Nage no Kata Attacks - Uke Gets Smarter #1: The 3-Push

Uke gets smarter... but he never quite gets smart enough to stop attacking someone who clearly outclasses him.

As I mentioned in my Nage no Kata overview, Uke may repeat the same type of attack (e.g., the 3-push), but he's going to change the specifics of those attacks to address the gaps that got him thrown the last time he tried it. It is these subtle changes, then, that cause Tori to utilize a different throw than the one she tried before.  See below for examples of what I'm talking about.  Before you do that, though, note that this is based a little bit on instruction, a lot on Otaki/Draeger's Formal Techniques, a little on Legget's Demonstration of Throws, and a bit of educated guess.  Add to that that I only recently gathered all of this together, so I'm not even close to having the execution down.  Which is to say that you should take this interpretation with a grain of salt.

With those caveats, here's my understanding of how the 3 push attacks change.

  • Uki Otoshi: "Unhesitating" advance.  Uke is putting everything into it, not giving much thought to consequences.
  • Kata Guruma: Uke braces with the lead foot to avoid being over-extended - this presents a target for Tori's Kata Guruma. Additionally, Uke tries to have a more relaxed body during the push.  Tori feels this and changes the grip to freak Uke out a bit and to cause him to stiffen up.  
  • Harai Goshi: Uke does a better job of blending with Tori, again seeking to relax, and is thinking to walk around a Kata Guruma attempt, so Tori changes his grip (hand behind the armpit), which then causes Uke to stiffen and helps the Kuzushi. The Harai action, in combination with Tori's pull, is a response to Uke's attempt to go off-line. 
  • Tsurikomi Goshi: Uke hangs back a bit to avoid Harai *and* keeps his elbow in (thus preventing the previous grip change).  Tori's initial grip change (to the high lapel) freaks Uke out a little (and causes some stiffening), and then Tori feints a "normal height" hip throw to trigger an "extreme stiffening" in Uke (an attempted hip check, basically), and immediately drops the bottom out with Tsuri Komi Goshi.
  • Sasae Tsurikomi Ashi:  Uke does a great job blending with Tori... until the Tori's "J-step" (the long withdrawal of her lead foot past her rear foot and out to the side; the step that immediately precedes the lifting of her propping foot), and that causes Uke - once again - to freak out a bit, stiffen up, and allow Tori's additional retreat to unbalance him.
  • Yoko Gake:  Uke again does a great job of blending with Tori, so Tori starts to turn Uke by ratcheting in the elbow.  This screws with Uke's ability to maintain the excellent blending.  Then Uke gets blasted with Yoko Gake.  Poor devil.
One thing that bothers me a little bit with this understanding is that starting in Tsurikomi Goshi, and increasingly through the remaining throws, Uke isn't really doing anything that different than before.  For instance, I can't tell that Uke is doing anything that different in Sasae than he was doing for the Tsurikomi Goshi... so why doesn't Tori just change his grip and bust Uke with another Tsurikomi Goshi?  I *think* the answer is that Uke is continuing to get smarter, and the grip change won't work on him again, but Tori is getting smarter, too, and more intuitive.  So she moves from a Go no Sen situation in Kata Guruma where she's responding to the bracing leg to a Sensen no Sen situation in Yoko Gake, where Tori realizes that the grip changes and fancy footwork won't have the desired effects, so she starts ratcheting in the elbow.

Any opinions on this? If you disagree or have additional insight on this, I'd appreciate a comment!

Next post will be about the differences in the head smash.



kodokanjudo said...

Good descriptions of the pushing attacks. Uke has to give tori the correct stimulus so tori can react properly.

kodokanjudo said...

Uke in sasae-tsurikomi-ashi:
He has just "been taken for a ride" in okuri-ashi-harai, so next he is a bit stiffer in the upper body to prevent been dragged off again.
You see, uke's reaction here does not come from TKG, but from OAH.