Hajime to Matte Model: Move Before You Throw

In Randori and Shiai, people often either overlook Kuzushi, or simply can't create it.  "Move before you throw" can help.

I've been writing about Nick Lowe's Hajime to Matte model.  Thus far, we've moved before the grip, and we've gripped.  Pretty simple.  Now it's time to move before we throw.

"Move before you throw" is not about simply moving yourself as you turn in for a throw (Tsukuri), it is aimed primarily at moving uke to create Kuzushi.  Too often, people want to jump right into their throw as soon as they get a good grip, when often, that good grip isn't enough.  You set in, and your opponent is then able to off-balance you because he was stable and ready.  Has that ever happened to you?  It's happened to me.  A lot.  As I thought about this model, I think this is one of my biggest weaknesses in Randori.  But the good news is that I think I know how to fix it.

You have to get your opponent set up to be thrown.  Broken balance, compromised posture, uncontrolled movement... these are the sorts of things you usually need to achieve in your opponent to throw her.  We all know this, of course.  The problem is that it's a helluvalot harder to get that off-balance when the bad guy doesn't willingly stand on her tippytoes for us.  Our arms often aren't strong enough to get those simple off-balances.  Well, if our arms aren't strong enough...  maybe we can use the rest of our body.

Quick physics reminder: Force = mass * acceleration.  When you use your arms as a tether for your body weight, you are now able to apply a lot more force to your opponent, because of the additional mass that is coming in to play.  And the other part of the equation - acceleration?  That's where you have to *move* that body.  So now that you are moving that mass of your body, you are applying a much greater force to your opponent - and that great force tends to be much more disruptive than just using your arms would be.  Once you achieve that disruption, however, you can use your arms (which you can move much more quickly than your entire body) to capitalize - reinforcing the initial disruption, exaggerating their recovery, etc...  And, boom!  Kuzushi!

So what are the to-do's in "move before you throw"?  There are many similarities to "move before you grip," but things do get different when you are connected.  Here are some additional keys to consider:

  • Don't abandon your own balance or posture - Sounds like a gimme, but we've all seen it and done it
  • Use your body, then your hands - What I wrote about above
  • Keep your hands in front - See this post for more on that
  • (Optional) Use the "quick launch" foot techniques - See this for more, but the short version is that you can use low-risk, small-movement attacks to mess with their feet, and that can make them easier to move



kodokanjudo said...

Very sound advice!