As a teacher I am always looking for new methods to teach. We have been working with strong static attacks for awhile and now, we are slowly moving on to adding movement. What I am talking about is not quite the 'standard' practice (no doubt some will claim it is standard in their dojos). Usually, with strong static practice uke just grabs firmly and waits for the technique to be done on him, sometimes even resisting what tori tries to do. Now, I am asking ukes to not wait. Instead, they grab and do something, and they do that something very forcefully. For example, if uke grabs katate ushiro eri-dori then since it looks a little like the beginning of irimi-nage then uke grabs strongly and makes a short forceful irimi-nage type taisabaki. At first, it might seem like we are practising counters - and indeed it maybe so - but rather, I am insisting on a strong attack with purpose from uke.
There are various means to work with in terms of response and an important one is time. So, I divide it into three: late time, same time, and early time. Late time means tori's response is a little late and uke practically has him - but not quite, a little room remains and certain techniques emerge. Same time means tori moves with uke's attack and interestingly, different natural responses occur. Early time means tori begins just before uke grabs, except that uke doesn't know it, and again, a different set of natural responses occur. In one sense, you could call the above counters to irimi-nage but what I am after is more out of uke - I want uke to grab and do something. If it is morote-dori, for example, uke grabs and pushes uke down something like ikkyo - and if he can he does, until tori figures out what to do - and so in that sense, I don't really see it as practising counters but rather as defending against slightly more realistic or forceful attacks. Think about it, when you grab each other in Judo you do not wait around for the other guy to do something as though it is his turn. It is both your turns - both tori and uke should have true purpose.
Last edited by Rupert Atkinson : 09-12-2005 at 08:46 PM.