Mechanics Of Judo - Analytical Studies Of Selected Standing Techniques

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Author: Robert G. Blanchard
Pub: 1961 by Charles E. Tuttle Company
Pages: 134
Ranking:Three star Rating
Out of Print


This book attempts to analyze the movements in just certain selected throws. Several variations of each throw are examined. The treatment given to each is brief, but thought-provoking. You can get some very nice ideas out of this book. It is also interesting for me, to note that this is one of the few books that teaches a dynamic form of Osotogari. (See Osotogari article on this site.)

Some Judo books that attempt to 'analyze' Judo techniques will be filled with physics math formulas and diagrams of levers... don't expect that here. Lots of good photos that have been staged for the technique being discussed. Particularly interesting were the author's conclusions regarding generalized axioms governing all throws. (See Below)

                  Table of Contents

 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS                                       11
 INTRODUCTION                                          13

 CHAPTER  1:  General Principles of Tachiwaza          19

 CHAPTER  2:  Tsurikomigoshi                           25
 Tsurikomigoshi I, 25; Tsurikomigoshi II, 35;
 Tsurikomigoshi III, 36; Sode-tsurikomigoshi, 39

 CHAPTER  3:  Hanegoshi                                43

 CHAPTER  4:  Haraigoshi                               49
 Haraigoshi II, 52

 CHAPTER  5:  Seoinage                                 55
 Ipponseoinage, 55; Eriseoinage, 59, A Comparison of
 General Principles, 61

 CHAPTER  6:  Uchimata                                 63
 Uchimata II, 65; Uchimata III, 66

 CHAPTER  7:  Taiotoshi                                69

 CHAPTER  8:  Osotogari                                77
 Osotogari 83; Osotogari II, 85; Sode-osotogari, 87 

 CHAPTER  9:  Kosotogari                               91
 Kosotogari I 92; Kosotogari II, 94 

 CHAPTER 10:  Ouchigari                                97
 Ouchigari I, 97; Ouchigari II, 99;
 Ouchigari III, 100

 CHAPTER 11:  Kouchigari                              103
 Kouchigari I, 103; Kouchigari II,  106;
 Kouchigari III, 107

 CHAPTER 12:  Kouchisutemi                            109

 CHAPTER 13:  Ashiharai                               111
 Ashiharai II, 113

 CHAPTER 14:  Okuriashiharai                          115

 CHAPTER 15:  Tsurikomiashi                           119
 Sasae-tsurikomiashi, 121

 CHAPTER 16:  Hizaguruma                              125
 Hizaguruma II, 126

 CHAPTER 17:  Recapitulation                          129

 GLOSSARY                                             131

 INDEX                                                133



Most books on judo seem to fall naturally into one of two categories - elementary works designed for the beginner or casual reader, and those which seek to give a comprehensive treatment of the whole field. Both are faced with the same problem. It is so difficult at best to make a complex body movement intelligible through the medium of a book that a really adequate description of a given technique will usually confuse the novice rather than assist him. Furthermore, the subject of judo is so large that it is almost impossible to present the whole of it adequately in a single work of reasonable dimensions. Thus it will be seen that both classes of books are compelled to simplify their treatment of the various techniques to a point which seriously reduces their utility as a means of instruction.

This study will attempt to avoid such a result by seeking a different and more limited objective. Its sole aim will be to increase the student's effectiveness on the mats, and it is addressed primarily to serious judoka who are engaged in regular practice. With this purpose in mind, it is possible to omit many matters of general interest and to present an exhaustive analytical treatment of a limited number of standing techniques. In doing so, emphasis will be placed on the precise way in which the body is to be moved and on the reasons why particular positions and movements are desirable or undesirable. It is hoped in this way to achieve a dual purpose. First, the text will provide a check list for specific points of technique, to be used during practice. Second, it will seek to make the consequences of each variation in style so clear that the student, as he gains experience, will be able to select wisely those forms or modifications most suitable for his own physique and temperament.

The literature of judo describes an infinite number of techniques. Each has certain unique features and any one might be applied successfully in some particular situation. However, this is not to say that they are all of equal worth. Many recognized forms contain intrinsic mechanical weaknesses, so that the time required to master them, while not actually wasted, might be more profitably employed in other directions. Also, a number of techniques once considered highly useful have been supplanted by later developments in the art. Therefore it appears wise to eliminate from this study forms which are less frequently useful, and to include an intensive discussion of the simplest and most effective techniques. The maximum time which the most diligent judoka can devote to practice will hardly suffice to master these few, let alone the variations on them which the text or individual experience will suggest. Moreover, the absolute mastery of even two or three of these forms will often be sufficient to achieve success in contest. It should of course be self-evident that no single method of performing a given judo technique has an absolute monopoly on correctness for every student under all circumstances. Each experienced judoka will inevitably develop his own individual style, just as each competent instructor will have his own concept of the way in which judo should be studied and performed. The methods recommended in this study represent one such concept. They are not necessarily, in each instance, the easiest to learn. It is believed, however, that once mastered, they will enable most students to achieve maximum effectiveness while employing a minimum of mere physical strength, thereby conforming to the fundamental principle of all good judo.


About the Illustrations

Illustrations in a book of this sort are justified only to the extent that they contribute directly to an understanding of the text. It was soon discovered that this purpose would not be served by using "action" shots, no matter how dramatic or carefully selected they might be. Therefore, each picture has been specially posed to illustrate the form in question.

Even when prepared in this way, it is practically impossible to produce pictures which coincide exactly with every detail recommended in the text. The reader should therefore understand that, in the event of an apparent conflict between some detail of an illustration and the description of the same form, the latter is correct.

Second, it is rarely possible, in a posed picture, to create the dynamic effect of an action shot. Since it has been necessary to sacrifice dynamism for descriptive accuracy, the reader should remember that a given illustration does not necessarily represent the form under discussion just as it would appear in actual contest. Finally, pictures are meant as a guide, not as a strait jacket. A student who understands and learns to use the basic principles described need not attempt to copy each form down to the last fraction of an inch as it appears in the illustrations.

Generalized Axioms

"... A careful analysis discloses that the patterns of emphasis followed throughout this text can be reduced to the four basic axioms which follow:

AXIOM I. The efficiency of a given form is proportionate to the degree in which tori's hands achieve and maintain control of uke's body.

AXIOM II. The efficiency of a given form is proportionate to the degree in which the particular body contact it calls for is achieved and maintained.

AXIOM III. The power developed in an attempted throw is proportionate to the degree in which tori's lower abdomen remains forward and his chest is expanded.

AXIOM IV. Efficiency in completing a given throw is proportionate to the degree in which tori's hips, and particularly his leading hip, remain low at the time of kake.

(Taken from page 130)



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