Throwing Principles: Shoulders Forward

Haven't been around in a while... Work and family have been keeping me away... And should be keeping me away right now, but I wanted to get something posted.  So here goes:

So, you've heeded my last post, and you are staying on the balls of your feet, but you still find yourself getting thrown backwards? Well... there's more: 

Another of the really basic throwing principles is that your shoulders should darn near always stay in front of your hips.  Said differently, you should almost never lean backwards.  The simple reason for this is that it is just too easy to be thrown to your rear once your shoulders are behind your hips.  Your body simply wasn't built to be in this position... There are a lot of normal activities that involve bending forward and standing back upright - even with a load -  but there aren't many that involve bending yourself backwards.

"Well, Chad... shouldn't I just stand up straight?"  If you aren't tethered to someone that wants to put you on your butt, standing perfectly upright is fine.  But there is someone nearby that wants to put you in the ground, if you stand up perfectly straight, then it will be too easy for the bad guy to make you lean backwards... and we've already covered what happens then.

Lastly, just to be clear, I'm not saying that you should bend 90 degrees at the waist.  A slight bend forward will do the trick.  If you bend too far forward, your opponent will be able to snap you down to the ground and face-drag you, or at least be able to keep you from standing up, taking away most of your attack options.

I most commonly see people bend backwards when setting in for a throw.  As they raise their leg for the osoto gari, as they get their grip for their ogoshi, or as they spin in for their ippon seoi nage...  Keep your eye out for these trouble spots, and you should have more success in your randori.



kodokanjudo said...

All good points!
The shoulders (body in general) should lean in the direction of the intended throw to accomplish maximun kuzushi (braking of uke's posture). The body should literally turn itself into a "wedge" in the direction of the throw in as much of a 45 degree angle as it can. This angle should be maintained thru the tsukure (entry or positioning for the throw) and follow thru the kake (execution of the throw) and even into the zanshin (controlling stage during and after the kake) into newaza (groundwork).