009) Week of October 20, 2008: Kuzushi

Kuzushi: Unbalancing

Last week, I tied learning into a dialogue between nage and uke.  This dialogue represents the process that maintains “Ai”- harmony between nage and uke.  If you do not remember my blog page on Shisei, then please re-read this as well.  Both of these topics become are important in understanding the act of Kuzushi- unbalancing.

The human being is programed to maintain a dynamic equilibrium.   This simply means that a critical imperative is to remain balanced.  When the human body becomes unbalanced, a substantial amount of energy and resources are unconsciously applied towards restoring balance.  Unbalancing a person means that this person has few effective resources available to be able to remain an effective attacker.

I constantly remind students to become acutely aware of their posture.  If the person is unbalanced, this person is utilizing a lot of internal resources towards maintaining balance and this process gives a lot of information away.  If we are balanced, we have substantial resources to bear and we are providing little information about ourselves.

If the uke has engaged in an attack on a nage with proper shisei, then the uke quickly becomes unbalanced.  As  the nage goes through the movements in a technique, the uke is always behind in responding because the uke has to first satisfy the unconscious necessity to maintain a dynamic equilibrium.  This means that the nage has an important tactical advantage that enables the execution of a technique to occur with little real-time reactive responding on the part of the nage.

I would like students to focus in on what it means to be unbalanced when in the role as an uke.  I would like students to focus in on what it means to be balanced when in the role of nage.  This is a good beginning in understanding the dynamic process of Kuzushi.

Marc Abrams Sensei

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