Where's the Kazushi in pickups?

Where's the Kazushi in pickups?

I have been training in Judo for several months and I love the new found understanding of "Kazushi" that I have gained as a result of my training and it has added a whole new dimension even to my wrestling and submission wrestling. But it is perhaps becuase of my new found love of "Kazushi" that I am having a hard time understanding how "pickups" make any use of it. Pickups seem to simply be properly timed "power moves" without much regard for off-balancing an opponent and the like.

To me they just seem like my old bread and butter wrestling takedowns which involve technique, don't get me wrong, but which involve a great degree of strength as well, unlike something like a foot sweep, trip, or many types of hip throws.

Am I wrong in thinking this? If so, could someone help to explain how one uses "kazushi" when setting up and executing these throws?

If any one has any insights, please share them.

kuzushi

"Where's the Kazushi in pickups? "

In the setups. . .

Or about the time your shoulder hits, or you begin
the lift (depending on the "pickup").

Chuck

Just because it isn't in the happo-no-kuzushi doesn't mean "up" isn't a direction of breaking balance.

Chuckk is correct... take morote-gari (the double-leg), for instance. You know you've got the kuzushi right in this throw when uke can't sprawl effectively and goes down easily and with control.

In essence, the "kuzushi moment" happens as you trap uke's legs with your hands and begin to simultaneously clip the legs and push with your shoulder. If your timing is right, you'll unbalance him and make it impossible for him to defend the major action of the throw (the pickup).

If you don't create this moment of vulnerability (which is what kuzushi is all about), uke will maintain his balance and will sprawl or counter.

Thus, the basic principle is the same as for the more traditional throws.

So, what you guys are saying is that, in theory, if you take a Gold Medal Judoka who weighs about 80kgs (177lbs) and he is a master at Kazushi and loves pickups. Ok? And now we match him up with an equally good Gold Medal winning Judoka who weighs about 220kgs (266lbs or so)? They compete under Judo rules, do you think the smaller Judoka would have a chance of throwing him with a pickup like "Morote Gari"?

I understand that size does play a significant role of the outcome of any match, but, nonetheless, Kazushi, to the best of my understanding, is a concept which, if mastered, will allow for one to overcome size and strength. In the above scenario, I wouldn't doubt for one second that the smaller Judoka could throw the larger one with any variety of blocks, trips, sweeps, or hip throws, for I have done that myself, both in Judo and in Wrestling against people who were of roughly equal skill as myself yet outweighed me significantly (more so in Wrestling than in Judo, although at that time my understanding of Kazushi was nowhere near what it is now, despite having only studied Judo for less than a year), but with a pickup, I just can't believe it.

If anyone has seen a pickup successfully employed by a Judoka against another one who outweighed them and outsized them significantly, while being at a roughly equal skill level, please share that story with me as well as perhaps a fuller explanation of what Scythrop was explaining to me above (which I appreciate and which makes alot of sense, but which I don't totally understand yet), please do so.

Don't put too much stock into the 'proper judo can overcome size and strength' stuff. It CAN, but it works BEST to overcome the size and strength of an untrained opponent.

If the skill level is the same then size, strength, speed, explosiveness, endurance, reaction time, etc. are going to be HUGE factors in determining the outcome of a match. The person who is a better physical specimen will have better kuzushi and have a better chance of winning.

That is why weight classes were introduced into judo--skilled little people don't generally defeat equally skilled big people. They can, but statisticly it isn't likely, regardless of how excellent their kuzushi is.

Of course, it is possible--even with pickups.

For a classic example of a little guy using kuzushi to set up a pickup to throw a big guy...

In greco wrestling at the 1972 Munich Olympics, Wilfried Dietrich caused Chris Taylor (a 450lb monster) to overcommit (i.e. kuzushi). This allowed Dietrich to suplex Taylor.

Keep in mind that Dietrich was 10 years past his prime when he threw Taylor (who got a bronze in freestyle wrestling at the same olympics). Taylor was no slouch!

Check out the picture; it is awe inspiring:

http://www.canoe.ca/WrestlingImagesT/taylor_chris2.jpg

A description of the kuzushi:

"Taylor faced off against Wilfried Dietrich, a West German wrestler whom he had beaten in freestyle. Gagne recalled that Dietrich had a strategy where he kept trying to push Taylor out of the ring. Then Taylor got riled up and rushed Dietrich, who grabbed him up in a bear hug and suplexed the 412-pound monster and "turned him on his back before he hit the mat and that was it. It was a phenomenal move."

Where's that picture from the founding days of the Kodokan? The one with the judoka throwing the sumotori with kata-guruma?

There is plenty of kazushi in them. You can't just grap a guy and pick him up. You've got to set it up right, including making him walk into or back out of the setup.

Bull_in_chinashop,

I am no monster when it comes to strength, but the first day I walked into an academy I was able to employ pickups easily simply using my strength against much more skilled opponents. Other throws only came to me once I started to understand "Kazushi". The pickups seemed to be no more than throws that I was familiar with from my style of wrestling, especially the "Morote Gari". True I concede that it is more than simply grabbing a person's legs and picking him up, but once I get in deep, I just power through them.

I guess I have grapple with some more people who are known for their pickups to feel how they use Kazushi, if at all, to throw me.

Regardless, I agree that this is a great discussion and with much of what allcloser said.

allcloser, I would actually say that bjj has made kazushi and underpinning and foundational to it's groundwork. When I look to escape a pin, to sweep, to apply a submission, I am constantly trying to employ the idea of kazushi. If I can get my opponent to be off balance, my chances of sweeping, escaping, or submitting increase dramatically. It's even cooler when your oppenent kazushi's himself!

isn't picking a guy off of his feet "kuzushi" by definition?

as a brown belt i have beaten black belts in competition with urange,te guruma and ushiro goshi

in practice i can throw people 90lbs heavier then me with teguruma.. but i doubt in an comp. i could get it against them due to the combo of skill and stength

if you and some are equal in skill and you are strong you should be able to hit your best technique regardless of weight?

i love pickups.

"isn't picking a guy off of his feet "kuzushi" by definition?"

Yes.

"if you and some are equal in skill and you are strong you should be able to hit your best technique regardless of weight?"

No. Watch what happened to Koga when he entered the open weight category in the Japan Open.

It's "Kuzushi" with a "u" not Kazushi.

BTW I love uranage.

"Pickups seem to simply be properly timed "power moves" without much regard for off-balancing an opponent and the like."

u pretty much answered your own question. Whether you create kuzushi by off-balancing or when by waiting for you opponent to off-balance himself, has the same principle. Nonetheless, there are obviously fighters who use pure strength to lift up their opponnents, but this is the same for the traditional throws also.

"No. Watch what happened to Koga when he entered the open weight category in the Japan Open."

Bunkou: You do realize that Koga made it to the FINALS of that particular All Japan tournament, right?

Jarvis

"Bunkou: You do realize that Koga made it to the FINALS of that particular All Japan tournament, right?"

If I remember correctly, his win in the semi-finals was on a decision as he couldn't do anything to his opponent, despite being a pound-for-pound better fighter. Ditto the finals except he got thrown by the bigger man.

allcloser,

Where do you get all of this info from? I would really be interested in reading it.

Pete Pelter

"allcloser,
Where do you get all of this info from? I would really be interested in reading it.
Pete Pelter"

Me too!
I was just reading the new "Judo from a Russian Perspective" book and it has the famous photo of Bouras (France) picking up Koga in the Atlanta Olympics final and said something about the French player negating Koga's style.