Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Pushing uke over the edge

My long-time readers know that, when translating Japanese martial arts terminology to English, I usually prefer looser translations over more literal translations.  I do not so much care if I get the exact same connotation as a native speaker.  What I want is for my students (and myself) to have an easily-understood, evocative, coloquial name for the thing.
Traditionally, throws are said to be divided into four phases -
  • Kuzushi - breaking uke's balance
  • Tsukuri - fitting yourself into the throw
  • Kake - the momentary effort of throwing
  • Zanshin - remaining aware
But I realized today that I've got a metaphor that I like a lot -
  • Kuzushi - placing uke right on the edge of the cliff
  • Tsukuri - standing next to them
  • Kake - tipping them over the edge
  • Zanshin - watching them all the way down
Ha, that tickles me.

[photo courtesy of TristanF]

Patrick Parker
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