Practise all the techniques illustrated so far, as often as possible, on an unresisting partner standing still and then on the move. In randori (free practice) do not let an opportunity for a counter go by. Some people feel that counter-throws are not quite sporting! However, don't let this bother you!
Disregarding opportunities for a counter can become a habit which could easily lose you a contest. Also an attacker will have to sharpen up his throws if he knows a counter awaits them. This makes for all-round, lively judo. As soon as possible, practise your techniques on the move against a resisting and attacking partner.
This free practice is the best way to sharpen up all your techniques. Practise with as many people as possible as many times a week as possible. Try not to waste any time in practice. Do not move around doing nothing, wasting for an opportunity. Make opportunities with constructive movement. If you are not defending or countering you should be attacking or making an opening for an attack. Keep the arms loose. When an opponent attacks, brace suddenly for your defence and relax quickly as soon as the attack fails.
There is a tendency for beginners to move around with arms like iron bars in order to stop their partners moving in for an attack. This means they stop their inexperienced partners to certain extent but against a good man they have no effect. What is worse is that the man with the stiff arms will be unable to attack. His stiff arms will stop his own attacks. For best results move around with a loose upper body. Then, when necessary, snap into action to gain maximum impetus. Stiff arms will be a problem for the beginner so I'll describe a few methods of getting past them.
If you are a right-hander only, one of your opponents arms will pose a problem. For example, in harai-goshi as you pivot round to the left the opponent's left arm will be pushing you away. His right arm does not get in the way because you are turning into it. The easiest way to get past the left arm is to bring your right elbow and arm sharply down, breaking your partner's grip on your right sleeve. It will be necessary to let go to do this, but having broken the opponent's grip do not give him a chance to recover his grip, but instantly snatch a hold on his lapel and come in for the throw. There is nothing more unsettling for a 'strong-arm' man than to have his safe grip broken. Keep on breaking his grip attacking instantly as you do so. The opponent's right hand grip on your lapel can be broken by snatching the whole left side and arm back, pulling your left lapel as you do so. One final example is when you are holding underneath your opponent's two arms. To break through this grip suddenly lift up both elbows forcing the opponent's arms up and as you do so pull him forward sliding your shoulders under his arms. As you get under the man's arms turn in for your throw.
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