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    DougNZ

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    Squatting

    Post by DougNZ on Wed Jun 25, 2014 10:53 am

    I enjoy the wise words of Hanon-sensei, CK, NBK and the like, who talk about the importance their sensei put on engaging the hips and waist in techniques. This may be related...

    As a generalisation, I note that when Westerners squat, they tend to stick their backsides out, arching their backs and putting weight onto the flats or heels of their feet. Many Easterners tend to squat by leading with their knees forward and having backs straight, thereby engaging their waist and putting weight towards the balls of their feet. I suspect that the differences arise because Westerners are used to sinking back into a seat whereas Easterners are used to sinking forward into seiza. Does anyone have any comments to make in relation to lowering the body for hip throws and the like?
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    Cichorei Kano

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    Re: Squatting

    Post by Cichorei Kano on Wed Jun 25, 2014 12:07 pm

    Are you speaking in favor of the traditional Japanese toilet ? Because if you are, I never use those. Going to the loo should be a pleasurable affair, not one that adds additonal stress and that could potentially end in a ruptured ACL !  Very Happy 


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    DougNZ

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    Re: Squatting

    Post by DougNZ on Wed Jun 25, 2014 1:25 pm

    Cichorei Kano wrote:Are you speaking in favor of the traditional Japanese toilet ?  Because if you are, I never use those. Going to the loo should be a pleasurable affair, not one that adds additonal stress and that could potentially end in a ruptured ACL !   Very Happy 

    Just as well; I'd hate for you to be hip throwing in a traditional loo.

    But back to the mechanics of lowering height ...
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    BillC

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    Re: Squatting

    Post by BillC on Wed Jun 25, 2014 10:00 pm

    DougNZ wrote:I enjoy the wise words of Hanon-sensei, CK, NBK and the like, who talk about the importance their sensei put on engaging the hips and waist in techniques.  This may be related...

    As a generalisation, I note that when Westerners squat, they tend to stick their backsides out, arching their backs and putting weight onto the flats or heels of their feet.  Many Easterners tend to squat by leading with their knees forward and having backs straight, thereby engaging their waist and putting weight towards the balls of their feet.    I suspect that the differences arise because Westerners are used to sinking back into a seat whereas Easterners are used to sinking forward into seiza.  Does anyone have any comments to make in relation to lowering the body for hip throws and the like?

    Douguns,

    At the moment I am in a country where the "collective and commonly held" wisdom is that YouTube should be forbidden ... along with that tool of bourgeoisie called FaceBook.

    In any case, if you go the decadent aforementioned site and search for a video called "The Asian Squat" you will see a short film featuring many of the children of this fine country ... of course none of them are the kids of party leaders at Berkley, etc. under assumed names ... all of them "Li" ... shhhhhh.

    It is, in all seriousness, the video is a light but simple explanation of the issue you note.

    Cheers.

    Bill


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    DougNZ

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    Re: Squatting

    Post by DougNZ on Wed Jun 25, 2014 11:11 pm

    That's an entertaining clip, thanks, Bill ... of the calibre I have come to expect from you. I must say, I can see the benefits of being ... well ... sturdy.

    My question relates more particularly to the best way to sink into the 'bum on thigh' height squat (rather than the bottomed-out Asian squat): sink forward leading with the knees or sink backward leading with the butt? What did the old sensei say?
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    BillC

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    Re: Squatting

    Post by BillC on Thu Jun 26, 2014 1:27 am

    DougNZ wrote:That's an entertaining clip, thanks, Bill ... of the calibre I have come to expect from you. I must say, I can see the benefits of being ... well ... sturdy.

    My question relates more particularly to the best way to sink into the 'bum on thigh' height squat (rather than the bottomed-out Asian squat): sink forward leading with the knees or sink backward leading with the butt? What did the old sensei say?

    My old sensei used to say a lot ... but about this I think my particular lessons were extracurricular.

    - When I hosed up my L5-S1 disk my PT "persuaded" me that I needed to get serious about the flexibility in my undercarriage ... all that stretchy and not-so-stretchy stuff from the waist to the heels.

    - To do that, I first went back to karate stretches ... the ones she allowed. In particular the stretch noted in the video which is simply to squat while keeping the heels on the ground. Since most of us whose lives have been spent stumbling weakly from chair to chair cannot do this without falling back on our flat behinds, at first an assist is needed. Stand in front of a bed or kitchen counter ... do the Asian Squat while holding on to the bottom of the appliance ... as far down as you can go while keeping those heels down and hold it. You will likely feel complaints in the lower back and especially the calves while you do this. The next days your hamstrings will chime in louder. Repeat daily three or more times ... as often as you think about it. After a time try letting go and keeping your balance without ushiro ukemi. Soon you will be able to hold the position without the assist. Soon after you can do it with your arms crossed like a Russian dancer ... then eventually you will in fact be able to join the nice braided-hair ladies for a bowl of noodles and tea in front of the railway station.

    - Next ... and this comes from Marissa the Mistress of Myofacial Murder ... place a soccer ball against a wall. Straddle said pelota facing the wall with your toes about 6 inches from the wall (150 mm for you whiny Continental types). A stucco wall works best because you want to create a great incentive not to bend forward and skin your nose as you squat on your heels to pick up the orb, then stand, then put it down, then stand, then pick it up ... etc. Ten times is a round number for the first time. More as you can stand it. Repeat in proportion to your desire to do a kick-ass tewaza from down low.


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    Cichorei Kano

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    Re: Squatting

    Post by Cichorei Kano on Thu Jun 26, 2014 4:03 am

    DougNZ wrote:

    But back to the mechanics of lowering height ...

    Doug, the issue you are talking about clearly has to do with preventing the center of mass to fall outside the base of support.


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    DougNZ

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    Re: Squatting

    Post by DougNZ on Thu Jun 26, 2014 7:45 am

    Cichorei Kano wrote:
    DougNZ wrote:

    But back to the mechanics of lowering height ...

    Doug, the issue you are talking about clearly has to do with preventing the center of mass to fall outside the base of support.

    Not necessarily preventing, I think. In a leverage technique where tori provides the fulcrum, moving the centre of mass to the edge of the base of support in the intended direction of the throw should be beneficial, should it not (assuming correct upper body connection with uke is maintained)?

    My movement, striking and throwing has improved considerably as I have learnt to engage my core. Conversely, I find from observation and personal experience that techniques often fail or their effectiveness is markedly decreased when the hips are 'left behind'. This is most visible as a slight 'sitting' posture, which tends to make the upper body incline forward and/or the rear loins rotate upwards. Examples are a cross punch, where the striker simply inclines forward and rolls the shoulder through rather than leading from the hips and engaging the waist, and ouchi gari, where tori does not engage the waist, leading to the leg being hooked up (instead of reaped) and uke's weight being put on their support leg.

    So, back to my central question: should the core be engaged early in the tipping and fitting phase by sinking the knees forward or should tori search for a contact point with his/her butt in the squat position?
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    Cichorei Kano

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    Re: Squatting

    Post by Cichorei Kano on Thu Jun 26, 2014 8:12 am

    DougNZ wrote:

    Not necessarily preventing, I think.  In a leverage technique where tori provides the fulcrum, moving the centre of mass to the edge of the base of support in the intended direction of the throw should be beneficial, should it not (assuming correct upper body connection with uke is maintained)?  

    My movement, striking and throwing has improved considerably as I have learnt to engage my core.  Conversely, I find from observation and personal experience that techniques often fail or their effectiveness is markedly decreased when the hips are 'left behind'.  This is most visible as a slight 'sitting' posture, which tends to make the upper body incline forward and/or the rear loins rotate upwards.  Examples are a cross punch, where the striker simply inclines forward and rolls the shoulder through rather than leading from the hips and engaging the waist, and ouchi gari, where tori does not engage the waist, leading to the leg being hooked up (instead of reaped) and uke's weight being put on their support leg.  

    So, back to my central question: should the core be engaged early in the tipping and fitting phase by sinking the knees forward or should tori search for a contact point with his/her butt in the squat position?

    That depends on the the specific mechanics of the throw. Tai-otoshi is a lever throw. If contact is made between tori's outstretched leg and uke's right shin, then the fulcrum is the point of contact. Tory does not need to bring his barycenter to that point of contact but needs to preserve it within the confines of his base of support. If he doesn't he will fall, which is what in the end happens in sutemi-waza.


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    DougNZ

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    Re: Squatting

    Post by DougNZ on Thu Jun 26, 2014 9:11 am

    We are talking round and round in circles, it seems, probably because I did not explain my self clearly.  As posted above, I mentioned hip throws and "bum on thigh" height as a fulcrum; obviously the squatting mechanics are not so applicable in tai otoshi.

    From the gist of the answers, it seems there is no teaching from the old masters on this particular movement available on this forum and we are problem solving under our own steam.  Thanks for the input, CK and Bill, and for the educational video.  I shall continue to experiment with both squats...


    Last edited by DougNZ on Thu Jun 26, 2014 9:49 am; edited 1 time in total

    Anatol

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    Re: Squatting

    Post by Anatol on Thu Jun 26, 2014 9:41 am

    Hi DougNZ


    "Both squats" is a good idea

    IF

    you mean normal squats and front squats.


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    Cichorei Kano

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    Re: Squatting

    Post by Cichorei Kano on Thu Jun 26, 2014 9:54 am

    DougNZ wrote:We are talking round and round in circles, it seems, probably because I did not explain my self clearly.  As posted above, I mentioned "bum on thigh" height as a fulcrum; obviously the squatting mechanics are not so applicable in tai otoshi.

    From the gist of the answers, it seems there is no teaching from the old masters on this particular movement available on this forum and we are problem solving under our own steam.  Thanks for the input, CK and Bill, and for the educational video.  I shall continue to experiment with both squats...  

    I don't know if "there is no teaching from the old masters on this particular movement". There is no standard exercise in the Kôdôkan curriculum and I have not come across anyone who specifically teaches this as some kind of critical thing, but that does not mean that there is no one or hasn't been anyone who did. For things such as seoi-nage and seoi-otoshi we generally emphasize the importance of contact between your back and your uke's front and the correct timing, and the importance of the center of mass. It seems to me that ultimately this leads to the same issue as you are thinking of, but from a different angle. Like my cat use to say "there are only so many different ways to skin a human ..."

    There is an instance in the judo curriculum where what you are talking about does become very visible, but no one devotes attention to it and about everyone does it wrong, and that is in the seated bow in Koshiki-no-kata. Many of the people who perform of demonstrate this are rather senior and in their 70s or 80s, so almost automatically the deducation is made that arthritis, history of knee injuries or old age hampers this movement, and no one want to insult or come across as rather insensitive by starting to hammer on how to accurately do this realizing that even IF they would know how to correctly do it, they probably could no longer do it anymore simply because of their age. You will agree with me that it would become a rather painful scene if you have to repeatedly scold an 80-year old in front of a group of onlookers that he needs to learn how to properly go through his knees. Even if one is right, most of the onlookers won't be able to see all those nuances and just think that you are a jerk. When younger ones do it, they are so out of touch with the entire kata that it becomes a mere demonstration of mechanics and all they can possibly grasp is the superfical layer.

    I am looking on my PC at a set of pictures I took last year during a seminar by Okano Isao were he is explaining the correct position of the hips and feet and contact. I think this is about as close as one comes to that in jûdô.

    I also remember the late Fukuda Keiko correcting me in the third and fourth movement of jû-no-kata, or at least teaching me some subtleties to maximize the effect during these squatting positions in combination with lifting the opponent in such as way as to get an optimal result. This information is, however, anecdotal and not some part of standard teaching key points. There are lots of things I or someone else can explain on a tatami, but I always ask myself, if I explain that to that extent, will that still in a significant way and improve the person's learning experience at the point he is now ? Sometimes we just have to apply the K.I.S.S. approach (Keep it simply simple), with the rest being reserved if they are ready for that, which in a large proportion of the masses unfortunately will never happen. The learning curve is sometimes also simply cut because many people long before they have the necessary level move on to teaching and stop, or at least for themselves accept that they have stopped being students, when in reality they should not at all.


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    DougNZ

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    Re: Squatting

    Post by DougNZ on Thu Jun 26, 2014 10:27 am

    Your last post, CK, gives rise to so many more questions I have, to which you will answer, "I'm not at liberty to to say until my dissertation has been published".

    You do realise that your stance is retarding my personal development and that of dozens of my students and pupils!!!
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    cuivien

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    Re: Squatting

    Post by cuivien on Mon Aug 25, 2014 5:44 am

    DougNZ wrote: [M]y central question: should the core be engaged early in the tipping and fitting phase by sinking the knees forward or should tori search for a contact point with his/her butt in the squat position?

    I haven't been around for a while, so pardon my revival of this thread, but I think I can be of assistance to Doug Smile

    Generally speaking, there are two types of squats based on the "what moves first" analysis: hip-break and knee-break. If your hips move first (even just a little) before you bend your knees, it's called a hip-break squat. If your knees bend first, even if only slightly before the hips, it's a knee-break squat.

    If you look at the following picture, I assume you're talking about something equivalent to fig 1) vs. fig 3)
    In 1) we see an "Olympic squat", or what I above called a knee-break squat. This features a more upright torso, suitable for a front or overhead squat, and with transfer value to the Olympic lifts such as clean and snatch. The consequence of an upright torso is greater forwards displacement of the knees in order to achieve a valid depth.
    In 3) we see the classic back squat usually performed by American powerlifters. This builds on a hip hinge (or "break") as the first part of movement.



    (Note that it is of course possible to do a hip-break upright torso squat and vice versa, but this is very uncommon)

    Here's a breakdown of muscles used in the two, courtesy of nsca.com:

    Knee-break squat:
    - Emphasizing quadriceps size and strength, since the body position can remain more upright
    - Suitable when working using lower loads and higher repetitions for more time under tension because the range of motion the knees and hips go through is great (if you have the ability to squat deep)  

    Hip-break squat:
    - Emphasizing the hips, hamstrings, and low back, since the torso stays more forward.
    - Well suited for female lifters, since girls tend to already be more quadriceps dominant; focus should be on their lower body in order to train towards balancing their quadriceps strength with extra hip and hamstring work
    - Does not require great ankle mobility
    - Requires great shoulder mobility

    Now, if the only thing required was simply to power an opponent directly upwards, there would be no discussion. It is a scientific fact that more forward knee travel has two important implications for powerlifting technique: 1) a longer range of motion and 2) more leverage is shifted to the knees instead of the hips. Thus, for more or less every normal lifter whose aim was to lift the most amount of weight, the recommendation would be a hip-break squat (complimented with a low barbell position).

    However, in judo we are usually adding another vector to the equation. It is not simply a matter of lifting the opponent upwards. Furthermore, if one enters with a hip-break movement in mind, unless very skilled at kuzushi I postulate that a lot of times one will end up with a) having to begin kake from an angle where the arms and shoulders are working under suboptimal conditions, or b) having the opponent bend at the hip making him much more difficult to throw.
    (Of course, I'm generalizing here, as there are a gajillion nuances to every technique)

    Based on the above, it makes sense to recommend a knee-break squat at least for techniques such as seoi-nage


    Last edited by cuivien on Mon Aug 25, 2014 5:56 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : adding a bit of information)


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    DougNZ

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    Re: Squatting

    Post by DougNZ on Mon Aug 25, 2014 11:37 am

    Thank you, Cuivien. If you don't mind, I am going to wait for more knowledgeable people than me to respond before I reply.
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    cuivien

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    Re: Squatting

    Post by cuivien on Mon Aug 25, 2014 11:38 pm

    DougNZ wrote:Thank you, Cuivien.  If you don't mind, I am going to wait for more knowledgeable people than me to respond before I reply.

    No problem Smile

    FWIW, here's a short clip of me warming up with some barbell squats at roughly my own body weight. If you pause it when I'm at roughly 90 degrees, look at how my hips and back are aligned re: a potential uke behind me Smile



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    NBK

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    Re: Squatting

    Post by NBK on Tue Aug 26, 2014 6:00 pm

    Cichorei Kano wrote:....... Tory does not need to bring his barycenter to that point of contact but needs to preserve it within the confines of his base of support. If he doesn't he will fall, which is what in the end happens in sutemi-waza.
    A barycenter is the center of mass of two or more bodies; do you not mean 'their mutual barycenter'?

    I feel Judo Vitruvian Man coming into his own....

    http://judo.forumsmotion.com/t1692-judo-vitruvian-man-proper-kuzushi-direction

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    Cichorei Kano

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    Re: Squatting

    Post by Cichorei Kano on Wed Aug 27, 2014 11:24 am

    NBK wrote:
    Cichorei Kano wrote:....... Tory does not need to bring his barycenter to that point of contact but needs to preserve it within the confines of his base of support. If he doesn't he will fall, which is what in the end happens in sutemi-waza.
    A barycenter is the center of mass of two or more bodies; do you not mean 'their mutual barycenter'?

    I feel Judo Vitruvian Man coming into his own....

    http://judo.forumsmotion.com/t1692-judo-vitruvian-man-proper-kuzushi-direction

    NBK

    I simply meant "center of mass" and should have said so to avoid confusion. My fault. I used the term in its geometric rather than astronomic sense, as explained here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barycentric_coordinate_system

    But let's avoid focusing on this. I simply should have avoided this confusion. Thanks for pointing out.


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