Saturday, February 21, 2015

The boat rudder analogy

In the previous post I suggested that ikkyo/oshitaoshi seemed to me to be something like using uke's shoulder girdle and spine as levers to steer his center, like using a boat rudder to steer a boat.
Now, I realize that all analogies fall apart when taken too far, but I think this one may bear a little extension.  Imagine trying to steer a small boat down a swiftly moving stream by controlling the rudder.  Now imagine trying to do that while standing on a rock in the river.
That second one is not going to be too successful, because in order to use a rudder to steer a boat, you have to be riding in the boat.  Likewise, to use uke's arm and shoulder as a lever to steer his center, you have to be riding uke - or at least connected to him and moving with him.  Standing your ground and trying to turn uke upside down with a lever will not work as well as moving with him and using the lever to steer him.
We are not standing our ground and mashing uke's elbow backwards into the ground. We are riding him into the ground using his arm and shoulder to steer him.

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Patrick Parker
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