Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Breaking Balance

Kuzushi. Syd Hoare suggests it "is still the undiscovered secret of judo". I thought I'd try to discover a little more.

Over the years I've come to realise that people are so much easier to throw if their balance is broken. As I mature I find that I seek out any possible way to be more efficient with my efforts. It seems to me that practicing with partners
who are in a state of unbalance would be much more efficient. So how do I achieve that?
Murata Sensei, of the Kodokan, discussed with me the idea that kuzushi is an integral part of tsukuri.
Moshanov suggests that five of the most basic methods of kuzushi are to be found in the Itsutsu-no-kata, the Forms of Five. If kuzushi is so fundamental to the application of waza, then why is
itsutsu-no-kata so rarely taught? Perhaps if it was taught more then kuzushi wouldn't be such an undiscovered secret.
Leggett and Watanabe suggest that "the idea of judo is not to smash an opponents strongest point, but to get him off balance and keep him off balance...", applying less force to his weak point.
Kano states "Even if your opponent has two or three times your power, if you can execute your move at the precise moment he is off balance, you can easily throw him by something as simple as tripping him."
Sounds to me like the idea of maximum efficiency with minimum effort. Best use of energy. Seiryoku saizen katsuyo.
Hmmm... So it seems that the application of kuzushi is the manifestation of seiryoku Zenyo. There's a thought.
If you are interested in finding out more about the application of kuzushi, why not enrol on the Advanced Coach Award with the European Judo Union. Visit http://www.judospace.com/ to find out more.
Hoare. S., (2002) Judo Strategies. pp 48-49. Ippon Books.
Leggett. T. & Watanabe. K., (1964) Championship Judo. Foulsham.
Moshanov. A., (2004) Judo from a russian perspective. Ipa-Verlag.
Kano. J., (2005) Mind over muscle. Kodansha.