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Broken rhythm is broken balance


How can you tell when you have someone off balance so that you can execute your technique?
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We usually think about kuzushi as making uke lean to the edge of his base so that he has to recover or fall, but I think that is sort of a correlation-not-causation thing.  Certainly we have all seen highly-ranked people that can make use of much, much smaller kuzushi - so how do they tell when they have the guy offbalance?
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They rely (at least partly) on their sense of rhythm.
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Try this demonstration - have uke stroll across the mat with a slow, steady, metronomic rhythm.  Then partway through his stroll, bump him on the shoulder.  It doesn't have to be violent - just enough to cause a pause or a stutter-step.  Or alternately, in randori watch for times when you and the other guy take 2-3 steps together in synch, and after step 2 or 3, bump him on the arm or shoulder and see doesn't the rhythm change and he leans to some degree out over his edge.
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Any disruption in uke's chosen walking pace is an indicator of kuzushi because uke must be in control of his own balance in order for him to operate at his own chosen rhythm.
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So, broken rhythm is broken balance. 




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____________________ 
Patrick Parker 
www.mokurendojo.com

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