Let’s be honest here, this “blog” is not about “training and competition” any more than Playboy is about the articles. It’s really just a place where I ramble on about seoi nage on every other post. It’s the throw which I’ve chosen to center my judo around, and it’s the throw that I have come back to for comfort when the world feels like a sad and lonely place. I put Koga’s “A New Wind” video on repeat, open a cold beer, and let my troubles slip away. Okay, not really, but close…
This post is just a quick comment about a revelation I got from a guy that came in to judo yesterday. Name was Bennett, green belt, and hasn’t done judo in a while. We were working on seoi nage the whole class. Bennett started doing fits. He pulled my sleeve like his life depended on it and stepped far in front of me on the turn. At first, I thought this guy was just another clumsy novice whose technique has gone rusty and so he tries to make up for it with drastically over-exaggerating the kuzushi and tsukuri of a classic seoi nage. That’s what he was doing, and he was a bit rusty, but when he started throwing, the technique felt flawless. I felt light as air. It seemed effortless, and these were the least painful seoi nage throws I’ve ever taken.
His pull was strong, and I was letting it happen as a good uke, but as I walked home I realized what everyone has been telling me: that this kind of pull is the key to throwing good people successfully. Movement, timing, speed, power, combinations all create the opportunity for an effective pull, but without training my body to pull every time with exceptional power, I will never be able to throw any good opponent in competition.
Thank you Bennett for demonstrating the fact that is so often told to me, but I always seem to neglect.