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Nage-no-kata partner too heavy for me How to handle a heavy NNKpartner Rate Topic: -----

#1 User is offline   mazinkaiser 

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Posted 09 March 2012 - 11:04 AM

Hello all,

I've started again practicing the NNK for the black belt examination next year, and my sensei has asked me to work with a young blue belt judoka who is about 10 cm taller and weighs approximately 20Kg more than I (I weigh only about 81Kg).
I can do uke all right, he just handles me like a feather, but when it's my turn as Tory, I really have a hard time applying the techniques to him. I can barely move him !!! And worst of all I'm really afraid to hurt him as I can barely retain him on his falls, even with both hands. I could not do kata-guruma on him, I almost collapsed as I felt a couple of my vertebrae crack... :confused:

Is this normal ? Do I have to work my strenght up or do I have to ask my sensei to work with somebody else ? I'm ok for taking the Uke role for my partner, but I really need a lighter Uke for myself...


Best regards
Axel
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#2 User is offline   Jacob3 

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Posted 09 March 2012 - 01:01 PM

You do not need a lighter uke! 20 kg really is nothing.
Wat you DO need though is a BETTER uke. If you say that you can barely move him, then there is already something wrong. In NNK you should not even HAVE to move him. Guide him... yes, but the movement should come from him at almost every technique. And if he acts like he should ( 'attacking' normally, and 'stiffening' when needed/appropriate ), you should not have any problem at all.

So no, no need for working on your strenght ( per se )
but yes, maybe you should train with somebody else, or better yet, have your sensei teach your uke to act appropriately. I suppose that he has simply no clue what to do.
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#3 User is offline   mazinkaiser 

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Posted 09 March 2012 - 02:16 PM

View PostJacob3, on 09 March 2012 - 02:01 PM, said:

You do not need a lighter uke! 20 kg really is nothing.
Wat you DO need though is a BETTER uke. If you say that you can barely move him, then there is already something wrong. In NNK you should not even HAVE to move him. Guide him... yes, but the movement should come from him at almost every technique. And if he acts like he should ( 'attacking' normally, and 'stiffening' when needed/appropriate ), you should not have any problem at all.

So no, no need for working on your strenght ( per se )
but yes, maybe you should train with somebody else, or better yet, have your sensei teach your uke to act appropriately. I suppose that he has simply no clue what to do.


Thank you for your reply Jacob,

It's the first time he trains for NNK, and for me the last time I trained for NNK was almost 30 years ago...

Our sensei (5th dan, 50 years teaching judo, national kata examiner) was there to guide us, and my uke and I were apparently doing things correctly. It's just that I have trouble doing some of the techniques. I didn't say that my uke was stiff, just that he felt REALLY very very heavy. Even with speed and inertia, his weight would almost crush me.
It was impossible for me to lift him into Kata-Guruma, my back just could not handle it (too painful). My technique was right, my right shoulder at the level of uke's belt, but his feet would just refuse to take off from the mat. It was like trying to lift a cement filled bolster... Maybe he really weighs much more than 100Kg...

Uki Otoshi was ok, Seoi Nage was hard but just about negotiable, Kata Guruma was impossible, Uki Goshi was ok, Harai Goshi was as hard as Seoi nage, Tsuri Komi Goshi was almost ok (using more my knees). We didn't have time left for ashi-waza.
It's just that I feel that I'm at the limit of my strength trying to apply the techniques to this guy.

I used kata guruma and other techniques this same evening during uchikomi practice with other partners that were about my size and weight, and it really went like a breeze, just as easy as it should always be !


Thank you.
Cheers
Axel
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#4 User is offline   Jacob3 

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Posted 09 March 2012 - 03:07 PM

Well, of course I cannot say anything about your technique, or your partners. And I can take only your word for it that your sensei really does know what he is talking about ( being a kata judge does not mean anything tbh...). But I can tell you that weight really has little to do with things. It seems a stigma, but it really is true.
I can tell you, that when I was younger, I learned kata guruma with a guy who was twice my weight! And for the picture, mine was 60kg at that time and I have never been very strong. Nowadays I weigh 85+ and am training with youngsters regularly. Even girls of less then 50 kg are eventually able to throw me with kata guruma really without any serious effort!

The point I often see happening is that when people train with likeweighted people, who are compliant in kata, only THINK it 'goes like a breeze', but do not realise that their technique is not yet flawless. That is what kata is for, to develop that. I am definately sure that at some point you really will be able to throw anyone with it who seriously outweighs you, but like I explained, you will need a more experienced uke who is also able to point you at the things, hé feels are going wrong.

The main thing I am trying to point out to you is to please NOT rely on your strenght to be able to throw him ( or anyone ). Keep focussing on finding the correct technique and position! As long as you have a hard time lifting your partner, I would suggest you do not lift him at all. It should feel right from the moment you step in. Otherwise you will only ruin your back trying.
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#5 User is offline   mazinkaiser 

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Posted 09 March 2012 - 03:22 PM

View PostJacob3, on 09 March 2012 - 04:07 PM, said:

Well, of course I cannot say anything about your technique, or your partners. And I can take only your word for it that your sensei really does know what he is talking about ( being a kata judge does not mean anything tbh...). But I can tell you that weight really has little to do with things. It seems a stigma, but it really is true.
I can tell you, that when I was younger, I learned kata guruma with a guy who was twice my weight! And for the picture, mine was 60kg at that time and I have never been very strong. Nowadays I weigh 85+ and am training with youngsters regularly. Even girls of less then 50 kg are eventually able to throw me with kata guruma really without any serious effort!

The point I often see happening is that when people train with likeweighted people, who are compliant in kata, only THINK it 'goes like a breeze', but do not realise that their technique is not yet flawless. That is what kata is for, to develop that. I am definately sure that at some point you really will be able to throw anyone with it who seriously outweighs you, but like I explained, you will need a more experienced uke who is also able to point you at the things, hé feels are going wrong.

The main thing I am trying to point out to you is to please NOT rely on your strenght to be able to throw him ( or anyone ). Keep focussing on finding the correct technique and position! As long as you have a hard time lifting your partner, I would suggest you do not lift him at all. It should feel right from the moment you step in. Otherwise you will only ruin your back trying.



Thank you Jacob for your advice.
I will talk to my sensei about it. I hesitated in doing it as I didn't want to look like the average moaning "difficult guy"...

Best regards
Axel
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#6 User is offline   dlloyd 

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Posted 09 March 2012 - 03:34 PM

Are you sure he's being as compliant as you are? Bear in mind that a 100 kg judoka hits the ground from a 5 foot drop with as much momentum as an 80 kg judoka does if they are dropped from 8 foot. It's fairly natural for a heavier guy to be a bit more apprehensive about kata guruma.

To get the same momentum from a 60 kg guy, you'd have to drop them from 14 foot.

Or to put it another way, a 100 kg guy experiences more momentum from a 2 foot drop than a 60 kg guy does from a standing kata guruma.
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#7 User is offline   Jonesy 

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Posted 09 March 2012 - 04:12 PM

View Postdlloyd, on 09 March 2012 - 03:34 PM, said:

Are you sure he's being as compliant as you are? Bear in mind that a 100 kg judoka hits the ground from a 5 foot drop with as much momentum as an 80 kg judoka does if they are dropped from 8 foot. It's fairly natural for a heavier guy to be a bit more apprehensive about kata guruma.

To get the same momentum from a 60 kg guy, you'd have to drop them from 14 foot.

Or to put it another way, a 100 kg guy experiences more momentum from a 2 foot drop than a 60 kg guy does from a standing kata guruma.


This is correct

The speed v at which a judoka hits the tatami from a vertical fall is (2gh)^1/2 where h is the drop height and g is the acceleration due to gravity 9.81 m/s^2

The magnitude, of the momentum of said judoka is mv where m is his mass in kg.
Dr Llyr C Jones
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#8 User is offline   dlloyd 

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Posted 09 March 2012 - 04:16 PM

View PostJonesy, on 09 March 2012 - 04:12 PM, said:

This is correct

The speed v at which a judoka hits the tatami from a vertical fall is (2gh)^1/2 where h is the drop height and g is the acceleration due to gravity 9.81 m/s^2

The magnitude, of the momentum of said judoka is mv where m is his mass in kg.


My nine year old son does judo... for him to experience the same momentum as I do falling from kata guruma, I'd have to throw him out of a 60 foot high window. I suspect his mother would object.
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#9 User is offline   Hanon 

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Posted 09 March 2012 - 04:44 PM

View Postmazinkaiser, on 09 March 2012 - 07:46 PM, said:

....
It was impossible for me to lift him into Kata-Guruma, my back just could not handle it (too painful). My technique was right, my right shoulder at the level of uke's belt, but his feet would just refuse to take off from the mat. It was like trying to lift a cement filled bolster... Maybe he really weighs much more than 100Kg...


It's just that I feel that I'm at the limit of my strength trying to apply the techniques to this guy.




Thank you.
Cheers
Axel


Hi Axel,

There is no lift in kata guruma that is why you are hurting your back. Kata guruma is a kuruma waza a wheel technique. At no time should ukes total weight be carried by your back.
As one side or part of his body comes on the other part or side is wheeling off. DO NOT copy the modern day lift-pause-drop, this is not kata guruma.

I know this is going to sound very old school to you. Technique is the reason we train the kata, to study and learn how we best adapt our actions to overcome an uke in many various situations. It is GOOD you are having this situation as in reality it may show a weakness in your ability to execute correct kuzushi thus being forced to use pure strength as apposed to proportional strength

Your poor back is telling you something. Take notice. Pratice all you can with the heavier uke. He will improve your kata and this will improve your general randori and that will greatly improve your shiai.

Don't think I don't understand where you are I do. Been there done that have the back problems to prove it. Move slowley, study what your hands are doing. Remember kata guruma is a te waza, a hand technique, this signifies an awful lot of the action is utilised with your hands. Look at your body posture and stop looking at the floor with your butt stuck out the back door. Keep your head up (lok at the wall not the floor), bend your knees and use your hands to kuruma your uke around your shoulders.
Study your bodily biomechanics to see where you need to be in relation to your uke.

Your uke should be stiff in this waza as he is trying to avoid being thrown again in either of the past two waza. It is this stiffness that you utilise. Uke becomes a pole, you aim to find his COG, his hip area and place a fulcrum, your kneck-shoulder region at his COG. YOU DO NOT then LIFT, your transfer him from one side of your shoulders to the other side and he wheeeeeeels over and across your shoulders.

If you copy todays 'accepted' 'Kata otoshi' you will never lift your uke. No skill in it just abuse of strength.
Its a bit of a bugger is this as it will depend on the level of skill and knowledge of your sensei. PLUS what your association require for you to use to pass your test. Like I say today most associations want to see lift, pause, drop. They tell me this is to show you have control? I have no idea why a tori would only need to show control in one of the fifteen waza in the nage no kata, have you?

This is a great opportunity for you to study the true aspects of kodokan judo, use your time, open your mind and think. IF IT HURTS there is a mistake. Stop and re evaluate what you are doing.

Keep us informed how you go.

The posts from my peer Jacob3 are very good.

Best wishes,

Mike
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#10 User is offline   Hanon 

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Posted 09 March 2012 - 05:07 PM

I was thinking about this. The way to improve ones kata guruma is the practice other kuruma waza. The core of a kuruma waza is speed, controlled velocity and impetus, Applied to debana and kuzushi and you have a kuruma, a wheeling action.

Can't get my words today. You need to whirl into the kuruma waza they can't be perofmred from a static position as it stops the wheeling action. Think of O gurma, Major wheel, once you start to move you must not stop or the action, the impetus of the wheeling action, stops and a kuruma becomes a drag and drop or push. Think woosh? :huh: Not doing to well today...

Never mind practice; ashi, o, o soto and yoko guruma to practice the action of a circular wheeling action without pause and breaks. All good for you. All great practice methods. Kata guruma is a difficult waza.

Mike
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#11 User is offline   slacker 

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Posted 09 March 2012 - 05:31 PM

I certainly dont know much/enough to respond in this sub-forum. But it seems interesting to me that a sensei with 50 years of experience and much kata expertise as evidenced by his championships choose a much heavier uke for you. Maybe there is a subtle hint in there that your technique is not as good as it appears to you or that there is more room for improvement that he is encouraging you for.
I am not an instructor. All posts are personal opinion based on experience.
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#12 User is offline   ThePieman 

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Posted 10 March 2012 - 12:49 AM

View Postslacker, on 09 March 2012 - 05:31 PM, said:

I certainly dont know much/enough to respond in this sub-forum. But it seems interesting to me that a sensei with 50 years of experience and much kata expertise as evidenced by his championships choose a much heavier uke for you. Maybe there is a subtle hint in there that your technique is not as good as it appears to you or that there is more room for improvement that he is encouraging you for.


Another problem, how is an ikkyu going to tell a godan that "actually it's not meant to be done like that, I read on an internet forum that there is no lift in kata guruma"? Seriously, what hanon sensei writes is spot on and anyone who has performed kata guruma as a wheel action can testify how much easier it is to perform (I believe Jacob posted his version recently), so good advice yes. However the advice may not be so readily received by Slackers teacher with his 50 years of judo under his obi, even if it was kata is presumably marked even during gradings, so couldn't the demonstration of the principle of the wheel actually lose him enough points to fail his exam?

So what do you do?

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#13 User is offline   Jacob3 

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Posted 10 March 2012 - 06:37 AM

View PostThePieman, on 10 March 2012 - 01:49 AM, said:

Another problem, how is an ikkyu going to tell a godan that "actually it's not meant to be done like that, I read on an internet forum that there is no lift in kata guruma"? Seriously, what hanon sensei writes is spot on and anyone who has performed kata guruma as a wheel action can testify how much easier it is to perform (I believe Jacob posted his version recently), so good advice yes. However the advice may not be so readily received by Slackers teacher with his 50 years of judo under his obi, even if it was kata is presumably marked even during gradings, so couldn't the demonstration of the principle of the wheel actually lose him enough points to fail his exam?

So what do you do?


Interesting question.

Let me start with the last one.... ´what do YOU do?'.
Well, my situation is of course not compareable with the OP, but still funny to mention. At my last nnk performance at our national grading commission, I simply did what I felt was right. I performed a kata guruma like I think it should be. I expected to get shot over that! But the exact comment of the head of the jury ( one of 'our' most respected sensei in Holland ) was 'we really had to search for some minor flaws, but overall it was a perfect execution'. Well, normally I could take that two ways: 1) I really did good, 2) OMG I appear to have given in to the modern 'standard'. But in this case, where I was sure I specifically did NOT perform like most want to see it, I was very surprised by this remark.
So, I would make a difference in my performance. If I am at a seminar where I chose to learn from the person who is teaching, I do follow his version. Simply out of respect. At the most I ask a question why it should be like that, but that is it. But, when people ask me to show my version, or I want my version to be judged, than I simply show them what I want to show. And that is mainly what I think is the right way.

Now, in the OP's case it is different. He simply still has to (re)learn the basics. All we can do here is give him advice, but his sensei is in fact the only person who can really guide him in this. If I were the OP, I would not hesitate to print this whole topic and to show it to him, to ask his vision on this matter. Why not? If he indeed is that experienced, I am sure he has already seen it all. And I would not even be surprised if he would indeed agree on this version of the kata guruma, but that he adjusted himself to be able to become a judge and to have his students graded. That is what happens all the time. I would indeed not simply walk up to him, and say that he has it all wrong because some guys on the internet told otherwise :D.

But back to the technical stuff. What Hanon sensei says about the way of performing kata guruma is absolutely correct. But everyone should realise that stopping the correct technique halfway is something very different than turning it into a lifting technique. The last is what is happening too often nowaday's because the focus is on having uke lying on your shoulders. But if you focus on getting the technique right like it should be for the real kata guruma, than it only is a matter of holding uke back from falling over, and that is a totally different thing. Still a total waste of energy, but it requires FAR less strenght then lifting uke. Better yet, it is a LOT safer for your back. This is hard to explain only in text though.

In fact, when I train with or teach to others how to perform this technique, we at first only focus on getting uke on the shoulders. They are not even allowed to throw at first. This because when they are not really in control yet, uke can easily get dropped -head down- and really hurt himself. When that part goes flawless the rest goes naturally. In fact, at some point they can hardly keep uke from falling. This is a quite common version of training for this technique, and I would not be surprised if that is exactly where this whole problem started. Some Japanese sensei ones shows this stop, just to point at a safety issue. The rest of the group did not exactly understand what he meant and just copied it as being the correct version. And before you know it, the snowball starts rolling....
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#14 User is offline   Jonesy 

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Posted 10 March 2012 - 08:41 AM

It is probably not a case of "partner too heavy" but more a case of "technique too poor". Whilst Hanon is "correct" in saying there should be no lift in kata-guruma - with uke being "wheeled over" in a continuous circular motion, the modern kata standard does have a lift therein. Despite the fact that the modern standard of "lift - pause - throw" is not a smooth guruma action it should be possible to execute the technique without hurting your back - even on an Uke that is 20kg heavier than you.

What you need to do is focus on your body positioning in the second step of the kata guruma technique. You need to be close in enough to uke, with a wide base and low enough to be able to do the lift with your legs - which is how the lift is intended to be performed. When Tori close his stance (brings his feet together) in the final movement of the kata the legs are straightened to perform the lift.

There are some useful pointers in the clip below:



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#15 User is offline   danguy 

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Posted 10 March 2012 - 07:38 PM

Most kata have both uke and tori parts. Of the kata with both an uke and tori, NNK is the only one where the difficulty of performing is considered about equal when comparing uke with tori roles. In some areas*, for promotion, one can perform either the NNK tori role or the uke role for equal credit. Also, it is generally accepted that the uke role requires a bit more skill. So what?

Well what that recognizes is that a high level of skill is needed to do either uke or tori role. Thus learning NNK is a learning exercise for both. Also generally a poor tori can be "carried" by a good uke, and a poor uke can be carried by a good tori. However, the requirement of such "carrying" is an outstanding ukemi understanding by uke or excellent technique and strength by tori.

Thus you and your partner need to work together to function as a two parts of a whole rather than merely, "I am Tori, watch me throw." If you are tori, you will find you need to adjust your actions for each different uke you may use, including your current uke.

Lastly, is there a reason you are being forced into the tori role? You could offer to be the uke in this pair.



Edit: * The USA for example. I see you are in France, I do not know what requirements are for you, shodan promotion and NNK.

This post has been edited by danguy: 12 March 2012 - 07:00 AM

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