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    Crash Mats - Old Judokas opinion

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    Ricebale

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    Crash Mats - Old Judokas opinion

    Post by Ricebale on Tue Mar 04, 2014 12:15 pm

    Have a read and let me know thoughts, for one I use Crash mats a lot for the gery same reasons below:

    By Steve Scott


        
    CRASH PADS FOR THROWING PRACTICE (WHY I USE THEM)
         Somewhere about 1973 or 1974, Welcome Mat was the first judo club to use crash pads for throwing practice in the Kansas City area. In fact, not many people used crash pads anywhere in the United States. At that time, I was criticized for using crash pads by just about everyone (except the people in my club and other clubs using crash pads who had improved throwing skills)-By the way, I still pay about as much attention to critics now as I did then. That was back in the 1970s. Funny thing is, there are people who weren't even born then who say the same old tired criticism now that was said back then by people who are old enough to be their parents. Here are some reasons why I use crash pads to train my athletes.
    Volume and Safety
         Crash pad training allows everyone on the mat to do more throws safely. Here are two important points. You can do more throws on a crash pad than throwing only on the mat (tatami). After a while, landing on the mat takes its toll on anyone-even tough guys who say otherwise. By using crash pads, everyone on the mat can perform a lot more throws-and the result is that the level of technical skill improves. An increased volume of throwing practice translates to an increased development of functional skill. 
         Anyone who says that power is not what judo is about simply doesn't know what the word power means. Power does not mean brute strength or lack of technical skill as critics contend. The ballistic effect generate by a throwing technique is tremendous and demonstrates the skill, movement and strength inherent in a good throwing technique.
         As far as safety is concerned, not only are there less injuries during practice when using crash pads, both in the short term and over the long haul of years of training, the body doesn't take as much punishment by landing on 8 inches of foam (in the crash pad) on top of the actual tatami than by landing only on the tatami. Sure, performing good breakfalls when taking a throw is important, but (as will be pointed out again later) the added level of safety in using crash pads definitely reduces injuries in practice.
    Functional Skill
         Anyone who uses crash pads can (and will) develop harder and more effective throws. The 8 inches of foam certainly helps cushion the fall for your partner when you drill him with that Uchi Mata, O Soto Gari or any other throw and it will provide the same cushion for you when he takes his turn to throw you. This means that you can develop more plyometric (explosive) power when throwing. I don't care what anyone says, the idea of a throw is to finish the fight. Throwing an opponent softly (in a match or real fight) is the antithesis of what the concept of Nage Waza (throwing Techniques) entails. A good analogy is boxing. Boxers use a punching bag to develop their punches in the same way judo, sambo, jujitsu and grappling athletes use a crash pad to develop their throws. Boxers don't train to hit an opponent softly, they train to hit an opponent hard. Crash pad training allows us to develop the full ballistic effect of a throwing technique. 
    More on Safety
         Some people will say that using Ukemi is sufficient and good breakfalls negate the usefulness of crash pads. Okay, learning how to land safely is a necessity-that is a fact. But anyone who has taken a lot of falls on the tatami quickly finds out that, even with perfect breakfalling skills, taking repeated throws from partners in practice takes its toll on even the toughest guys' bodies. After a while, people get gun-shy and avoid throwing practice or simply stop coming to practice and take up something more docile, like spending too much time watching Youtube videos of judo instead of actually showing up to practice. So, my point is that using crash pads adds another level of safety in training to Ukemi (this was mentioned earlier).
    Use Crash Pads Wisely
         Do not limit your throwing practice to the use of crash pads only. By all means, work on throwing techniques and skills when moving freely about the mat to improve timing, spatial awareness and other important factors in throwing. In the same way boxers do not exclusively use heavy punching bags to develop their punching skills, judo, sambo, jujitsu and other grapplers should not limit themselves to exclusively doing throwing practice on crash pads. Like any training tool, use crash pads in an overall plan of training and development.
    Uchikomi
         I don't care what anyone says. Doing a lot of Uchikomi (fit-in practice) instead of Nagekomi (throwing practice) is not a good substitute for actually doing throws to develop technical skill. I'm not against Uchikomi-I'm just against replacing throwing practice with a  lot of fit-ins. The old adage "do more Uchikomi" only works for a (short) while. That's been the advice given by people when they didn't have an answer to a question about a throw. I've been to clubs where they did lots and lots of Uchikomi and only a few actual throws. Maybe you've been to one of those clubs as well. Again, don't get me wrong. Uchikomi training has its definite place in any fighting sport, but too much Uchikomi training translates directly into athletes who do not finish their throws and (for the most part) have their throwing attacks more easily blocked by an opponent or do not follow through enough at the end of a throwing attack to get the job done. Others can do what they want, but I want my students and athletes to develop more functional skills in throwing, so we'll keep working on our crash pads
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    Creamy creamy baileys

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    Re: Crash Mats - Old Judokas opinion

    Post by Creamy creamy baileys on Tue Mar 04, 2014 12:27 pm

    Complete agreement from me. Ultimately, we all have lives outside the dojo and anything that reduces injuries while increasing follow-thru seems a good way to go. (Doubly so as most places have tatami directly over hardwood floors / concrete; these are not fun to take falls on)

    There are a few negatives to crash-mat practice but IMHO the positives outweigh them.

    To complete the sacrilege, I would go so far as to say 80% crash-mat throwing : 20% non-crash mat throwing.  afro 

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    Ben Reinhardt

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    Re: Crash Mats - Old Judokas opinion

    Post by Ben Reinhardt on Tue Mar 04, 2014 12:29 pm

    Glad you agree with Mr. Scott ! Crash pads are useful, and annoying at the same time. Somehow I found I could throw as hard a possible in shiai yet not really rely on crash pads in training for quite a long time.



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    DougNZ

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    Re: Crash Mats - Old Judokas opinion

    Post by DougNZ on Tue Mar 04, 2014 1:04 pm

    I'm sure we had this debate a couple of months ago!
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    judoratt

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    Re: Crash Mats - Old Judokas opinion

    Post by judoratt on Tue Mar 04, 2014 4:41 pm

    Crash pads are a great tool for competitive dojos.
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    Ben Reinhardt

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    Re: Crash Mats - Old Judokas opinion

    Post by Ben Reinhardt on Wed Mar 05, 2014 3:36 am

    One issue I have with crash pads is that tori basically can bash away at uke without learning control. Just smash the guy down and don't worry about anything, the crash pad will take care of it !


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    Jonesy

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    Re: Crash Mats - Old Judokas opinion

    Post by Jonesy on Wed Mar 05, 2014 3:45 am

    I hate crash pads. The throwing experience is not the same, the positioning is always awkward and while the landing is softer for uke it is no substitute for a properly sprung floor..


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    Ben Reinhardt

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    Re: Crash Mats - Old Judokas opinion

    Post by Ben Reinhardt on Wed Mar 05, 2014 3:47 am

    Jonesy wrote:I hate crash pads. The throwing experience is not the same, the positioning is always awkward and while the landing is softer for uke it is no substitute for a properly sprung floor..

    I agree, although I wouldn't use the word "hate". They have their uses (crash pads), but are not a substitute for good flooring.


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    BillC

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    Re: Crash Mats - Old Judokas opinion

    Post by BillC on Wed Mar 05, 2014 3:56 am

    Ben Reinhardt wrote:
    Jonesy wrote:I hate crash pads. The throwing experience is not the same, the positioning is always awkward and while the landing is softer for uke it is no substitute for a properly sprung floor..

    I agree, although I wouldn't use the word "hate". They have their uses (crash pads), but are not a substitute for good flooring.

    But ... in the absence of sprung floors ... which must be the case in something approaching 90% of the judo clubs in the world ... at every group that has to drag its tatami out of the closet and set up on the rec center floor ... there is no substitute for a good crash pad.  There is no way to throw a sufficient number of times to learn that motion properly without nearly killing uke.

    Yes, yes, yes ... back in my day ... uphill both ways to the dojo ... in snow armpit deep ... young people have it too easy ... etc.

    Why are there so many experts at the "uchi komi bump?"  Because they, and their sensei, and maybe their sensei's sensei's sensei spent their judo life on wrestling mats on a gym floor.

    Edit:  Ten year olds are made largely of rubber and can be bounced on poor surfaces yet get up smiling.  But into and past the teen years this becomes a painful limitation.  Thus, not only is the average mat surface responsible for bad uchikomi, it is also responsible for "obiwaza" and the "sensei doesn't fall down" policy.


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    GregW

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    Re: Crash Mats - Old Judokas opinion

    Post by GregW on Wed Mar 05, 2014 4:42 am

    I'm divided over the use of crash pads. I trained briefly at one club that used them and sometimes tori missed the target and uke would land half-on and half-off the pad, which seemed more dangerous to me than just taking ukemi on the normal tatami. However, I use them for teaching some throws like ura-nage because the fall is a pretty tough one. Once uke knows how to take the fall from it, we try it on the tatami.

    We're fortunate that our club trains in a rec center that has a gymnastics room that has a 4-inch foam floor under a carpeted surface. We can take falls on it, but it's not good for newaza--rug burns!, so we put down traditional mats in addition. It's a good surface for training, so we're lucky.
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    afulldeck

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    Re: Crash Mats - Old Judokas opinion

    Post by afulldeck on Wed Mar 05, 2014 5:07 am

    I'm not divided at all. I will take all the inconveniences of a crash mat over tatami on concrete (or tatami on hardwood) floor any time. Most dojos, certainly those outside big urban centres, do not have a sprung floor.


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    Jonesy

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    Re: Crash Mats - Old Judokas opinion

    Post by Jonesy on Wed Mar 05, 2014 6:29 am

    GregW wrote:I'm divided over the use of crash pads.  I trained briefly at one club that used them and sometimes tori missed the target and uke would land half-on and half-off the pad, which seemed more dangerous to me than just taking ukemi on the normal tatami.  However, I use them for teaching some throws like ura-nage because the fall is a pretty tough one. Once uke knows how to take the fall from it, we try it on the tatami.  

    We're fortunate that our club trains in a rec center that has a gymnastics room that has a 4-inch foam floor under a carpeted surface.  We can take falls on it, but it's not good for newaza--rug burns!, so we put down traditional mats in addition.  It's a good surface for training, so we're lucky.
    I would go along with using crash mats for ura-nage, te-guruma and kata-guruma practice but anything else, that's what breakfalls are for.
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    BillC

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    Re: Crash Mats - Old Judokas opinion

    Post by BillC on Wed Mar 05, 2014 12:12 pm

    Jonesy wrote:I would go along with using crash mats for ura-nage, te-guruma and kata-guruma practice but anything else, that's what breakfalls are for.

    (My emphasis added to the quote) Are you sure?  A competitive judo player in training should be able to do somewhere over 25 throws per minute, full power.  In a given workout, they should do somewhere on the order of 300 throws at least.  Think that is going to happen on most mat surfaces without injury?

    P.S. - The breakfall from kataguruma is over-rated.  Scary for the acrophobic, but not necessarily a hard fall.  Seoinage ... or sodetsurikomigoshi ... should be much worse.


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    Ben Reinhardt

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    Re: Crash Mats - Old Judokas opinion

    Post by Ben Reinhardt on Wed Mar 05, 2014 1:20 pm

    BillC wrote:
    Ben Reinhardt wrote:
    Jonesy wrote:I hate crash pads. The throwing experience is not the same, the positioning is always awkward and while the landing is softer for uke it is no substitute for a properly sprung floor..

    I agree, although I wouldn't use the word "hate". They have their uses (crash pads), but are not a substitute for good flooring.

    But ... in the absence of sprung floors ... which must be the case in something approaching 90% of the judo clubs in the world ... at every group that has to drag its tatami out of the closet and set up on the rec center floor ... there is no substitute for a good crash pad.  There is no way to throw a sufficient number of times to learn that motion properly without nearly killing uke.

    Yes, yes, yes ... back in my day ... uphill both ways to the dojo ... in snow armpit deep ... young people have it too easy ... etc.

    Why are there so many experts at the "uchi komi bump?"  Because they, and their sensei, and maybe their sensei's sensei's sensei spent their judo life on wrestling mats on a gym floor.

    Edit:  Ten year olds are made largely of rubber and can be bounced on poor surfaces yet get up smiling.  But into and past the teen years this becomes a painful limitation.  Thus, not only is the average mat surface responsible for bad uchikomi, it is also responsible for "obiwaza" and the "sensei doesn't fall down" policy.

    No disagreement from me, Bill. All depends on circumstances.



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    Re: Crash Mats - Old Judokas opinion

    Post by Jonesy on Wed Mar 05, 2014 6:32 pm

    BillC wrote:
    Jonesy wrote:I would go along with using crash mats for ura-nage, te-guruma and kata-guruma practice but anything else, that's what breakfalls are for.

    (My emphasis added to the quote) Are you sure?  A competitive judo player in training should be able to do somewhere over 25 throws per minute, full power.  In a given workout, they should do somewhere on the order of 300 throws at least.  Think that is going to happen on most mat surfaces without injury?

    P.S. - The breakfall from kataguruma is over-rated.  Scary for the acrophobic, but not necessarily a hard fall.  Seoinage ... or sodetsurikomigoshi ... should be much worse.
    Why the need for 25 throws in 60s - unless it's CV training. Throwing practice is about quality not quantity and I have never seen national squad level playes throw at full power in squad sessions. In my years on the Welsh squad not once was there a crash mt in squad sessions.
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    BillC

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    Re: Crash Mats - Old Judokas opinion

    Post by BillC on Wed Mar 05, 2014 6:46 pm

    Jonesy wrote:
    Why the need for 25 throws in 60s - unless it's CV training. Throwing practice is about quality not quantity and I have never seen national squad level playes throw at full power in squad sessions.  In my years on the Welsh squad not once was there a crash mt in squad sessions.

    Uh ... because that's what the clock in the dojo is for?



    And as to the other ... well, yeah ...


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    Ricebale

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    Re: Crash Mats - Old Judokas opinion

    Post by Ricebale on Wed Mar 05, 2014 6:47 pm

    There's definitely a difference in training methadologies.

    I know personally I don't like a sore anything which prevents me from training, hence I prefer crash mats for throw practice. I also prefer nage komi to uchi komi and this lends itself well.
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    Re: Crash Mats - Old Judokas opinion

    Post by Smitty2A35 on Thu Mar 06, 2014 4:17 am

    I'm a fan of the crash pads. I run a club that is run out of a community center/YMCA. Mats are drug out, laid over hard composite flooring, and then put away for every single class. If I had the luxury of a sprung floor, I might have a different opinion...but for clubs like mine, they are extremely useful.

    They aren't a replacement for tori being able to throw with control, or for uke being able to properly execute ukemi. A crash mats are an option for folks and definitely have their place in training.

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    Re: Crash Mats - Old Judokas opinion

    Post by Hanon on Thu Mar 06, 2014 5:16 am

    Next subject the blue gi please Very Happy 

    Complex subject. There are so many answers all of them dependent on the situation in terms of teacher pupil club goals and direction etc.

    IF one teaches a sporting dojo that is focused on championships and winning, the sport dedicated club then crash mat has a use.

    IF you teach judo as Kano Shihan intended then there is no reason on earth to use a crash mat.

    I have asked this question so many times. Can any poster give me a reason why I need a crash mat in my dojo? How would it benefit my pupils? If I can be educated and given solid reason to benefit my pupils I would be foolish and negligent not to purchase one.

    Mike


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    BillC

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    Re: Crash Mats - Old Judokas opinion

    Post by BillC on Thu Mar 06, 2014 7:22 am

    Hanon wrote:Next subject the blue gi please Very Happy 

    Or compression underpants ... I agree.

    Hanon wrote:Complex subject. There are so many answers all of them dependent on the situation in terms of teacher pupil club goals and direction etc.

    Absolutely.

    Hanon wrote:IF one teaches a sporting dojo that is focused on championships and winning, the sport dedicated club then crash mat has a use.

    IF you teach judo as Kano Shihan intended then there is no reason on earth to use a crash mat.

    Now that's a bit of leap, Mike. Of course you are nearly old enough to remember him, but not quite. Wink I put crash pads down under the category of maximum efficiency. I can ... in fact I did last evening ... have an adult join the club and allow them safely to experience throwing and being thrown the same evening. Better ukemi comes later, starting the first class of course ... as last evening. And perfect practice making perfect, crash pads allow the maximum number of repetitions and complete throws as one would seek to do in shiai. I think the old man would have, at a certain point in his life, entertain any idea that allowed both safety and hard, daily practice.

    Hanon wrote:I have asked this question so many times. Can any poster give me a reason why I need a crash mat in my dojo? How would it benefit my pupils? If I can be educated and given solid reason to benefit my pupils I would be foolish and negligent not to purchase one.

    I think if you look back through the thread, plenty of reasons are given. I am a believer, you are among the unconverted. Fine. Here's a clip you can send back to me under these circumstances (in fun) and it will save a lot of fingers banging the keyboard ... it resembles your '60s self maybe?



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    Mr_Michael_or_Mike

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    Check out these mats for throws.

    Post by Mr_Michael_or_Mike on Fri Mar 07, 2014 5:04 pm

    I'm not sure what type of mats are used in this video, but they seem closer to crash mats than tatami. They would seem to be very suitable for repeated throw practice and, one wouldn't have to worry about only landing on half of the mat, the entire surface is a crash mat! The Ukis seem to bounce on some of the throws.


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    Re: Crash Mats - Old Judokas opinion

    Post by GregW on Tue Mar 11, 2014 4:54 am

    When discussing crash pad use, one thing that doesn't come up is practicing nage no kata. That's 30 ippon-level falls and using a crash pad is not practical. (FWIW, to me, yoko gake is a worse fall to take than kata guruma.) My old sensei used to have us double up the mats for NNK practice, but then they feel too squishy to get proper footwork.

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    Re: Crash Mats - Old Judokas opinion

    Post by still learning on Tue Mar 11, 2014 6:39 am

    [quote="GregW FWIW, to me, yoko gake is a worse fall to take than kata guruma. [/quote]

    Agree entirely.
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    Jihef

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    Re: Crash Mats - Old Judokas opinion

    Post by Jihef on Wed Mar 12, 2014 10:45 pm

    BillC wrote:Edit:  Ten year olds are made largely of rubber and can be bounced on poor surfaces yet get up smiling.  But into and past the teen years this becomes a painful limitation.  Thus, not only is the average mat surface responsible for bad uchikomi, it is also responsible for "obiwaza" and the "sensei doesn't fall down" policy.
    Hmm, call me stupid, but… whaddaya mean by "obiwaza" ??
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    Re: Crash Mats - Old Judokas opinion

    Post by Cichorei Kano on Wed Mar 12, 2014 10:54 pm

    Jihef wrote:
    BillC wrote:Edit:  Ten year olds are made largely of rubber and can be bounced on poor surfaces yet get up smiling.  But into and past the teen years this becomes a painful limitation.  Thus, not only is the average mat surface responsible for bad uchikomi, it is also responsible for "obiwaza" and the "sensei doesn't fall down" policy.
    Hmm, call me stupid, but… whaddaya mean by "obiwaza" ??

    Ref. this video from the women's division of my judo club just before practice:



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