Archive for August, 2010

Chopsticks NY and an analogy

Sunday, August 1st, 2010

There's an article about Oishi Judo in the August 1 issue of Chopsticks NY. I love the title: "Oishi Judo – The Anti Fight Club."

There are some nice observations in the article, like this:

[I]f you take this kind of approach to viewing two judo-ka (judo practitioners) interacting, you will see how it is more like a dance – two partners treading the mat together, reading each other’s balance until one of them finds the right moment to strike.

I'm reminded of a moment one night when Sensei was playing a white belt who was nervous and tense. To help him relax, Sensei told him to think of randori not like fighting, but like tennis — just two people literally playing. I've always liked that. In judo, like in tennis, you're trying to manipulate the other person and throw them off balance with footwork and feints. Tennis is competitive intimacy at a distance. Judo takes away the distance.

I've tried to use the tennis analogy to explain judo to non-judoka, without much success. I guess it's something you can't explain by telling. You have to play the person and show by example, like Sensei did.

The Chopsticks article mentions a video on the Oishi web site. I assume it's this one, which is one of my favorites.

Thanks to Alex Hon, who posted this on Facebook.