Ukigoshi is really hard to find competition videos of. This film contains a few seconds of instruction and 2-3 examples drawn from competition. the slo-mo of the girls throwing it really highlights the beauty of this technique.
First ten men to ever be promoted to 10th dan rank in Judo
Yamashita, Yoshitugu (1865-1935) Promoted 10th Dan 1935
Isogai, Hajime (1871-1947) Promoted 10th Dan 1937
Nagaoka, Hidekazu (1876-1952) Promoted 10th Dan 1937
Mifune, Kyuzo (1883-1965) Promoted 10th Dan 1945
Iizuka, Kunisaburo (1875-1958) Promoted 10th Dan 1946
Samura, Kaichiro (1880-1964) Promoted 10th Dan 1948
Tabata, Shotaro (1884-1950) Promoted 10th Dan 1948
Okano, Kotaro (1885-1967) Promoted 10th Dan 1967
Shoriki, Matsutaro (1885-1969) Promoted 10th Dan 1969
Nakano, Shozo (1888-1977) Promoted 10th Dan 1977
Although all of these men were Jigoro Kano's contemps, only the first three made Judan during Kano's lifetime. Since 1977 there have been several notable promotions to the rank of Judan. There were, of course, many notable judoka who never reached 10th dan.
One of the coolest things about judo is that it is real and honest. Outcomes are objective instead of subjective and everything is executed to completion, as opposed to pulling punches that might or might not have been effective or simply dancing around the mat with a partner.)
either you are able to make the other person fall or you can't
either you can make the other guy submit or you can't
either you can escape the other guy's hold or you can't
But there is a paradox or a bind that beginners (and even some old-heads) don't ever understand - beginners should never force the other person to prove that they can do the technique and even experts should only do it judiciously.
We work with semi-compliant partners called "ukes" instead of "attackers" or resistant "opponents" for a couple of reasons:
It is better for students to get many repetitions of poor approximations of a technique than to get very few reps of still-poor approximations because their partner confounded every attempt (which is easy to do to a beginner).
It is safer for uke to take an appropriate fall at an appropriate time because eventually you will encounter someone who really is able to force you to fall against your will. When that happens, you will want to have had a lot of falling practice! Also, when you force tori to prove they can make you fall, you always end up eating more energy when you do hit the ground.
So uke does not confound tori's techniques - especially in nagekomi practice. Instead, uke helps set up conditions for both a successful throw and a safe fall.
But how far does this compliance go? At some point, you have to shift toward the "real" and "honest" mentioned earlier, right?
Eventually, after uke and tori have each experienced hundreds or thousands of repetitions of a technique, uke can gradually and judiciously start increasing the resistance - forcing tori to prove that he can take the technique when he wants it.
It is hard to figure this relationship out - especially if we start doing randori or shiai very early. People get confused and want to prove or force their partner to prove techniques.
It can help if we clearly delineate how each person is to behave in each type of practice - uchikomi, nagekomi, randori, and shiai.
It can help if we teach explicitly-defined ukemi for each throw (tell uke exactly how to behave and how to fall when you are doing each particular technique.
It can help if we shift our attention from tori to uke. Make the techniques uke-centric by thinking about them as falling exercises. That way, tori is not expected to prove that he can do a thing to uke. Instead he is expected to help uke set up the conditions for a particular fall, and to help support uke like a spotter as uke does that fall a specific way. So, nagekomi is just a form of ukemi practice.
It can help to make sure that everyone plays the roles of uke and of tori often. Don't let the lower ranked students be throwing dummies for the upper ranks or the competitors. Don't let the old fat guys get totally out of ukemi (though you might have to cut back some).
Once you get ukes and toris working together successfully in this manner for thousands of reps at a time, they can start dialing up the resistance incrementally.
Osotogari is one of those techniques that is probably taught in every martial arts class that there is because it is extraordinarily easy to force an unsuspecting opponent down with it. What makes these examples of osotogari is they were done on other judoka who know that technique is coming and are watching for it and have some options for countering it!
In the first Tomiki aikido technique, shomenate, tori enters directly in front of uke and projects uke straight backwards by pressing on his face and stepping through him. .
But except for shomenate, aikidoka vastly prefer to be outside of uke's arms or behind his shoulder (shikaku). In fact, it is not until techniques #13 (tenkai kotehineri) and #14 (shihonage) that we encounter the other two basic solutions to the problem of being caught directly in front of uke. .
So, why is shomenate taught first when it seems so contrary to the aikidoka's primary tactic of getting into the dead angle behind uke's arm? .
Because as Jagger-sensei says, "You can't always get what you want." .
Almost 100% of the time, an attacker will have desires contrary to your standing behind them ;-) so (especially while you are learning) you will often find that uke can easily spoil your techniques by turning to face you. .
Tomiki's teaching system places the main backup plan first because it solves so many problems. .
Basically, Tomiki's system is set up as if to say, "Always try to get behind uke, but if you find yourself toe-to-toe inside uke's arms and too close, your simplest, most effective solution is to push uke's face and stride directly through him. That is, whenever an attacker spoils your technique by turning to face you, do shomenate. .
Isn't it kind of neat that Tomiki-sensei gave us the answer to most problems first!?
P.S. incidentally, isn't it also neat that kumi-judo gives us another great back-up plan for aikido techniques that go bad because virtually everything in judo is done from toe-to-toe, between uke's arms, and close!? P.P.S. isn't it also interesting that pressing the face as in shomenate is disallowed in judo competition? Ostensibly this is for safety, but shomenate also spoils most of the conditions that are required for most judo techniques to work - that is, toe-to-toe, between uke's arms, and close. .
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In karate, we were often exhorted not to get into the block-counterattack game because it is a never-ending, un-productive loop. He attacks, I block, I attack, he blocks, he attacks, I block... .
We were told that "blocks are not just blocks," that it was possible to destroy an opponent with a block. but we never got much instruction beyond, "Don't just block." .
This can be interpreted several ways, including...
Blocks are actually strikes to the attacking limb. I never personally got a ton of mileage from this paradigm, but I know people who did.
Blocks are actually odd-looking strikes, like using a rising block as an uppercut to the corner of the opponent's jaw. I got more mileage from this idea than from crushing an incoming strike with a block - but it's still kinda limited.
Blocks can unbalance the opponent and eliminate their ability to continue to attack. (kuzushi). This one made the most intuitive sense to me, but how do you learn to use blocks as kuzushi other than just practicing for years until you happen to transcend?
I think Kenji Tomiki had a good answer to this puzzle. It is found in an exercise that some folks call shichihon no kuzushi and other groups call wrist releases.
Typically these exercises are done with uke grabbing tori's wrist and tori doing the off-balance or release but our instructors assured us that they could be done just as easily with tori grabbing (or striking) uke.
So, if you are a karate guy looking for a way to make your blocking techniques all that they can be, check out the interwebs for "shichihon no kuzushi" or "tomiki aikido releases" (and watch with an open mind because it will not look like the karate you are used to.).
P.S. One last tidbit to blow your mind. The Japanese term for what we call "blocking techniques" is ukewaza, meaning "receiving techniques." That is the same uke (receiving) as in ukemi (receiving with or through the body). Think about that one for a minute. Karate guys consider receiving techniques to be useless, while in many judo and aikido groups, ukemi is considered to be the most important skill and the most valuable self-defense.
Ogoshi, though an effective, fundamental technique, is not as prolific in competitions as some techniques. You might argue that a few of these throws were something other than ogoshi, but the examples that were clearly ogoshi were majestic!
A couple of weeks ago I did a post talking about several of my heroes in martial arts - people whose special sparks I want to emulate and develop in myself. .
One of those judo superheroes is Tokio Hirano. Unfortunately Hirano sensei passed away years ago and most of his adherents are in Europe so it's hard to lay hands on them, but fortunately he left us a ton of (often confusing and cryptic) video records. .
Here is a little tidbit of Tokio Hirano that I want to work on with my judo buddies and students and partners for a while - a really elegant seoinage (shoulder-carry throw).