• My thoughts on the DO

    Starting practice is one of the most precious moments. It can be very exciting and eventually leads to fabulous growth. Now is the very moment to decide if to go all the way through.

    When I started judo practice I decided, that I would have done it for the rest of my life and that my Master would have been a constant presence in my thoughts.

    Fundamental to the DO is one ingredient: COMMITMENT, indicating, that self-discipline and persistence must be kept regardless of how hard it is.

    Practice puts us under constant stress, but without it we would never be able to develop our personality.

    Commitment and self-discipline are precious as gold for those seeking the DO.

  • In the Sixties

    1960: Bruno Carmeni throwing his opponent with seoi nage

  • More than 40 years later!

    2007: Bruno Carmeni throwing his opponent with seoi nage

Judo Techniques – A Study on The Ukemis Part 2

One falls by mistake, by choice and physic’s laws. No matter for what reason it is better to know how to do it well. Everything is solved in a second’s fraction: this is why  the ability to fall needs to become totally instinctive.

But why do people fall?

In physics there is a very clear answer: the balance is maintained as long as the vertical line passing through the barycentre remains within the base, that touches the ground, which in the case of the human beings is between the feet.  

Judo Technqiues - Ukemi or Bogyo Waza?

I have often heard the question: why do the judokas hit the ground with their forearm or with both making a loud noise upon falling?

Here four good reasons for it:

  1. – the arm is  like a spring, that slows the impact down and therefore power’s intensity; 
  2. – it increases body contact’s surface on the tatami, reducing the pressure. Just imagine how it would feel to fall on the tip of the hip or on a rib;
  3. – it allows to “guide” the fall, helping the body to rotate and to hit the ground avoiding to touch with the parts, that would hurt most;
  4. – it is a psychological aid. To concentrate on this gesture allows to maintain an active role underestimating the negative aspects of the throw.

But what is really balance?

In order to explain it the barycentre concept is very useful. It is the point where the entire body mass is concentrated.

When you have a homogeneous and regular item, like a cube, the barycentre is to be found where the diagonals cross. While in an irregular object it is the “closest” point to all others.

A body is balanced when the imaginary vertical line, which goes through the barycentre falls within its base or within the space defined by the points, that are touching the ground.

Why?

Judo Techniques - Perfect Throw with Ukemi.

Ground’s resistance creates a force, which is equal and opposite to the weight of the object. In this way the sum of the applied forces (weight + resistance) becomes zero. If the vertical line falls out of the base, the ground will not exercise any resistance anymore and therefore the object will fall.

The psychologists might affirm, that the fall could represent an internal conflict between the need to go for a good performance and the will to punish oneself, maybe due to a previous fight which took place in the family.

Prof. Antonio Dal Monte, who is responsible for the Sport Science Institute of the Italian National Olympic Committee explains: “In competition, especially in athletics, very often tiredness and dehydration are the reasons for  a disturbance to the central nervous system and a lack of coordination in gestures, that are apparently very simple like running.

When facing important challenges too much attention can contribute to a fall: too much brain work can be responsible for hindering or blocking athletic automatisms, that allow to overcome critical moments.” 

Exercises to react to falls help the judokas to have an emotional control over their gestures when faced with risky situations tied to the possibility to loose their balance. They refine in this way their perception skills and simultaneously improve the control of their muscular tensions allowing them to feel more centred and therefore to acquire a better image of themselves (body scheme).   

Why train to fall?

Judo Techniques - Great Ippon!

The fall is an athletic gesture. One has to learn how to transform a vertical movement into a rotation. The aim is to learn how to discharge slowly on a longer distance the cybernetic energy the athlete has accumulated. Some parts of the body should touch first as they are helpful to initiate the rotation, like for example the shoulder.  
Sports such as ski, cycling, motorcycling, horse riding, soccer, gymnastics, American football, hockey and others could be safer if the athletes would know how to fall, how to safeguard their bodies by applying the right falling methodology, which is the first thing one gets acquainted with when starting to learn judo techniques.

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