Monday, February 04, 2013

Indispensable judo throws

Yesterday I asked, how many throws are there in judo?  Nobody can really decide.  Today I wanted to ask a related question.
Are there any throws that are indispensable to judo? Are there any techniques that if you didn't do them or teach them, you wouldn't be able to call what you do, "judo?"
What if our favorite, most fundamental throw, deashibarai, were so onerous to some particular player that they didn't want anything to do with it?  Would they still be a judoka?
What if you try valiantly for 20 years and just can't get koshinage to work worth a darn?  At what point do you declare koshinage to be B.S. - or at least not part of your personal judo game - and proceed to excel in something else?
What if you don't ever find a use for every tournament player's pet technique, uchimata?  Can you still look yourself in the mirror and say, "I do judo."
I have always said that we want to develop a wide technical range in our judo - that we do not want our judo to become a game of 2-3 tokuiwaza that are all we know how to do.  But I've also always said that it is sufficient on rank tests for students to do well on 4 out of 5 of their throws - that 80% is ok with me.
So, where is the balance between being able to choose your set of techniques that allow you to best express your personal judo and developing a broad technical range with many throws?

photo courtesy of parrhesiastes

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Patrick Parker
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