Monday, March 14, 2005

One little detail can make a world of difference.

When I bought my new gi the other day, I also got along with it a DVD of Instructional Judo as well. The DVD was created by former US Olympian and World Champion Mike Swain for the purposes of teaching instructors how to teach Judo.

There were some small little details in his video that I picked up on on how my Kuzushi wasn't working properly, and in particular, effecting my ability to throw with two throws Sasae Tsurikomi Ashi and Hiza Guruma. I picked up on these details - a little twist of the wrist when pulling, and turning your head to the side slightly - and BOOM! A throw which I had great difficulty performing before suddenly became very easy. It's still far from perfect, but those two little pointers made a world of difference.

Interestingly enough, I don't think that anyone who has no clue about Judo techniques could possibly learn such a complex throw simply by watching a video. I think that the point Mr. Swain makes is simple if you could learn from a video, why not make a video for beginners instead of for instructors? The answer - because you really need to learn these throws hands-on.

The details helped me because after years of instruction on how to execute this throw, I was still missing something that I needed to spot for myself and myself alone. And now that I have it is amazing how much difference these details make.

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