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    How useful is uchikomi?

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    Ben Reinhardt

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    Re: How useful is uchikomi?

    Post by Ben Reinhardt on Fri Jan 17, 2014 3:59 am

    Ben Reinhardt wrote:
    Cichorei Kano wrote:
    Ben Reinhardt wrote:
    Cichorei Kano wrote:
    samsmith2424 wrote:I wonder if anyone has any doubts about the usefulness of uchikomi. If so why?

    It seems to me that logically any question that starts with "has/is anyone" probably has at least one and probably more positive returns, if not on the current 7 billion people, then at least one all the people who have ever lived. If not, the stakes would be pretty high if there wasn't one than 1 on >10,000,000,000. The one exception probably is the question that ends on "... returned from the dead"

    For the rest, it's very much like jkw says. Unfortunately so many people today seem to think of uchi-komi as some aerobic cardio exercise, dunno why. If cardio is what you wanna do, go running, go swimming go, practice on a rowing ergometer of stairmaster, use uchi-komi for what it is designed for.

    Who "designed" uchi komi, when and why ? When did it become such a integral part of judo training ?

    I get that uchikomi is basically a kind of part-part-whole training method. Maybe just the Japanese version of it specialized to Judo or ju jutsu ?

    I've often speculated to myself that in the early days of Judo, what with the (I assume) lack of suspended floors and the antique tatami, uchikomi were necessary.

    Repetitive exercises exist in many Japanese martial arts; kendô has its suburi (repetitive up and down swinging of the shinai), whereas sumô has its butsu-kari (which is from where jûdô adopted it).

    I also note that there exist numerous forms to training, but with the exception of uchi-komi, nage-komi, randori, ytandoku-renshû, aku-soku-geiko, and kakari-geiko these other forms are not commonly known among Western jûdô practitioners.

    Thank you for the response. Been wondering that for decades.

    I am familiar with all the other forms of training you listed. I did come across another term for tandoku renshu in Nobuyuki Sato book on ashi waza (published by ippon books),but I can't remember what it is.

    Hitori Geiko/renshu
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    Ben Reinhardt

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    Re: How useful is uchikomi?

    Post by Ben Reinhardt on Fri Jan 17, 2014 4:04 am

    DougNZ wrote:I teach tai otoshi as the first throw in my kids' class, for the very reason CK talked of - it gets kids in the game quickly.  This works because my goal for kids is enjoyment over technical excellence (the latter being more my focus with youths).  I've never experienced a leg injury doing so but I concentrate early on in throwing uke "off" tori, rather than winding their weight "on", as I see in so many other beginners.

    One advantage of uchikomi that I would like to point out, is its good use of time.  One can perform three or four uchikomi to every one nagekomi.

    I think enjoyment (and especially general physical education) over technical excellence is a good idea especially for little kids. However, my experience is that you have to be careful about kids developing bad habits. Now, if it's just a rec program that has kids coming and going, with no prospect or desire to move on to more technical excellence, competition, etc., it's not such a big deal. But for the kids who do move on and stay on as youths, those bad habits become serious obstacles to developing technical excellence, or even competence.

    Of course, both can and are done.

    Regarding thowing uke "off", I get it. The issue though with winding their weight "on" is one of poor instruction in my experience (not saying it is true in your case !). It's possible to teach kids O Goshi to where they throw uke "off" in the sense I think you mean.

    Care to share your teaching progression for Tai Otoshi for kids ?
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    Ben Reinhardt

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    Re: How useful is uchikomi?

    Post by Ben Reinhardt on Fri Jan 17, 2014 4:07 am

    DougNZ wrote:I teach tai otoshi as the first throw in my kids' class, for the very reason CK talked of - it gets kids in the game quickly.  This works because my goal for kids is enjoyment over technical excellence (the latter being more my focus with youths).  I've never experienced a leg injury doing so but I concentrate early on in throwing uke "off" tori, rather than winding their weight "on", as I see in so many other beginners.

    One advantage of uchikomi that I would like to point out, is its good use of time.  One can perform three or four uchikomi to every one nagekomi.

    Oh, I forgot. One good nagekomi is worth 1,000 bad uchikomi. 5 good nagekomi is worth 20 good uchikomi, easily. Complete skill performed correctly in context versus stopping in the middle?


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    Re: How useful is uchikomi?

    Post by DougNZ on Fri Jan 17, 2014 6:37 am

    Ben Reinhardt wrote:
    DougNZ wrote:
    One advantage of uchikomi that I would like to point out, is its good use of time.  One can perform three or four uchikomi to every one nagekomi.

    Oh, I forgot. One good nagekomi is worth 1,000 bad uchikomi. 5 good nagekomi is worth 20 good uchikomi, easily. Complete skill performed correctly in context versus stopping in the middle?


    Hmmm ... if uke is at a point where balance has been broken, leverage is being applied and the throw has been initiated, then the rest is pretty much a formality. I am not saying that the throw, focus and recovery is not important - it is very important - but most people struggle with the starting actions of the throw. I still maintain that good uchikomi, done with intent, is an efficient way to train. We also have a lot of 'older' members in our club and reducing cumulative impact has also improved attendance rates (I'm not asking for another ukemi debate here!!!).

    DougNZ

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    Re: How useful is uchikomi?

    Post by DougNZ on Fri Jan 17, 2014 7:17 am

    Ben Reinhardt wrote:
    Care to share your teaching progression for Tai Otoshi for kids ?

    Sure.  I keep it simple to start with: get a grip, pivot, stretch your leg out, put your hands on the ground here (pointing to a spot at 2 o'clock relative to uke rather than 12 o'clock).  It's simple because most young kids struggle with even this level of co-ordination.  We also play a few games, such as 'Jump the river - catch a fish'.  It's fun and helps reinforce the basic movement.  Though the propping leg is not addressed here, the throw is naturally done very slowly so the risk to knee injury is minimal, in my experience. As ukemi is under-developed here, we usually do three or so uchikomi and then one nagekomi, then change.

    A little further on, as older kids, I emphasise the functions of the hands and hips in kazushi (brush your hair, look at your watch, elbow in the pocket).  I also address the angle and bend of the propping leg.

    About the same time, I also teach counters to tai otoshi - step and stretch; step and spin.  We find that teaching how to escape or break a technique helps the pupil understand the technique better and so they instinctively fill a lot of the holes in their technique.  For the first time, they are looking at the technique from a new perspective - second person, in this case (this is important when we introduce visualisation at a much older stage).

    The next progression develops out of randori and is very much taught one-on-one and case-by-case.  I find that kids often escape a tai otoshi attempt, get to the front and try to apply one of their own.  Uke just stands there and tori heaves away trying to get the throw.  At this point, I teach the angles tori can manipulate uke's balance before attempting the counter.  At this point, the kids' tai otoshi becomes a dynamic thing, rather than a static beast, and so I progress to emphasising follow through, recovery and transition to groundwork. We also look at tai otoshi going forwards, backwards and sideways, and do a number of moving drills in groups of pairs.

    I guess that, other than during the early stages of instruction, the progression is more organic than structured.  That is probably a reflection of the pedagogical style of our parent ju-jitsu ryu.
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    Cichorei Kano

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    Re: How useful is uchikomi?

    Post by Cichorei Kano on Fri Jan 17, 2014 7:54 am

    Ben Reinhardt wrote:
    Oh, I forgot. One good nagekomi is worth 1,000 bad uchikomi. 5 good nagekomi is worth 20 good uchikomi, easily. Complete skill performed correctly in context versus stopping in the middle?

    I think one has to be careful with that statement. You know as well I that if taking it literally, this is highly unlikely. I do not believe that there exists any exercise if you do it only once that you would have the same effect as doing another exercise 1,000 times, irrespective of the exercise is performed poorly or not. That is simply impossible in terms of basic motor learning and physiological concepts. To actually test that statement would require prospective research design, but it would be the kind of study I would not particularly like because of the likely high number of confounding variables.

    So, I think really what it is, is personal experience of opinion expressed in an aphorism.

    I rarely use nage-komi anymore when teaching. The reason is simple, it's a boot camp of exercise. Well, it depends on what one understands under "nage-komi". The name really only indicates that one comes in and throws the opponent. So, throwing your opponent twice is nage-komi. However, that is not how the exercise is understood by most jûdôka, to whom nage-komi actually means repetitively throwing your opponent, until one of you no longer can move. In my experience, the only people who can take this kind of exercise are elite jûdôka. For the rest it's a good exercise to destroy your own club and make sure that half of it won't show up anymore after some time. The reasons are obvious. The exercise was designed to be used on a proper floating floor on spring floors, which virtually no dôjô in the West still has. How many of those are there even in the entire US ? Fukuda's in San Francisco, the Seattle dôjô, I don't know of any others; I am sure there are some others, but I don't know of them. And those I have pointed out are indeed dôjô with a tatami where you could safely carry this out. But many dôjô have a third-class tatami, an old wrestling mat, lying on concrete. Sure, the really tough ones, you know the ones who once climbed the Himalaya barefoot in short pants carrying on each should another climber who couldn't make it, the one who prefers drinking boiling lead over coffee, sure they can take anything, but the average jûdôka and certainly children, no way. Medically, nage-komi probably isn't even safe if one really starts doing a lot of them. The repeated impact causes increased muscle breakdown which leads to myoglobinuria and which could in case of underlying suboptimal kidney function produce serious problems.

    My suggestion would be to avoid comparing nage-komi and uchi-komi in a way of labelling one of them as 'better' or 'more effective'. I think they both add in a different way. Like uchi-komi is often erroneously used (as cardio exercise using a lousy throw), nage-komi too is often misused (as a bootcamp-like macho exercise). When both exercise are uses properly, both have their merit. I don't think that one should strive to repeat either exercise at the same number of repetitions.

    The merit of uchi-komi probably also extends to many cases where nage-komi is less desirable:

    - the acutely injured jûdôka
    - the jûdôka with chronic injury, for example as spinal hernia
    - the elderly jûdôka (Daigo-sensei, though 88 years old still practices uchi-komi every day; I can't imagine the same with nage-komi)
    - children
    - techniques that are uncommonly hard on the body (yoko-gake, ura-nage)
    - when technical skills are too low to safely throw the opponent
    - when uke has a large excess of body mass when compared to tori

    From training science we know the importance of the specificity of an exercise. I would not be surprised if one would carefully make measurements and analyze some things that uchi-omi and nage-komi partially train different skills. Whereas one may be inclined to immediately decide that nage-komi then is the most realistic, I would be careful in jumping to this conclusion. Nage-komi immediately leads to a throw. A simple throw is indeed what a jûdôka at basic and middle level strives for, but really it does not catch the true technical purpose of jûdô. A jûdô that like Mifune's is able to make use of a wide array of renraku- and renzoku-waza, kaeshi-waza, and the principles of sen-no-sen, sen-sen-no-sen and gô-no-sen, requires a lot more. Such a jûdô is based on sensitive communication and sensing what the opponent does, continuous action and reaction. That also means that throws which are initiated oftentimes are not at all carried through to the finish, but are part of that sensing and communication. In fact, almost always when renraku- or renzoku-waza is carried out (and we limit these to throw + throw at the exclusion of throw + katame-waza) the first (and also subsequent throws in case of more than a succession of two) are not carried out to the end. The initial skills in that case may well be closer to uchi-komi than that they are to nage-komi.

    I would actually go one step further and add that in randori oftentimes I don't throw anymore. This is not something that started taking place consciously. After I felt I finally understood what kuzushi was about, my partners often said they were taken totally by surprise and totally out of balance and that I could have easily thrown them and asked me why I didn't. It was simple: I knew they were completely off balance and that was what it was all about. I didn't need to really bury them into the tatami. There is a point in life, in jûdô life, I hope, where one no longer needs this display of superior power, and the exercise finally can start focusing on what it really is about, pure technique where you really no longer do anything and where the opponent is out of balance all of the time since the self of the other finally has ceased to exist in randori. Isn't that what mu'i is all about ? Isn't that the point where advanced kata and randori merge ? Isn't that the point beyond mere physical display ?


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    Re: How useful is uchikomi?

    Post by DougNZ on Fri Jan 17, 2014 8:49 am

    Cichorei Kano wrote:There is a point in life, in jûdô life, I hope, where one no longer needs this display of superior power, and the exercise finally can start focusing on what it really is about, pure technique where you really no longer do anything and where the opponent is out of balance all of the time since the self of the other finally has ceased to exist in randori. Isn't that what mu'i is all about ?  Isn't that the point where advanced kata and randori merge ?  Isn't that the point beyond mere physical display ?

    http://judo.forumsmotion.com/t884p15-incredible-martial-art
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    Cichorei Kano

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    Re: How useful is uchikomi?

    Post by Cichorei Kano on Fri Jan 17, 2014 11:06 am


    Ha, ha, ha, no, not really ... that's more the ones thinking they can skip the middle part, you know, those 30-40 years in between ...


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    DrJudo

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    Re: How useful is uchikomi?

    Post by DrJudo on Mon Jan 20, 2014 3:46 pm

    Very simple: uchi komi = muscle memory
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    Ben Reinhardt

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    Re: How useful is uchikomi?

    Post by Ben Reinhardt on Wed Jan 22, 2014 9:42 am

    DrJudo wrote:Very simple: uchi komi = muscle memory

    Is there a more technical term than that one ? Muscles have memories? Maybe neural pathway memories ?

    Muscle memory for an incomplete movement is a good thing?

    You will note that at no point have I said uchikomi were useless, or should be replaced with solely nage komi, BTW.



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    Ben Reinhardt

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    Re: How useful is uchikomi?

    Post by Ben Reinhardt on Wed Jan 22, 2014 10:59 am

    Cichorei Kano wrote:
    Ben Reinhardt wrote:
    Oh, I forgot. One good nagekomi is worth 1,000 bad uchikomi. 5 good nagekomi is worth 20 good uchikomi, easily. Complete skill performed correctly in context versus stopping in the middle?

    Thank you for the considered response to my post.

    Cichorei Kano wrote:I think one has to be careful with that statement. You know as well I that if taking it literally, this is highly unlikely. I do not believe that there exists any exercise if you do it only once that you would have the same effect as doing another exercise 1,000 times, irrespective of the exercise is performed poorly or not. That is simply impossible in terms of basic motor learning and physiological concepts. To actually test that statement would require prospective research design, but it would be the kind of study I would not particularly like because of the likely high number of confounding variables.

    Of course I was not writing literally. I wrote in the context of an overall training program, in which uchikomi do have a role to play, if done with some semblance of a final skill desired.

    Another exercise done incorrectly (I used the word "bad"), or in such a way as to develop bad habits. Which is how I see a LOT, if not most (yes, I know, not specific research, and based on my experience).

    I have seen many, many, judoka who have developed horrible habits from doing uchikomi incorrectly. How many, well, into the thousands over the 32 years of my doing judo, I'm sure. Myself included in that number. I've had to teach "remedial judo" to hundreds (or attempt to do so) of judoka over the 20+ years I've been teaching Judo and figured out that bad habits developed in uchikomi were a primary reason for the problems. Is the solution to work on doing better uchikomi ? Perhaps, but I've had good success on working on actually throwing.

    Cichorei Kano wrote:So, I think really what it is, is personal experience of opinion expressed in an aphorism.

    As I basically explain above. I judge my ideas against results, and, over the years, the results gotten from modifying training to include more nagekomi and other training methods that more closely resemble whole skills have gotten better results. What kind of results ? Students who can actually do Judo. And I do not use only success in shiai, or necessarily primarily success in shiai, as the only measuring stick.

    Cichorei Kano wrote:I rarely use nage-komi anymore when teaching. The reason is simple, it's a boot camp of exercise. Well, it depends on what one understands under "nage-komi". The name really only indicates that one comes in and throws the opponent. So, throwing your opponent twice is nage-komi. However, that is not how the exercise is understood by most jûdôka, to whom nage-komi actually means repetitively throwing your opponent, until one of you no longer can move.

    I use it all the time. We used it without a floating floor (my original sensei/coach), although admittedly not tatami over concrete. I now practice judo on a floating floor. If I had only (modern) tatami or inferior matting on concrete or other solid flooring, I would have to modify my practices for safety purposes, regardless of how good the ukemi of the students involved. Nage komi CAN be a bootcamp exercise, but does not have to be. Like any form of training, it can be abused/misused.

    As have been uchikomi.

    I have never thought of nage komi you describe, and it was not taught to me as such, and I do not use it as such. Anyone who might claim to have any sort of modern sports coach training who does so is a liar, stupid, sadistic, or perhaps all three. I think we've both seen that combination over our judo lifetimes.


    Cichorei Kano wrote:In my experience, the only people who can take this kind of exercise are elite jûdôka. For the rest it's a good exercise to destroy your own club and make sure that half of it won't show up anymore after some time. The reasons are obvious. The exercise was designed to be used on a proper floating floor on spring floors, which virtually no dôjô in the West still has. How many of those are there even in the entire US ?  Fukuda's in San Francisco, the Seattle dôjô, I don't know of any others; I am sure there are some others, but I don't know of them. And those I have pointed out are indeed dôjô with a tatami where you could safely carry this out. But many dôjô have a third-class tatami, an old wrestling mat, lying on concrete. Sure, the really tough ones, you know the ones who once climbed the Himalaya barefoot in short pants carrying on each should another climber who couldn't make it, the one who prefers drinking boiling lead over coffee, sure they can take anything, but the average jûdôka and certainly children, no way. Medically, nage-komi probably isn't even safe if one really starts doing a lot of them. The repeated impact causes increased muscle breakdown which leads to myoglobinuria and which could in case of underlying suboptimal kidney function produce serious problems.

    I have not taken a survey of how many dojo in the US, for example, have some sort of floating floor. Of course, if one is doing judo on crappy old wrestling mats (been there and done that more than once) on concrete (or even excellent wrestling mats on horsehair padding on concrete, as I did for years at TCU Judo Club in Ft. Worth ,TX), repetitive throwing of any sort isn't going to feature as a primary training method. At that point, randori is dangerous let alone throwing in a controlled manner ! When we designed our new dojo, I specified a floating floor with modern and in good condition tatami, and that is what we built, so obviously I agree with on that one !

    Like anything else, nage komi are used as appropriate for the given situation and goals considering all factors involved, at least that is what I do.

    Yeah, I've had that muscle breakdown thing to a small degree. Also another one to where some of my enzymes were out of the normal range. No kidney failure, though.

    Cichorei Kano wrote:My suggestion would be to avoid comparing nage-komi and uchi-komi in a way of labelling one of them as 'better' or 'more effective'. I think they both add in a different way. Like uchi-komi is often erroneously used (as cardio exercise using a lousy throw), nage-komi too is often misused (as a bootcamp-like macho exercise). When both exercise are uses properly, both have their merit. I don't think that one should strive to repeat either exercise at the same number of repetitions.

    I've never excluded uchikomi as a training method, so no problem there. However, uchikomi have to be used with a much caution as nagekomi. Both cannot be used mindlessly.

    Cichorei Kano wrote:The merit of uchi-komi probably also extends to many cases where nage-komi is less desirable:

    - the acutely injured jûdôka
    - the jûdôka with chronic injury, for example as spinal hernia
    - the elderly jûdôka (Daigo-sensei, though 88 years old still practices uchi-komi every day; I can't imagine the same with nage-komi)
    - children
    - techniques that are uncommonly hard on the body (yoko-gake, ura-nage)
    - when technical skills are too low to safely throw the opponent
    - when uke has a large excess of body mass when compared to tori

    All good points, and I'm glad you specified. Kids can do nagekomi, but of course only after the degree of control needed is learned, safety factors are taken care of and all that.

    Hey, Ura Nage nagekomi, that's what crash pads are for, don't you know ?

    Cichorei Kano wrote:From training science we know the importance of the specificity of an exercise. I would not be surprised if one would carefully make measurements and analyze some things that uchi-omi and nage-komi partially train different skills. Whereas one may be inclined to immediately decide that nage-komi then is the most realistic, I would be careful in jumping to this conclusion. Nage-komi immediately leads to a throw. A simple throw is indeed what a jûdôka at basic and middle level strives for, but really it does not catch the true technical purpose of jûdô. A jûdô that like Mifune's is able to make use of a wide array of renraku- and renzoku-waza, kaeshi-waza, and the principles of sen-no-sen, sen-sen-no-sen and gô-no-sen, requires a lot more. Such a jûdô is based on sensitive communication and sensing what the opponent does, continuous action and reaction. That also means that throws which are initiated oftentimes are not at all carried through to the finish, but are part of that sensing and communication. In fact, almost always when renraku- or renzoku-waza is carried out (and we limit these to throw + throw at the exclusion of throw + katame-waza) the first (and also subsequent throws in case of more than a succession of two) are not carried out to the end. The initial skills in that case may well be closer to uchi-komi than that they are to nage-komi.

    So now you get a more complicated. Nage komi are not done in isolation, but can be the end product of whatever sort of specific situation(al) drill/training one is doing, be it renraku/zoku/kaeshi etc. waza, or attempts to instill the various "sen" principles. Nagekomi can be as simple as a static O Goshi with a compliant uke for an 8 year old, or as complicated as a complex action-reaction sequence involving relative posture, grip, movement, uke reaction, etc etc etc. The more complicated the sequence, the more skill that is required of the uke-tori pair, and again, one goes with what is appropriate for the situation. However, if the end goal is to throw uke, then, well, throwing uke at the end (or the middle) of the sequence makes sense.

    Now, can you do all sorts of drills and sequences of action reaction or whatever without ending up in a throw ? Sure, if that is appropriate to what your goal(s) are.

    Wait, am I contradicting myself in agreeing with you ? Well, that depends on what my goal was in using my aphorism...

    Cichorei Kano wrote:I would actually go one step further and add that in randori oftentimes I don't throw anymore. This is not something that started taking place consciously. After I felt I finally understood what kuzushi was about, my partners often said they were taken totally by surprise and totally out of balance and that I could have easily thrown them and asked me why I didn't. It was simple: I knew they were completely off balance and that was what it was all about. I didn't need to really bury them into the tatami. There is a point in life, in jûdô life, I hope, where one no longer needs this display of superior power, and the exercise finally can start focusing on what it really is about, pure technique where you really no longer do anything and where the opponent is out of balance all of the time since the self of the other finally has ceased to exist in randori. Isn't that what mu'i is all about ?  Isn't that the point where advanced kata and randori merge ?  Isn't that the point beyond mere physical display ?

    What does the Zen cow say ? Mu'!

    I guess if one takes training as a show of superior power...

    training drives me to realize how much I don't really know or have the ability to do, and probably never will. Nonetheless, I keep training, keep throwing, keep taking falls, keep getting strangled (unconscious) to the degree my getting-older-body can take and still get out of bed in the morning (barely at times). I keep trying to learn more about how to train others, and not be dogmatic in my point of view.

    However, nage komi (the non-sadistic version) are a VERY important part of training. If you like, I'l write " complete skill" training instead ? Because the concept applies in all aspects of Judo, at least as far I I understand it.

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    Ben Reinhardt

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    Re: How useful is uchikomi?

    Post by Ben Reinhardt on Wed Jan 22, 2014 11:08 am

    DougNZ wrote:
    Ben Reinhardt wrote:
    DougNZ wrote:
    One advantage of uchikomi that I would like to point out, is its good use of time.  One can perform three or four uchikomi to every one nagekomi.

    Oh, I forgot. One good nagekomi is worth 1,000 bad uchikomi. 5 good nagekomi is worth 20 good uchikomi, easily. Complete skill performed correctly in context versus stopping in the middle?


    Hmmm ... if uke is at a point where balance has been broken, leverage is being applied and the throw has been initiated, then the rest is pretty much a formality.  I am not saying that the throw, focus and recovery is not important - it is very important - but most people struggle with the starting actions of the throw.  I still maintain that good uchikomi, done with intent, is an efficient way to train.  We also have a lot of 'older' members in our club and reducing cumulative impact has also improved attendance rates (I'm not asking for another ukemi debate here!!!).

    As I wrote in reply to CK, if you can use uchikomi to help people, go for it. Context is very important regarding senior judoka, kids, injuries, etc.

    I'll ask you this, though, if you train mostly to stop without throwing, how do you expect to finish when resistance is applied by uke/opponent ? When uke is resisting throughout the process ? How do you practice transition to katame waza ?

    At some point you have to train (repetitions) realistically. Randori is good, however, it does not really provide repetitions unless there is a large difference in skill level. And how much fun is that for the lesser skilled person ?




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    Re: How useful is uchikomi?

    Post by DougNZ on Wed Jan 22, 2014 12:06 pm

    Ben Reinhardt wrote:
    I'll ask you this, though, if you train mostly to stop without throwing, how do you expect to finish when resistance is applied by uke/opponent ? When uke is resisting throughout the process ? How do you practice transition to katame waza ?

    At some point you have to train (repetitions) realistically. Randori is good, however, it does not really provide repetitions unless there is a large difference in skill level. And how much fun is that for the lesser skilled person ?

    Ummm ... we don't turn up to training to do just uchikomi. It is just one tool to help people learn and improve their judo. As is nagekomi. As is randori. As is kata ... all parts of the puzzle that cannot work in isolation.
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    Cichorei Kano

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    Re: How useful is uchikomi?

    Post by Cichorei Kano on Wed Jan 22, 2014 12:37 pm

    Ben Reinhardt wrote:
    Cichorei Kano wrote:
    Ben Reinhardt wrote:
    Oh, I forgot. One good nagekomi is worth 1,000 bad uchikomi. 5 good nagekomi is worth 20 good uchikomi, easily. Complete skill performed correctly in context versus stopping in the middle?

    Thank you for the considered response to my post.

    Cichorei Kano wrote:I think one has to be careful with that statement. You know as well I that if taking it literally, this is highly unlikely. I do not believe that there exists any exercise if you do it only once that you would have the same effect as doing another exercise 1,000 times, irrespective of the exercise is performed poorly or not. That is simply impossible in terms of basic motor learning and physiological concepts. To actually test that statement would require prospective research design, but it would be the kind of study I would not particularly like because of the likely high number of confounding variables.

    Of course I was not  writing literally. I wrote in the context of an overall training program, in which uchikomi do have a role to play, if done with some semblance of a final skill desired.

    Another exercise done incorrectly (I used the word "bad"), or in such a way as to develop bad habits. Which is how I see a LOT, if not most (yes, I know, not specific research, and based on my experience).

    I have seen many, many, judoka who have developed horrible habits from doing uchikomi incorrectly. How many, well, into the thousands over the 32 years of my doing judo, I'm sure. Myself included in that number. I've had to teach "remedial judo" to hundreds (or attempt to do so) of judoka over the 20+ years I've been teaching Judo and figured out that bad habits developed in uchikomi were a primary reason for the problems. Is the solution to work on doing better uchikomi ? Perhaps, but I've had good success on working on actually throwing.

    Cichorei Kano wrote:So, I think really what it is, is personal experience of opinion expressed in an aphorism.

    As I basically explain above. I judge my ideas against results, and, over the years, the results gotten from modifying training to include more nagekomi and other training methods that more closely resemble whole skills have gotten better results. What kind of results ? Students who can actually do Judo. And I do not use only success in shiai, or necessarily primarily success in shiai, as the only measuring stick.

    Cichorei Kano wrote:I rarely use nage-komi anymore when teaching. The reason is simple, it's a boot camp of exercise. Well, it depends on what one understands under "nage-komi". The name really only indicates that one comes in and throws the opponent. So, throwing your opponent twice is nage-komi. However, that is not how the exercise is understood by most jûdôka, to whom nage-komi actually means repetitively throwing your opponent, until one of you no longer can move.

    I use it all the time. We used it without a floating floor (my original sensei/coach), although admittedly not tatami over concrete. I now practice judo on a floating floor. If I had only (modern) tatami or inferior matting on concrete or other solid flooring, I would have to modify my practices for safety purposes, regardless of how good the ukemi of the students involved.  Nage komi CAN be a bootcamp exercise, but does not have to be. Like any form of training, it can be abused/misused.

    As have been uchikomi.

    I have never thought of nage komi  you describe, and it was not taught to me as such, and I do not use it as such. Anyone who might claim to have any sort of modern sports coach training who does so is a liar, stupid, sadistic, or perhaps all three. I think we've both seen that combination over our judo lifetimes.


    Cichorei Kano wrote:In my experience, the only people who can take this kind of exercise are elite jûdôka. For the rest it's a good exercise to destroy your own club and make sure that half of it won't show up anymore after some time. The reasons are obvious. The exercise was designed to be used on a proper floating floor on spring floors, which virtually no dôjô in the West still has. How many of those are there even in the entire US ?  Fukuda's in San Francisco, the Seattle dôjô, I don't know of any others; I am sure there are some others, but I don't know of them. And those I have pointed out are indeed dôjô with a tatami where you could safely carry this out. But many dôjô have a third-class tatami, an old wrestling mat, lying on concrete. Sure, the really tough ones, you know the ones who once climbed the Himalaya barefoot in short pants carrying on each should another climber who couldn't make it, the one who prefers drinking boiling lead over coffee, sure they can take anything, but the average jûdôka and certainly children, no way. Medically, nage-komi probably isn't even safe if one really starts doing a lot of them. The repeated impact causes increased muscle breakdown which leads to myoglobinuria and which could in case of underlying suboptimal kidney function produce serious problems.

    I have not taken a survey of how many dojo in the US, for example, have some sort of floating floor. Of course, if one is doing judo on crappy old wrestling mats (been there and done that more than once) on concrete (or even excellent wrestling mats on horsehair padding on concrete, as I did for years at TCU Judo Club in Ft. Worth ,TX), repetitive throwing of any sort isn't going to feature as a primary training method. At that point, randori is dangerous let alone throwing in a controlled manner ! When we designed our new dojo, I specified a floating floor with modern and in good condition tatami, and that is what we built, so obviously I agree with on that one !

    Like anything else, nage komi are used as appropriate for the given situation and goals considering all factors involved, at least that is what I do.

    Yeah, I've had that muscle breakdown thing to a small degree. Also another one to where some of my enzymes were out of the normal range. No kidney failure, though.

    Cichorei Kano wrote:My suggestion would be to avoid comparing nage-komi and uchi-komi in a way of labelling one of them as 'better' or 'more effective'. I think they both add in a different way. Like uchi-komi is often erroneously used (as cardio exercise using a lousy throw), nage-komi too is often misused (as a bootcamp-like macho exercise). When both exercise are uses properly, both have their merit. I don't think that one should strive to repeat either exercise at the same number of repetitions.

    I've never excluded uchikomi as a training method, so no problem there. However, uchikomi have to be used with a much caution as nagekomi. Both cannot be used mindlessly.

    Cichorei Kano wrote:The merit of uchi-komi probably also extends to many cases where nage-komi is less desirable:

    - the acutely injured jûdôka
    - the jûdôka with chronic injury, for example as spinal hernia
    - the elderly jûdôka (Daigo-sensei, though 88 years old still practices uchi-komi every day; I can't imagine the same with nage-komi)
    - children
    - techniques that are uncommonly hard on the body (yoko-gake, ura-nage)
    - when technical skills are too low to safely throw the opponent
    - when uke has a large excess of body mass when compared to tori

    All good points,  and I'm glad you specified. Kids can do nagekomi, but of course only after the degree of control needed is learned, safety factors are taken care of and all that.

    Hey, Ura Nage nagekomi, that's what crash pads are for, don't you know ?

    Cichorei Kano wrote:From training science we know the importance of the specificity of an exercise. I would not be surprised if one would carefully make measurements and analyze some things that uchi-omi and nage-komi partially train different skills. Whereas one may be inclined to immediately decide that nage-komi then is the most realistic, I would be careful in jumping to this conclusion. Nage-komi immediately leads to a throw. A simple throw is indeed what a jûdôka at basic and middle level strives for, but really it does not catch the true technical purpose of jûdô. A jûdô that like Mifune's is able to make use of a wide array of renraku- and renzoku-waza, kaeshi-waza, and the principles of sen-no-sen, sen-sen-no-sen and gô-no-sen, requires a lot more. Such a jûdô is based on sensitive communication and sensing what the opponent does, continuous action and reaction. That also means that throws which are initiated oftentimes are not at all carried through to the finish, but are part of that sensing and communication. In fact, almost always when renraku- or renzoku-waza is carried out (and we limit these to throw + throw at the exclusion of throw + katame-waza) the first (and also subsequent throws in case of more than a succession of two) are not carried out to the end. The initial skills in that case may well be closer to uchi-komi than that they are to nage-komi.

    So now you get a more complicated. Nage komi are not done in isolation, but can be the end product of whatever sort of specific situation(al) drill/training one is doing, be it renraku/zoku/kaeshi etc. waza, or attempts to instill the various "sen" principles. Nagekomi can be as simple as a static O Goshi with a compliant uke for an 8 year old, or as complicated as a complex action-reaction sequence involving relative posture, grip, movement, uke reaction, etc etc etc. The more complicated the sequence, the more skill that is required of the uke-tori pair, and again, one goes with what is appropriate for the situation. However, if the end goal is to throw uke, then, well, throwing uke at the end (or the middle) of the sequence makes sense.

    Now, can you do all sorts of drills and sequences of action reaction or whatever without ending up in a throw ? Sure, if that is appropriate to what your goal(s) are.

    Wait, am I contradicting myself in agreeing with you ? Well, that depends on what my goal was in using my aphorism...

    Cichorei Kano wrote:I would actually go one step further and add that in randori oftentimes I don't throw anymore. This is not something that started taking place consciously. After I felt I finally understood what kuzushi was about, my partners often said they were taken totally by surprise and totally out of balance and that I could have easily thrown them and asked me why I didn't. It was simple: I knew they were completely off balance and that was what it was all about. I didn't need to really bury them into the tatami. There is a point in life, in jûdô life, I hope, where one no longer needs this display of superior power, and the exercise finally can start focusing on what it really is about, pure technique where you really no longer do anything and where the opponent is out of balance all of the time since the self of the other finally has ceased to exist in randori. Isn't that what mu'i is all about ?  Isn't that the point where advanced kata and randori merge ?  Isn't that the point beyond mere physical display ?

    What does the Zen cow say ? Mu'!

    I guess if one takes training as a show of superior power...

    training drives me to realize how much I don't really know or have the ability to do, and probably never will. Nonetheless, I keep training, keep throwing, keep taking falls, keep getting strangled (unconscious) to the degree my getting-older-body can take and still get out of bed in the morning (barely at times). I keep trying to learn more about how to train others, and not be dogmatic in my point of view.

    However, nage komi (the non-sadistic version) are a VERY important part of training. If you like, I'l write " complete skill" training instead ? Because the concept applies in all aspects of Judo, at least as far I I understand it.


    Thanks for sharing some good ideas. I think it would be complicated to reply and preserve each quote in response to another quote, so I am going to pick out some thoughts that seem important.

    It seems from our discussion that we both agree about the importance of correctly carrying out an exercise. And probably when a very large proporition of jûdôka continuous doesn't do the exercise wrong, it is no longer the jûdôka, but the exercise that gets blamed. We know this is true for randori which oftentimes is performed as competition, and we know this is true for uchi-komi which is like I pointed out more often than not done as a cardio exercise, and als you point out, no longer significantly conributing to improving technique. From what I understand from your response, you seem to teach/use nage-komi differently from how so many use it. Maybe I committed the same mistake for which I warned and was comparing correct uchi-komi with wrong nage-komi. If so, mea culpa. Indeed it is possible to come up with excellent nage-komi drills. And I am glad to hear if you are able to successfully use the this exercise in a pedagogical way.

    I guess, what we are really dealing with here is the same problem as in "what is best judo or karate" kind of situation. As such perhaps he comparison uchi-komi/nage-komi does not make as much a sense as judoka A vs. judoka B practising uchi-komi vs. nage-komi. Without linking the training form to a particular jûdôka, all the arguments we both apply in favor or contra all apply.

    So, you made a good case, and I think that without these explanations, many reader might have derived something different from what you were trying to say. Virtually everywhere I come when nage-komi is announced, it's the boot camp variation ...

    You also wrote "Hey, Ura Nage nagekomi, that's what crash pads are for, don't you know ?" (...)

    I will consider that a ... very large typo ..."

    You also wrote "So now you get a more complicated. Nage komi are not done in isolation, but can be the end product of whatever sort of specific situation(al) drill/training one is doing, be it renraku/zoku/kaeshi etc. waza, or attempts to instill the various "sen" principles. Nagekomi can be as simple as a static O Goshi with a compliant uke for an 8 year old, or as complicated as a complex action-reaction sequence involving relative posture, grip, movement, uke reaction, etc etc etc." (...)

    You are right, and I should have considered that before I concluded my previous post. But, this brings me back to what I had already concluded at the beginning ... namely that you seem to be using nage-komi still in its much wider pedagogical perspective. I have no problem with that whatsoever, and echo what you wrote. But I rarely see these still being done in clubs.

    You wrote: "I guess if one takes training as a show of superior power..." (...)

    Reading your post though, it seems to me that you were speaking as a sensei, which is great, but I doubt that this is the average situation with most people on a tatami, particularly those who are still competition-active or hope to become.

    So, not much you wrote that I would disagree with at all. I just think that many of the forms you describe, I no longer refer to them as nage-komi, but simply by the type of entry or other, one of the reasons being that most people I teach would no longer understand these things under nage-komi, but only the "repetitively bury into the tatami until he no longer moves" kind of variation.

    Thanks for sharing, good discussion.


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    Ben Reinhardt

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    Re: How useful is uchikomi?

    Post by Ben Reinhardt on Thu Jan 23, 2014 4:50 am

    Cichorei Kano wrote:
    Ben Reinhardt wrote:
    Cichorei Kano wrote:
    Ben Reinhardt wrote:
    Oh, I forgot. One good nagekomi is worth 1,000 bad uchikomi. 5 good nagekomi is worth 20 good uchikomi, easily. Complete skill performed correctly in context versus stopping in the middle?

    Thank you for the considered response to my post.

    Cichorei Kano wrote:I think one has to be careful with that statement. You know as well I that if taking it literally, this is highly unlikely. I do not believe that there exists any exercise if you do it only once that you would have the same effect as doing another exercise 1,000 times, irrespective of the exercise is performed poorly or not. That is simply impossible in terms of basic motor learning and physiological concepts. To actually test that statement would require prospective research design, but it would be the kind of study I would not particularly like because of the likely high number of confounding variables.

    Of course I was not  writing literally. I wrote in the context of an overall training program, in which uchikomi do have a role to play, if done with some semblance of a final skill desired.

    Another exercise done incorrectly (I used the word "bad"), or in such a way as to develop bad habits. Which is how I see a LOT, if not most (yes, I know, not specific research, and based on my experience).

    I have seen many, many, judoka who have developed horrible habits from doing uchikomi incorrectly. How many, well, into the thousands over the 32 years of my doing judo, I'm sure. Myself included in that number. I've had to teach "remedial judo" to hundreds (or attempt to do so) of judoka over the 20+ years I've been teaching Judo and figured out that bad habits developed in uchikomi were a primary reason for the problems. Is the solution to work on doing better uchikomi ? Perhaps, but I've had good success on working on actually throwing.

    Cichorei Kano wrote:So, I think really what it is, is personal experience of opinion expressed in an aphorism.

    As I basically explain above. I judge my ideas against results, and, over the years, the results gotten from modifying training to include more nagekomi and other training methods that more closely resemble whole skills have gotten better results. What kind of results ? Students who can actually do Judo. And I do not use only success in shiai, or necessarily primarily success in shiai, as the only measuring stick.

    Cichorei Kano wrote:I rarely use nage-komi anymore when teaching. The reason is simple, it's a boot camp of exercise. Well, it depends on what one understands under "nage-komi". The name really only indicates that one comes in and throws the opponent. So, throwing your opponent twice is nage-komi. However, that is not how the exercise is understood by most jûdôka, to whom nage-komi actually means repetitively throwing your opponent, until one of you no longer can move.

    I use it all the time. We used it without a floating floor (my original sensei/coach), although admittedly not tatami over concrete. I now practice judo on a floating floor. If I had only (modern) tatami or inferior matting on concrete or other solid flooring, I would have to modify my practices for safety purposes, regardless of how good the ukemi of the students involved.  Nage komi CAN be a bootcamp exercise, but does not have to be. Like any form of training, it can be abused/misused.

    As have been uchikomi.

    I have never thought of nage komi  you describe, and it was not taught to me as such, and I do not use it as such. Anyone who might claim to have any sort of modern sports coach training who does so is a liar, stupid, sadistic, or perhaps all three. I think we've both seen that combination over our judo lifetimes.


    Cichorei Kano wrote:In my experience, the only people who can take this kind of exercise are elite jûdôka. For the rest it's a good exercise to destroy your own club and make sure that half of it won't show up anymore after some time. The reasons are obvious. The exercise was designed to be used on a proper floating floor on spring floors, which virtually no dôjô in the West still has. How many of those are there even in the entire US ?  Fukuda's in San Francisco, the Seattle dôjô, I don't know of any others; I am sure there are some others, but I don't know of them. And those I have pointed out are indeed dôjô with a tatami where you could safely carry this out. But many dôjô have a third-class tatami, an old wrestling mat, lying on concrete. Sure, the really tough ones, you know the ones who once climbed the Himalaya barefoot in short pants carrying on each should another climber who couldn't make it, the one who prefers drinking boiling lead over coffee, sure they can take anything, but the average jûdôka and certainly children, no way. Medically, nage-komi probably isn't even safe if one really starts doing a lot of them. The repeated impact causes increased muscle breakdown which leads to myoglobinuria and which could in case of underlying suboptimal kidney function produce serious problems.

    I have not taken a survey of how many dojo in the US, for example, have some sort of floating floor. Of course, if one is doing judo on crappy old wrestling mats (been there and done that more than once) on concrete (or even excellent wrestling mats on horsehair padding on concrete, as I did for years at TCU Judo Club in Ft. Worth ,TX), repetitive throwing of any sort isn't going to feature as a primary training method. At that point, randori is dangerous let alone throwing in a controlled manner ! When we designed our new dojo, I specified a floating floor with modern and in good condition tatami, and that is what we built, so obviously I agree with on that one !

    Like anything else, nage komi are used as appropriate for the given situation and goals considering all factors involved, at least that is what I do.

    Yeah, I've had that muscle breakdown thing to a small degree. Also another one to where some of my enzymes were out of the normal range. No kidney failure, though.

    Cichorei Kano wrote:My suggestion would be to avoid comparing nage-komi and uchi-komi in a way of labelling one of them as 'better' or 'more effective'. I think they both add in a different way. Like uchi-komi is often erroneously used (as cardio exercise using a lousy throw), nage-komi too is often misused (as a bootcamp-like macho exercise). When both exercise are uses properly, both have their merit. I don't think that one should strive to repeat either exercise at the same number of repetitions.

    I've never excluded uchikomi as a training method, so no problem there. However, uchikomi have to be used with a much caution as nagekomi. Both cannot be used mindlessly.

    Cichorei Kano wrote:The merit of uchi-komi probably also extends to many cases where nage-komi is less desirable:

    - the acutely injured jûdôka
    - the jûdôka with chronic injury, for example as spinal hernia
    - the elderly jûdôka (Daigo-sensei, though 88 years old still practices uchi-komi every day; I can't imagine the same with nage-komi)
    - children
    - techniques that are uncommonly hard on the body (yoko-gake, ura-nage)
    - when technical skills are too low to safely throw the opponent
    - when uke has a large excess of body mass when compared to tori

    All good points,  and I'm glad you specified. Kids can do nagekomi, but of course only after the degree of control needed is learned, safety factors are taken care of and all that.

    Hey, Ura Nage nagekomi, that's what crash pads are for, don't you know ?

    Cichorei Kano wrote:From training science we know the importance of the specificity of an exercise. I would not be surprised if one would carefully make measurements and analyze some things that uchi-omi and nage-komi partially train different skills. Whereas one may be inclined to immediately decide that nage-komi then is the most realistic, I would be careful in jumping to this conclusion. Nage-komi immediately leads to a throw. A simple throw is indeed what a jûdôka at basic and middle level strives for, but really it does not catch the true technical purpose of jûdô. A jûdô that like Mifune's is able to make use of a wide array of renraku- and renzoku-waza, kaeshi-waza, and the principles of sen-no-sen, sen-sen-no-sen and gô-no-sen, requires a lot more. Such a jûdô is based on sensitive communication and sensing what the opponent does, continuous action and reaction. That also means that throws which are initiated oftentimes are not at all carried through to the finish, but are part of that sensing and communication. In fact, almost always when renraku- or renzoku-waza is carried out (and we limit these to throw + throw at the exclusion of throw + katame-waza) the first (and also subsequent throws in case of more than a succession of two) are not carried out to the end. The initial skills in that case may well be closer to uchi-komi than that they are to nage-komi.

    So now you get a more complicated. Nage komi are not done in isolation, but can be the end product of whatever sort of specific situation(al) drill/training one is doing, be it renraku/zoku/kaeshi etc. waza, or attempts to instill the various "sen" principles. Nagekomi can be as simple as a static O Goshi with a compliant uke for an 8 year old, or as complicated as a complex action-reaction sequence involving relative posture, grip, movement, uke reaction, etc etc etc. The more complicated the sequence, the more skill that is required of the uke-tori pair, and again, one goes with what is appropriate for the situation. However, if the end goal is to throw uke, then, well, throwing uke at the end (or the middle) of the sequence makes sense.

    Now, can you do all sorts of drills and sequences of action reaction or whatever without ending up in a throw ? Sure, if that is appropriate to what your goal(s) are.

    Wait, am I contradicting myself in agreeing with you ? Well, that depends on what my goal was in using my aphorism...

    Cichorei Kano wrote:I would actually go one step further and add that in randori oftentimes I don't throw anymore. This is not something that started taking place consciously. After I felt I finally understood what kuzushi was about, my partners often said they were taken totally by surprise and totally out of balance and that I could have easily thrown them and asked me why I didn't. It was simple: I knew they were completely off balance and that was what it was all about. I didn't need to really bury them into the tatami. There is a point in life, in jûdô life, I hope, where one no longer needs this display of superior power, and the exercise finally can start focusing on what it really is about, pure technique where you really no longer do anything and where the opponent is out of balance all of the time since the self of the other finally has ceased to exist in randori. Isn't that what mu'i is all about ?  Isn't that the point where advanced kata and randori merge ?  Isn't that the point beyond mere physical display ?

    What does the Zen cow say ? Mu'!

    I guess if one takes training as a show of superior power...

    training drives me to realize how much I don't really know or have the ability to do, and probably never will. Nonetheless, I keep training, keep throwing, keep taking falls, keep getting strangled (unconscious) to the degree my getting-older-body can take and still get out of bed in the morning (barely at times). I keep trying to learn more about how to train others, and not be dogmatic in my point of view.

    However, nage komi (the non-sadistic version) are a VERY important part of training. If you like, I'l write " complete skill" training instead ? Because the concept applies in all aspects of Judo, at least as far I I understand it.


    Thanks for sharing some good ideas. I think it would be complicated to reply and preserve each quote in response to another quote, so I am going to pick out some thoughts that seem important.

    It seems from our discussion that we both agree about the importance of correctly carrying out an exercise. And probably when a very large proporition of jûdôka continuous doesn't do the exercise wrong, it is no longer the jûdôka, but the exercise that gets blamed. We know this is true for randori which oftentimes is performed as competition, and we know this is true for uchi-komi which is like I pointed out more often than not done as a cardio exercise, and als you point out, no longer significantly contributing to improving technique. From what I understand from your response, you seem to teach/use nage-komi differently from how so many use it. Maybe I committed the same mistake for which I warned and was comparing correct uchi-komi with wrong nage-komi. If so, mea culpa. Indeed it is possible to come up with excellent nage-komi drills. And I am glad to hear if you are able to successfully use the this exercise in a pedagogical way.

    I guess, what we are really dealing with here is the same problem as in "what is best judo or karate" kind of situation. As such perhaps he comparison uchi-komi/nage-komi does not make as much a sense as judoka A vs. judoka B practising uchi-komi vs. nage-komi. Without linking the training form to a particular jûdôka, all the arguments we both apply in favor or contra all apply.

    So, you made a good case, and I think that without these explanations, many reader might have derived something different from what you were trying to say. Virtually everywhere I come when nage-komi is announced, it's the boot camp variation ...

    You also wrote "Hey, Ura Nage nagekomi, that's what crash pads are for, don't you know ?" (...)

    I will consider that a ... very large typo ..."

    You also wrote "So now you get a more complicated. Nage komi are not done in isolation, but can be the end product of whatever sort of specific situation(al) drill/training one is doing, be it renraku/zoku/kaeshi etc. waza, or attempts to instill the various "sen" principles. Nagekomi can be as simple as a static O Goshi with a compliant uke for an 8 year old, or as complicated as a complex action-reaction sequence involving relative posture, grip, movement, uke reaction, etc etc etc." (...)

    You are right, and I should have considered that before I concluded my previous post. But, this brings me back to what I had already concluded at the beginning ... namely that you seem to be using nage-komi still in its much wider pedagogical perspective. I have no problem with that whatsoever, and echo what you wrote. But I rarely see these still being done in clubs.

    You wrote: "I guess if one takes training as a show of superior power..." (...)

    Reading your post though, it seems to me that you were speaking as a sensei, which is great, but I doubt that this is the average situation with most people on a tatami, particularly those who are still competition-active or hope to become.

    So, not much you wrote that I would disagree with at all. I just think that many of the forms you describe, I no longer refer to them as nage-komi, but simply by the type of entry or other, one of the reasons being that most people I teach would no longer understand these things under nage-komi, but only the "repetitively bury into the tatami until he no longer moves" kind of variation.

    Thanks for sharing, good discussion.

    I was definitely using hyperbole in the original statement/post to which you so thoughtfully replied.

    If the goal in judo, physically, is to throw one's uke (or opponent), then maybe actually throwing uke should be a larger part of training. This should be done safely and appropriately within context for the practitioners and the equipment (tatami/flooring) available. Uchikomi can be part of the process, however, my experience is that real success requires the balance be more towards complete skill practice, again, as appropriate in complexity as required.

    I to this day see way too much static, dead training, then randori, in which some sort of miracle is expected to happen. Practice the skill as it will be done, or some reasonable facsimile for the level and capabilities of the student(s).

    Kids are allowed to develop horrible habits of posture, movement, gripping, and throwing (katame/ne waza as well), and carry those on into adulthood if they manage to stick with Judo that long. Those that have any success in that situation are usually physically gifted individuals who unless they get some sort of remedial training, or are truly physical geniuses, eventually run into a wall in their training because they revert under stress to what they originally learned and repeated thousands of times over the years.

    I was taught to do judo with control, appropriate force/speed (sage and katame waza), and respect and care for uke, even when going all out in competition or training. I have taught my students the same over the years, and seen them be successful in judo and life in general as works in progress. They all did a healthy amount of lets say, throwing each other. OK, a LOT of throwing each other. But I realize that's not the norm anymore, if it ever was.

    Hopefully people reading this will get the idea.







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    BillC

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    Re: How useful is uchikomi?

    Post by BillC on Thu Jan 23, 2014 5:17 am

    Ben Reinhardt wrote:
    I was definitely using hyperbole in the original statement/post to which you so thoughtfully replied.

    If the goal in judo, physically, is to throw  one's uke (or opponent), then maybe actually throwing uke should be a larger part of training. This should be done safely and appropriately within context for the practitioners and the equipment (tatami/flooring) available. Uchikomi can be part of the process, however, my experience is that real success requires the balance be more towards complete skill practice, again, as appropriate in complexity as required.

    I to this day see way too much static, dead training, then randori, in which some sort of miracle is expected to happen. Practice the skill as it will be done, or some reasonable facsimile for the level and capabilities of the student(s).

    Kids are allowed to develop horrible habits of posture, movement, gripping, and throwing (katame/ne waza as well), and carry those on into adulthood if they manage to stick with Judo that long. Those that have any success in that situation are usually physically gifted individuals who unless they get some sort of remedial training, or are truly physical geniuses, eventually run into a wall in their training because they revert under stress to what they originally learned and repeated thousands of times over the years.

    I was taught to do judo with control, appropriate force/speed (sage and katame waza), and respect and care for uke, even when going all out in competition or training.  I have taught my students the same over the years, and seen them be successful in judo and life in general as works in progress. They all did a healthy amount of lets say, throwing each other. OK, a LOT of throwing each other. But I realize that's not the norm anymore, if it ever was.

    Hopefully people reading this will get the idea.


    5 stars for the excellent and wise post. Kinda cuts to the core of everything wrong with "judo" (whatever that has become) and offers insight into how it might be fixed.

    A dog for your failure to edit all the previous quotes. Ha ha.


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    Ben Reinhardt

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    Re: How useful is uchikomi?

    Post by Ben Reinhardt on Thu Jan 23, 2014 6:45 am

    BillC wrote:
    Ben Reinhardt wrote:
    I was definitely using hyperbole in the original statement/post to which you so thoughtfully replied.

    If the goal in judo, physically, is to throw  one's uke (or opponent), then maybe actually throwing uke should be a larger part of training. This should be done safely and appropriately within context for the practitioners and the equipment (tatami/flooring) available. Uchikomi can be part of the process, however, my experience is that real success requires the balance be more towards complete skill practice, again, as appropriate in complexity as required.

    I to this day see way too much static, dead training, then randori, in which some sort of miracle is expected to happen. Practice the skill as it will be done, or some reasonable facsimile for the level and capabilities of the student(s).

    Kids are allowed to develop horrible habits of posture, movement, gripping, and throwing (katame/ne waza as well), and carry those on into adulthood if they manage to stick with Judo that long. Those that have any success in that situation are usually physically gifted individuals who unless they get some sort of remedial training, or are truly physical geniuses, eventually run into a wall in their training because they revert under stress to what they originally learned and repeated thousands of times over the years.

    I was taught to do judo with control, appropriate force/speed (sage and katame waza), and respect and care for uke, even when going all out in competition or training.  I have taught my students the same over the years, and seen them be successful in judo and life in general as works in progress. They all did a healthy amount of lets say, throwing each other. OK, a LOT of throwing each other. But I realize that's not the norm anymore, if it ever was.

    Hopefully people reading this will get the idea.


    5 stars for the excellent and wise post.  Kinda cuts to the core of everything wrong with "judo" (whatever that has become) and offers insight into how it might be fixed.

    A dog for your failure to edit all the previous quotes.  Ha ha.

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    Ryvai

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    Re: How useful is uchikomi?

    Post by Ryvai on Thu Jan 23, 2014 9:04 am

    This thread is a very nice read. I appreciate it Smile

    Should we teach uchikomi to children under 14 years old or let them do nagekomi? or do we let them do the uchikomi with special resistance allowing them to lift the partner from the ground? It's a pedagogical question conflicting with physiological limitations.

    I've seen some discussion regarding kids and uchikomi. It is in my opinion wrong to teach uchikomi to children under 14 years old. Someone mentioned the term "muscle-memory", which can be problematic, because kids grow very fast and their bodies are adjusting ALL the time. This is why som kids seems clumsy, but they are in fact just adjusting their bodies and coordination. If a 12 year old does 1000x uchikomi on his seoi-nage in January, his tsukuri for said technique might be completely different in March because one leg might even be longer than the other. Re-learning tsukuri with your body being a changing variable might be very distructive for technique dont you think? Smile
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    Cichorei Kano

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    Re: How useful is uchikomi?

    Post by Cichorei Kano on Thu Jan 23, 2014 9:44 am

    Ryvai wrote:This thread is a very nice read. I appreciate it Smile

    Should we teach uchikomi to children under 14 years old or let them do nagekomi? or do we let them do the uchikomi with special resistance allowing them to lift the partner from the ground? It's a pedagogical question conflicting with physiological limitations.

    I've seen some discussion regarding kids and uchikomi. It is in my opinion wrong to teach uchikomi to children under 14 years old.


    Wrong ?  Why would that be wrong ?  And why would it need to be uchi-komi or nage-komi, rather than 'AND' ?  Of course, children have anatomo-biomechanical imitations in that their movements lack elasticity and are relatively mechanically inefficiënt.


    Ryvai wrote:Someone mentioned the term "muscle-memory", which can be problematic, because kids grow very fast and their bodies are adjusting ALL the time. This is why som kids seems clumsy, but they are in fact just adjusting their bodies and coordination. If a 12 year old does 1000x uchikomi on his seoi-nage in January, his tsukuri for said technique might be completely different in March because one leg might even be longer than the other. Re-learning tsukuri with your body being a changing variable might be very distructive for technique dont you think? Smile

    The dynamics of a throw do not dramatically change depending on someon's growth. Muscle-memory is not such that it is stuck in a person's age or body size. Neurological coordination relies inter alia on th ability to simultaneously fire enough neurons.

    The one problem that exists and that is certainly present when teaching groups of kids is that children around puberty experience a drop in coordination. So, puberty is a very frustrating time for sensei to teach new techniques. This drop in coordination is caused by hormonal changes. Nothing you can do about. It's more excessive in some than in others, and because each kid has its puberty at a somewhat different age, this is a challenge for the sensei. But what it does not is qualify either uchi-komi or nage-komi as useless or inappropriate, not at all. Either exercise will still help even though the yield is temporarily suppressed.


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    Ben Reinhardt

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    Re: How useful is uchikomi?

    Post by Ben Reinhardt on Thu Jan 23, 2014 9:56 am

    Ryvai wrote:This thread is a very nice read. I appreciate it Smile

    Should we teach uchikomi to children under 14 years old or let them do nagekomi? or do we let them do the uchikomi with special resistance allowing them to lift the partner from the ground? It's a pedagogical question conflicting with physiological limitations.

    I've seen some discussion regarding kids and uchikomi. It is in my opinion wrong to teach uchikomi to children under 14 years old. Someone mentioned the term "muscle-memory", which can be problematic, because kids grow very fast and their bodies are adjusting ALL the time. This is why som kids seems clumsy, but they are in fact just adjusting their bodies and coordination. If a 12 year old does 1000x uchikomi on his seoi-nage in January, his tsukuri for said technique might be completely different in March because one leg might even be longer than the other. Re-learning tsukuri with your body being a changing variable might be very distructive for technique dont you think? Smile

    There is a lot of room in "kids under 14 years old" to cover in terms of physical, mental, and emotional development.

    Try this on for size. I've posted it before, but it's always worth repeating.

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    samsmith2424

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    Re: How useful is uchikomi?

    Post by samsmith2424 on Thu Jan 23, 2014 5:46 pm

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Strength-Conditioning-Young-Athletes-application/dp/0415694892/ref=sr_1_26?ie=UTF8&qid=1390459353&sr=8-26&keywords=physical+training+in+children
     
    The authors in this book, incidently, Ben disagreed with some of the underlying ideas in these Long Term Atheletic Development plans which sport associtions use. This book was a good read and was well worth reading and it challenged some of the ideas I held.
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    Ben Reinhardt

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    Re: How useful is uchikomi?

    Post by Ben Reinhardt on Fri Jan 24, 2014 3:09 am

    samsmith2424 wrote:http://www.amazon.co.uk/Strength-Conditioning-Young-Athletes-application/dp/0415694892/ref=sr_1_26?ie=UTF8&qid=1390459353&sr=8-26&keywords=physical+training+in+children
     
    The authors in this book, incidently, Ben disagreed with some of the underlying ideas in these Long Term Atheletic Development plans which sport associtions use. This book was a good read and was well worth reading and it challenged some of the ideas I held.

    Thanks, I'll check it out !
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    Ben Reinhardt

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    Re: How useful is uchikomi?

    Post by Ben Reinhardt on Fri Jan 24, 2014 3:19 am

    samsmith2424 wrote:http://www.amazon.co.uk/Strength-Conditioning-Young-Athletes-application/dp/0415694892/ref=sr_1_26?ie=UTF8&qid=1390459353&sr=8-26&keywords=physical+training+in+children
     
    The authors in this book, incidently, Ben disagreed with some of the underlying ideas in these Long Term Atheletic Development plans which sport associtions use. This book was a good read and was well worth reading and it challenged some of the ideas I held.

    What would you say were the top 3 areas of disagreement? It will be a bit before I can get my hands on the book. Not asking for great detail, but what challenged you the most ?


    samsmith2424

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    Re: How useful is uchikomi?

    Post by samsmith2424 on Fri Jan 24, 2014 4:16 am

    Hallo Ben I can't open the pages of the LTAD plan, but I assume it is similar to what I have seen elsewhere.

    I think these plans have been criticized for an over reliance on unsubstantiated evidence for "optimal windows of trainability" on young athletes. Also for being one dimensional regarding the focus on physiological aspects of performance rather than considering other psychological, social or academic factors.

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    Ben Reinhardt

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    Re: How useful is uchikomi?

    Post by Ben Reinhardt on Fri Jan 24, 2014 5:01 am

    samsmith2424 wrote:Hallo Ben I can't open the pages of the LTAD plan, but I assume it is similar to what I have seen elsewhere.

    I think these plans have been criticized for an over reliance on unsubstantiated evidence for "optimal windows of trainability" on young athletes. Also for being one dimensional regarding the focus on physiological aspects of performance rather than considering other psychological, social or academic factors.


    I see. I know from experience that there is quite a range in when kids mature in the cognitive, physical, and affective "domains", so in no way can I follow the Canadian LTAD in an exact manner. I'd like to see more added to it, although the Canadian system does have a decent start on a coach education program developing. I deal with kids in different stages of development, and am well aware of how much it affects them.

    Off topic, but Coupled with an (to me) antiquated reliance on technique lists for promotion standards, I am getting sick of belt promotions seeming to drive judo training/education. I like the idea of de-emphasis/elimination of competition for younger kids.


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