This is the Judo blog of Lance Wicks. In this blog I cover mainly Judo and related topics. My Personal blog is over at LanceWicks.com where I cover more geeky topics. Please do leave comments on what you read or use the Contact Me form to send me an email with your thoughts and ideas.

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JudoCoach.com Blog by Lance Wicks

 

 


Judo experiences for the week. 


Hi all,
so this week I did less coaching than last week and more observing both at Alresford Judo Club and at the HMS Collingwood Judo Club.

Monday night is Alresford Judo Club (Sun Hill Junior School, Sun Lane, Alresford). This week Mr. Ray Whitfield (the main coach for many years at the club) did most of the teaching, especially in the younger childrens class.

It is always good to watch someone else coach and see how the same set of students react to a different person. I learnt alot by watching Ray's experience shine. He knows the kids really well and they know him. I took more of the older age group class, but Ray and I worked on the same core ideas.

The classes developed on last weeks area of focus, O Soto.
The main tool we used was working in four directions, using O Soto (done on the same side). The idea being to allow the kids to learn that doing a throw whilst moving in different directions requires adjustment to the throw.
With the older kids, whilst I was coaching them, Ray identified that their rhythm moving sideways was not strong. So we spent some time trying to develop rhythm, using the Uke's elbow a bit like a pendulum.

The other thing that I loved about Monday was learning a new game/exercise. Ray did this GREAT "The Force" game, like in Star Wars. Basically he stood at the end of a crash mat and each child would walk up to him (often twirling imaginary light sabers). Once they got to him he would point/wave his hand and the kid would fall backwards (from the force you see).
I thought it was a great exercise for helping kids get comfortable falling backwards (Ukemi).


On Wednesday, I was at the HMS Collingwood Judo Club near Fareham. Due to some double booking of the Dojo at the SARC, we were sharing the tatami with the JuJitsu club. Their Sensei suggested rather than a normal session we deliver a "Mini-seminar" of Judo and JuJitsu.
This was quite rewarding, as exploring "traditional Jujitsu" and Judo at the same time shows us alot about Judo I think.

The main comment I would make is that Judo is the natural evolution of Jujitsu when influenced by practical application under pressure.

We of course don't do the strikes and wrist locks, but I think this is more than made up for by the fact that the techniques we do are all tested in competition. Unlike Jujitsu, our techniques are able to be practised and perfected with resistance and near 100% effort. We don't need to "pull our punches".

Good examples of this were apparent in the session, where for example Taio toshi was shown by the Jujitsu Sensei, preceeded by a block to a strike and several strikes. The throw itself would never have worked on a Judo mat. I will be generous and say that they don't need to have as effective a throw as the Uke has already been struck several times before the throw is made.
HOWEVER...
I am not 100% convinced this theory holds water. For example, one of the strikes they used was a strike to the side/rear of the head/neck. This I was informed would make the throw work as the person would be "out of it". But as a Judoka Ihave lost count of the times I have been clubbed around the side/back of the head by someone taking an "over the top" grip. Yet, I managed to defend myself from throws... at least most of the time.
Perhaps a "real" strike would be harder than the "strike" of someone taking the over the top grip.

Another example was their version of Juji gatame. It showed the lack of real testing against a resisting opponent. Things we did in out version were not done as they'd never had to do it on a person who was using every muscle to prevent their arm being locked like we do in Judo week in, week out.
Their initial version was not too bad, just loose and lacking in some of the key points most Judoka would apply. Their second variation was, from a Judo perspective, completely un-usable. Basically they did the lock with one leg over the chest and the other leg near the head bent (think a traditional Judo Juji Gatame with the legs the wrong way around).
The reasoning behind this was they were kicking the person in the head prior to application of the throw. But, having never kicked someone in the head they did the Juji Gatame from a position where Uke's body was not moved and all that really happened was Uke tucked their chin in, or head on Tori's leg.
As Judo people we know that Uke would simply sit up and be between your legs. But the Jujitsuka never having tested their techniques in competition simply don't know how people defend.

This is not me saying that Judo is better than Jujitsu, it is me saying that Judo is the evolution of Jujitsu. That Judo has shed strikes and such and focused on a smaller set of techniques and raised the level far beyond where Jujitsu does them today.

Because Judo is done with serious resistance and we can practise near and at 100% our level of refinement and ability to actually apply techniques is simply beyond what they are able to do. They simply can't strike at 100%, they don't have the opportunity to develop the application of their techniques.

I suspect that everything the Jujitsu sensei said about the effectiveness of his techniques was true... once. When they were developed, when they were done in the heat of battle. In rougher times.

Perhaps in Kano's time this was already apparent back when the legendary contest between Judo and Jujitsu to teach the Tokyo Ploice took place or so the story goes. perhaps even then, Kano's selection of techniques coupled the development of things like Randori were what made the difference??

It was good to explore "our roots" and I have to say I think I walked away with a Jujitsu technique we should be able to apply in kumi kata.
I also learned a fun new warmup.

It was all in all a great experience and I hope that the Jujitsuka and Judoka alike learned from the night.

Lance

Administrator (Lance Wicks) 

Hi Buddy,
I don't follow MMA to closely, but try and keep some awareness of what is happening.

Karo on the other hand I know a bit more about.

Mainly through listening to his interview with my friend on the US Judo Podcast ( http://thejudopodcast.com/?p=36 ) where he has interesting things to say about Judo and MMA.

Karo has had his problems lately, some of which are not doing him much good. See Dana White's tweet about him from last year: http://twitter.com/danawhite/status/5867543520

Go see Pat, he asks after you everytime we email/talk!

Lance
Regan 


I didn't think you were having a go, just wanted to share the different perspective I had after getting my arse whipped by the boys at ATT.

I have been so heavily brainwashed by the boom in popularity of BJJ in the states it didn't even cross my mind that you may have been exposed to and/or discussing traditional Japanese Jujitsu.

I don't know how closely you follow MMA, but if you want to see Judo used to devastating effect in the cage, try and find some fights by American Armenian Black Belt Judoka, Karo Parisyan. Especially his earlier fights... Stunning throws using techniques adapted to allow for the fact your opponent is not wearing a gi.

I have nearly dropped enough of the excess weight I gained in 2009 to be able to fit into one of my old gi's and get back on the mat LOL

I will drop you an e-mail soon for a catch up...
Administrator (Lance Wicks) 

Hi Reggie! Great to hear from you pal.

My mistake, I was talking about Japanese JuJitsu, not BJJ.
Old style not new style.

Just recently I went on the mat with a JuJitsu instructor called Travis Serna and did some work. I also did a No-Gi training session with Mike Darter at OKCDT.

Both were great learning experiences and both shared our (as in Judo's) level of focus on application.

So, sorry for the confusion, I was not taking a potshot at BJJ (or any "practical" JuJitsu). I suppose it was a criticism of arts that do not have the good fortune to have Randori and Competition like Judo does.

Hows tricks any way? Drop me an email and go see Pat, I keep telling him to await your arrival and "come back" on the mat!

Lance
Regan 

hmmm where to start..... I am not sure why you think Jujitsu is not practiced in competition? they have gi, and no gi, submission tournaments, and there is of course MMA.

And if you think they do not train near 100% at the club, standing and/or on the ground, you should participate in a session at ATT next time you are in the states.

The range of techniques available to you in Jujitsu to submit an opponent makes ne-wazi far more challenging and enjoyable for me. Knee-bars, heel hooks, shoulder locks to name but a few.

In terms of their respective applications in the real world, Judo has one major weakness, it is always practiced with a gi on. While a throw can be very effective against an untrained opponent in the street, it is also possible you will both be left standing with you holding your attackers shirt in your hand. or try ne-wazi without your gi on and see how much that changes everything.

Against a trained competitor, You will note how rare, (though spectacular it is when it happens,) a judo throw is attempted to try and take an opponent to the ground in MMA. Wrestling is far and away the dominant style used to take an opponent to the ground.

(Below is a different topic really but I am on a roll LOL)

The other area which in my opinion Judo could learn from Jujitsu, is the reverence and honor it is to be awarded your black belt. I do not know if it is the same the world over, but in my opinion a BB was awarded to frequently and easily down under.

To be awarded your BB in Jujitsu, is a very big deal, and it really means something. It is also a point of pride to say which instructor awarded you your BB. Intentional or not, this makes instructors accountable for the BB they award.

Lastly (and probably another different topic), Judo needs to figure out how to benefit from and leverage the popularity in MMA, if they don't the sport will stagnate from the lack of new competitors wanting to start the sport, and/or from losing their top competitors and coaches to the lure of $$ on offer from MMA.

Hope all is well in your world, good to know your still on the matt every week.

Regs





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