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More on teaching kids ashiwaza

Photo courtesy of Ella Novak
Last night I was super-pleased with the kids' performance in judo class. For a while I've been trying a couple of new things in teaching them -
  • first, I've been teaching more generalized motions that tend to result in a footsweep-like throw instead of trying to teach them all the right motions to make each particular named throw.
  • second, I've been doing more uchikomi (which I hate for adult practices, but kids get uchikomi faster and easier than nagekomi) with emphasis on only 4 throws - deashi/kosoto, osotogari, koshiguruma, and a leg pick
Well last night, I worked a slightly diffeerent angle on the first idea above. I told the kids to close their eyes and stand on one leg. Whichever leg a kid picked up we called that leg their "swinging leg" and the other leg we called their "standing leg." I told them that they would always only be sweeping with their swinging leg no matter what the other guy did.
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Then we worked on a general motion like in the link above:
  • push uke so he takes a step back
  • use your swinging leg to grab the ankle of the foot closest to you
  • push them butt-first into the ground
This resulted in them consistently getting either deashibarai or kouchigari, dependent on which foot uke stepped back with. Worked like a charm. There were a whole lot of judo midgets hitting the ground and getting back up! I bet I could do the same thing with a different swinging motion and get them throwing osotogari and ouchigari!


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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 木蓮
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