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    Judo Vitruvian Man - proper kuzushi direction

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    NBK

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    Judo Vitruvian Man - proper kuzushi direction

    Post by NBK on Thu Feb 20, 2014 9:19 pm

    Hmm... already tried this without success. Something I'm doing wrong for the pix.

    Anyhow, there is the proper direction (as seen parallel to the mats) for kuzushi, then there's the proper 3D direction.

    I was taught it is generally about double the upper arm length of uke's upper arm - so seen from overhead, the correct distance is around that of uke's forearm, with a perpendicular drop down.

    Judo Vitruvian Man - Overhead

    Seen from the side, it looks somewhat like this:
    Judo Vitruvian Man

    With appropriate apologies to Leonardo - he was simply looking at proportions, I'm looking at equilibrium, kuzushi.

    Comments welcome - this is a work in progress.

    NBK

    finarashi

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    Re: Judo Vitruvian Man - proper kuzushi direction

    Post by finarashi on Fri Feb 21, 2014 2:47 am

    But dear NBK the purpose of Judo is to apply kuzushi in a dynamic fashion.
    In e.g. Yoko-gake (Nage-no-kata) the throwing direction is mostly straight down.
    In e.g. many of the sutemi throws (Nage-no-kata) the throwing direction is much farther than your green area.


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    Cichorei Kano

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    Re: Judo Vitruvian Man - proper kuzushi direction

    Post by Cichorei Kano on Fri Feb 21, 2014 5:11 am

    NBK wrote:Hmm... already tried this without success. Something I'm doing wrong for the pix.

    Anyhow, there is the proper direction (as seen parallel to the mats) for kuzushi, then there's the proper 3D direction.

    I was taught it is generally about double the upper arm length of uke's upper arm - so seen from overhead, the correct distance is around that of uke's forearm, with a perpendicular drop down.

    Judo Vitruvian Man - Overhead

    Seen from the side, it looks somewhat like this:
    Judo Vitruvian Man

    With appropriate apologies to Leonardo - he was simply looking at proportions, I'm looking at equilibrium, kuzushi.

    Comments welcome - this is a work in progress.

    NBK

    I am puzzled by this. So, I should reserve any judgment until I understand the rationale of what it is you are doing/proposing better.

    Kuzushi is something that can be approached from a historical point of view, a philosophical point of view, and a scientific point of view. One should realize at all times that these are three different approaches. My initial worry is that you are conflating these boundaries. Referring to someone as Arima is fine as long as one's approach is historical, but not from a scientific point of view. Scientifically there are many flaws in Kanô's approach due to him apparently having no knowledge of the serious physics and biomechanics work of people such as Bernouilli. What Kanô did was provide a PEDAGOGICAL system and the contents and objective of that system was to FACILITATE learning, but the pedagogical approach is often at odds with the science. For example, the entire categorization into te-waza, koshi-waza, ashi-waza, etc., is scientifically nonsense, but pedagogically helps the learning experience and a certain categorization of jûdô techniques. It's a bit like trying to feed a toddler a sandwich. Mom may take little pieces of bread and tell the toddler that they are birds or planes and he needs to catch them with his mouth. This may actually cause the toddler to eat, so it is effect. Clearly, if we would attempt to use a scientific approach and analyze the flight characteristics of the sandwich, it would make little sense, since what took place was merely metaphoric, and we made use of that metaphore to construct a pedagogy.

    About 1.5 years ago I wrote a long paper on kuzushi, but I never published it or submitted it because it started off from Hirano Tokio's conceptual approach, and before I could publish it I was approach to author a book on Hirano, so it would make more sense to integrate that part into the book. Anyhow, it deals with some of these parts including the pedagogy, history and science, but not the Vitruvian man, as I fail to see its relevance. However, if your intent is pedagogical, clearly everyone can make whatever pedagogy of jûdô. The only criteria to evaluate a jûdô pedagogy is if it facilitates the learning. But ... as described above, this is something entirely different from the contents of that pedagogy being true at all.

    Understanding kuzushi, scientifically, is a mere matter of Newtonian mechanics. The philosophy and pedagogy are entirely different. No matter what budô system, the Newtonian mechanics remain unaltered, but any style may and likely has its specific philosophy and pedagogy.

    What I see in the model you propose, I cannot immediately link to any of these, but if it is a personal pedagogical model you propose, then this is also logical because then it is new and I first need to listen to you to better grasp what it is you propose and how that is aiming at facilitating the learning. I cannot place what it is you describe --in as far as I understand it-- within my technical, historical and scientific knowledge of jûdô.

    IF one wants to propose either a new pedagogical model or IF one wants to go back in time to provide a historic overview of kuzushi, my suggestion would be to make it easy for yourself (the word 'easy' here is very ambiguous as you will soon see) and make use of the work that a number of serious judo biomechanists have done before you, notably the work of professor Sacripanti from Italy, professor Trilles from France, and professor Yabu from Japan. Unfortunately, the work isn't easy in itself (hence the ambiguity I was referring to). Why reinventing the wheel ? If on the other hand your objective is to propose your own jûdô kuzushi pedagogy, you cannot afford in 2014 what Kanô could afford himself in 1882. Kanô could then get away with not properly knowing Bernouilli; you can't and will have to incorporate today's knowledge. The scrutiny does not come only from the scholarly work, but also from the practical world, as demonstrated by some of the not so successful jûdôka's experiences in MMA. I mean ... anything new, technically new, you proposed won't be accepted with quiet respect as in the days of Kanô and in the Japanese society, but will be met by skeptics promptly wanting to test out the credibility of such a approach in noncollaborative practice.

    That being said, there is also something of important merit in what you write, but I am not sure that it is sufficiently clear for most readers as described in your post. So, permit me to paraphrase some of this. Kanô's model of kuzushi, i.e. happô-no-kuzushi is a 2-dimensional model. It basically talks about horizontal directions, wind directions if one wants, 8 of them. In reality, kuzushi is, however, not 2-dimensional, but 3-dimensional meaning that in addition to the wind direction, for example East, the kuzushi could be slightly up, slightly down, very much up, very much down, not up or down at all. It is a great weakness of Kanô's pedagogy that he failed to incorporate this in his pedagogy, and it is partly responsible for why virtually everyone in jûdô struggles most of his life with proper kuzushi. Because Kanô never provided a 3 dimensional model, the consequence is that the 3rd dimension is now incorporated only when you learn a specific technique, with that 3rd dimension being different for most throws. Kanô has not addressed this problem. One could claim that he deliberately did not include a third dimension, but I do not believe this to be true. Given Kanô's prevalent weaknesses in physics it is rather logical he failed to realize it, or at least failed to realize it in time. Whilst the structure and pedagogy of tachi-waza in Kôdôkan jûdô is much better developed than that of newaza, the issue pointed out above remains one of its biggest flaws even in the light of Kanô's strength, i.e. pedagogy.

    When I wrote the paper I referred to above, I tried to address this because one of the major merits --and this without the world actually realizing this-- is that Hirano Tokio did actually in his pedagogical work include such a third dimension. However, failing to have the support of the Kôdôkan, but also because no one really realized the existing problem in jûdô and Hirano's solution, his major contribution to this day remains unappreciated. At the most people recognized the beauty and skill of his jûdô but not his specific pedagogical merit.


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    NBK

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    Re: Judo Vitruvian Man - proper kuzushi direction

    Post by NBK on Fri Feb 21, 2014 10:09 am

    finarashi wrote:But dear NBK the purpose of Judo is to apply kuzushi in a dynamic fashion.
    In e.g. Yoko-gake (Nage-no-kata) the throwing direction is mostly straight down.
    In e.g. many of the sutemi throws (Nage-no-kata) the throwing direction is much farther than your green area.
    Sure, the ultimate purpose of judo is to progress to the point that one can apply kuzushi while moving in a dynamic fashion, but the practice starts statically, with minimal movement.

    Certainly the more dynamic throws like some of the sutemi waza, and particularly performed in movement, increase the radius of the suitable area.

    Performed from a static, standing position, I think that a technique like yoko-gake exactly proves the point. While it may seem nearly 'straight down' it will likely not be less than your uke's upper arm length away, and if too far away allows uke time, space and balance to land on tori rather than be thrown beyond. Even if tori lies down in the red zone at uke's feet the pull has to be beyond, into the green, desirable area (did the diagrams show up when clicked?)

    I'm not out to redefine judo and kuzushi, just to build a useful model to discuss a problem I see in a lot of judo - correct horizontal direction of kuzushi, incorrect 3 dimensional direction.

    The point I'm trying to illustrate is there is an optimal band for the direction of kuzushi around uke; too close to uke, you tend to increase his stability, too far and the kuzushi is insufficient, allowing uke to step into it and recover his balance. Surely the area changes with motion and uke's size, along with other factors, but this is simply a concept to point out that it is more of a 3 dimensional problem than is taught to beginners.


    NBK

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    Re: Judo Vitruvian Man - proper kuzushi direction

    Post by NBK on Sun Feb 23, 2014 1:27 pm

    Cichorei Kano wrote:
    NBK wrote:Hmm... already tried this without success. Something I'm doing wrong for the pix.

    Anyhow, there is the proper direction (as seen parallel to the mats) for kuzushi, then there's the proper 3D direction.

    I was taught it is generally about double the upper arm length of uke's upper arm - so seen from overhead, the correct distance is around that of uke's forearm, with a perpendicular drop down.

    Judo Vitruvian Man - Overhead

    Seen from the side, it looks somewhat like this:
    Judo Vitruvian Man

    With appropriate apologies to Leonardo - he was simply looking at proportions, I'm looking at equilibrium, kuzushi.

    Comments welcome - this is a work in progress.

    NBK

    I am puzzled by this. So, I should reserve any judgment until I understand the rationale of what it is you are doing/proposing better.

    ......I cannot place what it is you describe  --in as far as I understand it--  within my technical, historical and scientific knowledge of jûdô.

    .....
    Perhaps you know too much. I don't even know what you're on about.

    I'm not looking for a philosophic pedogolocial Eureka moment. I know something exists, and am trying to find a model to describe it.

    A simple question - does the direction in which you apply kuzushi matter? That is, not Kano's two dimensional, always parallel to the ground happo no kuzushi, but rather in three dimensions.

    Are there directions that work better than others? Of course.
    Are there distances from uke that work better than others? In my experience, yes, it does. Very much so. Does misapplying kuzushi or changing the distance inappropriately tend to ruin a throw? Yes, a typical beginner mistake.

    So, if some directions work better than others, how do you describe those directions? How to define the optimal direction?

    Once you can describe them, can you explain why do they work any better than other directions?

    Understanding the basics are understood from a static position, you can explore in motion, and the same applies, only to greater distances, as Finarashi points out.

    From short films of Hirano sensei, his judo seems more closely akin to aikido - large body motions to get uke moving then control and throw. I see nothing at odds with what I propose here, but am not familiar with his book.

    NBK


    Cichorei Kano

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    Re: Judo Vitruvian Man - proper kuzushi direction

    Post by Cichorei Kano on Sun Feb 23, 2014 3:44 pm

    NBK wrote:
    Cichorei Kano wrote:
    NBK wrote:Hmm... already tried this without success. Something I'm doing wrong for the pix.

    Anyhow, there is the proper direction (as seen parallel to the mats) for kuzushi, then there's the proper 3D direction.

    I was taught it is generally about double the upper arm length of uke's upper arm - so seen from overhead, the correct distance is around that of uke's forearm, with a perpendicular drop down.

    Judo Vitruvian Man - Overhead

    Seen from the side, it looks somewhat like this:
    Judo Vitruvian Man

    With appropriate apologies to Leonardo - he was simply looking at proportions, I'm looking at equilibrium, kuzushi.

    Comments welcome - this is a work in progress.

    NBK

    I am puzzled by this. So, I should reserve any judgment until I understand the rationale of what it is you are doing/proposing better.

    ......I cannot place what it is you describe  --in as far as I understand it--  within my technical, historical and scientific knowledge of jûdô.

    .....
    Perhaps you know too much.   I don't even know what you're on about.  

    I'm not looking for a philosophic pedogolocial Eureka moment.  I know something exists, and am trying to find a model to describe it.  

    A simple question - does the direction in which you apply kuzushi matter?  That is, not Kano's two dimensional, always parallel to the ground happo no kuzushi, but rather in three dimensions.

    Are there directions that work better than others?    Of course.  
    Are there distances from uke that work better than others?  In my experience, yes, it does.  Very much so.  Does misapplying kuzushi or changing the distance inappropriately tend to ruin a throw?  Yes, a typical beginner mistake.  

    So, if some directions work better than others, how do you describe those directions?  How to define the optimal direction?  

    Once you can describe them, can you explain why do they work any better than other directions?  

    Understanding the basics are understood from a static position, you can explore in motion, and the same applies, only to greater distances, as Finarashi points out.  

    From short films of Hirano sensei, his judo seems more closely akin to aikido - large body motions to get uke moving then control and throw.  I see nothing at odds with what I propose here, but am not familiar with his book.

    NBK


    I understand that. But you have to be careful here. You have to decide what it is you are after: 1. a pedagogical model to facilitate teaching, or 2. a scientific model. The two are not the same, although obviously and arguably there is nothing against attempting to build a better pedagogical model on science. But that is easier said than done, since the science is not easy. Of course, one can also conclude that in order to build a pedagogical model on science the students themselves do not need to have expertise in differential equations, but in order to understand the actual science that needs to serve as a pedagogical model, those equations are an integral part, by matter of speaking. Perhaps it may sound like I am trying to obfuscate things. I am not. Perhaps the following is more clear: kuzushi, scientifically does not exist, that is to say, scientifically there is no separate phase kuzushi, kake, etc. They are an integral part. Pedagogically though, and in order to facilitate learning, postulating those phases and teaching them as separate phases is helpful.

    Of course, the third dimension in which kuzushi is applied is important; it isn't even just important, but critical. But to establish a proper pedagogical teaching model that is 'generalized' and exists separate from each throw, is not that easy. As far as I am aware, only Hirano has done so in a significant way. To do so, he poured the third dimension into a kata-model. So the 'kata' reprent a tilting of a circle in various degrees. In this way he does define the third dimension, which Kanô forfeits. This is also a different approach from Kanô, as in jûdô virtually no one teaches happô-no-kuzushi as kata anymore, but integrates it with the teaching of a specific throw, which means that only a single two-dimensional direction is taught at the moment the chosen throw is taught.

    The most significant scientific approach to kuzushi has been proposed by Professor Sacripanti. It is scientifically evidently sound, and the science is used as a pedagogical model, which means that the Kôdôkan's pedagogical model has to be abandoned as the Kôdôkan's pedagogical model is not correct. Practically this also means that in this way the categorization into classical catetgories (te-waza, koshi-waza, ashi-waza) becomes useless. Others have earlier, but less thoroughly attempted to incorporate the problems caused by the third dimension. One such example, is Geesink, who proposed a then revolutionary model that would change the entire face of judo including the color of the gi, the categorization, and names of various throws. The system never became popular, but also has merit, but one has to be willing to read in detail, where he is coming from. Gleason too made some attempts. But neither Geesink, nor Gleason were scientists, and thus even though there was some science involved, they were mostly drive by didactic motivations, and their models today are obsoleted, because there are now far more thorough and solid scientific biomechanical models available.

    Personally, I think that Hirano's model is very interesting, but the major problem is that I doubt its practical use to teach the standard jûdôka. What I am saying is that with this model, you can excellently explain many things in jûdô but probably many 5th dan-holders could not properly demonstrate it as they would like the technical refinement and smoothness. If one does not have that at that level then how to use it in lower kyû holders. I think that at best one would achieve people who can theoretically "get it" but who cannot at all apply it.

    This is not surprising. When we assume that indeed there are no more than 8 two-dimensional directions and none in between, that is a limited number. But the vertical is far more detailed and subtle, and there is the component of differing action between both hands, and the integration with one's own center of mass and that of the opponent. That makes the number of different options so numerous that the question becomes if such can be adequately taught separate from a specific throw. I know that even in many experienced black belts when it let them feel the correct direction, they still can't do it because it is all coordination, and coordination is damn hard to develop.


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    NBK

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    Re: Judo Vitruvian Man - proper kuzushi direction

    Post by NBK on Sun Feb 23, 2014 6:50 pm

    Again, I'm not interested in the 'science' of it - to me this is a training and teaching conceptualization.

    And now you know someone who came at it separately from Hirano - I think. Someday I'll ask the gent who showed me where he learned it.

    Coordination of the motion of the hands comes into play in using this model; both hands have to work together, not in opposition or without effect.

    NBK

    Cichorei Kano

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    Re: Judo Vitruvian Man - proper kuzushi direction

    Post by Cichorei Kano on Mon Feb 24, 2014 5:19 am

    NBK wrote:Again, I'm not interested in the 'science' of it - to me this is a training and teaching conceptualization.  
    NBK

    Thanks for the clarification. I think it is now clearer for those who eventually want to participate in this thread, what it is you want.

    I do think that to some extent (the extent to which a number of jûdôka have a sense for science) that if the pedagogy or concept is not supported by or even conflicts with science, that questions will be asked. For example, many jûdôka have for decades questioned the sense of the gokyô, albeit partly based on their own misundertanding, namely "that they feel that not all the techniques are progressively more difficult to perform ..."

    Similarly, I think that any didactic model or concept will be either challenged if it does not facilitate learning better than what exists now, or simply be forgotten cause nobody will bother. Even Hirano's model which as some merit, is known by virtually no one, partly because they don't get it.


    NBK wrote:And now you know someone who came at it separately from Hirano - I think. Someday I'll ask the gent who showed me where he learned it.

    It is still very elementary and will have to withstand challenge. Except for Finarishi, no one has commented on its merit yet. Understanding now that you are merely attempting to propose a training and teaching conceptualization, I certainly struggle with the concept as proposed.


    NBK wrote:
    Coordination of the motion of the hands comes into play in using this model; both hands have to work together, not in opposition or without effect.
    NBK

    Yes, they have to work 'together', but that 'togetherness' can of course be 'opposed' in terms of direction and rhythm, just like the actions of the left hand in any piano piece can't really be put in a straight jacket as it will depend on the piece whether they are relatively similar or very different.

    In a throw, such as hiza-guruma those actions are rather straight forward, as it is almost like both hands put on a large steering wheel as if driving a bus. In some throws, such as ko-soto-gake, or in complicated throws such as uki-otoshi or sumi-otoshi that actions is quite different. The action becomes even more complicated when kuzushi has to be transferred such as in the case of renraku or renzoku-waza. The action is also quite different depending on the side the throw is performed at vis-à-vis the kumi-kata. Specifically, the action of the hands in ko-soto-gari performed migi vs. hidari is totally different if in both a right-handed kumi-kata is maintained. Yet, from a didactic view this is not just looking for difficult situations as ko-soto-gari is easier to learn performed left with right-handed kumi-kata than it is to learn it right with right-handed kumi-kata. So this is actually a situation one can legitimately meet when dealing with simple kyû grades and not just one for very advanced jûdôka.

    The same too, in music. Mozart's Fantasy in C KV 475 ... OK in terms of hands, but throw in any Liszt, Rachmaninov, or go even further and something like Ravel's Gaspard de la Nuit or Balakirev's Islamey, or Liszt's Tarantella, and you get pieces, techniques, where the mode, rhythm, impact, force, range of both hands at times are totally different, which is one of the reasons these pieces are very difficult to play, just like one of the reasons why sumi-otoshi is far more difficult than hiza-guruma.

    Any didactic model attempting to qualify in a general model the complicated actions between the hands is in for a challenge, which ... may or may not have been something Kanô realized and which ... may or may not have contributed to him never succeeding in qualifying a general three-dimensional model.


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    Re: Judo Vitruvian Man - proper kuzushi direction

    Post by BillC on Mon Feb 24, 2014 7:12 am

    Mr. Natural ... for what my opinion is worth I think I get it. I got it before you wrote it here in this fine academic journal. Before bringing Leonardo into it, you had mentioned the concept and in practice I saw what you are after. I tried in out with my beginner adults. There does seem to be a place towards which one can guide uke where he can neither move to recover his balance or bend over and become heavier. This shows up most obviously I believe in "otoshi" techniques. Remembering where you got this, that makes total sense.

    Ouchigari for example ... not so much ... there is a place in the world for making uke crumple and fall straight down ... Satoh-sensei went over that some time back when I visited. Bing! Suddenly a bit more of the junokata and goshinjutsu made sense as well.

    There is also a place ... as my sensei so delicately put it ... to "piss for distance" ... though I anticipate your counter argument that this only means to add to the trajectory of an uke whose balance is already broken.

    Another observation, I didn't interrupt you at the time, but you implied once that the "off balance" directions are only 12 and 6. I was pretty sure you didn't mean that, and I was concentrating on sponging the movement you were showing anyway without either one of us breaking our aging limbs. "Judo at a distance" is different enough, but not that different.

    Likely you will never win all arguments from a physics or even a mystical perspective ... goodness, bring φ into it and you can do the latter quite easily. I for one love that number ... it's quite handy for calculating the gross margin I'd like to have.

    But as an answer to even the unspoken question of "what do I do and how do I do it?" among students of all abilities and ranks, this is a good and practical visualization technique. Again for what it is worth I like it. It works enough to be useful and little more needs to be said. More complicated explanations tend to be both useless and boring.


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    NBK

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    Re: Judo Vitruvian Man - proper kuzushi direction

    Post by NBK on Mon Feb 24, 2014 12:46 pm

    BillC wrote:Mr. Natural ... for what my opinion is worth I think I get it.  I got it before you wrote it here in this fine academic journal.  Before bringing Leonardo into it, you had mentioned the concept and in practice I saw what you are after.  I tried in out with my beginner adults.  There does seem to be a place towards which one can guide uke where he can neither move to recover his balance or bend over and become heavier.  This shows up most obviously I believe in "otoshi" techniques.  Remembering where you got this, that makes total sense.

    Ouchigari for example ... not so much ... there is a place in the world for making uke crumple and fall straight down ... Satoh-sensei went over that some time back when I visited.  Bing!  Suddenly a bit more of the junokata and goshinjutsu made sense as well.

    There is also a place ... as my sensei so delicately put it ... to "piss for distance" ... though I anticipate your counter argument that this only means to add to the trajectory of an uke whose balance is already broken.

    Another observation, I didn't interrupt you at the time, but you implied once that the "off balance" directions are only 12 and 6.  I was pretty sure you didn't mean that, and I was concentrating on sponging the movement you were showing anyway without either one of us breaking our aging limbs.  "Judo at a distance" is different enough, but not that different.

    Likely you will never win all arguments from a physics or even a mystical perspective ... goodness, bring φ into it and you can do the latter quite easily.  I for one love that number ... it's quite handy for calculating the gross margin I'd like to have.

    But as an answer to even the unspoken question of "what do I do and how do I do it?" among students of all abilities and ranks, this is a good and practical visualization technique.  Again for what it is worth I like it.  It works enough to be useful and little more needs to be said.  More complicated explanations tend to be both useless and boring.
    Finally, someone that gets at least a part of the point!  Aside from the PMs I've been getting with folks trying to figure this out now.

    I think there was some confusion - clearly there are not just towards 6 and 12, but it turns out there really isn't much more than 8 - there is no _effective_ infinite progression, but there are definitely clearly more effect directions.  

    Cichorei Kano wrote:
    NBK wrote:Again, I'm not interested in the 'science' of it - to me this is a training and teaching conceptualization.  
    NBK

    Thanks for the clarification. I think it is now clearer for those who eventually want to participate in this thread, what it is you want.

    I do think that to some extent (the extent to which a number of jûdôka have a sense for science) that if the pedagogy or concept is not supported by or even conflicts with science, that questions will be asked. For example, many jûdôka have for decades questioned the sense of the gokyô, albeit partly based on their own misundertanding, namely "that they feel that not all the techniques are progressively more difficult to perform ..."

    Similarly, I think that any didactic model or concept will be either challenged if it does not facilitate learning better than what exists now, or simply be forgotten cause nobody will bother. Even Hirano's model which as some merit, is known by virtually no one, partly because they don't get it.


    NBK wrote:And now you know someone who came at it separately from Hirano - I think.  Someday I'll ask the gent who showed me where he learned it.  

    It is still very elementary and will have to withstand challenge. Except for Finarishi, no one has commented on its merit yet. Understanding now that you are merely attempting to propose a training and teaching conceptualization, I certainly struggle with the concept as proposed.


    NBK wrote:
    Coordination of the motion of the hands comes into play in using this model; both hands have to work together, not in opposition or without effect.  
    NBK

    Yes, they have to work 'together', but that 'togetherness' can of course be 'opposed' in terms of direction and rhythm, just like the actions of the left hand in any piano piece can't really be put in a straight jacket as it will depend on the piece whether they are relatively similar or very different.

    In a throw, such as hiza-guruma those actions are rather straight forward, as it is almost like both hands put on a large steering wheel as if driving a bus. In some throws, such as ko-soto-gake, or in complicated throws such as uki-otoshi or sumi-otoshi that actions is quite different. The action becomes even more complicated when kuzushi has to be transferred such as in the case of renraku or renzoku-waza. The action is also quite different depending on the side the throw is performed at vis-à-vis the kumi-kata. Specifically, the action of the hands in ko-soto-gari performed migi vs. hidari is totally different if in both a right-handed kumi-kata is maintained. Yet, from a didactic view this is not just looking for difficult situations as ko-soto-gari is easier to learn performed left with right-handed kumi-kata than it is to learn it right with right-handed kumi-kata. So this is actually a situation one can legitimately meet when dealing with simple kyû grades and not just one for very advanced jûdôka.

    The same too, in music. Mozart's Fantasy in C KV 475 ... OK in terms of hands, but throw in any Liszt, Rachmaninov, or go even further and something like Ravel's Gaspard de la Nuit or Balakirev's Islamey, or Liszt's Tarantella, and you get pieces, techniques, where the mode, rhythm, impact, force, range of both hands at times are totally different, which is one of the reasons these pieces are very difficult to play, just like one of the reasons why sumi-otoshi is far more difficult than hiza-guruma.

    Any didactic model attempting to qualify in a general model the complicated actions between the hands is in for a challenge, which ... may or may not have been something Kanô realized and which ... may or may not have contributed to him never succeeding in qualifying a general three-dimensional model.
    I'd probably call this another non sequitor if I understood more than a couple of words. (Heck, I'm not even sure if you're trying to help or not.)    

    I don't know how figuring out the most effective direction to apply kuzushi with my two paws hooked into my sweaty training partner Lurch's gi ties to Mozart, Rachmaninoff, or even Liszt.  It's pretty simple stuff, I think (even if it is a 'didactic model attempting to qualify in a general model the complicated actions between the hands...'   Question

    A good start is figuring out the optimal 3D direction, and both hands head there, taking Lurch along for the ride.  For me, that's pretty much where it starts and stops.  Any academics care to apply a ton of theoretic ruminations on top of my empirically derived model is welcome to do so, just don't ask me to play or care.    

    The simple thesis I come up with is that there is an optimal band of direction for kuzushi.  The corollaries include this is tied to biomechanics more than relative sizes, etc.  And I think I can describe and demonstrate this for a number of classic throws from a static or dynamic situation.  Actually, practice of Koshiki no Kata with you once gave me some insight into a portion of how this works in practice; both your hands work together to provide the proper, effective kuzushi.    

    The antithesis is that there is no optimal band of direction of kuzushi. Which means, it doesn't really matter at all.  You want to take that on?

    NBK

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    Re: Judo Vitruvian Man - proper kuzushi direction

    Post by Cichorei Kano on Tue Feb 25, 2014 2:07 am

    NBK wrote:
    I'd probably call this another non sequitor if I understood more than a couple of words. (Heck, I'm not even sure if you're trying to help or not.)    

    I don't know how figuring out the most effective direction to apply kuzushi with my two paws hooked into my sweaty training partner Lurch's gi ties to Mozart, Rachmaninoff, or even Liszt.  It's pretty simple stuff, I think (even if it is a 'didactic model attempting to qualify in a general model the complicated actions between the hands...'   Question

    A good start is figuring out the optimal 3D direction, and both hands head there, taking Lurch along for the ride.  For me, that's pretty much where it starts and stops.  Any academics care to apply a ton of theoretic ruminations on top of my empirically derived model is welcome to do so, just don't ask me to play or care.    

    The simple thesis I come up with is that there is an optimal band of direction for kuzushi.  The corollaries include this is tied to biomechanics more than relative sizes, etc.  And I think I can describe and demonstrate this for a number of classic throws from a static or dynamic situation.  Actually, practice of Koshiki no Kata with you once gave me some insight into a portion of how this works in practice; both your hands work together to provide the proper, effective kuzushi.    

    The antithesis is that there is no optimal band of direction of kuzushi. Which means, it doesn't really matter at all.  You want to take that on?

    NBK

    You mentioning "non sequitur" in this contexts suggests that I am either providing illogical or irrelevant arguments, and then also probably deliberately, unless I am just stupid.

    Having devoted most of my judo career to kuzushi, the one thing that has intrigued me the most, that suggestion is surprising to me. I have never suggested in the least what you write in your last sentence. On the contrary, I have said that kuzushi is a very complicated concept. I have also said that 'scientifically' kuzushi does not exist as a separate phase, and scientifically is integrated with the whole movement. I have further said that because of the complicated technical actions, it is useful didactically to identify a separate phase of kuzushi, which is what Kanô and others has done.

    Scientifically, kuzushi, strictly speaking, is only necessary in some jûdô throws, namely lever throws, which require the movement to be momentarily stopped; it is not necessary in all other throws. In those throws where it is not necessary, that means that those throws will work, though if performed without kuzushi, they are not applied in the sense of "maximal efficiency at minimal effort". So even in those cases, applying kuzushi, makes those throws actual jûdô.

    If you do not see the relevance of the hands in the piano, I can't really help that.

    Obviously didactic models that facilitate learning are welcome. I have suggested that the model you propose will have to show that it actually facilitates learning kuzushi. Even if a model is nice, funny, or pretty cool, it is the performance on the tatami of those who have been subjected to this model that will provide evidence as to whether their learning is quicker or more thorough and efficient that in those who have not been subjected to the model.

    I have then commented on the question whether it is necessary that a didactic model is also realistically correct or not. What I have not yet commented on, though this is very relevant, is that kuzushi in fact is controlled by the hara and not by the arms. One of the reasons that most jûdôka struggle with it, is because they do not realize and master this and rely entirely on the arms to achieve kuzushi. Integrating the hara in a pedagogical model for teaching kuzushi proves extremely difficult. I have deliberately avoided talking about this to not overly complicate matters.

    I have tried to illustrate then that the Hirano's model is elegant but far more complicated than yours, and that one does not know for sure if it does actually facilitate the learning since grasping the model itself is too advanced for more jûdôka. Your model is far more simplistic, but in how far it pedagogically will achieve its objective is something else. If you believe that my comments are non sequitur and perhaps deliberately not trying to help, the alternative is very simple. We should then stop babbling and assuming that one or either of us indulges in non-sequitur, and instead you should open your own club, go on the tatami use your model to teach your students, and after X-number of months the effectiveness of your teaching method will become clear. In that case, you skip the "annoying me" and will have useful and very pragmatic feedback from the judo student, who in the end should be the objective of any didactic model.

    I am certainly not writing here because I like to hear my own voice. If you or others believe that my comments are not helpful but irrelevant, I will be happy to bow out in this thread, and leave the interaction to others, no offense taken.


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    Re: Judo Vitruvian Man - proper kuzushi direction

    Post by JudoSensei on Tue Feb 25, 2014 3:28 am

    I agree that throwing distance is something beginners fail to understand, and it often results in inability to complete a throw successfully. I have seen lots of students try to throw uke about 6 feet back with ouchigari, or even pushing endlessly across the mat as if they are aiming for a wall. So focusing some discussion on the issue seems appropriate to me, and I like the idea of pointing out that kuzushi is really three dimensional. Downwards and upwards are key components of proper kuzushi that can't be ignored, and explaining your target for a specific throw is important.

    However, I can't quite see the applicability of a general rule for all throws as described in your illustrations. It is just too variable based on the conditions already mentioned in this topic like size, movement, type of throw, resistance, etc.

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    Re: Judo Vitruvian Man - proper kuzushi direction

    Post by BillC on Tue Feb 25, 2014 4:03 am

    JudoSensei wrote:I agree that throwing distance is something beginners fail to understand, and it often results in inability to complete a throw successfully. I have seen lots of students try to throw uke about 6 feet back with ouchigari, or even pushing endlessly across the mat as if they are aiming for a wall.

    Neil ... I think it's been quite a while since you visited our dojo.  After Asma Sharif put Ross Mac Baisey through one window, and Ralph Lisle fell backwards through a couple more, Dr. Gary Haver decided to bring us in on a Saturday and cover the windows and walls with some gymnastics mats we had laying around taking up storage space.  Now throws into the wall according to the "ground rule" count for half the normal points ... largely on the back with control, speed and force into the wall is wazaari.  Still, one day someone is going to catch the termites not holding hands and someone is going to go out into the parking lot.

    JudoSensei wrote:So focusing some discussion on the issue seems appropriate to me, and I like the idea of pointing out that kuzushi is really three dimensional. Downwards and upwards are key components of proper kuzushi that can't be ignored, and explaining your target for a specific throw is important.  However, I can't quite see the applicability of a general rule for all throws as described in your illustrations. It is just too variable based on the conditions already mentioned in this topic like size, movement, type of throw, resistance, etc.

    Out of a long list of obstacles that make judo worth pursing, two related mental errors in judo seem to inhibit understanding ... well maybe understanding is a loaded word ... too many words as discussed in another recent thread tend to inhibit feeling.  That's why more than occasionally one meets people in judo who are ... mentally uncomplicated ... who never the less perform beautiful and powerful judo.

    At least one error in beginners, and you touch on this, beginners tend to focus on how their own body should be bent, twisted, turned, etc. without considering uke at all.  It's a mental error that people can struggle with their whole lives if their initial training reinforces this mistake.  I for one resemble that remark.

    A second mental error ... with respect to all ... is to to focus on uke as an independent object.  As in "apply kuzushi here to move uke there."  The criticism of looking at uke as a block of stone as in NBK's attachments has been made many times on this forum (or the previous one from which it was cloned).  Sure, there is a principle there expressed in kata (especially the one that I am too dense and uneducated to appreciate).  The problem is, every judo technique involves the motion of two bodies ... two big squishy-floppy bags of water ... joined together ... including a mental component of force.  The physics of such a system are not currently calculable, and judo would be a whole lot less fun if they were.


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    Re: Judo Vitruvian Man - proper kuzushi direction

    Post by finarashi on Tue Feb 25, 2014 5:34 am

    NBK
    would your model be already too complicated if we assumed that the circle moves towards the direction uke is travelling. i.e. uke is moving forward, then the kuzushi backwards is closer to the feet and forward much farther away?


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    Re: Judo Vitruvian Man - proper kuzushi direction

    Post by BillC on Tue Feb 25, 2014 6:40 am

    finarashi wrote:NBK
    would your model be already too complicated if we assumed that the circle moves towards the direction uke is travelling. i.e. uke is moving forward, then the kuzushi backwards is closer to the feet and forward much farther away?  



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    Re: Judo Vitruvian Man - proper kuzushi direction

    Post by Ben Reinhardt on Tue Feb 25, 2014 6:41 am

    NBK wrote:Hmm... already tried this without success. Something I'm doing wrong for the pix.

    Anyhow, there is the proper direction (as seen parallel to the mats) for kuzushi, then there's the proper 3D direction.

    I was taught it is generally about double the upper arm length of uke's upper arm - so seen from overhead, the correct distance is around that of uke's forearm, with a perpendicular drop down.

    Judo Vitruvian Man - Overhead

    Seen from the side, it looks somewhat like this:
    Judo Vitruvian Man

    With appropriate apologies to Leonardo - he was simply looking at proportions, I'm looking at equilibrium, kuzushi.

    Comments welcome - this is a work in progress.

    NBK

    I took at look at the two diagrams in question. Some of it makes sense, other parts I can think of notable exceptions. The exceptions might not be considered seiryoku zenyo, however, they do result in uke being thrown. My exception(s) may be the result of not exactly getting your "model".

    Given that, I'll write more generally. I'm sharing my experience, not trying to put down or negate what you present in your OP.

    I've been doing Judo about 33 years now, more or less continuously. That does not make me an expert by any means, either in my conceptual understanding of "kuzushi" or my ability to do physical judo effectively. I've struggled for a long time though  o figure out how to more effectively do and teach others how to do Judo. I was inspired by one of my primary judo teachers, who struggled mightily to understand the same issues, especially as done by our mutual sensei, an incredibly technically gifted judoka (Japanese of course).

    One tentative conclusion I have reached is that teaching "kuzushi" as a separate conceptual idea is not the most effective way to teach judo. For most people at least, the physical coordination issues involved are overwhelming above and beyond physical or conceptual models. Again, that's where I am in my judo "life", and is not to say figuring out "kuzushi" isn't a worth endeavor...in fact, I very glad that it's being done.

    In looking at your "from above" diagram, the "too close" zone is a place that beginners commonly go to when doing basic forward throws like O Goshi, Seoi Nage, Tsuri Komi Goshi, et al. I have to correct that as a normal course of teaching Judo. But you CAN do Seoi Nage or Seoi Otoshi effectively within that "too close" zone, as well as the other two throws, and others of course. It's all a matter of relative grip, posture, movement which create the opportunity. But for basic judo, yeah, it's too close or less.

    I see no mention of the "triangle" concept of body placement to produce kuzushi in your OP. This has been around for a long time. Basically, putting tori body at the tip of the equilateral (more or less), the base of which is the line drawn between uke insteps. It fits more or less with the outer edge of your too close zone. I find this useful so students can "have a clue" as to how to correct their positioning while training.

    The direction and distance to the triangle point vary with uke posture, migi or hidari shizentai or jigotai, uke height, etc.


    The other idea that goes along with this is the one of the "easy" direction of uke posture. Easy in that uke can resist least effectively in the direction indicated, which is roughly perpendicular to the line drawn between uke insteps; e.g., direction of the point of the triangle (to front or rear).


    Those are just in horizontal plane, of course. Varying the vertical position changes things as well, as does uke posture (staight, bent, twisted, etc.).

    That's it for now, lunch time...




    Last edited by Ben Reinhardt on Tue Feb 25, 2014 6:59 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : file did not upload)


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    Re: Judo Vitruvian Man - proper kuzushi direction

    Post by Ben Reinhardt on Tue Feb 25, 2014 7:00 am

    BillC wrote:
    JudoSensei wrote:I agree that throwing distance is something beginners fail to understand, and it often results in inability to complete a throw successfully. I have seen lots of students try to throw uke about 6 feet back with ouchigari, or even pushing endlessly across the mat as if they are aiming for a wall.

    Neil ... I think it's been quite a while since you visited our dojo.  After Asma Sharif put Ross Mac Baisey through one window, and Ralph Lisle fell backwards through a couple more, Dr. Gary Haver decided to bring us in on a Saturday and cover the windows and walls with some gymnastics mats we had laying around taking up storage space.  Now throws into the wall according to the "ground rule" count for half the normal points ... largely on the back with control, speed and force into the wall is wazaari.  Still, one day someone is going to catch the termites not holding hands and someone is going to go out into the parking lot.

    JudoSensei wrote:So focusing some discussion on the issue seems appropriate to me, and I like the idea of pointing out that kuzushi is really three dimensional. Downwards and upwards are key components of proper kuzushi that can't be ignored, and explaining your target for a specific throw is important.  However, I can't quite see the applicability of a general rule for all throws as described in your illustrations. It is just too variable based on the conditions already mentioned in this topic like size, movement, type of throw, resistance, etc.

    Out of a long list of obstacles that make judo worth pursing, two related mental errors in judo seem to inhibit understanding ... well maybe understanding is a loaded word ... too many words as discussed in another recent thread tend to inhibit feeling.  That's why more than occasionally one meets people in judo who are ... mentally uncomplicated ... who never the less perform beautiful and powerful judo.

    At least one error in beginners, and you touch on this, beginners tend to focus on how their own body should be bent, twisted, turned, etc. without considering uke at all.  It's a mental error that people can struggle with their whole lives if their initial training reinforces this mistake.  I for one resemble that remark.

    A second mental error ... with respect to all ... is to to focus on uke as an independent object.  As in "apply kuzushi here to move uke there."  The criticism of looking at uke as a block of stone as in NBK's attachments has been made many times on this forum (or the previous one from which it was cloned).  Sure, there is a principle there expressed in kata (especially the one that I am too dense and uneducated to appreciate).  The problem is, every judo technique involves the motion of two bodies ... two big squishy-floppy bags of water ... joined together ... including a mental component of force.  The physics of such a system are not currently calculable, and judo would be a whole lot less fun if they were.

    Absolutely !


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    Re: Judo Vitruvian Man - proper kuzushi direction

    Post by DougNZ on Tue Feb 25, 2014 9:11 am

    BillC wrote:
    At least one error in beginners, and you touch on this, beginners tend to focus on how their own body should be bent, twisted, turned, etc. without considering uke at all.  

    One 'recommendation' we have in our club is "Only throw uke if he wants to be thrown." By this I mean, until uke is ready to be thrown to the ground don't try and put him there; he'll go when he is good and ready! The alternative is forcing uke to one's own will - 'muscling' one's throws, if you will.

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    Re: Judo Vitruvian Man - proper kuzushi direction

    Post by Ben Reinhardt on Tue Feb 25, 2014 9:26 am

    DougNZ wrote:
    BillC wrote:
    At least one error in beginners, and you touch on this, beginners tend to focus on how their own body should be bent, twisted, turned, etc. without considering uke at all.  

    One 'recommendation' we have in our club is "Only throw uke if he wants to be thrown."  By this I mean, until uke is ready to be thrown to the ground don't try and put him there; he'll go when he is good and ready!  The alternative is forcing uke to one's own will - 'muscling' one's throws, if you will.



    If you mean waiting around for uke to make a mistake to create an opportunity to do a technique, then I disagree, although it may work, eventually. If you mean simply overwhelming uke with superior force, that's not ideal.

    In randori, and especially shiai, your opponent does not want to have a technique done successfully to him or her. Some muscle may be involved whether we like it or not. It's not like uke/opponent WANTS to get thrown/pinned/submitted.



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    Re: Judo Vitruvian Man - proper kuzushi direction

    Post by DougNZ on Tue Feb 25, 2014 12:53 pm

    Ben Reinhardt wrote:
    DougNZ wrote:
    BillC wrote:
    At least one error in beginners, and you touch on this, beginners tend to focus on how their own body should be bent, twisted, turned, etc. without considering uke at all.  

    One 'recommendation' we have in our club is "Only throw uke if he wants to be thrown."  By this I mean, until uke is ready to be thrown to the ground don't try and put him there; he'll go when he is good and ready!  The alternative is forcing uke to one's own will - 'muscling' one's throws, if you will.



    If you mean waiting around for uke to make a mistake to create an opportunity to do a technique, then I disagree, although it may work, eventually. If you mean simply overwhelming uke with superior force, that's not ideal.



    It's a tongue-in-cheek expression we use (we have plenty!).  When uke's posture and balance is destroyed, and we are about to blast him to the ground, we say, "See, uke's asking to be thrown.  Please oblige."  We are very polite like that.

    The flip side is that when uke is still on base and has good posture, we have a bit more preparatory work to do before helping him have a lie-down.

    Ben Reinhardt wrote:In randori, and especially shiai, your opponent does not want to have a technique done successfully to him or her. Some muscle may be involved whether we like it or not. It's not like uke/opponent WANTS to get thrown/pinned/submitted.

    I guess that in ju-jitsu we are a bit lucky; we can use clinches and tips (and strikes) as well as throws to get uke to the ground. Even against a resisting / fighting opponent, the options mean that generally less effort needs to be used by tori.

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    Re: Judo Vitruvian Man - proper kuzushi direction

    Post by NBK on Tue Feb 25, 2014 1:18 pm

    Cichorei Kano wrote:
    ....
    Having devoted most of my judo career to kuzushi, ....

    I have tried to illustrate then that the Hirano's model is elegant but far more complicated than yours, and that one does not know for sure if it does actually facilitate the learning since grasping the model itself is too advanced for more jûdôka. .....

    Your model is far more simplistic, but in how far it pedagogically will achieve its objective is something else. .....

    OK, in a judo career devoted to kuzushi (and having trained with you, I will attest that you know how to apply it!) did it ever seem that there is an optimal zone as a target for kuzushi?  

    You did mention Hirano's model several times but if you posted any illustration of it, I somehow missed it.  A description would be welcome.  

    And I am all about simplistic solutions when at all possible. Never claimed to be seeking anything else.  

    BillC wrote:
    JudoSensei wrote:I agree that throwing distance is something beginners fail to understand, and it often results in inability to complete a throw successfully. I have seen lots of students try to throw uke about 6 feet back with ouchigari, or even pushing endlessly across the mat as if they are aiming for a wall.

    .....
    JudoSensei wrote:So focusing some discussion on the issue seems appropriate to me, and I like the idea of pointing out that kuzushi is really three dimensional. Downwards and upwards are key components of proper kuzushi that can't be ignored, and explaining your target for a specific throw is important.  However, I can't quite see the applicability of a general rule for all throws as described in your illustrations. It is just too variable based on the conditions already mentioned in this topic like size, movement, type of throw, resistance, etc.

    Out of a long list of obstacles that make judo worth pursing, two related mental errors in judo seem to inhibit understanding ... well maybe understanding is a loaded word ... too many words as discussed in another recent thread tend to inhibit feeling.  That's why more than occasionally one meets people in judo who are ... mentally uncomplicated ... who never the less perform beautiful and powerful judo.

    ......
    A second mental error ... with respect to all ... is to to focus on uke as an independent object.  As in "apply kuzushi here to move uke there."  The criticism of looking at uke as a block of stone as in NBK's attachments has been made many times on this forum (or the previous one from which it was cloned).  Sure, there is a principle there expressed in kata (especially the one that I am too dense and uneducated to appreciate).  The problem is, every judo technique involves the motion of two bodies ... two big squishy-floppy bags of water ... joined together ... including a mental component of force.  The physics of such a system are not currently calculable, and judo would be a whole lot less fun if they were.

    JudoSensei, Billc, I think you're on the right track.  Certainly I'm not proposing to plot the entire range of motion of two writhing, resisting bodies (although I am involved with a technical company that may well have a solution to that soon), just proposing a simple introduction to the topic, starting with static students - just as Kano shihan (actually, mostly his more prolific students) broke down judo to the basics to teach children.  

    You have to start someplace - any better suggestions?  

    finarashi wrote:NBK
    would your model be already too complicated if we assumed that the circle moves towards the direction uke is travelling. i.e. uke is moving forward, then the kuzushi backwards is closer to the feet and forward much farther away?  
    I think not at all - empirically I note that the effective zone moves with uke.   Kuzushi is applying a moment to a body to make the most effective position to finish a throw, is it not?  If the body (uke...) is already in motion, then that has to be taken into account, both in the positioning of tori to take advantage of that motion (anticipating uke's final position) and where the effective zone will be.  

    Ben Reinhardt wrote:.....
    I took at look at the two diagrams in question. Some of it makes sense, other parts I can think of notable exceptions. The exceptions might not be considered seiryoku zenyo, however, they do result in uke being thrown. My exception(s) may be the result of not exactly getting your "model".

    Given that, I'll write more generally. I'm sharing my experience, not trying to put down or negate what you present in your OP.

    ....
    One tentative conclusion I have reached is that teaching "kuzushi" as a separate conceptual idea is not the most effective way to teach judo. For most people at least, the physical coordination issues involved are overwhelming above and beyond physical or conceptual models. Again, that's where I am in my judo "life", and is not to say figuring out "kuzushi" isn't a worth endeavor...in fact, I very glad that it's being done.

    In looking at your "from above" diagram, the "too close" zone is a place that beginners commonly go to when doing basic forward throws like O Goshi, Seoi Nage, Tsuri Komi Goshi, et al. I have to correct that as a normal course of teaching Judo. But you CAN do Seoi Nage or Seoi Otoshi effectively within that "too close" zone, as well as the other two throws, and others of course. It's all a matter of relative grip, posture, movement which create the opportunity. But for basic judo, yeah, it's too close or less.

    I see no mention of the "triangle" concept of body placement to produce kuzushi in your OP. This has been around for a long time. Basically, putting tori body at the tip of the equilateral (more or less), the base of which is the line drawn between uke insteps. It fits more or less with the outer edge of your too close zone. I find this useful so students can "have a clue" as to how to correct their positioning while training.

    The direction and distance to the triangle point vary with uke posture, migi or hidari shizentai or jigotai, uke height, etc.


    The other idea that goes along with this is the one of the "easy" direction of uke posture. Easy in that uke can resist least effectively in the direction indicated, which is roughly perpendicular to the line drawn between uke insteps; e.g., direction of the point of the triangle (to front or rear).


    Those are just in horizontal plane, of course. Varying the vertical position changes things as well, as does uke posture (staight, bent, twisted, etc.).

    That's it for now, lunch time...
    Muscle can make up for a lot of poor positioning - so yes, with enough power or a poorly positioned uke, you can make most any throw from any angle.  But yes, I wouldn't consider that seiryoku zen'yo....  

    I've never heard or used the 'triangle', which seems useful.   We tend to track more in terms of (all assuming uke in shizentai):
    - over the toes
    - over the little toe
    - straight back over the heels
    - diagonally rearward over the heels
    We do deal with right and left shizentai by pointing out where the hips lay and draw that perpendicular from the hips, hence 'over the toes' whether the toes point in the direction of the perpendicular or not.    

    Sometimes simply moving into the correct position while maintaining the proper tension with the hands results in kuzushi - I think that includes CK use of the 'hara'.  My sensei used to say, don't over pull with your hands, set it up and use your hips, keep your posture....  some people like other explanations.

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    Re: Judo Vitruvian Man - proper kuzushi direction

    Post by BillC on Tue Feb 25, 2014 5:28 pm

    NBK wrote:  

    You have to start someplace - any better suggestions?  

    .... My sensei used to say, don't over pull with your hands, set it up and use your hips, keep your posture....  some people like other explanations.

    Nope, I do not ... and my sensei used to say much the same thing. He'd say "pulling is over-rated." In his mind "the push" is what really worked. He'd do a powerful taiotoshi and never once pull.


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    Re: Judo Vitruvian Man - proper kuzushi direction

    Post by Cichorei Kano on Tue Feb 25, 2014 11:25 pm

    NBK wrote:
    Cichorei Kano wrote:
    ....
    Having devoted most of my judo career to kuzushi, ....

    I have tried to illustrate then that the Hirano's model is elegant but far more complicated than yours, and that one does not know for sure if it does actually facilitate the learning since grasping the model itself is too advanced for more jûdôka. .....

    Your model is far more simplistic, but in how far it pedagogically will achieve its objective is something else. .....

    OK, in a judo career devoted to kuzushi (and having trained with you, I will attest that you know how to apply it!) did it ever seem that there is an optimal zone as a target for kuzushi?  

    You did mention Hirano's model several times but if you posted any illustration of it, I somehow missed it.  A description would be welcome.  

    And I am all about simplistic solutions when at all possible. Never claimed to be seeking anything else.  

    I agree with you that when it's all about didactic that models that are simplistic or visually are generally preferred, provided that they are possible, and depending on what the objective is: 1. to simply understand it, or 2. to learn how to do it yourself. Imagine a patient with little education has to undergo brain surgery. A very simplistic model telling the patient what needs to happen and how you are going to save his life is definitely the way to go. In the second case, a surgeon in training who has to acquire the technique to carry out the brain surgery and who is going to actually assist in the surgery will likely not sufficiently be prepared if there isn't a very solid carry-over to the whole motor process and a thorough understanding of the why and how. Judo isn't as complicated as brain surgery in a sense that no doubt there are many great champions with fabulous technique who likely have no clue about the motor and neurological process, but the reason they can pull it off likely is because they have a far above average judo talent and/or a far above average training commitment. What we all try to achieve as instructors is target the normal mortals and who to facilitate their learning, which is also what I think is one of your major objectives.

    You are correct that I have recently mentioned Hirano's model several times but have not posted any illustration of it. The reason is twofold: 1. it is part of a scholarly paper that has not yet been published and also has not yet been submitted, and scholarly journals have strict rules about authors not being allowed to publish their papers or the essence of it prior to submission to the journal with exception of a conference or symposium communication; 2. Hirano's model unlike yours can't be expressed in two illustrations. It is too comprehensive the paper in which I explain it is 48 sheets of A4 ! That number obviously also contains a bibliography, a history overview of kuzushi in Kôdôkan and the thoughts of Kanô on kuzushi, but even if would excise the core information and use occam's razor of which you are fond, it would still take up about 8 pages; this is also precisely its problem, as I have alluded to, that the model may be too complicated and extensive to achieve what it is aiming for. However, if I were to give someone of an indication of what it is, you could summarize it as follows: 1. it adds a 3rd dimension by specifying various ways of pulling that are not only vertical in dimension but that also at rhythmic and modal component, 2. it emphasizes dynamic kuzushi over Kanô's teaching model which is static, and 3. it emphasizes the importance of rotational kuzushi, which is more efficient than linear kuzushi.



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    Re: Judo Vitruvian Man - proper kuzushi direction

    Post by Ben Reinhardt on Wed Feb 26, 2014 3:05 am

    DougNZ wrote:
    Ben Reinhardt wrote:
    DougNZ wrote:
    BillC wrote:
    At least one error in beginners, and you touch on this, beginners tend to focus on how their own body should be bent, twisted, turned, etc. without considering uke at all.  

    One 'recommendation' we have in our club is "Only throw uke if he wants to be thrown."  By this I mean, until uke is ready to be thrown to the ground don't try and put him there; he'll go when he is good and ready!  The alternative is forcing uke to one's own will - 'muscling' one's throws, if you will.



    If you mean waiting around for uke to make a mistake to create an opportunity to do a technique, then I disagree, although it may work, eventually. If you mean simply overwhelming uke with superior force, that's not ideal.



    It's a tongue-in-cheek expression we use (we have plenty!).  When uke's posture and balance is destroyed, and we are about to blast him to the ground, we say, "See, uke's asking to be thrown.  Please oblige."  We are very polite like that.

    The flip side is that when uke is still on base and has good posture, we have a bit more preparatory work to do before helping him have a lie-down.

    Ben Reinhardt wrote:In randori, and especially shiai, your opponent does not want to have a technique done successfully to him or her. Some muscle may be involved whether we like it or not. It's not like uke/opponent WANTS to get thrown/pinned/submitted.

    I guess that in ju-jitsu we are a bit lucky; we can use clinches and tips (and strikes) as well as throws to get uke to the ground.  Even against a resisting / fighting opponent, the options mean that generally less effort needs to be used by tori.

    Not sure what a "tip" is. Clinches are useable in Judo, obviously, no strikes in competition, though.



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    Re: Judo Vitruvian Man - proper kuzushi direction

    Post by Ben Reinhardt on Wed Feb 26, 2014 3:45 am

    NBK wrote:
    Ben Reinhardt wrote:.....
    I took at look at the two diagrams in question. Some of it makes sense, other parts I can think of notable exceptions. The exceptions might not be considered seiryoku zenyo, however, they do result in uke being thrown. My exception(s) may be the result of not exactly getting your "model".

    Given that, I'll write more generally. I'm sharing my experience, not trying to put down or negate what you present in your OP.

    ....
    One tentative conclusion I have reached is that teaching "kuzushi" as a separate conceptual idea is not the most effective way to teach judo. For most people at least, the physical coordination issues involved are overwhelming above and beyond physical or conceptual models. Again, that's where I am in my judo "life", and is not to say figuring out "kuzushi" isn't a worth endeavor...in fact, I very glad that it's being done.

    In looking at your "from above" diagram, the "too close" zone is a place that beginners commonly go to when doing basic forward throws like O Goshi, Seoi Nage, Tsuri Komi Goshi, et al. I have to correct that as a normal course of teaching Judo. But you CAN do Seoi Nage or Seoi Otoshi effectively within that "too close" zone, as well as the other two throws, and others of course. It's all a matter of relative grip, posture, movement which create the opportunity. But for basic judo, yeah, it's too close or less.

    I see no mention of the "triangle" concept of body placement to produce kuzushi in your OP. This has been around for a long time. Basically, putting tori body at the tip of the equilateral (more or less), the base of which is the line drawn between uke insteps. It fits more or less with the outer edge of your too close zone. I find this useful so students can "have a clue" as to how to correct their positioning while training.

    The direction and distance to the triangle point vary with uke posture, migi or hidari shizentai or jigotai, uke height, etc.


    The other idea that goes along with this is the one of the "easy" direction of uke posture. Easy in that uke can resist least effectively in the direction indicated, which is roughly perpendicular to the line drawn between uke insteps; e.g., direction of the point of the triangle (to front or rear).


    Those are just in horizontal plane, of course. Varying the vertical position changes things as well, as does uke posture (staight, bent, twisted, etc.).

    That's it for now, lunch time...

    NBK wrote:Muscle can make up for a lot of poor positioning - so yes, with enough power or a poorly positioned uke, you can make most any throw from any angle.  But yes, I wouldn't consider that seiryoku zen'yo....

    It sure can, however, being inside the "zone" doesn't mean "muscle" has to be used. Seoi Otoshi (to knees) can be initiated and successfully done without "muscling" inside the "too close" zone. So can Kosoto Gake, ashi barai, and others all in accordance with seiryoku zen'yo. In any case, I know your model isn't proposed to be all inclusive.

    NBK wrote:I've never heard or used the 'triangle', which seems useful.   We tend to track more in terms of (all assuming uke in shizentai):
    - over the toes
    - over the little toe
    - straight back over the heels
    - diagonally rearward over the heels
    We do deal with right and left shizentai by pointing out where the hips lay and draw that perpendicular from the hips, hence 'over the toes' whether the toes point in the direction of the perpendicular or not.

    The "triangle" (I've heard it called the "kuzushi triangle", which made me cringe a little)...I'm trying to remember the first time/place I read or heard of it. It was a long time ago, in any case. I've seen it used as a teaching cue by Japanese, American, Canadian, European, etc. sensei/coaches. I *think* the Dr. Steve Cunningham uses it in his "Dai Ikkyo" video that he produced with the USJA many years ago. My understanding of the relationship between shizenhontai, migi and hidari shizentai and the line of "weakness" in uke posture was enhanced by his explainations. Also the idea of the "half front" posture (migi-hidari shizentai) as being adopted for randori/shiai to make positioning for attack more difficult as well as to facilitate attack.

    I've tried to stop thinking of kuzushi as some sort of separate element of my judo. Kuzushi is multifactorial (I know you know that, I'm just clarifying/organizing my thoughts), related to relative to the fluid and ever changing flow of relative posture, kumi kata, movement (direction/speed/pace), height, weight, etc. .

    What we need to learn in Judo, to be effective at least, get into our very souls and bones so to speak, are the fundamentals of the above mentioned factors (and others no doubt). Posture, movement, gripping, positioning (which is most of what we are discussing now...positioning) all need to be learned correctly...that would be "kihon" I suppose. Without those, well, not much will happen well. I've seen that time and time again, spent literally years in some cases correcting bad habits in other judoka (hopefully not adding my own bad habits, LOL), with not always complete success. Done the same for myself, too, although that's an incomplete process. Everyone wants to focus on one throw, tokui waza, though...

    NBK wrote:Sometimes simply moving into the correct position while maintaining the proper tension with the hands results in kuzushi - I think that includes CK use of the 'hara'.  My sensei used to say, don't over pull with your hands, set it up and use your hips, keep your posture....  some people like other explanations.

    Absolutely ! In fact, I would go further and say "most" of the time that is true in my experience. The tough thing is to move into that position at the right time with an uke or opponent who is resisting and adjusting as well. Then sometimes several changes in position and use of hands may have to happen.But at a basic level (learning nage waza statically and dynamically), pretty much true.

    The whole "pulling with hands" thing is one of the major conceptual error I see in how Judo is taught and done. I have to credit the sensei/coach I mentioned earlier in this thread with that eureka moment (in my world at least). He finally figured out, after direct observation and and watching video (Betamax, LOL) of our Japanese sensei...endless hours of it) that the heavy pulling advocated was not how judo actually happened. Pulling someone off balance with the hands is, I won't say total nonsense, but it's close.

    Positioning of the hands (the classical hikite/tsurite) serves a definite purpose(s), but it's more one of correctly positioning the body relative to uke (contact) to create the "kuzushi". Hands/arms facilitate the transmission of force to uke body from tori body, to connect tori "hara" to uke.

    The use of gravity (the vertical component you wrote of) comes into play here. Using the arms in the clasical hikite/tsurite fashion is a lot easier when tori lowers his weight, resulting in a "lift" of uke, rather than the usual attempt to lift uke, crane like or fishing pole like with the tsurite.

    As I tell my students, gravity is your friend. Use it ! There is very little need to actually "lift" uke in order to properly position yourself to throw him.

    I should get to work. Hopefully that all makes some sense.



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