A couple of years ago I did a post on How to Become an Empty Jacket in Judo. All those pointers are great, and we have worked on all of them some, but none of them extensively.
One of my students (my REAL teachers) reminded me today of how back in ye olden days we used to do a lot of handicap newaza randori. The most common handicaps that we put on people were that brown belts and above had to close their eyes and black belts and above couldn't grip or grab. Working under these constraints (especially the blindfighting) forces people to figure out how to pay attention to their other senses better. When you can't see and you can't "grab, grunt, and go," you rapidly develop more acute awareness of the ups and downs and flow of things.
Hmmm... "Pay more attention to the ups and downs in newaza..." Where have I heard that before? Oh yeah, an Empty Jacket told me that!
Denizens of Mokuren Dojo, get ready for a couple of months of blind, no-grip newaza with emphasis on feeling the flow and the holes and the ups&downs!
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