I just wanted to react to the article you just posted so here goes… It can only be personnal of course so again it’s the view point of a tiny white belt.
My first Sensei’s training (so Simon’s) is very strong technique-wise and very grounded in the basics. You move one step at a time and you better end up in the right posture :p At the same time he teaches us to give it output and to do it in a liked-up way meaning not in a robot-like way. So that if you want to achieve the flowiness I guess all you have to do is practice practice practice and then speed things up a bit. Without forgetting the hips. Of course. We rarely do stuff other than kyon when we begin, except for some kokyu nage. So to me that’s the best way to get there, because that’s how I’ve been trained and well, looking at his higher grades I’d say it works. So I agree with the author of the post down here totally so far.
However (tadada), I’ve also been trained at another dojo where they do more attacks with movement and spend a little less time on the kyon so I guess the author down here would have been harsh on them. Except their techniques are really efficient when you look at their Dan-grades so there has to be something that does work that way as well. Anyways with that influence I came to Summer School where the training is way closer to what my Sensei does, and well he taught there as well so duh. Incidentally, that was the first time I really laboured to get used to my home dojo style again, whereas before it was quite natural. Another thing happened though. I became a wuss. Now there may be several reasons to that. I got injured on the mat for the first time a few months ago and hadn’t been able to practice much since because of exams so that could explain it. Buuut I also think that it’s due to the change from more flowy to more techniquy. The way techniques were applied to me felt more effective and therefore a bit scarier. So it had the effect of making me feel tiny and highly hurtable whereas before I’d just jump into action and wildly attack. Now I even asked people to be softer… So maybe when it’s more flowy it’s also less.. I dunno harsh maybe and I never felt threatened in the flowy style and returning to stricter techniques scared me a bit.
There is one thing to be said for strong committed attacks whether they are from flowy or from techniquy modes though: committed attacks are safer – when people know what they’re doing. I never felt threatened when people were actually throwing me for real and that usually happened when the technique started with movement. Let me expand with kotegaishe (sorry for the spelling, i’m terrible at Japanese…): if it’s done from kyon and with not much conviction but still applied well, it’s really difficult to throw oneself over and do a forward ukemi, at the same time if it’s done swiftly it becomes dangerous to do a backward ukemi because it takes more time to get in safe position. If it’s done from say a 5th form and people really throw you for real then there hardly is anything to do when you’re an uke you just fly right over and you don’t get hurt. So actually, receiving the technique with movement becomes easier than without. AHA but if you do it from kyon and with intention it works as well, it’s just usually when movement is involved people find it easier to add in intention/commitment. And I guess my white belt stops them from doing it all the way, but serious I’d rather be thrown and bashed about with conviction than half thrown, that’s twice as dangerous. So there is one plus to doing it with movement even with beginners like me.
So anyways I’ve deviated…
What I was meaning to say is that this wuss phase was actually helpful, I’ve found, and it was the direct result of coming back from flowyland. It helped me in a way that I’d find hard to put into words at this stage… I think it made me go one step forward and that next time I step on the mat I’ll be better off thanks to it. So the confrontation of both methods of training seem to be a pretty good deal. Even though it does get people confused at stages. And also, maybe because of my wussy attitude people were more enclined to do techniques properly rather than just do whatever and be careless and so I’ve felt some really efficient techniques being done on me.
Anywyas, the week spent with techniquy people really made me want to go back training with them because it does seem to work better and to be more efficient. So yes yes yes for basics and kyon but being confronted with other attitudes helps as well, and doing techniques with movement seriously helps, even beginners.
Hope there was at least the tiniest of interest in this post…