View Full Version : Creating Kuzushi

Tal S
13th January 2002, 13:45
Thanks to all of you for your responses. I have been merely trying to go for throws based on partner movement, and it has not been very effective unless I use a counter throw of some sort. I am getting slow in my middle age (37).
It does seem that I need to use kuzushi in order to be more sucessful in randori.

My problem now is how to create proper kuzushi. When I first started judo four years ago, I was fast enough to jump into throws like Osoto gari and Ouchi gari. I could literally leap into position for the throw and bring it off with no intentional attempt at kuzushi. After returning from a two and one-half year layoff, I do not have that quick first step anymore. It doesn't help that the dojo I train at is in a university and most of the people there are at least 15 years younger than me. Many of them are also national and regional caliber atheletes with competitive wrestling backgrounds. So my problem is that I never learned how to do proper kuzushi. Please share any opinions and advice that all of you may have. Thanks in advance.

Tal Stanfield

p.s...Mark F, should I make this question a new post with a new topic?

13th January 2002, 14:52
Hi, Tal.

It may be time to reexamine your goals. If you want to turn back the clock, you have a difficult task ahead of you. But if you want to take advantage of your age and grow your wisdom, you may be ready to enter "Judo 102," subtitled "How to become a sneaky old man." It all begins with goals.

1) Forget about winning. Concentrate on moving to blend with your partner (Opponents do not blend). After a while, especially if your ukemi is good, you will be very hard to throw.

2) Put less energy into your randori; take uke's energy and add to it; cooperate.

3) Make no distinction between throwing and being thrown. Take lessons from everyone; everyone has at least one lesson to teach you.

4) Watch Sensei like a hawk! Notice how he or she uses Yokoyama's "Secrets to Judo" (Little Fingers, Little Toes) to do magic. Emulate!

5) Repeat steps 1-4 until you are very old.


14th January 2002, 09:22
Originally posted by Tal S
p.s...Mark F, should I make this question a new post with a new topic?

If you would like to, it is fine with me. But I don't mind deviation from topics as long as they have a connection, or not.

If you wish to discuss "Creating Kuzushi" or by another name, please do. I can always do so for you, or split the last few threads into its own.

But it is your thread and starting a new one to get more specific would be fine.

Now that I've written and edited out a longwinded post, another topic post may be a good idea.

Let's get specific, but it is your thread and your idea. I think it is a good idea since the problem isn't really randori, it is opportunity during randori. There are more ways of randori than most think.

An older judoka (late seventies) I know gave the advice of the ages: "Use what you know."

I think Ed is saying to use less of your own energy and muscle. As you age, you tend to move less. While it may feel like you are slowing up, it really is doing the same things with less effort, but getting the most out of it. Let uke be your guide. Be uke. Feeling what is happening is the best teacher.

If you really want to work on kuzushi, do lots of uchikomi. Practicing without completing the throw gets you to reset your "conditioned reflexes."

It'll come. Let it happen.


Tal S
15th January 2002, 01:50
Mark F:

Thank you for your reply and words of encouragement, and yes, I would appreciate it if you would split out the last three responses into a separate thread. "Creating Kuzushi" sounds like a good name to me.


Tal Stanfield