Thursday, January 03, 2008

Searching for Seoinage

During my holiday break, I was thinking more and more about improving my Judo, and especially expanding my Randori/Shiai repetoire. One technique, that I keep coming back to is Seoi-Nage. It was a little over three years ago that I returned to Judo, and in my first session, I started doing Uchikomi. I went through the litany of techniques and decided to stick with one of the most basic. I started with Morote Seoinage. Within a few minutes, Sensei commented that I hadn't lost it, and that my technique was still good. But somehow, I have neglected Seoi-Nage since then, focusing more on Uchimata and O-Uchi Gari among others. Yet Seoinage is still that awesome powerful throw.

I guess I am waxing nostalgic for many reasons. For starters, a friend of mine lent me his Koga Video where Koga Demonstrates his winning seoinage techniques, I also saw a phenomenal standing seoinage when I was at the Nakabayashi tournament, and finally
I recently purchased the Masterclass Series 'Seoi-Nage' book on sale and I thought that I would use it to help my technique.

Obviously, there are many elements to a good Seoinage, and first and foremost is form and position on entry - once that's in place, I can begin to work on timing, setup and execution.

I discovered that I tend to lean forward when spinning in for seoinage, as well as don't get down deep enough. So far I have been practicing by doing a lot of squats - while trying to keep my back up and straight - and also adding a spinning element to it - i.e. I start standing, then spin in as if I were going to execute and squat while spinning, so that when I finish my 180 degree turn, I am in the down position - I spring straight back up from there, and then start the spin again, the other way.

Hopefully, this is a good beginning, practice resumes on Sunday. so hopefully I will be able to report my progress.

 

If you want to help offer advice, please feel free to comment.

1 comment:

Andy said...

Say, Seoinage was my first Masterclass book. I liked not only the instruction but the bit of historical perspective.

I keep dreaming about getting this old body to do good seoinage again. Standing morote was by far my tokuiwaza back in the day. I could blather on and on about it, but I'll just make one suggestion, for what it's worth.

The squat-and-turn exercise is a great one to practice dropping the butt, and pushing off explosively with the legs. But for addressing the straight-back issue (something I've been wanting to work on myself), I would want to be pulling on something like an inner tube while doing the exercise. It doesn't have to be real fast or with a lot of force at first -- just enough so it starts to feel like it's pulling you backward. This way you can learn to adjust to the resistance using abs and arms, and not by bending at the waist. It's partly strength but partly coordination and confidence that you don't need to bend at the waist to get pull.

Just one patzer's opinion in the wee hours of the morning. :)