Thursday, January 15, 2015

Where does Hirano's magic live?

I am signed up to lead an exploration of Tokio Hirano sensei's cool/crazy rhythmic exercises and training methods at OKC at the Summer 2015 seminar.  Check out this video (The first 2 minutes) of some of what I mean by cool/crazy.

Here's a hint as to my line of thinking/exploration on this stuff. Notice in the title at the beginning of the film what he calls this material - kumikata - "forms of gripping!" This strange, rhythmic thing that he is doing that we think of as kuzushi or tsukuri - he is calling that gripping.
With that in mind, check out this excerpt from JudoInfo's essay of Hirano...
Traditional nage-waza (throwing techniques) were taught in the following sequence: kumu (gripping), tsukuru (the entry and proper fitting of your body into position taken just before the movement required for completion of your throwing technique), kakeru (completing), and nageru (throwing). 
Hirano revolutionized the order to tsukuru, kumu, kakeru and nageru. This is the current European style Judo. This is a proven method to defeat bigger opponents, as demonstrated by Hirano's stunning success.
The magic that he is doing seems to live within the "fit-in-and-grip" stages of the conflict.  That makes sense, because it is much harder to induce a useful vibe into uke if you have already set your grips (like in the Classical Kodokan approach above) because your grips tend to damp out that vibration (like holding a bell while trying to ring it).  But on the other hand, uke should be more susceptible to that vibe-induction thing as you are coming to grips, while he still has freedom to oscillate.
So it seems we're going to be studying how to come to grips with gentle, facile hands while inducing a vibe into uke and/or matching yourself to uke's oscillation.

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Patrick Parker
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