A few days ago, one of my students got to reading Feldenkrais' Higher Judo Groundwork book and came up with the bright idea that he wants us to do newaza blindfolded for a couple of months to help improve our flow and sensitivity on the ground. I think this is a great idea and we're kicking off this focus tonight.
But I figured I'd raise the ante a bit. While we can't do tachi randori blind because we have a small matspace and we'd be forever crashing through my walls and throwing people through windows, we are going to be doing our standing judo work for a couple of months under conditions of tactile invisibility. By that I mean two things:
- sleeve-end grips only - we are used to working from our favorite grips (frequently sleeve&lapel) and we are also used to adding a lot of extraneous muscle noise into our throws. But when we take sleeve-end grips, there is so much slack between partners that it is more difficult to put the muscle noise into practice.
- following instead of propelling in ashiwaza - instead of letting uke feel your footsweep coming from a mile away, we want to follow instead of pushing with the leg.
Let's try this for a couple of months, along with the blindfolded newaza, and I think this stands to improve our judo immensely!
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