ZUIHITSU-RANDOM NOTES ABOUT JUDO BY RONALD DÉSORMEAUX Judo Ron 74 - Defying Newton’s third law of action-reaction

The first principle of judo being “Seiryoku Zenyo” or the intelligent use of energy was crafted by Jigoro Kano after considering an older expression used in Ju Jutsu which read “Ju Yoku go o Seisu and which can be translated to “softness controls hardness” i The founder of Judo explained his interpretation of the “JU” principle with the use of some units of power or energy that reads along the following lines: When facing an opponent possessing a power of 10 who is about to strike and if you only have a power value of 7 to face him, you are sure to be overcome if you try to resist on equal footing. However, if one is able to adjust, adapt or pull back, he will be able to momentarily deflect the impact produced in the direction of the attack. Soon thereafter, if one combines the incoming force with his own, then, it will be possible to overcome the attack, make the aggressor lose his balance and defeat him with the application of a selected technique. This is somewhat a simple statement, yet, it encloses many physical factors worth studying. In this essay, I will try to bring some complementary explanations which should suggest how we can best apply the above to defy or challenge the application of the law of action and reaction. Basic understanding of Action-Reaction Let us first outline Newton’s third law that proclaims: “To every action there is always opposed an equal reaction: or the mutual actions of two bodies upon each other are always equal, and directed to contrary parts. “ii By this statement, we understand that whenever an object is drawn or pushed by another, it is also drawn or pressed by the other object. As such, if we press a pencil with our finger, the latter is also pressed by the pencil. Similarly, if a horse pulls upon an object tied to a rope, the animal will be equally drawn back towards the object keeping in mind that the expanded rope will stretch or relax depending on the action being exercised by the two distanced subjects. It is also relevant to note that if a body moves towards an impact point upon another object; its forces of impact will change the relative status of the receiving object. The moving element will also undergo some changes based upon the speed of its displacement (gain in momentum) and the influencing factors occurring in the surrounding environment to the objects. (Types of surfaces, resistance factors). When the two bodies meet, the force of impact can be expected to be of equal importance for both as long as there is no additional interference by a third force that may modify the contact point or surface.


The third law is often misinterpreted by many. It is principally concerned with the relationship between two objects: The Action and Reaction are applied on a continuum between the different objects and as such, they do not cancel each other. When two bodies interact, they exert equal and opposite force on each other. Anytime an object applies a force to another object, there is an equal and opposite force returning towards the original object. If you push on a wall you will feel a force against your hand. The wall although immobile, is also pushing back on your hand with as much force as you are applying against it. If this wasn't happening, your hand would go through the wall! This leads us to the principle of least resistance or suppleness. (JU) Intelligent use of Energy

For our own purpose, we shall call the JU, a phenomenon of absorption, “Energy Efficiency” and “Energy Management”. This is because in judo we are mainly concerned with saving our energy for a greater and intelligent expenditure of it by making optimal usage of all our natural body components. Let us further define “Energy Efficiency” as using less energy to obtain the same result e.g., making the IPPON. (The judo victory score) In the last decade, judoka all over the world who had for their goals, a place on the highest podium, have made greater emphasis to build their body mass, add new muscle power and improve their technical skills for speedier responses. The development of larger muscle mass demands lots of efforts and repeated exercises. This is sometime accomplished to the detriment of making greater coordinated use of their other energy sources or potentials. As such, they hoped to produce maximum energy to confront and overcome an opponent. One may assume that a more massive judoka will perform like a moving object and develop a larger momentum and make a greater impact when he adds the required speed. The bigger judoka will likely attain greater momentum than a smaller one when both are moving in the same direction because the bigger person has more mass. However, a smaller person can produce more momentum if he is able to slow down the action of the larger judoka by other means other than offering a predetermined resistance platform.

Recent training approaches It is only recently, as part of the judo renaissance program, that specialized teachers and coaches began to address the philosophical significance of the intelligent use of energy as was intended by the founder. Many training centers are now focusing on offering new ways and means for the judoka to better manage and employ their total energy sources. This allencompassing formula of physical and mental training is aiming to facilitate the judoka’s ascension to the podium and at the same time, ensuring that they are better prepared to serve society when the victory honors have seceded. At the center of this program, we find new and intelligent approaches to maximize the JU principles. Already, this new orientation is quickly permeating across different federations. Selected training camps in Europe and abroad are now offering special classes along with the modified Randori practices with more emphasis on suppleness. There, players are offered additional periods and situations where they can better manage the use of their energy sources while developing both their flexible thinking abilities along with new technical skills. These sessions commensurate with the judoka’s understanding of the relationships between the Hard (GO) and Soft drills (JU) that accompany their intellectual reasoning about improved energy management. In our own Canadian dojo, this innovative method should be given serious considerations. In support of that approach, it is recommended that knowledgeable sensei regularly take the pulse of their class’s performance level and conduct some evaluations pertaining to the energy consummation and management as displayed by their students. It is my opinion that those periodic audits are needed to properly assess the different levels of comprehension of the JU principle as expressed by the behavior of the more advanced students. As direct outcomes of their observation and analysis, the teacher can better adjust the delivery of the classes by formulating supplementary practical combat situations where the students are exposed to speedier responses demanding better management of their mixed energy sources. From the soft kumi-kata to the speedy Kake phase, students will be encouraged to diminishing the occurrences of excessive use of force when engaging both into Randori or Shiai. It is also important to engage students-teachers into frank discussions about the energyaudits and exchange regularly on data-solutions pertaining to the use of suppleness as the dominant factor towards obtaining the IPPON.


Self-Energy management audit Just how much energy conscientious are we? Are we blinded by the exterior factors of ourselves? We have to apprehend that our own body in an energy bundle just likes the universe around us and as such we must attempt to harmonize it with our surrounding. We are more than just muscles! Our human energy systems can be regarded as the conduits of our mind and body to be cognizant with all the universal life forces. We receive our energy nutrients from the universal environment and transform them into our own energy outputs which run through us in the same way as the other forms of energy provided by streams, rivers, trees and other natural objects. The human machine that we are As a human machine, composed of mind and body, we need to develop both segments and keep them in proper balance. Input and output of energy must be regulated to provide for a harmonious flow that delivers the necessary amount of energy when and where required, just in time, and without excess. Beside of being cognizant of our muscles and joints, we are generally familiar with the locations and functions of our principal energy storage and distribution centers. Our five senses receive and distribute messages to various collectors and interpreters within us. The Shizen-Tai posture does remind us of the importance of the tandem or that location we roughly identify as our center of gravity which is situated at the base of our spine. It regulates our stability and security in movement and adjusts our initial energy outputs. It is the key physical location where we can capture and use its movements to stay in balance and gain immediate momentum. In the same vein, the Tai -Sabaki makes us realize the important functions of our solar plexus area which makes our upper body accomplish some twists and turns as desired and by which we can assume our individual personality as we perform turns, lateral and spherical displacements. We need not to forget that it also offer the protection of our key viscera functions. Let us not forget the importance of our heart as the blood circulation regulator which provides us with sufficient energy flow during normal periods or when engaged in sustained efforts, exercises or stages. Our mouth, throat and neck provide us with the necessary vehicle to receive the needed oxygen and chemicals to feed our lungs and blood vessels which in turn will ensure greater endurance capabilities. Meanwhile, our eyes and ears are used to capture, observe and define our environment as part of their biofeedback and they assess the suitability of our movements as well as identify some potential danger zones. We cannot over emphasize the need to keep them well tuned.


Finally, we have to appreciate the governorship exercised by our brain which is capable of assessing, mixing and interpreting the reality, our intuition and our dreams. We need not emphasize that the brain acts like a dynamo or generator within us and as such it needs some periods of rest to restore its intellectual capacities. It too can zap our energy when we lack the goals, when we are impatient or unsatisfied with our outputs. It is also our mind that gives us the intellectual powers to assess and define the relationships amongst our other parts involved with securing our wellbeing and fitness. When confused or overburden with details the brain will activate a slowdown process and transmit the necessary messages to ensure the proper management and coordination between all the affected centers. Judo is also to be regarded as an intellectual exercise As we mentioned, our brain is the source of our personal judgment and our creative force. By it, we develop the power of inference and reasoning. It is with our mental power that we can adequately distinguish between an immediate danger from a generally secured situation. As we can surmise, it is neither the increase of body mass alone nor the speed of displacement that will produce the more intelligent use of energy. Our general wellbeing and readiness require the total harmonization between the body and the mind, the proper practice of selected technical skills and the intelligent use of our energy. To that regards, Jigoro Kano expressed the need to address all our energy sources when performing judo in the following terms:” Since the establishment of the Kodokan, I have continued to explain to those who practice in that Kodokan judo is originally a teaching of the literary and military arts and one must begin with waza when embarking on the Do of judo. But many people although they make rapid progress with waza, require a great deal of training in order to reach the point at which they can appreciate the Do. Though many people have an interest in exercise and make enthusiastic study of its secrets, unfortunately, there are those who remain quite indifferent to mental training.”iii Analysis of the confrontation Let us now look at the culture surrounding the practice of Randori and Shiai. The former is normally reserve for the play in the Dojo while the latter is the more official combat game taking place against a foreign judoka. The two are distinguished by the spirit or attitude that one will take when in opposition. In Randori, the exclusive victory is neither a consideration nor a goal. Its principal objective is to test the progress of our mental and physical achievements. The Shiai concentrates more on obtaining superiority or victory against an opponent. Both venues are characterized by the desire to overcome weaknesses and gain a stronger position.


Forces of impact The battles taking place in both situations are fought simultaneously from the interior and externally. Viewed purely from a mechanical process where multiple forces are engaged against one another, we note that the struggle to hide the personal weaknesses and overpower them is predominant in both players. For expediency and self-protection, each player will attempt to gain a superior profile (mental and physical) as soon as the contact is apparent. With that degree of confidence, they will then attempt to take the initiative and steel the victory from the other player. The engagement of forces necessary to seek the IPPON from either camp is now at arms-length. Whatever actions ensued, there will be an anticipated reaction in accordance with the Newton’s third law as we described earlier. The surprise, the shock or the impact are elements of anticipation and appropriate response. It is normally expected that the faster judoka (on the offensive) will deploy such a force or produce an acceleration (push or pull) resulting in a great impact upon the receiver thus imposing a loss of equilibrium and a shifting of bodyweight which will be drawn upon to give the advantage to the initiator who will use it (the loss or gain in extra weight) to terminate the waza successfully. Challenging the Newton’s law As we have described in the composition of Energy, the mass and speed of displacement by the attacker will be paramount to produce the maximum impact upon the receiver. We can therefore anticipate the use of short bursts of energy to be applied to selected target zones in order to establish the dominance (the forces or power). The effect upon the receiver (the defense) depends critically on the time of reactions, the angle of impact and zone of contact (vulnerability). In normal circumstances, the collision will permit a transfer of force (action-reaction) and the receiving judoka will bore the impact and will most likely have his posture distorted, lose his balance and be overcome. For the judoka well trained in the use of JU or suppleness and who is capable of maximizing upon all his energy sources, that scenario will not happen. We put forward the acronym “RARE” to explain the mechanism of transformation what will likely occur in the future: Recognize the force of the other, Absorb it, Redirect it and Exploit it.



To simplify our retention of the RARE acronym, (Recognize, absorb, redirect and exploit), we make use of the International Energy Conservation symbol as shown above. Through the practice of suppleness we now associate the function of impact dispersal. This is the capacity to avoid the influence of the incoming forces by anticipating the thrust of the opponent with acute perception (Saki O Tore) and absorbing the antagonistic forces deployed. Once in control of the incoming units of power we can disperse them from their potential point of impact. Thereafter, making use of another principle called Jukuryo Danko or as otherwise expressed, we make a quick analysis of our potentials and we take decisive action. With swiftness we are capable of reusing the forces primarily intended against us to amplify them to our own advantage. It is my opinion, that we carry different subtle energy caches that can be exploited to support our decision to outmaneuver any opponent. I have previously discussed the exploitation of the biofeedback in the articles Judo-Ron 57-58 and how we can take advantage of the vortex energy to increase our speed and efficiency.iv You may wish to refer to them later. Experience has demonstrated many times that an opponent can be overcome by an apparent passive judoka who has transformed his stress into a positive element of motivation, mastered the art of JU and is willing to conserve his own energy for later use by the swift conversion of the potential impact expected from the incoming waza. By remaining flexible mentally and physically, displaying an open mind and maintaining a relaxed body, by moving where he is less expected to show up and by reducing or altering the Ma-Ai or distance between the adversaries, the judoka can accomplish more with finesse than what we can accomplish with brute strength. It is by maintaining a high state of readiness unbeknown to the opponent that the surprised use of accumulated power will stun the opponent. With the complementary gains obtained in increased flexibility and elasticity, the judoka will effectively be able to counter most incoming waza.



We have to understand where those caches reside, when to best use them and to resort in what quantity to affect the desired IPPON and still have some in reserve. With suppleness, the judoka can absorb the incoming force with proper tai-sabaki thus controlling the direction of the arriving force and still appear to crumple upon the stress. After making the necessary adaptation, he can then dissipate or redirect it towards a new direction. Having changed the impact area and the crushing space he can then reverse the impetus and use the combined forces to exploit his own waza.

Technique overcomes power

Practice is habit forming and leads to perfection. Dr Rupert Sheldrake, a British biochemist and physiologist wrotev : “Patterns formed from previous events are conductive to habit forming…as more and more people learn or do something, it becomes easier for others to learn and do it by imitation and group repetition.” . Identical to every other art, Judo skills need to be practice frequently and at the end of the road, the improved repetitions will lead to mastery. Conclusion The understanding of the JU principle and its application must be viewed as a continual effort to improve who we are and what we desire to be within our society. To all of us aspiring to become transformed judoka, let us not forget the need to set our goals as high as possible. Regardless of the obstacles, and there will be many, we must maintain the courage to pursue our dreams. Let us take the initiative now. “SOSSEN SURU” Ronald Désormeaux Judo Teacher, University of Toronto, Hart House Dojo, August 2013 References

Jigoro Kano, Mind over Muscle, Compiled by Naoki Murata, Kodansha Intl. Tokyo, 2005, page 39 Glen Elert, About Newton’s Law, The Physics Hypertext Book, 1998-2013, Internet iii Jigoro Kano, Mind Over Muscle, Compiled by Naoki Murata, Kodansha Intl, Tokyo, 2005. Page 65 iv Ronald Désormeaux, JUDO-RON série ZUIHITSU, numéros, 42, 51, 57, 58,65. WWW.Scribd.com 2004-13 v Rupert Sheldrake, A New Science of Life, 1995, WWW.Sheldrake.org Note: this article contains copyrights© and his registered with the National Archives of Canada, Electronic Bank.


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