Judo training cycle:
In Judo training you have two goals to achieve: to attain knowledge of Judo technical elements and to develop physical ability to execute them. Knowing how throw (or do any other technical element) should be seen like is an empty shell that needs to be filed by muscle memory and tiny, invisible for casual observer, details that make-or-break it.
Like in learning to draw you’re starting with simplest elements like straight line, circle, and triangle before you’re moving to make an animal or human figure, your learning of fighting technique starting with simplest moves and progressing to the full complex combination that seen as complete technical element.
In Judo training you’re starting with the posture and starting position for the throw (or any other technique, but I’m taking throw as most difficult to learn type of technique as in most cases you need to do it in whole due to the lost of balance in the middle of execution). Then you’re progressing to the entry move, then – to unbalancing your opponent/partner, then to performing throw itself, and – last but not least – to follow-up attack finalization. This sequential progress is unavoidable as you’re putting all small elements together and learning where to put your foot and how to turn your body. This is the step when you’re looking at your instructor demonstrations, at flash-cards or book illustrations. And this is easiest part of the learning cycle.
As you progressed from simple-to-complex, the hard and less understood part is about to begin. Even you may think at this point that you know how to perform the throw (let’s take Morote Seoinage from judoinfo.com as example) you most likely don’t. You need to learn tiny details about weight distribution, grip position, grip tension, and other critical details and to develop critical muscle memory on correct and wrong (sic!*) execution of every base element of the throw. Instructor’s challenge is to understand those errors from observation, to explain them to the student, and fix them. Do-like-me demonstrations on this stage may not be helpful as those tiny details are often specific for each student.
At this point you’re moving from complex-to-simple. This second phase of the training cycle takes much more time then the first, where you just learned the overall appearance of the technique. Your rehashing of the basic elements will never stop and should always be the key element of every training session. If you did the details right the whole throw will shine in its full complexity.
* You need to know how the wrong execution feels to have a trigger that push breaks early enough to save you from been victim of your own error, as in real life you won’t do it right all 100% every single time.
Judo training methodologies