CHAPTER 10Principle 4: Provide the Perfect Push and Pull

Provide the perfect push and pull” is a Judo saying. Judo is easy to describe, but hard for a layman to understand. I will try to explain to you what a perfect push and pull is.

In the old days, Japanese warriors wore heavy armor to protect them from being injured during their fights. A complete set of armor with helmet weighed 55 to 60 pounds. As long as you stood upright, it was good protection, but not if you fell during the fight and lay flat on your back. Because the armor was so heavy, you could not get up quickly, which often meant you lost the battle.

In modern Judo, the heavy armor has been replaced by a much lighter suit, called Judogi in Japanese. What has remained the same is that if you end up flat on your back—you lose. For that reason, Judo players all over the world practice throwing their opponents flat on their backs. If that happens, the referee says, “Ippons,” which means “end of the fight.” Over the years, I practiced my favorite Judo throw so many times that it became a reflex.

Another principle of Judo comes from an old Japanese sensei (teacher): “It is difficult to move a heavy rock, but once the rock is moving, it will take less energy.” In Judo, we think of it this way: “It’s easier to throw your opponent while he is moving.” So, to become a Judo specialist, you need to move your opponent first, and while he is moving, you use your throwing technique.

Mister Jigoro Kano taught us to use the ...

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