Photo courtesy of Gravestone
There is some debate in aikido and judo circles about the nature of kuzushi - whether tori has to specifically do a kuzushi to uke or whether uke is always offbalance and tori just has to figure out how to make use of it. I tend toward the second opinion, though I will readily admit that there are times when you do a specific thing to uke to make him lose his balance.
It is also commonly said that aikido and judo are based on unbalancing the opponent, and this is so. I would, however, like to assert that if you are going to deliberately effect a kuzushi upon uke, then kuzushi is not the first, or last, or even the most important thing that you are doing. There is a lot of stuff that you have to pay attention to (like your own balance and movement and evasion and positioning) prior to ever getting to the point that you need to worry about doing kuzushi to the other guy.
A while back Chiron had a note about discretionary time. That's what I'm, talking about. As you become more skilled at things like controlling ma-ai, evasion, taisabaki, positioning yourself in shikaku, etc... you get more and more discretionary time (I often call it 'slack' in my lectures. You can use that slack for many things, including kuzushi. So, in short...
Kuzushi is something that you effect upon uke only in your spare time.
Patrick Parker, is a Christian, husband, father, judo and aikido teacher, Program Director for a Cardiac Rehab, and a Ph.D. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 601.248.7282
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