View Single Post
Old 11-18-2013, 12:12 PM   #31
jonreading's Avatar
Dojo: Aikido South (formerly Emory Aikikai)
Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 1,073
Re: Biomechanics of simple throwing

Joe Curran wrote: View Post
Dear Dan , Watched your vids . I know you mean well, but why bother spending your valuable time this way? Visit any good Judo dojo.Ask them how to apply kuzushi in 8 direction [Front /Back /Rt Side/Left side / Right front Corner/Rt rear corner/ Left Front corner /Left Rear corner.I would suggest the newbie /student would get more idea of how to unbalance /manoeuvre an object by doing the
kuzushi exercises rather than studying vectors etc.Try lifting a large fridge off the ground-King Kong cannot do that.Tilt the fridge corners and you can move it.
I have seen the same type of stuff regarding unbalancing a object using a dining room chair as a visual aid. Cheers, Joe.
I hate to admit it, and I am surprised they can even write, but the judo thugs have a great introductory system for conversations on kuzushi. Obviously, I am kidding about making fun of judo. I personally think as an introductory conversation about throwing, the concepts of kuzushi, tsukuri and kake form a great foundation for "how a throw" happens thing. I often use that foundation and the 8-directions kuzushi exercise.

I believe this perspective should be considered one of many within a teaching methodology. Kuzushi is a rather nebulous state of being, and the mechanics of achieving (and maintaining) kuzushi are rather specific to each occurrence. To that extent, basic exercises will only get you so far.

Once upon a time, basic martial concepts like kuzushi would have been implicitly understood (obtained though a previous study) by aikido students. This would leave more instructional opportunity for complicated concepts and advanced application. We have more students without this previous experience so we are left trying to develop a curriculum to cover basic concepts (or not). I made my earlier comment about judo not because we are comparing martial arts, but because judo is a martial system that spent a lot of time refining a foundational approach to a basic topic vital to success in the art. Aikido happens to have the same basic education requirement and that is why I like much of their material.

Ultimately, I think aikido is a sophisticated, complex interaction that transcends physicality. At some point, a conversation based in physical action will not encompass the entirety of the dialogue necessary to expressing aiki. I think we need to be prepared with a method of instruction that also transcends physical action. This transcendence is not unique to aikido and is found in high-level athletics.

I think as this conversation develops, it may be worthwhile to identify some elements that actually precede what we would consider "aikido" instruction. For example, I view kuzushi as a prerequisite to aikido; that is, I cannot execute an aikido through unless I have kuzushi. Morso, if I have kusushi I can execute a number of throws, including aikido throws. So for me, kuzushi is what I would define as a pre-aikido curriculum. I think sometimes we become possessive of these pre-requisite skills because other arts can "do them" (and often times do them better).

I think this outlines:
1. A basic curriculum in which there is a right and a wrong, and a progression of educational development.
2. A burden of development and an expectation of performance.

  Reply With Quote