Tag Archives: movement

Tai Otoshi Judo Throw in BJJ Competition (2013 Pans)

To me one the main benefits of judo for a jiu jitsu competitor is as simple as providing confidence in basic movement on the feet, basic gripping, basic posture, etc. That’s how it helped me, but it’s especially cool to see the occasional judoka pull off a textbook throw at the higher level of competition. I’ve seen a few drop morote seoi nage’s and a lot of excellent foot sweeps, but I haven’t yet seen a tai otoshi pulled off quite as nice as it was done in the following clip of a brown belt match from the 2013 Pans:

Here’s Jimmy Pedro breaking down this exact technique. He describes a useful grip variation for a BJJ competitor, but the guy in the above clip didn’t need the variation. He did it the old school judo way.

The Logic of Movement

movnat-cat I saw the cat picture to the left on Reddit with the title “We actually had to help him down… Idiot”.

This immediately reminded me of the several discussions I had with Josh about movement (motivated by his work with MovNat).

There are many times in jiu jitsu that I have put myself in a position where I felt very much like the cat in the picture, wondering (1) how the hell did I get here and (2) how the hell do I get out of here?

Kinematics of Humanoid Robots

Relevant side note on my work in computer science: While I don’t build humanoid robots myself, a lot of the research I do brushes up against the immense challenges of programming the kinematics of movement. It’s always humbling to learn all the things that the nervous system takes care of without requiring active cognitive input from us. A lot of the stuff you (as a human being) take for granted (in terms of how you, for example, pick up a cup of coffee) is actually accomplished by an incredibly complicated system. Most of the details of voluntary movement are handled just below the level of consciousness. You just think “raise arm” and your arm goes up.

Learning to Walk Again

In jiu jitsu, we have to return to some of the same problems we had as toddlers when learning to walk. You have to once again actually start actively thinking about minute movements. You have to start thinking about where every part of your body is, and how to get from one point to another against a resisting opponent. Of course, if you have to think about it, it probably means you are going to move very awkwardly. After you solved a particular movement problem in your head many times, it starts slowly drifting below the surface of consciousnesses where it becomes more instinctual and less “cognitive”.

So, in the above example, the cat might put itself in that tricky tree situation a few times, and learn either not to go into that position any more or figure out a chain of movements that get it out of that situation in a safe and consistent way.

Practical Movement in Sport

The discussion Josh and I had that was particularly relevant was “arguing” about what sport trained you to be agile in the widest variety of practical movements. Gymnastics was the one we agreed on. I think that in jiu jitsu it can be easy to narrow your range of movement to just your particular “A game” and in so doing makes you less able to deal with tricky situations that your opponent might put you in by exploiting a moment’s error. Of course, it doesn’t have to be this way, if you open up your game (in terms of movement) when drilling and training.

MovNat and Ginastica Natural

I think MovNat is motivated in part by this goal of helping you train a wide range of practical movements that you might not always get to train when focused on a particular aspect of your jiu jitsu game. Of course, it has a few other philosophical underpinnings outside the scope of this post, like keeping the workout fun, interesting, and goal-oriented.

At one of Saulo Ribeiro’s seminars I attended, Saulo emphasized the effectiveness of dynamic movements outside the scope of your jiu jitsu game. His favorite approach was something called Ginastica Natural, but I think there’s probably a lot of different programs of that kind all governed by a focus on a wide range of efficient movement.

Not Quite Koga (Yet)

No lifting, just judo (at Main Line) today.

I successfully escaped being thrown, and actually got a chance to throw about 30 times (te guruma, seoi nage, osoto gari, harai ogoshi, ouchi gari).

Overall it was a very nice training sessions in the sense that Tom closely looked at the way I was doing the Koga seoi nage and made a few details very clear to me. However, most of the uchikomis we did towards the end of the practice, were off of movement, which REALLY highlighted how my balance is not proper for seoi under dynamic conditions. I kept leaning to the left which could easily be taken advantage off in a counter by a good judoka.

Tom’s correction on Koga seoi was to keep my head up and not bend over so much. Also, he said that I need to place my pivot leg (right for right seoi) back farther and place more weight on it. Of course, if I can do a one legged seoi with a tani otoshi. That felt very natural, but I want to try to get down the Koga seoi in the next several weeks. It feel like I could get a lot of power behind it if I get the balance and body position right. I noticed that my legs got a bit tired (burning) when fitting the Koga seoi for prelonged periods of time which means I need to work on my lunges.

I did about 200 uchikomi total.