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Hold, but don't cling


Photo courtesy of Spengu
Often, the harder tori insists on holding a pin, the harder it is to move to another safe position if uke does escape.
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In judo, it is often harder to hold a position when you clench tightly than when you drape loosely over uke. When you clench tightly, you make yourself a solid, unified piece for uke to lift. When you drape loosely it is much harder to lift you because you are both heavy and pliable. A better hold-down often happens when you drape yourself loosely over uke and allow him to shift under you (within constraints).
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The same thing happens in aikido when tori almost has a good pinning position but not quite, and the desire to hold that pin makes tori try harder and harder. If uke is able to reverse that pin, then tori will likely be in trouble for having tried to hold the position so hard for so long.
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Moral of the story - when your position starts to degrade, let go and move on instead of clinging to the past and riding it down the toilet.
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Patrick Parker is a Christian, husband, father, martial arts teacher, Program Director for a Cardiac Rehab, and a Ph.D. Contact: mokurendojo@gmail.com or phone 601.248.7282
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Suggested great books on aikido, judo, and strategy.
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