Throwing Principles: The Glue

Your hands are just there to let your body do the work...

One of the things that you'll hear me talk about in class is "the glue."  The glue is that point where the bad guy's body (uke's body) gets stuck to your body.  And I am not just talking about where your two bodies touch each other...  if his body isn't "stuck" to your body, then you are probably messing something up.  Said differently, if your body slides along his body in a throw that requires "glue", then you are messing up somewhere.
In O Goshi, usually the bad guy's waist/hips gets stuck just above your butt.  For O Guruma, I teach to stick the middle of the bad guy's chest to the side of your ribs.  It takes the right grip, the right body placement, and the right (and persistent) pull.  In Seoi Nage, the glue is on your upper back - the higher the better, aiming for the back of the scapula... Maybe in-between the scapula and the spine.  Are you feeling most of the bad guy's contact just above your butt?  Well, you could be doing it better.

The purpose of creating the glue (which is achieved with the arms) is that you can then let the rest of your body do the real work.  Have you ever missed the leg in an Osoto Gari, but the guy fell anyway?  It might have been due to your excellent body contact (plus kuzushi), and when you threw your torso down, his had to go down, too.  If you can glue the bad guy just above your butt, you can O Goshi just about anybody, no matter how heavy they are.  The trick is in making sure that A) you have the right grip/hand placement, B) your hands are pulling/lifting in the right directions, C) you maintain your pull/lift, and D) that your body is at the right height/angle in relation to your uke.

Now, you don't need "glue" for all throws... Just about all of the otoshi's come to mind (perhaps with the exception of Osoto Otoshi), because you generally aren't supposed to have much body contact at all.  And there are others.  But a decent rule of thumb is that if you are supposed to pull your uke to you, and he is supposed to hit some part of your trunk, then there is probably supposed to be some glue there.  If you feel the bad guy sliding along your body as you start your execution, you haven't established your glue.  And once you recognize that your throw requires glue, knowing where it's supposed to be is a useful diagnostic.  As mentioned above with the Seoi Nage, if he is sticking to your hips instead of your upper back, you could improve your Seoi Nage...

So ask yourself, is he/she glued to me?  And to the right spot?

btemplates

9 comments:

kodokanjudo said...

Good concept for students to remember. I like you concept of "The Glue".

Chad Morrison said...

From Sensei Pat Parker of Mokuren Dojo fame (he was unable to post himself, so he emailed):
I like the glue concept. that's exactly right. (though it's possible to do glue throws with minimal or no glue - it's just not usually done)

You're also right that not every throw requires glue - and that it's the otoshis and gurumas for the most part in that category.

On a related note, check out my latest post on building combos. i think your glue throws are mostly in my close-range category, while the non-glue throws are in the other 2 categories.

Chad Morrison said...

Great post, Pat. Love it. I'll have to noodle that one a bit. But I'm not sure I agree with you about the gurumas not needing glue. Oguruma, ashi guruma, kata guruma all can benefit from a solid sticking point, IMO.

kodokanjudo said...

The guruma throws centaily require contact but most can be done with the very minimal "glue".
Watch Mifune-sensei's video and you can see how little contact he makes in his guruma throws.

Patrick Parker said...

I can see your sticky point on things like kataguruma, but my ashiguruma is very loose and un-gluey feeling. oguruma is a bit mroe gluey for me.

kodokanjudo said...

Just for fun, how would you classify uki-waza or yama-arashi?
Nage? Guruma? Otoshi?

Chad Morrison said...

First, I would say that all throws are Nage (given that they all fall under the classification of Nage Waza). I would say that Uki Waza is an otoshi, and Yama Arashi is... maybe neither otoshi nor guruma, but possibly a guruma.

Patrick Parker said...

I'd call ukiwaza an otoshi. as for yamaarashi, i dont know because everyone i've ever met has a different thing that they say is the "real" yamaarashi.

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