Blind Judo

I tried randori with one of the middle-aged black belts at my temporary dojo (I’m traveling) with my eyes closed. We agreed to “go light”, as judo players would say, and focus on technique. When I first tried closing my eyes in randori I couldn’t really understand how one could keep track of all the moving parts of a judo match without sight. After nailing an off-sided hiza garuma with my eyes closed, it clicked: you really can feel where your opponent’s feet are from their shoulders and arms when they’re in motion because the motion of their shoulders and arms is tightly coupled to the movement of their feet.

Now if I could just master o-garuma . . .

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