Challenging Judo Norms
1. Osoto gari is the first move to be taught. Osoto is simple to teach beginners because it doesn’t take much coordination to forge the basic form. The beginners also feel like they learned something. But it is highly ineffective at the early stages. Even in a beginner vs beginner situation, the two will most likely not be able to execute this throw because of the natural way they fight in defensive posture (hips disengaged). Why not teach them something they can use off the bat? Here is a thought. Uchimata against defensive position…
2. Uchikomi is not efficient. In Japan, where the practices are 4 hours long, doing 30 minutes of uchikomi may be highly beneficial. However, if you look at the instructional landscape in most American Judo schools (time is limited), uchikomi takes too big of a fraction of the class. Uchikomi should be focused and quick. No more than 5 minutes. More time spent on 3 person drills, throws, shark bait drills and situation fighting I feel is a much better use of limited mat time.
3. Randori is overrated for the beginners. Yes, Randori is the essence of judo but it is simply too hard. The twisted fingers and toes that get caught up in the gis can be very discouraging for a beginner only a few weeks into their judo journey. I feel if we were to hold off randori until the 6 month mark where the students have invested in developing good basics, the students might be more likely to endure the pain and work through it. Even though we don’t do this at the KBI , I would like to implement this in the future.