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    Crash Mats - Old Judokas opinion

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    Ben Reinhardt

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    Re: Crash Mats - Old Judokas opinion

    Post by Ben Reinhardt on Wed Mar 19, 2014 1:46 am

    Ricebale wrote:
    Cichorei Kano wrote:
    judoratt wrote:

    The problem with rondori and nagikomi is that uke is fairly compliant. In competition the finish can be dificult, and many throws need to be finished to the mat. These throws are difficult to practice in either rondori or nagakomi because of the impact.


    This is no doubt true, but nothing of what has been discussed here offers a solution to that.

    In competition much of what we see today aren't really jûdô throws in the literal sense of the term but are often "take-downs", "chaotic throws", the kind of thing that isn't really practised but that is situational conglomerate of responses to inputs. They can't often be repeated because each of them is different depending on the opponent's specific reaction, build and properties. They are partly improvisatory.

    The crashmat does not offer the solution because it is everything but improvisatory for several reasons, not in the least that that the technique is not only anticipated but also exactly where it is going to be carried out and where uke is going and has to land, i.e. on the crashmat. Thus, it does not add anything to that, except for the sole factor that from what I understand the desire to throw as hard as possible or finish to the mat. In everything jûdô, control is crucial, and that control I have without following through to the mat. In fact, IF in shiai it would be necessary to follow through to the tatami, that oftentimes is because of lack of control. Should one focus his jûdô on how to salvage a score from something carried out without sufficient control, I prefer on focusing on my technique to improve my control. I don't have to, nor can I even train for the indefinite number of factors that mediate the trajectory of the opponent during being thrown. In other words, without disagreeing with anything you say, I think it is an illusion that this concern is solved or even addressed simply by throwing your opponent on a crashmat as hard as possible and falling on top of him. Your finish is going to be entirely different not in the least because of all the biomechanical and physics factors that describe the landing on a tatami or mat.

    When I read such a well articulated arguement that I can't intellectually contend I image how this dude would think of the high brow principles concerning no use of power to comolete a throw:



    At the very least I'm sure his training partners would have loved the invention if the crash mat Smile

    Appeal to dead authority ? Surely you jest ?

    The sort of "power" you are writing about is the culmination of a lot of factors, not just jamming uke into the tatame.


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    Cichorei Kano

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    Re: Crash Mats - Old Judokas opinion

    Post by Cichorei Kano on Wed Mar 19, 2014 2:46 am

    Ben Reinhardt wrote:
    Cichorei Kano wrote:
    Ranma wrote:I endorse this message.  The emphasis on developing power in the throw is a very good point.  You cannot experiment with your throws to develop power without a crash pad, or willing partners.  

    How so ?  The power is necessary to break the gravitation and resistance before lifting the opponent and in the initiation of the launch phase. After that ... it becomes not so relevant anymore. So I do not really understand the logic ?  Unless the idea is from the moment he is falling to maximally accelerate that fall so that he lands as hard as possible and you really want to bury your opponent into the tatami. I don't really think that that is the purpose of the jû in jûdô. I do not even actually throw my partners anymore in yaku-soku-geiko or kakari-geiko. It's all a matter of kuzushi and I know and they know when they have reached "the point of no return". It's only really when you want to practice tachi-waza to newaza transitions as in Japan, but which isn't really trained to that extent in the West that continuation is essential. But "crash mats" aren't really suite for that as they do not provide realistic surface for newaza or katame-waza unless you want to practice defending yourself against possible attackers in bed.

    I have found that a progressive approach to learning "follow through" to work pretty well. I was fortunate in many ways in my judo "upbringing" in that I my first sensei had been taught somewhat traditionally. Zanshin was a word I learned and a characteristic I was made to practice in each throw I did, whether or not I really understood what it meant or not !  

    As I got more into competition, I found that that "control" and "focus" "alertness remaining" I had drilled into me was critical to following though to ne waza or "rolling through" a throw for complete follow-though. My next teacher, from the same dojo, with the same first sensei and I worked a lot of follow through to ne waza, and finishing a throw, similar to how people use crash pads today.

    We did  not have crash pads, and did Judo on a rather thin one piece mat of some sort, covered with a blue vinyl cover, over a wooden floor that has some but not a lot of spring to it. We did full power throws, full speed, over and over and over again, but somehow never managed to injure each other, or suffer any ill effects.

    I'm not saying that is optimal, just that it's possible if one learns sufficient control and ukemi waza. I think that sort of training is skipped over today, the type to learn progressive control from simple standing with control, control to katame waza (ne or otherwise), to follow-through directly to ne waza, to what I'll call "rolling" follow through where tori over rotates over uke rather than going to ne/katame waza.

    On a slightly different issue, I think that the use of crash pads and developing "power" at the end of the throw takes the focus off of the control BEFORE the finish. With the amount of acrobatics being done to escape landing in scoring position nowadays and for the past 2 decades or so, that control is even more critical. However, that control is a lot more than just jamming uke/opponent into the tatame and landing on him. Crash pads are sort of a short cut to that control, and a specialized tool as well when used correctly.

    For beginners, I don't use them much if at all. There is no need for them to use extreme follow through, and plenty of progressive ukemi to throwing drills to create or choose from to develop sufficient control and ukemi waza skills.

    I totally agree with what you write, and I am pleased to hear about your sensei's approach. Indeed zanshin is an important matter that is neglected way too much in Western teaching of jûdô, and something that today is connected far more with weapons arts and koryû than with jûdô.

    A couple of years ago during the Kôdôkan International Summer Kata course as part of the Nage-no-kata course, which was sharply criticized by me on the old forum, a critical Westerner (who was not me) noted the complete absence of any zanshin in the performances by the Kôdôkan nage-no-kata teachers. He was right, and asked about this whether there shouldn't be any zanshin. The Japanese teachers were caught off guard by the question and basically somewhat nervously laughed away the question like the Westerner was just stupid and said "ha, ha, no, no, no zanshin, ha, ha, ha, no zanshin in nage-no-kata". It was stunning. It was also after this critical post of mine that the staff was replaced and the year after the nage-no-kata much to my relief was supervise again by Abe Ichirô, which was an immense improvement.

    Back to your post. I was also pleased that you, quite astutely, noticed that zanshin and using crashmats aren't identical and that the use of crashmats does not at all imply proper application of zanshin. That is indeed so. Zanshin is not at all the same as throwing as hard as possible, nor is it the same as "burying your opponent in the tatami". In fact, they could be opposite, as burying your opponent as hard as possible in the tatami could as well reflect a lack of control as that it could reflect presence of control; it depends. As to Zanshin, it can only imply one thing: presence of total control. The term 'zanshin' is, unfortunately not used so much in basic jûdô. It is only at the most advanced levels such as in koshiki-no-kata where there are concepts such as kurai-dori, which is related to zanshin, become prominent. Of course, Westerners never get to it, because they all think that kata is about mistakes and about mechanical patterns that have to copy those of some supposedly ideal version demonstrated by the teachers or on a Kôdôkan DVD, which really has nothing to do with kata, but as we know trying to explain that has become an exercise in futility, certainly with the IJF doing the complete opposite and approaching kata as something where you lose marks if you deviate from a patter or remark on a score sheet, and that score sheet sure does not contain the words 'zanshin' or 'kurai-dori' and those judging it may well have never even heard of, let alone understand what the terms mean ...


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    Gus

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    Re: Crash Mats - Old Judokas opinion

    Post by Gus on Wed Mar 19, 2014 7:32 am

    I dislike crashmats - I think they hinder the development of good ukemi. Crashmat practise always seems to eat into Randori too - which irritates me.
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    Ricebale

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    Re: Crash Mats - Old Judokas opinion

    Post by Ricebale on Wed Mar 19, 2014 8:30 am

    Ben Reinhardt wrote:
    Ricebale wrote:
    Cichorei Kano wrote:
    judoratt wrote:

    The problem with rondori and nagikomi is that uke is fairly compliant. In competition the finish can be dificult, and many throws need to be finished to the mat. These throws are difficult to practice in either rondori or nagakomi because of the impact.


    This is no doubt true, but nothing of what has been discussed here offers a solution to that.

    In competition much of what we see today aren't really jûdô throws in the literal sense of the term but are often "take-downs", "chaotic throws", the kind of thing that isn't really practised but that is situational conglomerate of responses to inputs. They can't often be repeated because each of them is different depending on the opponent's specific reaction, build and properties. They are partly improvisatory.

    The crashmat does not offer the solution because it is everything but improvisatory for several reasons, not in the least that that the technique is not only anticipated but also exactly where it is going to be carried out and where uke is going and has to land, i.e. on the crashmat. Thus, it does not add anything to that, except for the sole factor that from what I understand the desire to throw as hard as possible or finish to the mat. In everything jûdô, control is crucial, and that control I have without following through to the mat. In fact, IF in shiai it would be necessary to follow through to the tatami, that oftentimes is because of lack of control. Should one focus his jûdô on how to salvage a score from something carried out without sufficient control, I prefer on focusing on my technique to improve my control. I don't have to, nor can I even train for the indefinite number of factors that mediate the trajectory of the opponent during being thrown. In other words, without disagreeing with anything you say, I think it is an illusion that this concern is solved or even addressed simply by throwing your opponent on a crashmat as hard as possible and falling on top of him. Your finish is going to be entirely different not in the least because of all the biomechanical and physics factors that describe the landing on a tatami or mat.

    When I read such a well articulated arguement that I can't intellectually contend I image how this dude would think of the high brow principles concerning no use of power to comolete a throw:



    At the very least I'm sure his training partners would have loved the invention if the crash mat Smile

    Appeal to dead authority ? Surely you jest ?

    The sort of "power" you are writing about is the culmination of a lot of factors, not just jamming uke into the tatame.

    Ah, the Judo logic trap:

    Person A proposes modern training method

    Judokoko says "Must do what Kano said to be Judo"

    Person A shows an example from old

    Judokoko"Appeal to dead authority ? Surely you jest ?"

    Smile

    DougNZ

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    Re: Crash Mats - Old Judokas opinion

    Post by DougNZ on Wed Mar 19, 2014 9:04 am

    Ricebale wrote:
    Ah, the Judo logic trap:

    Person A proposes modern training method

    Judokoko says "Must do what Kano said to be Judo"

    Person A shows an example from old

    Judokoko"Appeal to dead authority ? Surely you jest ?"

    Smile

    Nothing nicer than sitting back on a sandy beach, cold beer in hand, watching the tip of the rod for movement ...
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    Ben Reinhardt

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    Re: Crash Mats - Old Judokas opinion

    Post by Ben Reinhardt on Thu Mar 20, 2014 1:51 am

    Ricebale wrote:
    Ben Reinhardt wrote:
    Ricebale wrote:
    Cichorei Kano wrote:
    judoratt wrote:

    The problem with rondori and nagikomi is that uke is fairly compliant. In competition the finish can be dificult, and many throws need to be finished to the mat. These throws are difficult to practice in either rondori or nagakomi because of the impact.


    This is no doubt true, but nothing of what has been discussed here offers a solution to that.

    In competition much of what we see today aren't really jûdô throws in the literal sense of the term but are often "take-downs", "chaotic throws", the kind of thing that isn't really practised but that is situational conglomerate of responses to inputs. They can't often be repeated because each of them is different depending on the opponent's specific reaction, build and properties. They are partly improvisatory.

    The crashmat does not offer the solution because it is everything but improvisatory for several reasons, not in the least that that the technique is not only anticipated but also exactly where it is going to be carried out and where uke is going and has to land, i.e. on the crashmat. Thus, it does not add anything to that, except for the sole factor that from what I understand the desire to throw as hard as possible or finish to the mat. In everything jûdô, control is crucial, and that control I have without following through to the mat. In fact, IF in shiai it would be necessary to follow through to the tatami, that oftentimes is because of lack of control. Should one focus his jûdô on how to salvage a score from something carried out without sufficient control, I prefer on focusing on my technique to improve my control. I don't have to, nor can I even train for the indefinite number of factors that mediate the trajectory of the opponent during being thrown. In other words, without disagreeing with anything you say, I think it is an illusion that this concern is solved or even addressed simply by throwing your opponent on a crashmat as hard as possible and falling on top of him. Your finish is going to be entirely different not in the least because of all the biomechanical and physics factors that describe the landing on a tatami or mat.

    When I read such a well articulated arguement that I can't intellectually contend I image how this dude would think of the high brow principles concerning no use of power to comolete a throw:



    At the very least I'm sure his training partners would have loved the invention if the crash mat Smile

    Appeal to dead authority ? Surely you jest ?

    The sort of "power" you are writing about is the culmination of a lot of factors, not just jamming uke into the tatame.

    Ah, the Judo logic trap:

    Person A proposes modern training method

    Judokoko says "Must do what Kano said to be Judo"

    Person A shows an example from old

    Judokoko"Appeal to dead authority ? Surely you jest ?"

    Smile

    LOL, nice try ! Yep, that's me, against "modern training methods", absolutely.

    Thanks for starting the topic, a lot of great stuff is coming out, we can all learn something.


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    Ben Reinhardt

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    Re: Crash Mats - Old Judokas opinion

    Post by Ben Reinhardt on Thu Mar 20, 2014 1:52 am

    DougNZ wrote:
    Ricebale wrote:
    Ah, the Judo logic trap:

    Person A proposes modern training method

    Judokoko says "Must do what Kano said to be Judo"

    Person A shows an example from old

    Judokoko"Appeal to dead authority ? Surely you jest ?"

    Smile

    Nothing nicer than sitting back on a sandy beach, cold beer in hand, watching the tip of the rod for movement ...

    I took my boys fishing last night after school. We do mostly catch and release.


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    DougNZ

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    Re: Crash Mats - Old Judokas opinion

    Post by DougNZ on Thu Mar 20, 2014 4:55 am

    Ben Reinhardt wrote:
    DougNZ wrote:
    Ricebale wrote:
    Ah, the Judo logic trap:

    Person A proposes modern training method

    Judokoko says "Must do what Kano said to be Judo"

    Person A shows an example from old

    Judokoko"Appeal to dead authority ? Surely you jest ?"

    Smile

    Nothing nicer than sitting back on a sandy beach, cold beer in hand, watching the tip of the rod for movement ...

    I took my boys fishing last night after school. We do mostly catch and release.

    Good on you; Dad-time is important and nothing can be as fun and relaxing as fishing.

    I think catch-and-release is mostly what is practiced on this forum, too.
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    Ricebale

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    Re: Crash Mats - Old Judokas opinion

    Post by Ricebale on Thu Mar 20, 2014 9:12 am

    Damn, I telegraphed that ashi waza and got reversed Smile

    DougNZ

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    Re: Crash Mats - Old Judokas opinion

    Post by DougNZ on Thu Mar 20, 2014 9:15 am

    Ricebale wrote:Damn, I telegraphed that ashi waza and got reversed Smile

    Telegraphed and avoided but, Ricebale, you are too slick to be reversed!

    Ranma

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    Re: Crash Mats - Old Judokas opinion

    Post by Ranma on Fri Mar 21, 2014 5:38 am

    Ben Reinhardt wrote:
    On a slightly different issue, I think that the use of crash pads and developing "power" at the end of the throw takes the focus off of the control BEFORE the finish. With the amount of acrobatics being done to escape landing in scoring position nowadays and for the past 2 decades or so, that control is even more critical. However, that control is a lot more than just jamming uke/opponent into the tatame and landing on him. Crash pads are sort of a short cut to that control, and a specialized tool as well when used correctly.

    This was actually my experience learning as a beginner. My first "dojo" used crash pads exclusively, so I am an extreme case that I can understand both sides. I could do kake very well, but had little understanding of the other parts. So when it came to randori I relied on speed and power. When I did succeed I did throw very hard. This is still with control at the finish - where I lacked control was entering.

    However I do think crash pads have a place as it easily allows you to evaluate the basic static mechanics of the throw. As my Judo was largely self-taught, having this kind of feedback was the only input I could get. If you are from a poor Judo area, you won't get anywhere just doing bad uchikomi.

    Of course, I realized this was unsustainable once I ran into better players, and resolved to learn good Judo. Then I suffered years of throwing very little while I changed my style. Now I can say I have a few good throws, but I did lose some throws I previously was able to do spontaneously.

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