Thursday, June 17, 2010

Deashi down, okuri up

We (my students and I) have a common problem. We practice deashibarai a lot! We practice it as the basis of most other throws. But if (when) we get lax in actually throwing it or if (when) we start thinking about deashi as just a feint or setup for some other throw, we start doing the timing wrong.
See, deashi is a down-throw. It is thrown as uke's feet are separating and one foot is entering the ground. Okuriashibarai is an up-throw. It is thrown at the peak of uke's upward motion as uke's feet are approaching each other and leaving the ground.
If you're not careful, it's tempting to try to throw deashi as an up throw, because it's easier to get one of uke's legs into the air this way. But this is less than optimal because:
  1. it takes more strength from tori to sail uke this way
  2. it's actually harder to get uke's back to hit the ground this way, and
  3. it mostly consigns deashi to the role of a feint or minor setup instead of being a real throw of its own
If you recognize this problem in yourself (trying to throw deashi as an up throw), then you are really hitting the okuriashi timing - you're just out of position for okuri.  You are mixing up the timing and position for these two throws.  Try moving to okuriashi position when your brain says to pull the trigger on deashi.
My students can expect several classes (at least) worth of particular emphasis on "deashi-down, okuri-up."
Patrick Parker is a Christian, husband, father, martial arts teacher, Program Director for a Cardiac Rehab, and a Ph.D. Contact: or phone 601.248.7282 木蓮
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