What is Kuzushi?
Unbalancing the opponent
Judo’s “softness subdues hardness” creed is demonstrated in the act of a small-statured contestant using a larger opponent’s own power to throw him. This is one of Judo’s attractions, and is no small feat. The execution of such a maneuver relies on “Kuzushi” (Balance breaking). Kuzushi consists of pulling or pushing an opponent to destabilize him / her. Once the opponent is destabilized, the Waza can then be applied with only a small force.
There are 8 types (directions) of balance breaking called Happo-Kuzushi: (1) toward the front, (2) toward the right front corner, (3) toward the right, (4) toward the right rear corner, (5) Toward the back, (6) Toward the left rear corner, (7) Toward the left, (8) Toward the left front corner.