September 10, 2018
Brotherhood, and Sisterhood in the Martial Arts
September 24, 2018

Commutative Locking

Commutative locking is a principle of jujutsu that is integral to the art. A simple demonstration involves taking a finger of you partner and turning it until the wrist is locked. Turn it some more and the shoulder is locked. Turn again and the spine is controlled and soon you can feel the training partner all the way down to the feet. With this type of lock-up, if you move, your partner must also. If you release your knees and drop a bit, the partner will be taken to the ground. This is what makes all hand throws possible.
The skill is to use less and less twisting to make this possible by internalizing your technique. This requires much practice to get the feel more quickly and subtly until the technique disappears to the eye of the onlooker and happens with such alacrity that the opponent doesn’t feel anything until suddenly the ground seems to fall out beneath him.
This is where the difference in level becomes apparent. A new student will slowly learn moves A, B, C etc. After many trials they will learn to do it smoothly. After years of trials they will learn to do it without thinking. Down many more paths of training they will learn to internalize it and it begins to look like magic. The real magic of the martial arts; practicing to the point of subconscious action. Eventually one needs less and less contact to feel the gathering of the opponent until it requires no more than a touch.
This type of subtlety is available for any practitioner as long as they avoid the shortcuts of using strength, speed or leverage. This allows the jujutsuka to tap into the power of gravity rather that there own muscles. This is where the strength and size of the opponent cannot be brought to bear on you.
If you would like to look into this, come on out to the River of Life dojo. We’d love to train with you.

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