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    Tokio Hirano - Tai-otoshi

    JudoMojo
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    Post by JudoMojo Wed Jan 16, 2013 6:18 am

    Was browsing youtube just now. Found a pretty interesting tai otoshi video.

    genetic judoka
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    Post by genetic judoka Wed Jan 16, 2013 6:23 am

    seen it. it's a shame he died so young.

    as I understand it many/most find Hirano sensei's tai otoshi impossible to replicate. I can see why.
    ThePieman
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    Post by ThePieman Wed Jan 16, 2013 6:40 am

    I love these videos, tokio hirano always seems so theatrical, I chuckle at the way he walks away after executing a technique; he must have been quite a character.
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    Post by Hanon Wed Jan 16, 2013 8:50 am

    I mentioned that tai otoshi was the most versatile waza in the gokyo. This is only a warm up of his examples.

    Mike
    afulldeck
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    Post by afulldeck Wed Jan 16, 2013 10:36 am

    Hanon wrote:I mentioned that tai otoshi was the most versatile waza in the gokyo. This is only a warm up of his examples.

    Mike

    Are the others available to view. I must admit I find these fantastic....
    ThePieman
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    Post by ThePieman Wed Jan 16, 2013 11:19 am

    afulldeck wrote:
    Hanon wrote:I mentioned that tai otoshi was the most versatile waza in the gokyo. This is only a warm up of his examples.

    Mike

    Are the others available to view. I must admit I find these fantastic....

    Yes they are,
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    jkw


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    Post by jkw Sun Jan 20, 2013 10:06 am

    There was some good discussions on Hirano and his tai-otoshi on old judoforum. Shame it seems lost, for now at least.
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    Post by Cichorei Kano Sun Jan 20, 2013 11:04 am

    jkw wrote:There was some good discussions on Hirano and his tai-otoshi on old judoforum. Shame it seems lost, for now at least.

    The world's comin' to an end, mate. The Mayans predicted it. RIP.
    finarashi
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    Post by finarashi Sun Jan 20, 2013 7:29 pm

    The world's comin' to an end, mate. The Mayans predicted it. RIP.[/quote]

    .. aren't we living in post Tokio Hirano age anyhow ....



    But seriously would like to see similar technical videos of anybody in our times ...
    Cichorei Kano
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    Post by Cichorei Kano Mon Jan 21, 2013 4:31 am

    finarashi wrote:The world's comin' to an end, mate. The Mayans predicted it. RIP.

    .. aren't we living in post Tokio Hirano age anyhow ....

    But seriously would like to see similar technical videos of anybody in our times ...[/quote]

    Few judoka today have still been trained in such a technical tradition as Hirano was under Fukushima, Morishita and Ushijima. I had some very technical sensei, but if I look back, maybe one or two came out that way. Most at one point in their life started winding down, their judo really no longer grew, or something similar. It isn't enough to just have superb technicians as your teachers. You have to be wanting to become as good as they or even better, and to do do so you need to realize the experience they have at that time and their tradition and commitment. Even then, there can be little merit to it. Today judoka seem less motivated by finding the actual best or most knowledgeable teachers but are rather motivated by anticipating which teacher in the most effective (usually shortest) way can contribute to achieving more medals or a higher rank. This is also why clinics taught by a famous champion are hugely popular even though most of those clinics suck and the attending judoka's level does not improve one bit from attending the clinic; the unspoken merit for the attending judoka often seems to more the unique chance he/she might have after the clinic to have their picture taken with the champion, although the effect on of that on one's own technical advancement remains asymptotically small. The other group of judoka is not motivated by that but rather by convenience simply choosing the club that is nearest or available irrespective of the quality of teaching. Only few judoka do not categorize in these two groups. With regard to videotaping one also has to consider that in the days the movie of Hirano or Mifune were made, we were already happy to have some moving images. Today that is no longer so. Just watch the most popular videos such as those from the Ippon series. They set a standard of technical gadgetery that is hard to attain as an amateur.

    Of most of the clinics I attended before 1990 I have never seen anyone record what was shown. That just was not the spirit. If you went to a clinic, you went there to practice, period. If today you go to a clinic, there are more people there with video cameras than that there are practicing. There are even people I see at virtually any clinic just taping, to the extent that I wonder what they all do with those tapes ? This is a new culture, not the culture of the past. That is also the reason that few such recordings as those of Hirano exist. When I lived and trained in Japan I have never ever seen anyone recording anything there. I don't even think I took a single picture of my sensei there. That just was NOT DONE. If you want videos and posing for pics in judo in Japan, you go to the Kodokan. That's were Japanese judo tourism takes place, not at the other dojo, although even places like Tsukuba and Tokai and Tenri today get so many foreign judoka that the atmosphere is not just the same anymore, and foreigners start to record stuff there too. That's just some additional explanation about the evolution we see and why there aren't many videos like Hirano's available.

    A couple of journal editors in the past have approached me when their journal was in the process of preparing my research for publication. They asked me if I was interested to also prepare video material of certain techniques which they then could put on line to go with the article. I had to decline even though I own a very serious professional videocamera myself. Why ? Well, because it was impossible to meet my own expectations. For example, my videocamera has become more or less useless since it is Betacam and today's professional standard is Digi-Betacam and HDTV. My camera is 4:3, but today they want 16:9. Although I know how to operate the camera, I have no training in professional video operation, and I don't have anyone among my friends who has that expertise to handle a camera. Last year I had several journalists visiting us for articles who wanted to take pictures. Most of those were useless. Why ? Because they are clueless about judo. So you had a photographer who just wanted you to go stand in poses. If you did a techniue, then it was "Wow man, that' way too fast, I didn't get that". They have no idea how to take judo pictures. You need real sports action photographers, like a couple that work for the IJF or in Japan, but are you going to hire them and pay for their transportation, their material, lodging food, etc to fly them over ? Same for camerawork. It doesn't even stop there. Where do you get the light technicians, because this is a crucial part of making judo videos. If you see these guys in Japan, they show up with an entire crew knowing exactly what to do, all trained in that kind of work. But here ? Even if you find a light technicians, chances are he is clueless about martial arts, and about how martial arts films are made and what is considered acceptable standard in terms of producing martial arts movies.

    Have you ever actually looked into fees for renting serious video material ? I don't mean the small format stuff many readers here probably own, but a Digi-Betacam HDTV camera with objectives, insurance ? And ... are you serious that you are going to make a proper recording with just a single camera, making it impossible to view the action from different angles unless you repeat them in which case the moment is no longer the same, which would show, certainly if it is about kata. Then also the light and sound technology ? Transport ? Chances are they might have to come from a different city. This is stuff I have been struggling with for years, since in the process of my book, I also wanted to include DVDs with a large number of kata, both historic and modern versions.

    In addition, in my case, I also would want a dojo that meets my expectations, that has the serenity proper to judo, not some sports hall with wrestling mats or yellow/blue IJF Gangnam style judo mats, and basketball rings, hockey goals, trophies and your country's flag in the background. It's a huge undertaking, impossible to afford unless you have a TV station or a large company who owns all that material and who takes the initiative itself to make that stuff.

    My point is, a historic movie from 50+ years ago has our sympathy, just like any judoka over 90 years old gets our sympathy. We apply different standards, the quality then often becomes secondary. But for new material, a modern today performing judoka, we apply stringent standards and expectations. Meeting those requires more than just being skilled and motivated.
    judoratt
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    Post by judoratt Mon Jan 21, 2013 6:50 am

    His demonstration of foot work and kozushi don't seam to go together. Rolling Eyes Verry interesting how at times he rolls under his planting foot almost falling backwards. affraid JMHO
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    Post by Cichorei Kano Mon Jan 21, 2013 7:38 am

    judoratt wrote:His demonstration of foot work and kozushi don't seam to go together. Rolling Eyes Verry interesting how at times he rolls under his planting foot almost falling backwards. affraid JMHO

    In a clinic Sunday last week I taught some of Hirano's pedagogical principles, such as his handô (movements of waves) tsukuri/kuzushi system. When you show this, you often have to exaggerate to make this visible, certainly to students who are not so advanced. I did some similar thigs like how you throw someoe with just your little finger, or with no grips or contact and just by ideal positioning of the center of mass. These are obviously 'exaggerations' since in a true randori or competitive fight against an equally skilled jûdôka you will likely have to use everything you have rather than approach him with just one finger. But if you're well skilled you may approach a very high degree of perfection in positioning your center of mass, let's say, 80% ideal, whereas other judoka may be completely off, hence giving you an important advantage. When you try and demonstrate something like that, you may exaggerate by completely relying on nothing else but that hoping to achieve like a +90% ideal position, and if you do, then the opponent goes to the ground in the blink of an eye. However, when you rely on such a high degree of perfection using no hands, no power, then the least deviation or error might cause that action to no longer be perfect. This could be a simply unnoticeable change in center of mass of the opponent caused by a change in breathing. I might have demonstrated, maybe God knows ... 30 or 35 times, and I think that twice or so I was off. It happens. Still with the degree I was off, if you could approach your opponent still with such an ideal position, then adding normal hands, grips, and some force and you would still ippon. Hirano does the same, almost with nonchalance trying to only show the aspect that matters. Imbalance then is not really a 'mistake' but a natural occurrence of interaction, where the accomplished judoka simply would follow up in the direction of the least resistance. For this reason, I think it is also important that of each sequence one watches, one knows what one is exactly watching, i.e. what the purpose was of that part. Also, let's not forget that what he is showing here is largely an introduction to his own pedagogy. That in itself is quite unique as not too many jûdôka have developed their own pedagogy (Kawaishi and Geesink did too). The objective of this is to achieve a better a skill transfer as the Kôdôkan pedagogy in some aspects is very weak. This is also why skill transfer in judo is sometimes problematic. Ultimately, the only didactic tools Kôdôkan has in its tachi-waza is its division tsukuri/kuzushi/kake and happô-no-kuzushi. This poor didactic is also the reason why jûdôka who have focused for years on learning indidivual techniques, fail to apply them in a randori situation. They can't do it, it doesn't work. Even if they can do it statically, they can't do it in randori. Hirano's major contribution is that he offers not just "didactic" patches but a whole didactic approach to fill up a vaccuum left by Kanô.

    By the way, did you know that even elite jûdôka are approx. barely 30% effective energetically when they do their movements !?! This shows the enormous gap there is still to fill. Some of the huge power athletes like Iliadis, etc., can 'afford' to be even less effective and still win gold or display what they display, simply because of having accumulated such an abundance of 'over-power' that against most athletes they can afford to waste all that energy. This is also why really, fundamentally, so often what we see is not judo in the sense that it is the opposite of that ideal use of energy. Compare it of a plane trying to take off from an aircraft carrier: impossible energetically, but now put a totally out of common amount of energy in it (i.e. afterburners + a catapult) and you realize the impossible. Perhaps a bit more absurd, but nevertheless it illustrates my point, attach yourself to a catapult on an aircraft carrier and you would even fly though you know very well you can't fly. Just try flapping your arms as hard as you can while on normal horizontal terrain and you wouldn't come off the ground in a million years. Similarly, take on a 7-year old on a tatami and tell him to lean backwards, and everyone of us can still throw him forwards, or tell him to lean forwards and we still can throw him backwards because the amount of power we have is inordinate compared to his, thus no judo involved at all. Let's reverse the roles. We all know very well that if the 7-year old would really succeed in throwing us without us jumping it would be an extraordinary coincidence of fact such as surprise, we losing our balance, stumbling over our own feet and him making optimal use of that, thus ... him actually as efficiently as possible using available energy.
    judoratt
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    Post by judoratt Mon Jan 21, 2013 7:28 pm

    CK would love to see video of your clinic, cyclops
    Can you post?
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    Post by Cichorei Kano Mon Jan 21, 2013 11:22 pm

    judoratt wrote:CK would love to see video of your clinic, cyclops
    Can you post?

    So would I ! Sorry to disappoint, there are no videos. It isn't common everywhere to do so. Never was. I don't even have a videos of most of my sensei except for the few short and crappy ones of Hirano that made it to YouTube, and two of another sensei that were made long after I left. It's a pity. It's a pity. But even if it were more common, I do not allow videotaping partly for reasons I have explained in detail response to Finarishi in one of the subforums here. Besides I am no Hirano. However, there is a book in the making (another one) in English of which the scheduled date of publication is before summer 2013 and that will focus on this material. It will explain in detail and in an understandable way Hirano's didactic approaches and pedagogy, which I think, might be helpful for those wanting to better understand Hirano's approach. As with Abe Kenshirô, Hirano's foreign language ability was limited, and much of what he demonstrated was not fully grasped by people then. The result was that it made a lot of impact, but no one else could do it as they had no idea what they were actually supposed to do except for copying visuals.
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    Post by tom herold Wed Jan 23, 2013 9:12 am

    Gentlemen,
    may I introduce myself ...?
    My name is Tom Herold from germany and I am very glad finding this forum.

    I am a student of Frank Thiele (77) from Germany. He was for more than 30 years a very close student of Tokio Hirano Sensei 1960-1993).
    So we try to safe that kind of judo.

    First of all I have to apologize for my horrible English.
    Embarassed

    I would be lad to come in connection with judoka who did know Tokio Hirano too and I would like to share experiences and informations.
    My teacher Frank Thiele has got tons of photographs and videos about his 30 years with Tokio Hirano Sendei.

    Please, I am not perfect.
    Not in judo and not in English language.
    So if I make mistakes please it is not my intention.

    Nice to meet you all.

    Greetings
    Tom Herold
    Blacksmith
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    Post by Blacksmith Wed Jan 23, 2013 9:21 am

    tom herold wrote:Gentlemen,
    may I introduce myself ...?
    My name is Tom Herold from germany and I am very glad finding this forum.

    I am a student of Frank Thiele (77) from Germany. He was for more than 30 years a very close student of Tokio Hirano Sensei 1960-1993).
    So we try to safe that kind of judo.

    First of all I have to apologize for my horrible English.
    Embarassed

    I would be lad to come in connection with judoka who did know Tokio Hirano too and I would like to share experiences and informations.
    My teacher Frank Thiele has got tons of photographs and videos about his 30 years with Tokio Hirano Sendei.

    Please, I am not perfect.
    Not in judo and not in English language.
    So if I make mistakes please it is not my intention.

    Nice to meet you all.

    Greetings
    Tom Herold


    Tom,

    Welcome. Your English will be just fine. We can even understand some of our friends who post here from Oz and other places!
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    Post by tom herold Wed Jan 23, 2013 9:43 am

    Thank you!
    Very Happy

    I liked the old judo forum much and now I am happy to see that all the teachers are here ...
    That is so great!
    I hope I can learn a lot from CK, Hanon and all the others.

    Thank you for sharing your knowledge.

    Tom
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    Post by Cichorei Kano Wed Jan 23, 2013 11:41 am

    tom herold wrote:Thank you!
    Very Happy

    I liked the old judo forum much and now I am happy to see that all the teachers are here ...
    That is so great!
    I hope I can learn a lot from CK, Hanon and all the others.

    Thank you for sharing your knowledge.

    Tom

    Tom, welcome, happy to see you. Hope you are doing well and that your teacher's health is fine.

    My own teacher was a first-generation student of Hirano starting in May 1952, and later promoted to 2nd dan by Hirano, but now unfortunately also has passed away. The first-generation European students of Hirano are becoming less and less and of those surviving many no longer do judo. My judo lessons from Hirano date from later. New knowledge about Hirano-sensei is always welcome, as he was a fascinating personality and judoka whose legacy deserves to be preserved and made known to later generations of judoka.
    judoratt
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    Post by judoratt Wed Jan 23, 2013 1:23 pm

    tom herold wrote:Thank you!
    Very Happy

    I liked the old judo forum much and now I am happy to see that all the teachers are here ...
    That is so great!
    I hope I can learn a lot from CK, Hanon and all the others.

    Thank you for sharing your knowledge.

    Welcome Tom your english is as good as mine and your spellind is better again Welcome:)Smile

    Tom
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    Post by tom herold Wed Jan 23, 2013 10:04 pm

    Thank you, Judoratt and thank you CK!

    It is so nice to be here!
    Very Happy

    I do have a vision ...
    I would like to collect all the knowledge available about Hirano Sensei.
    Not for a book, not for anything commercial.
    Only for preserve.
    It is too much worthy to fade away ...

    And I would like to become familiar if possible with all the judoka who knew Hirano Sensei.
    Perhaps that could be a kind of ... circle of teachers?
    Perhaps we could meet on the mat, sharing knowledge, train together, learn from each other?


    My own teacher Frank Thiele had a very serious car accident 4 years ago.
    The medical docs then said he would die or he would sit for the rest of his life in the wheel chair.

    Now he is back on the mat!
    He is 77yo and he has kept back on the left side onto heavy paralyses.
    But he is back on the mat!
    Teaching, practising ...

    We should do everything to preserve the knowledge came from Hirano Sensei.
    And that's why I try to come in contact with other teachers who knew Hirano Sensei.

    That would be great ...
    JudoMojo
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    Post by JudoMojo Thu Jan 24, 2013 12:06 am

    It would also be great if you could share what knowledge you could on here.
    We have a lot of catching up to do with the old judoforum.

    I have read about Tokio Hirano before but only know a little, I knew he was a tai otoshi man, and that is clear from the video too!
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    Post by tom herold Thu Jan 24, 2013 12:26 am

    I do like to execute the Tai-Otoshi in randori.
    There are some simple things to do with the hands.
    My teacher showed me.

    No, I never will be able the Tai-Otoshi as Hirano Sensei did.
    But I try to become better every day.

    As my teacher said: all the things Hirano Sensei did before executing his wonderful Tai-Otoshi is to prepare the opponent.
    And it works!

    Tai-Otoshi and Sumi-Otoshi became my favorite throws since my teacher explained it to me.
    Now I am 40 years active in judo.

    12 years ago I became the student of my teacher Frank Thiele.
    Only since this time I catch bit by bit in to understand what is a judo and how brilliantly Kano had conceived Sensei his fight art.

    However, it is also very discouraging if I see what I am not able to do yet and have not understood yet.
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    Post by Aaron Fields Thu Jan 31, 2013 6:10 pm

    Funny, in my 20 plus years this has never been my throw. I could make it work here and there, but I never had a good feel for it. For years I have played with it, tried other variations etc etc. Several years back Fred Sato spent a few hours having me throw it, coaching me the whole time. Well.. I continued to work on what he showed me, then the other night.. bingo. That was what tai-otoshi is supposed to feel like, the nice thing is it came almost as cleanly off the other side.

    That is what all this is about.



    Aaron Fields
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    Post by JudoMojo Thu Jan 31, 2013 8:25 pm

    Aaron Fields wrote:Funny, in my 20 plus years this has never been my throw. I could make it work here and there, but I never had a good feel for it. For years I have played with it, tried other variations etc etc. Several years back Fred Sato spent a few hours having me throw it, coaching me the whole time. Well.. I continued to work on what he showed me, then the other night.. bingo. That was what tai-otoshi is supposed to feel like, the nice thing is it came almost as cleanly off the other side.

    That is what all this is about.



    Aaron Fields


    I've always had trouble with the tsurite hand, I think I'm starting to get the hang of it a bit now. Tai otoshi is now one of my favourite techniques.
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    Post by Cichorei Kano Fri Feb 01, 2013 1:53 am

    JudoMojo wrote:
    Aaron Fields wrote:Funny, in my 20 plus years this has never been my throw. I could make it work here and there, but I never had a good feel for it. For years I have played with it, tried other variations etc etc. Several years back Fred Sato spent a few hours having me throw it, coaching me the whole time. Well.. I continued to work on what he showed me, then the other night.. bingo. That was what tai-otoshi is supposed to feel like, the nice thing is it came almost as cleanly off the other side.

    That is what all this is about.



    Aaron Fields


    I've always had trouble with the tsurite hand, I think I'm starting to get the hang of it a bit now. Tai otoshi is now one of my favourite techniques.

    One of my somewhat peculiar conclusions is that sensei can be less than helpful in helping their students master tai-otoshi. Tai-otoshi was my first tokui-waza. No doubt my memory will be somewhat biased, but it was the first throw I more or less decently mastered, and this while I was still a yellow belt. No doubt if we would see it today, we would find all kinds of technical problems, but anyhow. There must have been something good about it, because when I started competing as a green belt, it was still the throw I was successful with. I left the club shortly after my promotion to 2nd kyû, and joined a different club where I didn't stay long either because of the sudden departure of the star teacher just a few months later. So, I ended up in my third club which was known for its good tachi-waza technique. I learnt a lot from my sensei there, but we collided on tai-otoshi. He didn't like my tai-otoshi and started changing all kinds of things. Needless to say that he completely destroyed my tai-otoshi and I was never able to score with it anymore until I was a nidan, and thank to extensively studying Hirano's tai-otoshi. Much later I learnt that several other jûdôka who had a reasonable tai-otoshi all had them destroyed by my teacher. In all fairness when one looked at my teacher's tai-otoshi, it was not very good, rather fake, one of those "demonstration-only" kind of things he would never be able to pull off with a noncooperative partner. It is even fair to say --as I realized in hindsight-- that my sensei did not properly master tai-otoshi himself. As teachers this can be one of our problems ... namely trying to teach our students things which in all honesty we don't properly master or understand ourselves. It can even be worse, namely when we don't even realize we do not properly master or understand the technique ourselves. For that reason our task as teachers should not always be one of maximal interference but sometimes of minimal interference. Your students should have the right to make mistakes. You can't force the learning process. You may be helpful to provide certain tips, but you should also give your student space to grow and develop him-/herself (in my opinion).

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