Video: Nick Lowry on Kuzushi, balance-breaking

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In this video, Nick Lowry Sensei of the Windsong Dojo presents an introduction to the concept of “kuzushi,” or balance-breaking which is essential to all martial arts. He describes various ways that are achieved to unbalance uke and what the physical characteristics of kuzushi are.

In this video, Nick Lowry Sensei of the Windsong Dojo presents an introduction to the concept of “kuzushi,” or balance-breaking which is essential to all martial arts. He describes various ways that are achieved to unbalance uke and what the physical characteristics of kuzushi are.

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  1. …an introduction to the concept of “kuzushi,” or balance-breaking which is essential to all martial arts…

    Well, not quite all. Presumably in striking arts you can just slug away until there is a last man standing.

    Of course it is essential to grappling and if you pay attention to matches it is achieved either very early in the engagement, or after protracted struggle, if any decisive loss of balance happens at all. Both parties going to their knees defensively doesn’t count in my books as broken balance.

    The same principle applies on the scale of armies and theaters of war. Consider the Western Front WWI contrasted with WWII. I’m told that the decisive moment of WWI came when there was a 1917 Allied breakthrough in the Balkans which the Austrian-German-Turkish forces couldn’t contain. For lack of a corps, the war was lost. Might have encouraged Churchill in WWII. Soft underbelly indeed. WWII featured Guderian’s Ardennes offensive in 1940 which speedily led to the collapse of France (Dunkirk, and all that). Then in 1944 Patton returned the favor.

    Hand to hand there is a certain degree of consent in a grappling engagement. Getting off the line removes your consent. Walking away from the fight does too, but leaves your erstwhile opponent with a clear target and freedom to pursue.


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