade they should know most of the gokyo, so building up to that number appears reasonable. I can still remember being bitterly disappointed that I did not know royote jime for my dan grade.

    In my experience it is better for juoka to follow their respective national grading route as their knowledge should therefore be comparable and will enable them train at other clubs as and when circumstances allow or dictate, with confidence.
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    Michael-H

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    Re: Number of techniques versus proficiency for beginners

    Post by Michael-H on Mon Dec 30, 2013 5:56 am

    The complete syllabus includes combinations and randori and so on. It's only that the exact combinations aren't specified, and it is obvious that if just the number of techniques is too high, then the total demands are much too high. Or, as I would like to say misdirected.

    Having a different syllabus for children and adults is probably a good idea, and I acknowledge the good idea of having a national syllabus. Although, it is equally poorly followed in most clubs where I have been. The Swedish syllabus is basically a children's syllabus for kyu-grades and an adult's for dan-grades, which may be part of the problem. I know mon-grades, or children's grades are practiced in many countries.

    But, having different syllabi for children and adults, and many different demands for each grade is only practical if you have a really large sport. Most judo clubs in Sweden don't have enough members at each rank to allow them to focus on the techniques they should learn to the next grade. Instead, most instructors have to cover the techniques for everyone from say sixth through third kyu, i.e. some 50 techniques every semester while trying to prepare those who want for competing. The result is that the syllabus is only ever taken out for gradings, and otherwise ignored. I posit that this is not optimal, and I think it is part of what creates the lack of enthusiasm for grading in judo. Further the lack of enthusiasm for grading means that the knowledge is not well correlated with belt-colour anymore.

    jkw

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    Re: Number of techniques versus proficiency for beginners

    Post by jkw on Mon Dec 30, 2013 6:27 am

    Michael-H wrote:How do you do and why do you think that is the right way?

    For beginners I was taught that the main focus should be first basic reigi, then an awful lot of ukemi, then tsuri-komi-goshi, tsuri-komi-goshi, tsuri-komi-goshi and a little bit of o-goshi or seoi-nage, plus ashi-waza drills, o-soto-gari and either o-uchi-gari or ko-uchi-gari. Followed by more tsuri-komi-goshi.

    For ne-waza: waki-shime, ebi, gyaku-ebi, kesa-gatame, kazure-yoko-shiho-gatame and kazure-kami-shiho-gatame and being strangled every single time you ever went into a turtle.

    With repetition and diligence it should be possible for a 5/4 kyu to demonstrate tsuri-komi-goshi/o-goshi moving forwards and backwards with most key points correct, and for some naturally gifted students to throw occasionally in randori, which becomes possible if randori is taught correctly.

    That forms the basis of a beginner skill-set, supplemented by being able to recognize and name the required waza, plus perform some kind of reasonable simulation thereof.

    Hanon

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    Re: Number of techniques versus proficiency for beginners

    Post by Hanon on Mon Dec 30, 2013 8:08 am

    jkw wrote:
    Michael-H wrote:How do you do and why do you think that is the right way?

    For beginners I was taught that the main focus should be first basic reigi, then an awful lot of ukemi, then tsuri-komi-goshi, tsuri-komi-goshi, tsuri-komi-goshi and a little bit of o-goshi or seoi-nage, plus ashi-waza drills, o-soto-gari and either o-uchi-gari or ko-uchi-gari. Followed by more tsuri-komi-goshi.

    For ne-waza: waki-shime, ebi, gyaku-ebi, kesa-gatame, kazure-yoko-shiho-gatame and kazure-kami-shiho-gatame and being strangled every single time you ever went into a turtle.

    With repetition and diligence it should be possible for a 5/4 kyu to demonstrate tsuri-komi-goshi/o-goshi moving forwards and backwards with most key points correct, and for some naturally gifted students to throw occasionally in randori, which becomes possible if randori is taught correctly.

    That forms the basis of a beginner skill-set, supplemented by being able to recognize and name the required waza, plus perform some kind of reasonable simulation thereof.

    Why Tsuri komi goshi before o goshi?

    Waki shime? Ebi?? Gyaku ebi???

    Why Kazure yoko & kami shiho gatame before hon?

    Interesting.

    Regards,

    Mike


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    Michael-H

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    Re: Number of techniques versus proficiency for beginners

    Post by Michael-H on Mon Dec 30, 2013 8:27 am

    Interestingly, tsuri komi goshi is often suggested as a first technique, I find.

    Hanon

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    Re: Number of techniques versus proficiency for beginners

    Post by Hanon on Mon Dec 30, 2013 8:44 am

    Michael-H wrote:Interestingly, tsuri komi goshi is often suggested as a first technique, I find.

    Why?

    Regards, Mike


    _________________
    WARNING. I write as a pupil of judo. what I write should be researched by the reader and not accepted as in any way factual or correct.

    "The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge" S Hawking.
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    Cichorei Kano

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    Re: Number of techniques versus proficiency for beginners

    Post by Cichorei Kano on Mon Dec 30, 2013 9:30 am

    Hanon wrote:
    jkw wrote:
    Michael-H wrote:How do you do and why do you think that is the right way?

    For beginners I was taught that the main focus should be first basic reigi, then an awful lot of ukemi, then tsuri-komi-goshi, tsuri-komi-goshi, tsuri-komi-goshi and a little bit of o-goshi or seoi-nage, plus ashi-waza drills, o-soto-gari and either o-uchi-gari or ko-uchi-gari. Followed by more tsuri-komi-goshi.

    For ne-waza: waki-shime, ebi, gyaku-ebi, kesa-gatame, kazure-yoko-shiho-gatame and kazure-kami-shiho-gatame and being strangled every single time you ever went into a turtle.

    With repetition and diligence it should be possible for a 5/4 kyu to demonstrate tsuri-komi-goshi/o-goshi moving forwards and backwards with most key points correct, and for some naturally gifted students to throw occasionally in randori, which becomes possible if randori is taught correctly.

    That forms the basis of a beginner skill-set, supplemented by being able to recognize and name the required waza, plus perform some kind of reasonable simulation thereof.

    Why Tsuri komi goshi before o goshi?

    Waki shime? Ebi?? Gyaku ebi???

    Why Kazure yoko & kami shiho gatame before hon?

    Interesting.

    Regards,

    Mike

    Same questions here as Hanon-sensei.

    Tsuri-komi-goshi is not even in the first group of the gokyô.

    Ebi and gyaku-ebi are newaza moving techniques, not katame-waza. They require body coordination. I have no problem with starting these in the beginning, but just like zenpô-kaiten they will require some time. Beginners will tend to simply push themselves forward one foot after another. But just like tatami-haite-shibori (pulling yourself forward over the tatami while lying on your belly) they are useful exercises in the building of good newaza foundations. I do find many Western clubs not practicing such exercises. By he way, there is also a yoko-ebi, which is a hard exercise virtually never practiced in the West. These are, however, standard exercises in the great traditional newaza dôjô in Japan, like mine in Kyôto.

    Waki-jime is not even standard Kôdôkan terminology, nor even a fundamental technique, but a variation usually on okuri-eri-jime.

    Knowing how little present day novice students still read up on jûdô it seems that a student who has to start with such an unconventional palette of techniques is going to get very confused in mentally structuring his techniques.


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    Steve Leadbeater

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    Re: Number of techniques versus proficiency for beginners

    Post by Steve Leadbeater on Mon Dec 30, 2013 9:32 am

    jkw wrote:
    Michael-H wrote:How do you do and why do you think that is the right way?

    .

    For ne-waza: kazure-yoko-shiho-gatame and kazure-kami-shiho-gatame



    As far as I know, there are only TWO techniques that actually warrant the prefix "Kazure" in newaza....

    Kazure Kesa Gatame and Kazure Kami Shio Gatame,

    all others are just a variation on the subject.

    medo

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    Re: Number of techniques versus proficiency for beginners

    Post by medo on Mon Dec 30, 2013 10:06 am

    Hanon wrote:
    Michael-H wrote:Interestingly, tsuri komi goshi is often suggested as a first technique, I find.

    Why?

    Regards, Mike

    When ever I hear this its normally because ogoshi is almost always taught with hand around the back which is not PC to the modern concept of beginners being taught shia type throws of a standard grip.
    So instead of teaching ogoshi off a standard grip they call it tsurikomigoshi when what they are teaching is more ogoshi than tkg  Or the syllabus tends to link both for same grade with the only difference being the hand goes around the back for ogoshi or in the BJC syllabus ogoshi does no longer exist.


    Last edited by medo on Mon Dec 30, 2013 6:36 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : more content)

    jkw

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    Re: Number of techniques versus proficiency for beginners

    Post by jkw on Mon Dec 30, 2013 11:47 am

    Cichorei Kano wrote:
    Hanon wrote:
    Why Tsuri komi goshi before o goshi?

    Waki shime? Ebi?? Gyaku ebi???

    Why Kazure yoko & kami shiho gatame before hon?

    Interesting.

    Regards,

    Mike

    Same questions here as Hanon-sensei.

    Tsuri-komi-goshi is not even in the first group of the gokyô.

    Ebi and gyaku-ebi are newaza moving techniques, not katame-waza. They require body coordination. I have no problem with starting these in the beginning, but just like zenpô-kaiten they will require some time. Beginners will tend to simply push themselves forward one foot after another. But just like tatami-haite-shibori (pulling yourself forward over the tatami while lying on your belly) they are useful exercises in the building of good newaza foundations. I do find many Western clubs not practicing such exercises.  By he way, there is also a yoko-ebi, which is a hard exercise virtually never practiced in the West. These are, however, standard exercises in the great traditional newaza dôjô in Japan, like mine in Kyôto.

    Waki-jime is not even standard Kôdôkan terminology, nor even a fundamental technique, but a variation usually on okuri-eri-jime.

    Knowing how little present day novice students still read up on jûdô it seems that a student who has to start with such an unconventional palette of techniques is going to get very confused in mentally structuring his techniques.

    Interesting questions - in trying to answer them, I'll preface this by saying that unfortunately I won't be able to do much better than simply pass on things as they were explained to me. I was young when I learnt this and in judo I am happy to admit I do not have sufficient insight or experience to assess the correctness of much of what I was taught and how I was taught it. I simply have not gotten as far in my judo as I had once hoped! And if I've learnt much from this forum - it is that many latent assumptions I've had about judo have turned out to be untrue.

    So, ne-waza first:

    By waki-shime, I mean this (see 2.44) - but I may be using an incorrect name. Waki-shime was the name I was taught for this movement, although some of the variants in that clip would have been deemed unacceptable (I'm not saying I think they are wrong, just that I was taught specifically not to do certain things seen in that clip).


    We were taught these movements in quite some detail (direction of little finger, use of hips, toes etc...), along with bicycle kicks, sankaku (also in considerable detail) etc...

    I was taught an exercise called yoko-ebi and later, I came across it again in New York, but there it was called 'kidney hop' - if it the one you are talking about, I agree, it is really unpleasant.

    Ebi, gyaku-ebi and this waki-shime exercise, along with about five other things were considered important for developing good ne-waza. When I first began judo, I was told in ne-waza just to move around and it would be enough. So ne-waza as a beginner mostly involved thrashing about to try and escape, but quickly learning not to turn onto your stomach or you would be choked. I would say that for ne-waza, overall movement was emphasized much more than specific waza, for example the first formal technique I was shown in ne-waza was a sankaku-turnover against someone turtled up. Some time after that I was shown kesa-gatame. It was always clear that ebi etc... are not techniques but - as you say - movement exercises, but they were what I was taught as a beginner.

    I was also taught to generally use a form of yoko-shiho-gatame and kami-shiho-gatame that involved reaching over your partners' far shoulder and securing their obi under the small of their back. The upper-body then closed with a movement like waki-shime, closing the armpit with a cork-screw like movement and relaxing your hips and body into the ground "as if you were a wet towel". These were called kazure-yoko-shiho-gatame and kazure-kami-shiho-gatame - although as Steve has intimated, that could very well be incorrect.

    We almost never used the standard form of yoko-shiho-gatame - I was certainly never asked to demonstrate it - and I didn't learn how to use it properly until much later. I'm not sure why.

    For tachi-waza, tsuri-komi-goshi was described to me as the basis for learning many other throws and that I should study it for this reason. I think I did tsuri-komi-goshi for about 6-9 months before starting on seoi-nage. The word 'basis' may not convey the right concept - the one who taught me this was learning English at the time. He would show tsuri-komi-goshi and then how it could be adapted to make seoi-nage, or tai-otoshi, harai-goshi or uchi-mata. I realise this is not the full story of these waza at all, and - looking back - I think it was a didactic tool for beginners.

    In the main place where I trained as a teenager the go-kyo wasn't really discussed and certainly never systematically taught. Over a three year period, the techniques I was shown in detail were:

    tsuri-komi-goshi
    ippon and morote seoi-nage
    o-soto-gari
    ko-uchi-gari
    o-uchi-gari
    uchi-mata
    harai-goshi
    kata-garuma
    nidan-ko-soto-gari
    morote-gari
    tomoe-nage and yoko-tomoe-nage
    obi-tori-gaeshi
    ude-gaeshi
    sumi-gaeshi

    and kani-basami, which was banned in shiai but considered important to know about.

    But I was only expected to study one main technique, a few support techniques (ko-uchi-gari etc...) and tomoe-nage because I liked ne-waza. It was frowned on to practice too many techniques.

    After training, our instructor would give a short (5 minute) talk about judo concepts - from the practical to the reasonably esoteric - most of which I have not heard since.

    For example, one concept was that if you get stuck in your judo you can start over as if you were a beginner. The idea was that your judo was like a pyramid - it could only grow as tall as the base of the pyramid would allow, the base being formed by basic skills such as ukemi, ashi-waza. If you got stuck, you could practice basics again to try and get a wider base to allow your judo to grow taller.

    Which is all a very long way of getting back to the OP's question: that after three years of judo as an ikkyu - apart from nage-no-kata - I knew about 15 or 16 techniques.
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    Cichorei Kano

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    Re: Number of techniques versus proficiency for beginners

    Post by Cichorei Kano on Mon Dec 30, 2013 3:45 pm

    Steve Leadbeater wrote:
    jkw wrote:
    Michael-H wrote:How do you do and why do you think that is the right way?

    .

    For ne-waza: kazure-yoko-shiho-gatame and kazure-kami-shiho-gatame



    As far as I know, there are only TWO techniques that actually warrant the prefix "Kazure" in newaza....

    Actually, there are none, but I don't want to be accused of being difficult between Christmas and New Year ...


    _________________


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    "Nothing is as approved as mediocrity, the majority has established it and it fixes it fangs on whatever gets beyond it either way." (Blaise Pascal)
    "Quand on essaie, c'est difficile. Quand on n'essaie pas, c'est impossible" (Guess Who ?)
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    Cichorei Kano

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    Re: Number of techniques versus proficiency for beginners

    Post by Cichorei Kano on Mon Dec 30, 2013 3:58 pm

    jkw wrote:
    Cichorei Kano wrote:
    Hanon wrote:
    Why Tsuri komi goshi before o goshi?

    Waki shime? Ebi?? Gyaku ebi???

    Why Kazure yoko & kami shiho gatame before hon?

    Interesting.

    Regards,

    Mike

    Same questions here as Hanon-sensei.

    Tsuri-komi-goshi is not even in the first group of the gokyô.

    Ebi and gyaku-ebi are newaza moving techniques, not katame-waza. They require body coordination. I have no problem with starting these in the beginning, but just like zenpô-kaiten they will require some time. Beginners will tend to simply push themselves forward one foot after another. But just like tatami-haite-shibori (pulling yourself forward over the tatami while lying on your belly) they are useful exercises in the building of good newaza foundations. I do find many Western clubs not practicing such exercises.  By he way, there is also a yoko-ebi, which is a hard exercise virtually never practiced in the West. These are, however, standard exercises in the great traditional newaza dôjô in Japan, like mine in Kyôto.

    Waki-jime is not even standard Kôdôkan terminology, nor even a fundamental technique, but a variation usually on okuri-eri-jime.

    Knowing how little present day novice students still read up on jûdô it seems that a student who has to start with such an unconventional palette of techniques is going to get very confused in mentally structuring his techniques.

    Interesting questions - in trying to answer them, I'll preface this by saying that unfortunately I won't be able to do much better than simply pass on things as they were explained to me. I was young when I learnt this and in judo I am happy to admit I do not have sufficient insight or experience to assess the correctness of much of what I was taught and how I was taught it. I simply have not gotten as far in my judo as I had once hoped! And if I've learnt much from this forum - it is that many latent assumptions I've had about judo have turned out to be untrue.

    So, ne-waza first:

    By waki-shime, I mean this (see 2.44) - but I may be using an incorrect name. Waki-shime was the name I was taught for this movement, although some of the variants in that clip would have been deemed unacceptable (I'm not saying I think they are wrong, just that I was taught specifically not to do certain things seen in that clip).


    We were taught these movements in quite some detail (direction of little finger, use of hips, toes etc...), along with bicycle kicks, sankaku (also in considerable detail) etc...

    I was taught an exercise called yoko-ebi and later, I came across it again in New York, but there it was called 'kidney hop' - if it the one you are talking about, I agree, it is really unpleasant.

    Ebi, gyaku-ebi and this waki-shime exercise, along with about five other things were considered important for developing good ne-waza. When I first began judo, I was told in ne-waza just to move around and it would be enough. So ne-waza as a beginner mostly involved thrashing about to try and escape, but quickly learning not to turn onto your stomach or you would be choked. I would say that for ne-waza, overall movement was emphasized much more than specific waza, for example the first formal technique I was shown in ne-waza was a sankaku-turnover against someone turtled up. Some time after that I was shown kesa-gatame. It was always clear that ebi etc... are not techniques but - as you say - movement exercises, but they were what I was taught as a beginner.

    I was also taught to generally use a form of yoko-shiho-gatame and kami-shiho-gatame that involved reaching over your partners' far shoulder and securing their obi under the small of their back. The upper-body then closed with a movement like waki-shime, closing the armpit with a cork-screw like movement and relaxing your hips and body into the ground "as if you were a wet towel". These were called kazure-yoko-shiho-gatame and kazure-kami-shiho-gatame - although as Steve has intimated, that could very well be incorrect.

    We almost never used the standard form of yoko-shiho-gatame - I was certainly never asked to demonstrate it - and I didn't learn how to use it properly until much later. I'm not sure why.

    For tachi-waza, tsuri-komi-goshi was described to me as the basis for learning many other throws and that I should study it for this reason. I think I did tsuri-komi-goshi for about 6-9 months before starting on seoi-nage. The word 'basis' may not convey the right concept - the one who taught me this was learning English at the time. He would show tsuri-komi-goshi and then how it could be adapted to make seoi-nage, or tai-otoshi, harai-goshi or uchi-mata. I realise this is not the full story of these waza at all, and - looking back - I think it was a didactic tool for beginners.

    In the main place where I trained as a teenager the go-kyo wasn't really discussed and certainly never systematically taught. Over a three year period, the techniques I was shown in detail were:

    tsuri-komi-goshi
    ippon and morote seoi-nage
    o-soto-gari
    ko-uchi-gari
    o-uchi-gari
    uchi-mata
    harai-goshi
    kata-garuma
    nidan-ko-soto-gari
    morote-gari
    tomoe-nage and yoko-tomoe-nage
    obi-tori-gaeshi
    ude-gaeshi
    sumi-gaeshi

    and kani-basami, which was banned in shiai but considered important to know about.

    But I was only expected to study one main technique, a few support techniques (ko-uchi-gari etc...) and tomoe-nage because I liked ne-waza. It was frowned on to practice too many techniques.

    After training, our instructor would give a short (5 minute) talk about judo concepts - from the practical to the reasonably esoteric - most of which I have not heard since.

    For example, one concept was that if you get stuck in your judo you can start over as if you were a beginner. The idea was that your judo was like a pyramid - it could only grow as tall as the base of the pyramid would allow, the base being formed by basic skills such as ukemi, ashi-waza. If you got stuck, you could practice basics again to try and get a wider base to allow your judo to grow taller.

    Which is all a very long way of getting back to the OP's question: that after three years of judo as an ikkyu - apart from nage-no-kata - I knew about 15 or 16 techniques.

    There is no shime-waza in the video at 02'44. However, there are about 1 and 2 minutes later. It's not just one choke shown there, but also connecting chokes going from katate-jime to kataha-jime.

    Well, one can start obviously with other techniques than most common. Another factor can also be a particular liking for a certain technique. I remember one of my first techniques being tai-otoshi, which is hardly an easy technique, but I had affinity for it and made it my tokui-waza. That is obviously all as it was for me looking through a pair of pink glasses. I am sure that if at the time it would have been recorded on film and shown to me today, I would find it, no doubt horrendous.

    Was you teacher Western ?


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    "Nothing is as approved as mediocrity, the majority has established it and it fixes it fangs on whatever gets beyond it either way." (Blaise Pascal)
    "Quand on essaie, c'est difficile. Quand on n'essaie pas, c'est impossible" (Guess Who ?)
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    Ricebale

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    Re: Number of techniques versus proficiency for beginners

    Post by Ricebale on Mon Dec 30, 2013 8:31 pm

    A Tae Kwon Do black belt can do over 100 types of kicks

    They still mostly suck

    samsmith2424

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    Re: Number of techniques versus proficiency for beginners

    Post by samsmith2424 on Mon Dec 30, 2013 9:11 pm

    What do people think of teaching techniques in the order of the Gokyo?

    They do this in our club but I feel frustrated about it as De ashi barai seems such a hard throw for people to begin with. Do you agree or disagree?

    Also when would you introduce competition variations of the classical forms of the throws?

    As it is done in the club we are members of, the students learn all the throws of the Gokyo. Each of the sets of techniques corresponding with a belt. There are no competition variations taught. In fact the only variation that is taught is Ippon seinage and eri seonage (as it is called here).

    I trained my son (1st dan) now independent of these classes.

    jkw

    Posts : 130
    Join date : 2013-01-04

    Re: Number of techniques versus proficiency for beginners

    Post by jkw on Mon Dec 30, 2013 10:01 pm

    Cichorei Kano wrote:
    There is no shime-waza in the video at 02'44.

    By 'waki-shime', I was referring to the exercise of pulling yourself along the mat shown at 2:44, not a shime-waza. I was told the name of this movement exercise was 'waki-shime', but I may have remembered this incorrectly, or it was a colloquialism, or simply nonsensical as a term.

    Cichorei Kano wrote:
    Was you teacher Western ?

    No - he was Japanese.
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    Cichorei Kano

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    Re: Number of techniques versus proficiency for beginners

    Post by Cichorei Kano on Tue Dec 31, 2013 12:33 am

    jkw wrote:
    Cichorei Kano wrote:
    There is no shime-waza in the video at 02'44.

    By 'waki-shime', I was referring to the exercise of pulling yourself along the mat shown at 2:44, not a shime-waza. I was told the name of this movement exercise was 'waki-shime', but I may have remembered this incorrectly, or it was a colloquialism, or simply nonsensical as a term.

    I am mostly familiar with that exercise being called "tatami haite shibori" 畳這いて絞り, but since 'shibori' and 'shime' are written with the same kanji it is possible, although I know 'waki-shime' chiefly as a choke, usually a henka to okuri-eri or kataha-jime.

    jkw wrote:
    Cichorei Kano wrote:
    Was you teacher Western ?

    No - he was Japanese.

    I thought so, since it is not a pedagogy that I would associate with what most Western instructors follow. With a Japanese teacher the issue is different as they often did not have centralized instructors programs and may come from a dôjô with strong and different traditional opinions. I think that few Western teachers would teach tsuri-komi-goshi as a first technique but I can imagine this in certain Japanese dôjô if that is what the instructor believes.



    _________________


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    "Nothing is as approved as mediocrity, the majority has established it and it fixes it fangs on whatever gets beyond it either way." (Blaise Pascal)
    "Quand on essaie, c'est difficile. Quand on n'essaie pas, c'est impossible" (Guess Who ?)
    "I am never wrong. Once I thought I was, and that was a mistake."

    still learning

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    Re: Number of techniques versus proficiency for beginners

    Post by still learning on Tue Dec 31, 2013 4:37 am

    samsmith2424 wrote:What do people think of teaching techniques in the order of the Gokyo?


    I had always understood that the order was determined by the ease of the ukemi from the throw.
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    Michael-H

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    Re: Number of techniques versus proficiency for beginners

    Post by Michael-H on Tue Dec 31, 2013 5:30 am

    still learning wrote:
    samsmith2424 wrote:What do people think of teaching techniques in the order of the Gokyo?


    I had always understood that the order was determined by the ease of the ukemi from the throw.

    samsmith: I don't like it for the same reason I don't like way we in Sweden grade now. It results in too many techniques with too little focus, and excluding all effective variations is just wrong.

    still learning: I have also heard that the Gokyo are ordered by ease of ukemi. Although, I'm a bit skeptical as it does not seem like the most encompassing of rationales. It seems more probable that they were ordered by committee by a number of different criteria.

    Richard Riehle

    Posts : 79
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    Re: Number of techniques versus proficiency for beginners

    Post by Richard Riehle on Tue Dec 31, 2013 7:15 am

    [quote="still learning"]
    samsmith2424 wrote:What do people think of teaching techniques in the order of the Gokyo?

    The Gokyo is not a bad approach when dealing with adults and more astute teens. There are principles at each level that can be helpful. Even so, many times the waza, when taught in absence of the principles, waste time and misinform. Therefore, I think the instructor should focus on teaching those waza that s/he is most skilled at doing.

    I am often surprised, for example, at how many otherwise excellent competitors teach o-goshi or uki-goshi badly. They do not use them in competition, so why should they perfect them? On the other hand, sasae-tsuri-komi-ashi, present in the first set of the Gokyo, is a powerful tournament technique, and most skilled competitors are good at it.

    Other ashi-waza, such as de-ashi-harai, are not easy to master, and even harder to use in modern competition. Yet this technique is in the Gokyo, and also taught badly in many dojos. That being said, I recall that the first match I ever won in a tournament, as a sixteen-year old, was with de-ashi-harai -- much to my surprise and to everyone else's surprise, as well. It was also the very first technique I learned, and my instructor threw me with it over and over with little intermission on the night he was teaching it. Lesson? This instructor was highly proficient with ashi-waza, knew how to teach ashi-waza, and it was the right thing for him to do. Someone less proficient in ashi-waza, but skilled in tsuri-komi-goshi, might not have been as effective teaching me de-ashi-harai.

    One of the things I appreciate about the Gokyo is its opportunity to introduce principles. This opportunity is often lost as the instructor puts too much focus on the obvious instead of the principles. For example, I often see O-goshi being taught as a lifting of uke onto tori's hip, straightening the knees and lifting. There is no kuzushi, no tsukuri. All the instruction is focused on kake. Properly taught, O-goshi is a great opportunity to demonstrate, in practice, how effective actual Judo can be. When taught as a throw that simply depends on lifting uke by straightening the knees, that opportunity is lost.

    Uki-goshi is a difficult technique, as well. I know many high-dan instructors who still do not understand how it actually is supposed to work, even after passing the nage-no-kata exam. I confess that I was one of those for many years until someone who did know it well took the trouble to show me everything I was doing wrong. After that, I realized how important uki-goshi is in understanding most of the other koshi-waza as well as techniques such as seoi-nage. No. They are not the same, not identical. But principles learned from one technique can go a long way in understanding principles for another.

    Sasae-tsuri-komi-ashi is one of the ideal waza for introducing the notion of tsukuri. Tori's foot placement, body posture, and proximity to uke are all easy to see quickly when learning this technique. The instructor can make it clear that, although tsukuri for other techniques might not be as easy to spot, at first, it is essential in every other technique, and the student can try to learn it, ask about it, study it.

    Tsukuri, in fact, is so important in nage-waza, one wonders why more instructors avoid teaching it. Of course, one reason is because it requires an understanding that can be expressed in words as well as by example. Another reason is that, for many instructors, it is so automatic that they do not even realize they are doing it.

    The most important point, is, as I said at the beginning, instructors should teach the techniques they know and understand well, regardless of where they are in the Gokyo. If a given instructor is an expert in tomoe-nage, a later technique in the Gokyo, there is no reason to avoid teaching it. Tomoe-nage was another technique I learned early as a teen-ager, and used to good effect against a 12th Grade bully at our neighborhood swimming-pool park many decades ago. Today, I would not teach it because I can no longer do it well, my knees having become so stiff I cannot do the technique effectively enough to teach it. I leave that to the younger guys with flexible knees.

    The curriculum, then, should be the decision of the instructor. If a student is lucky, s/he will have the opportunity to learn from many instructors over a lifetime. This includes visiting other dojos, attending clinics, and building friendships throughout the Judo community so we can all learn together.

    still learning

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    Re: Number of techniques versus proficiency for beginners

    Post by still learning on Tue Dec 31, 2013 7:30 am

    Richard Riehle wrote:
    still learning wrote:
    samsmith2424 wrote:What do people think of teaching techniques in the order of the Gokyo?

    .   Therefore, I think the instructor should focus on teaching those waza that s/he is most skilled at doing.  

    .   If a student is lucky, s/he will have the opportunity to learn from many instructors over a lifetime.  This includes visiting other dojos, attending clinics, and building friendships throughout the Judo community so we can all learn together.  

    Good post, very thought provoking. I've had the privilege of training with many great judoka over the years, Neil Adams for taitoshi and juji gatame, Inoue for uchi mata and Fallon for tomenage, to name a few. There is no better way of learning than from someone who has truly mastered certain techniques. The caveat is that as an instructor you must be able to teach, or indeed have supporting coaches to teach, all of the techniques so that your pupils can learn as much as possible and so choose what suits them.
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    Cichorei Kano

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    Re: Number of techniques versus proficiency for beginners

    Post by Cichorei Kano on Tue Dec 31, 2013 8:27 am

    still learning wrote:
    Richard Riehle wrote:
    still learning wrote:
    samsmith2424 wrote:What do people think of teaching techniques in the order of the Gokyo?

    .   Therefore, I think the instructor should focus on teaching those waza that s/he is most skilled at doing.  

    .   If a student is lucky, s/he will have the opportunity to learn from many instructors over a lifetime.  This includes visiting other dojos, attending clinics, and building friendships throughout the Judo community so we can all learn together.  

    Good post, very thought provoking. I've had the privilege of training with many great judoka over the years, Neil Adams for taitoshi and juji gatame, Inoue for uchi mata and Fallon for tomenage, to name a few. There is no better way of learning than from someone who has truly mastered certain techniques. The caveat is that as an instructor you must be able to teach, or indeed have supporting coaches to teach, all of the techniques so that your pupils can learn as much as possible and so choose what suits them.

    I think the jury is out on this. These are two opposing schools of thought, whether a teacher should only be teaching techniques he knows well or not. Under the same rationale my teachers in my first three dôjô did not like to teach kata. They were not good at it because they thought that kata was stupid and made no sense, hence they avoided teaching it. In my first dôjô I insisted though on being examined on nage-no-kata for my 2nd kyû having heard how it was a requirement in other jûdô clubs at the time and not wanting to feel like my 2nd kyû belt was less worthy (I was a kid sitll, obviously).

    In my personal view a jûdô instructor cannot afford to teach only the things he is best in. A jûdô instructor has the responsibility to teach other things too so that perhaps his students can get good in things he is not good in. In competition I threw with virtually the entire gokyô but there was one technique I could not for the life of me master: harai-tsuri-komi-ashi (I obviously also did not throw in those days with uki-otoshi and sumi-otoshi). I started hating HTKA. Yet my teacher knew it well.

    The jury decided to ask me this technique a long time ago on my sandan exam. Luckily I had worked hard enough to show a decent enough version to pass. That year  --I think--  I also became the instructor of the junior's division of another club. It was my task to teach them jûdô, not just the jûdô I liked. So, I also taught the HTKA. I still hated the technique. Later after returning from Japan and having worked hard on Koshiki-no-kata and having gained some proficiency in kuzushi, things were different. They again became different later after starting to understand what was really meant with the whole rhythm philosophy in Koshiki-no-kata. I can now do HTKA without thinking just like other throws, and I no longer hate the throw. It is actually a quite fun throw.

    As an instructor I don't stop being a student. It was my task as student even though an instructor to get more proficiency in what I did not know. That's my personal view. I don't adhere the viewpoint of only teaching what you know well. In fact I would go even further and say that a really excellent instructor can teach things to his students with proficiency even though he might not be able to do them himself. I also think that there is nothing wrong as an instructor to honestly tell your students that when showing a certain technique that it may not be your forte. You don't have to be perfect. In fact, honestly sharing your technical flaws with your student gives you a more down-to-earth impression that might make it easier for your students to identify with you and not alienate them because you are at a level they will never reach ...

    This is not so different from the whole coaching qualifications issue. In basketball, soccer, baseball, successful coaches often have not been absolute top and are middle age or even older. Only in judo is there a crazy expectation that you should be some kind of intergallactic champion ho no one can beat hence why so many national judo teams are stuck in rut, and the federations make the same mistakes over and over. Even when they advertise, you will see that in the end the person hired may virtually not have any of the qualifications but might e a past world or Olympic champions, and the recipe for the next disaster is set.

    "There is no better way of learning than from someone who has truly mastered certain techniques. "  (...)  You would think so, but that doesn't mean you CAN actually learn from those who truly maser certain techniques. Sometimes you can, sometimes you can't. The skill needs to be transferred from that person to you, and the parameters for such successful transfer are a totally different pair of gloves.

    The question to address really is: how are you going to transfer the skill of doing uchi-mata from Inoue to you ?  Not so many outstanding judoka have the ability to transfer their outstanding skills. The reason is simple: most of the tranferee candidate are nowhere when compared to them in degree of being outstanding. Choose the best software but if you don't meet minimal hardware requirements, have no bottle necks, it will be a disaster. I am of course not pleading for the opposite and saying that techniques are best taught by incompetent people who do not master them at all.

    How many judo clinics have not been announced on this forum taught by Olympian so and so ?  Many of them are disasters and  besides providing an opportunit for a photo shoot with a famous name in the world of judo, such clinics are mainly characterized by a sharp expiration date. Same problem.

    Like you I could say "I've had the privilege of training with many great judoka over the years", sure but can I deduct from that that thanks to this experience I now know certain techniques ?  No, not at all. Many of the names who made such impact on me were not normal people but true "freaks of nature", no disrespect meant. The Starbrooks, Geesinks, Ruskas, Van De Walles, etc. (by means of speaking, of course; I never did randori or anything else with either Geesink of Starbrook and I am glad I did not as I do not know how man limbs I would have been missing) You have them in every sport. I used to run at least twice a day, one time interval, other time endurance. I was fast enough that when I ran 400 m interval I ran past those who did 200 m. Except for some evenings when one guy stepped on the track who made me feel worthless. He ran 800 m intervals, one after another. If you know anything about running, to give you an idea, he ran the 3,000m steeple chase in like 8'10 and his personal record on the 3,000 m was something like 07'45. Yes, he ran the world championships track and field and has won medals there too. The man had all my respect, but I did not learn a thing from him except for realism that no matter what I did in running I would never reach that as the genetic gap was impossible to bridge. I mean 07:45 on the 3K ??  Yeah, by bike !  So yes, inspiration, dedication, respect, admiration, all you want, but learning ??  No. Coincidentally, he does not have students who ever got anywhere noteworthy. He could never transfer his abilities, and get a mediocre runner up to world elite.

    The ability to optimally transfer abilities requires special knowledge, skills and abilities. Understanding what the throw is, how it works and what the problems are helps. But even intellectually knowing all that is still not sufficient. You need to be able to discern the shortcomings of the students, what precisely he is lacking, and you need to be able to communicate with him or her at every level. Sure, you will find near-retarded judo champions who can barely read or write yet can perform a near perfect technique, but that is not really the point, is it. The point is to what extent those near retarded people will be able to transfer that skill to someone else.

    It is not a challenge (usually) to teach a new technique to a truly exceptionally gifted person. The challenge is to do so to a person with two left feet and two left hands.


    _________________


    "The world is a republic of mediocrities, and always was." (Thomas Carlyle)
    "Nothing is as approved as mediocrity, the majority has established it and it fixes it fangs on whatever gets beyond it either way." (Blaise Pascal)
    "Quand on essaie, c'est difficile. Quand on n'essaie pas, c'est impossible" (Guess Who ?)
    "I am never wrong. Once I thought I was, and that was a mistake."
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    icb

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    Re: Number of techniques versus proficiency for beginners

    Post by icb on Tue Dec 31, 2013 9:39 am

    At every level of university education, a certain amount of depth and breadth of knowledge is expected to be gained. Having great depth of knowledge in a narrow field to the exclusion of broad knowledge in related fields will not get you through your degree. On the other hand, having a broad general knowledge without any depth in a specific field is not acceptable for obtaining a degree in that field. With regards to teaching, professors typically get to teach some courses on topics that are very much within their areas of expertise but are also called to teach other courses for which the material is less familiar to them.

    I think that judo education can be very similar. At my club there is an expectation for students to learn the gokyo at a basic level of proficiency but to work on developing "expertise" in a subset of throws. We also adapt the teaching and learning of the gokyo to the age of the students. For example, for younger students there is a lot more emphasis on throws which have tori standing on two feet rather than one. Fortunately we have a lot of expertise among the sensei for covering the entire gokyo, but each of us are expected to be able to teach the entire gokyo at a basic level of proficiency.

    still learning

    Posts : 125
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    Re: Number of techniques versus proficiency for beginners

    Post by still learning on Tue Dec 31, 2013 10:02 am

    Cichorei Kano wrote:
    still learning wrote:
    Richard Riehle wrote:
    still learning wrote:
    samsmith2424 wrote:What do people think of teaching techniques in the order of the Gokyo?

    .   Therefore, I think the instructor should focus on teaching those waza that s/he is most skilled at doing.  

    .   If a student is lucky, s/he will have the opportunity to learn from many instructors over a lifetime.  This includes visiting other dojos, attending clinics, and building friendships throughout the Judo community so we can all learn together.  

    Good post, very thought provoking. I've had the privilege of training with many great judoka over the years, Neil Adams for taitoshi and juji gatame, Inoue for uchi mata and Fallon for tomenage, to name a few. There is no better way of learning than from someone who has truly mastered certain techniques. The caveat is that as an instructor you must be able to teach, or indeed have supporting coaches to teach, all of the techniques so that your pupils can learn as much as possible and so choose what suits them.

    I think the jury is out on this. These are two opposing schools of thought, whether a teacher should only be teaching techniques he knows well or not. Under the same rationale my teachers in my first three dôjô did not like to teach kata. They were not good at it because they thought that kata was stupid and made no sense, hence they avoided teaching it. In my first dôjô I insisted though on being examined on nage-no-kata for my 2nd kyû having heard how it was a requirement in other jûdô clubs at the time and not wanting to feel like my 2nd kyû belt was less worthy (I was a kid sitll, obviously).

    In my personal view a jûdô instructor cannot afford to teach only the things he is best in. A jûdô instructor has the responsibility to teach other things too so that perhaps his students can get good in things he is not good in. In competition I threw with virtually the entire gokyô but there was one technique I could not for the life of me master: harai-tsuri-komi-ashi (I obviously also did not throw in those days with uki-otoshi and sumi-otoshi). I started hating HTKA. Yet my teacher knew it well.

    The jury decided to ask me this technique a long time ago on my sandan exam. Luckily I had worked hard enough to show a decent enough version to pass. That year  --I think--  I also became the instructor of the junior's division of another club. It was my task to teach them jûdô, not just the jûdô I liked. So, I also taught the HTKA. I still hated the technique. Later after returning from Japan and having worked hard on Koshiki-no-kata and having gained some proficiency in kuzushi, things were different. They again became different later after starting to understand what was really meant with the whole rhythm philosophy in Koshiki-no-kata. I can now do HTKA without thinking just like other throws, and I no longer hate the throw. It is actually a quite fun throw.

    As an instructor I don't stop being a student. It was my task as student even though an instructor to get more proficiency in what I did not know. That's my personal view. I don't adhere the viewpoint of only teaching what you know well. In fact I would go even further and say that a really excellent instructor can teach things to his students with proficiency even though he might not be able to do them himself. I also think that there is nothing wrong as an instructor to honestly tell your students that when showing a certain technique that it may not be your forte. You don't have to be perfect. In fact, honestly sharing your technical flaws with your student gives you a more down-to-earth impression that might make it easier for your students to identify with you and not alienate them because you are at a level they will never reach ...

    This is not so different from the whole coaching qualifications issue. In basketball, soccer, baseball, successful coaches often have not been absolute top and are middle age or even older. Only in judo is there a crazy expectation that you should be some kind of intergallactic champion ho no one can beat hence why so many national judo teams are stuck in rut, and the federations make the same mistakes over and over. Even when they advertise, you will see that in the end the person hired may virtually not have any of the qualifications but might e a past world or Olympic champions, and the recipe for the next disaster is set.

    "There is no better way of learning than from someone who has truly mastered certain techniques. "  (...)  You would think so, but that doesn't mean you CAN actually learn from those who truly maser certain techniques. Sometimes you can, sometimes you can't. The skill needs to be transferred from that person to you, and the parameters for such successful transfer are a totally different pair of gloves.

    The question to address really is: how are you going to transfer the skill of doing uchi-mata from Inoue to you ?  Not so many outstanding judoka have the ability to transfer their outstanding skills. The reason is simple: most of the tranferee candidate are nowhere when compared to them in degree of being outstanding. Choose the best software but if you don't meet minimal hardware requirements, have no bottle necks, it will be a disaster. I am of course not pleading for the opposite and saying that techniques are best taught by incompetent people who do not master them at all.

    How many judo clinics have not been announced on this forum taught by Olympian so and so ?  Many of them are disasters and  besides providing an opportunit for a photo shoot with a famous name in the world of judo, such clinics are mainly characterized by a sharp expiration date. Same problem.

    Like you I could say "I've had the privilege of training with many great judoka over the years", sure but can I deduct from that that thanks to this experience I now know certain techniques ?  No, not at all. Many of the names who made such impact on me were not normal people but true "freaks of nature", no disrespect meant. The Starbrooks, Geesinks, Ruskas, Van De Walles, etc. (by means of speaking, of course; I never did randori or anything else with either Geesink of Starbrook and I am glad I did not as I do not know how man limbs I would have been missing) You have them in every sport. I used to run at least twice a day, one time interval, other time endurance. I was fast enough that when I ran 400 m interval I ran past those who did 200 m. Except for some evenings when one guy stepped on the track who made me feel worthless. He ran 800 m intervals, one after another. If you know anything about running, to give you an idea, he ran the 3,000m steeple chase in like 8'10 and his personal record on the 3,000 m was something like 07'45. Yes, he ran the world championships track and field and has won medals there too. The man had all my respect, but I did not learn a thing from him except for realism that no matter what I did in running I would never reach that as the genetic gap was impossible to bridge. I mean 07:45 on the 3K ??  Yeah, by bike !  So yes, inspiration, dedication, respect, admiration, all you want, but learning ??  No. Coincidentally, he does not have students who ever got anywhere noteworthy. He could never transfer his abilities, and get a mediocre runner up to world elite.

    The ability to optimally transfer abilities requires special knowledge, skills and abilities. Understanding what the throw is, how it works and what the problems are helps. But even intellectually knowing all that is still not sufficient. You need to be able to discern the shortcomings of the students, what precisely he is lacking, and you need to be able to communicate with him or her at every level. Sure, you will find near-retarded judo champions who can barely read or write yet can perform a near perfect technique, but that is not really the point, is it. The point is to what extent those near retarded people will be able to transfer that skill to someone else.

    It is not a challenge (usually) to teach a new technique to a truly exceptionally gifted person. The challenge is to do so to a person with two left feet and two left hands.

    Wow, what a wonderful response to my concise comments, greatly appreciated.

    You are of course correct in summarising that the ability to teach can play a more significant part than a judokas ability with a technique. On one occassion when we were training with Neil Adams his wife Nicki was on the mat with him, she could explain far better how Neils' technique worked than Neil himself.

    In our club I am fortunate to be one of three coaches who are all equally eager to learn and put effort into developing each other. When it comes to teaching we all know who is better at certain techniques and defer accordingly, whilst supporting appropriately. I know this is not possible for all clubs, yet our club is only small, however it is surprising how infectious enthusiasm can be.

    I do not profess to being anything special in judo, either as a competitor or a coach, however one of my fondest memories is seeing the look of delight on young yellow belts face when she threw her partner in randori (British so read that as close to shiai) with a perfect uchi mata less than ten minutes after I had first taught her the throw. No, it wasn't in her sylabus for grading I just felt it would suit the way she did her judo. So whilst we teach for the grade we should be flexible enough to know when to deviate from such a structured path.



    Richard Riehle

    Posts : 79
    Join date : 2013-06-22
    Location : California

    Re: Number of techniques versus proficiency for beginners

    Post by Richard Riehle on Tue Dec 31, 2013 12:26 pm

    Cichorei Kano wrote:
    still learning wrote:
    Richard Riehle wrote:
    still learning wrote:
    samsmith2424 wrote:What do people think of teaching techniques in the order of the Gokyo?

    .   Therefore, I think the instructor should focus on teaching those waza that s/he is most skilled at doing.  

    .   If a student is lucky, s/he will have the opportunity to learn from many instructors over a lifetime.  This includes visiting other dojos, attending clinics, and building friendships throughout the Judo community so we can all learn together.  

    Good post, very thought provoking. I've had the privilege of training with many great judoka over the years, Neil Adams for taitoshi and juji gatame, Inoue for uchi mata and Fallon for tomenage, to name a few. There is no better way of learning than from someone who has truly mastered certain techniques. The caveat is that as an instructor you must be able to teach, or indeed have supporting coaches to teach, all of the techniques so that your pupils can learn as much as possible and so choose what suits them.

    I think the jury is out on this. These are two opposing schools of thought, whether a teacher should only be teaching techniques he knows well or not. Under the same rationale my teachers in my first three dôjô did not like to teach kata. They were not good at it because they thought that kata was stupid and made no sense, hence they avoided teaching it. In my first dôjô I insisted though on being examined on nage-no-kata for my 2nd kyû having heard how it was a requirement in other jûdô clubs at the time and not wanting to feel like my 2nd kyû belt was less worthy (I was a kid sitll, obviously).

    In my personal view a jûdô instructor cannot afford to teach only the things he is best in. A jûdô instructor has the responsibility to teach other things too so that perhaps his students can get good in things he is not good in. In competition I threw with virtually the entire gokyô but there was one technique I could not for the life of me master: harai-tsuri-komi-ashi (I obviously also did not throw in those days with uki-otoshi and sumi-otoshi). I started hating HTKA. Yet my teacher knew it well.

    The jury decided to ask me this technique a long time ago on my sandan exam. Luckily I had worked hard enough to show a decent enough version to pass. That year  --I think--  I also became the instructor of the junior's division of another club. It was my task to teach them jûdô, not just the jûdô I liked. So, I also taught the HTKA. I still hated the technique. Later after returning from Japan and having worked hard on Koshiki-no-kata and having gained some proficiency in kuzushi, things were different. They again became different later after starting to understand what was really meant with the whole rhythm philosophy in Koshiki-no-kata. I can now do HTKA without thinking just like other throws, and I no longer hate the throw. It is actually a quite fun throw.

    As an instructor I don't stop being a student. It was my task as student even though an instructor to get more proficiency in what I did not know. That's my personal view. I don't adhere the viewpoint of only teaching what you know well. In fact I would go even further and say that a really excellent instructor can teach things to his students with proficiency even though he might not be able to do them himself. I also think that there is nothing wrong as an instructor to honestly tell your students that when showing a certain technique that it may not be your forte. You don't have to be perfect. In fact, honestly sharing your technical flaws with your student gives you a more down-to-earth impression that might make it easier for your students to identify with you and not alienate them because you are at a level they will never reach ...

    This is not so different from the whole coaching qualifications issue. In basketball, soccer, baseball, successful coaches often have not been absolute top and are middle age or even older. Only in judo is there a crazy expectation that you should be some kind of intergallactic champion ho no one can beat hence why so many national judo teams are stuck in rut, and the federations make the same mistakes over and over. Even when they advertise, you will see that in the end the person hired may virtually not have any of the qualifications but might e a past world or Olympic champions, and the recipe for the next disaster is set.

    "There is no better way of learning than from someone who has truly mastered certain techniques. "  (...)  You would think so, but that doesn't mean you CAN actually learn from those who truly maser certain techniques. Sometimes you can, sometimes you can't. The skill needs to be transferred from that person to you, and the parameters for such successful transfer are a totally different pair of gloves.

    The question to address really is: how are you going to transfer the skill of doing uchi-mata from Inoue to you ?  Not so many outstanding judoka have the ability to transfer their outstanding skills. The reason is simple: most of the tranferee candidate are nowhere when compared to them in degree of being outstanding. Choose the best software but if you don't meet minimal hardware requirements, have no bottle necks, it will be a disaster. I am of course not pleading for the opposite and saying that techniques are best taught by incompetent people who do not master them at all.

    How many judo clinics have not been announced on this forum taught by Olympian so and so ?  Many of them are disasters and  besides providing an opportunit for a photo shoot with a famous name in the world of judo, such clinics are mainly characterized by a sharp expiration date. Same problem.

    Like you I could say "I've had the privilege of training with many great judoka over the years", sure but can I deduct from that that thanks to this experience I now know certain techniques ?  No, not at all. Many of the names who made such impact on me were not normal people but true "freaks of nature", no disrespect meant. The Starbrooks, Geesinks, Ruskas, Van De Walles, etc. (by means of speaking, of course; I never did randori or anything else with either Geesink of Starbrook and I am glad I did not as I do not know how man limbs I would have been missing) You have them in every sport. I used to run at least twice a day, one time interval, other time endurance. I was fast enough that when I ran 400 m interval I ran past those who did 200 m. Except for some evenings when one guy stepped on the track who made me feel worthless. He ran 800 m intervals, one after another. If you know anything about running, to give you an idea, he ran the 3,000m steeple chase in like 8'10 and his personal record on the 3,000 m was something like 07'45. Yes, he ran the world championships track and field and has won medals there too. The man had all my respect, but I did not learn a thing from him except for realism that no matter what I did in running I would never reach that as the genetic gap was impossible to bridge. I mean 07:45 on the 3K ??  Yeah, by bike !  So yes, inspiration, dedication, respect, admiration, all you want, but learning ??  No. Coincidentally, he does not have students who ever got anywhere noteworthy. He could never transfer his abilities, and get a mediocre runner up to world elite.

    The ability to optimally transfer abilities requires special knowledge, skills and abilities. Understanding what the throw is, how it works and what the problems are helps. But even intellectually knowing all that is still not sufficient. You need to be able to discern the shortcomings of the students, what precisely he is lacking, and you need to be able to communicate with him or her at every level. Sure, you will find near-retarded judo champions who can barely read or write yet can perform a near perfect technique, but that is not really the point, is it. The point is to what extent those near retarded people will be able to transfer that skill to someone else.

    It is not a challenge (usually) to teach a new technique to a truly exceptionally gifted person. The challenge is to do so to a person with two left feet and two left hands
    .


    I do not disagree with you CK. My contribution was, or at least was intended to be, a bit more focused.

    The original question was about teaching introductory students. That is quite different from teaching students who already understand the basics and are ready to move on to other techniques. Also, my focus, in my post, was on the adult student, not children's Judo. My experience with children's Judo is much too limited to be useful for anyone. For the adult student, including the beginner, I am a firm believer in teaching principles. The instructor who is an expert in a given set of techniques, is likely to be able to use that expertise to teach those principles.

    You are correct, CK, that the instructor should also be prepared to teach other techniques, in fact, all of the Gokyo and beyond. However, I believe the beginning student will benefit most from learning those techniques the instructor understands best, especially when taught in the perspective of principles.

    Coaching is quite different than teaching. A coach will take a comprehensive approach to the Judoka's fitness at all levels; physical, mental, attitude, and overall preparation. Many good coaches are not especially good teachers, and vice versa. Skill sets vary in many ways in Judo. For example, some excellent teachers are not good referees, some referees are not good coaches, and so on. One interesting thing about a good coach is the ability to assess talent for shiai. Not every instructor, even some very good ones, are able to do that as well as a great coach. Often, a great coach is someone who cannot do Judo as well as when s/he was younger. I can think of several great coaches who are in that category.

    As the student makes progress from experience with a well-taught set of waza, and as s/he becomes more confident in the application of those waza, along with an understanding of the principles, it is helpful to learn from more different kinds of instructors, train with a larger variety of specialists, etc.

    As I noted in my earlier post, I can no longer do a proper tomoe-nage. There are a few other techniques that are difficult for me at my present stage of antiquity such as kata-guruma. However, my ashi-waza along with some other techniques are still pretty good. I cannot teach tomoe-nage as well as I could when I was younger since I can no longer demonstrate it properly. Even so, I can spot a good tomoe-nage quite easily, and recommend corrective action for the student.

    We use the talent we have to get the best outcome for our students. We also need to understand our limitations. My PhD is in a technological field, and I have an understanding of many technological topics. However, some of my colleagues specialize in some of those topics and can teach them better than I even though when I have a pretty good grasp of them. My practice for my academic students is to learn from those specialists if they want to get the best instruction. I think the same often applies to Judo.




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