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Seme and the role of motodachi during oji waza practice.

I have two senpai who have different approaches on how the attacker should attack the person doing the oji waza. Both obviously say the attacker should strike with full commitment and spirit.


One says that the person doing the oji waza should always be ready and should be constantly exerting seme onto the opponent. The attacker should make his attacks not predictable. For example, in a 4 rep drill, the attacker would attack after 3 sec of seme ai, then 6 sec, then 10 sec, then maybe on the 4th time, the attacker immediately attacks as soon as they enter their uchima.

The other senpai does it different. He teaches that the attacker should ONLY attack when the person doing the oji waza does some sort of physical seme. For example, the person would do a seme step, or show their men, etc. This way I think teaches the timing between making the person attack and performing the waza.

In my thinking, the second way is better because it creates the best environment for you to practice someone reacting to your seme and doing the waza. And most important, the person doing the oji waza will be the initiator.

The first one potentially makes the person doing the oji waza react instead. Because the attacker may hit whenever he/she chooses. Especially if the attacker is higher ranked than the person doing the oji waza it will be very difficult for them

I see merit in practicing both. Imafuji sensei, what do you think?

Answer: First off, I apologize for the delay of my reply. My health was pretty bad from 12/24 to the beginning of January.

Both are OK to me. Why? It is because they have different purpose of training. It depends on what you are aiming to GAIN from the training.

If you are a beginner and do not know what to do or just started to learn certain ōji waza, you should learn “how” first. So motodachi should show a target clearly to his/her kakarite like you explained in No.2.

In this method, kakarite can learn “when” is good for him/her to strike. But motodachi should know what they are doing; otherwise, kakarite learns “bad” timing.

Motodachi should pay attention to kakarite’s kiai level. When it reaches the highest, they should open up a target. In this way, kakarite does not “exercise” the technique. Instead, they can also learn how it should feel when they have a high level of kiai and when executing the technique.

No.1 should be for more advanced people. But there is nothing wrong with beginners try this method, but under a good instruction.

Hope this helps.

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