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Thread: Kozuka breaks through on the Grand Prix

  1. #1
    Keepin' it real gsk8's Avatar
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    News Kozuka breaks through on the Grand Prix

    Takahiko Kozuka finally made a breakthrough in the Grand Prix series this season. The 2006 World Junior Champion, who is now competing in his third senior Grand Prix season, is much more consistent than he was in the past.
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    L'art pour l'art Medusa's Avatar
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    Favourite quote:
    "The music is commanding that it's time to do a triple Axel there," he explained.
    Now I just want to hug him. That's a justification I like.

    I wish him all the best and as much PCS as Chan gets.

    Thanks for the great article.

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    Dreaming and dancing Bennett's Avatar
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    Good luck Taka!

    I think that PChan is among the most musical dancers in the field and Taka has more work to do on his posture, arms, and upper body movements. But I am glad that he has improved a lot since the last season.

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    One thing I found interesting was the fact that he is finding that training his program in thirds is more beneficial then training the whole thing all together. Isn't that what the Russian skaters tend to do as well?

    Does it provide skaters more chance to hone and perfect each section in a way that they wouldn't if they trained the whole thing? But does it affect stamina and ability to run through the entire program during stressful conditions such as competitions? Interesting information- I like hearing about the details of training methods.

    What a thoughtful and well-spoken young man. I hope that he continues to skate up to his training and the goals that he's set for himself.

  5. #5
    Dreaming and dancing Bennett's Avatar
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    The rather romantic free program is something new for him. "I'm not such a dreamer. I prefer mathematics over poetry or literature. I'm a bit shy and my program components are weaker, and this program can help me to improve my components."
    I found this quote cute

    "I will continue to try the quad, because I need to do it in competition sooner or later anyway to earn more points," he explained. "In practice, I land one out of five, which is better than last year."
    I knew that he was taking a risk by trying a quad. But I did not realize that this was such a risky project, for the expected success rate at competitions would be even lower. It seems that he is looking at the next season than the immediate outcome. Hope his success rate gets better.

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    Kozuka's 12/3 interview (in Japanese)

    Not sure if anyone has already posted this link. This interview was done in Japanese. He was really cute there

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VHOyQutbOKo

    I will try to translate a bit. My Japanese is just so-so. Maybe someone can try to do the whole thing

    When asked about his thoughts on winning at SA, he said that he was so shocked to see his name shown above the names of such world-class skaters as Weir and Lysacek on the scoring board that his reaction was like: Woooooooooooooooow---he just couldn't believe it! (See 1:10 in the clip ).
    The reporter: so you won unexpectedly....
    Kozuka: yeah I was like Wow so unexpectedly....What should I do? (and he kept laughing )

    He attributed his success in jumpings this season to the extra weight training (?). Did he mean that he added 20 -30 kilograms of weight on his body while he practiced jumps? -- Very unsure about what he meant. Hope someone who knows could help out here.

    He said that it is not good that Daisuke Takahashi cannot participate in the LA worlds, since the result will directly affect how many seats that Japan can get at the winter Olympics. BUT "I will work very hard to fight for the seats for Japan. Takahashi please don't worry. Just concentrate on your full recovery."

    The funniest part IMO is about the GPF. When asked about his goal in the final standing at the GPF, he was like (see 2:58): my goal.... my goal....(keeps scratching his head)....I don't know... Anyway I will work hard (fuel myself up) so I won't be the last one.

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    Thanks SusieH for the translation. It's nice to understand what he's saying.

    I hope his goal is to do his best and win because I'm rooting for him.

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    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Thanks for the translation, SusieH.

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    Thanks for that video link! And your Japanese is way more than OK if you were able to translate that (and understand Taka's mumbling, LOL!).

    After the part about Skate America, the interviewer asked if he had a lot of pressure going into TEB and he said that before the short program he felt nervous like he never had before and was worried if he was going to be OK. But once his music started, he said the nerves went away and he was able to skate like he did in practice. It made him realize how important all of those practice run-throughs were for building his confidence.
    He said this season he started training (skating) with 20-30kg of weights on him and that the muscle he built up from that training made his jumps without the weights so much easier.
    At the very end (after he had a hard time thinking of goals), they showed the autograph and message he wrote. It was, "Don't get carried away!!" (can also be translated as "Don't let it go to your head"). He said that was the advice his coach gave him as he goes into the Grand Prix Final. The commentators said he certainly didn't seem to be doing that.

    I've spent some time with Taka and his father and can attest to the fact that this kid is as sweet and unassuming as he seems (and OMG, his edges are to die for!!)
    Last edited by vlaurend; 12-04-2008 at 10:17 PM.

  10. #10
    Dreaming and dancing Bennett's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vlaurend View Post
    Thanks for that video link! And your Japanese is way more than OK if you were able to translate that (and understand Taka's mumbling, LOL!).

    After the part about Skate America, the interviewer asked if he had a lot of pressure going into TEB and he said that before the short program he felt nervous like he never had before and was worried if he was going to be OK. But once his music started, he said the nerves went away and he was able to skate like he did in practice. It made him realize how important all of those practice run-throughs were for building his confidence.
    He said this season he started training (skating) with 20-30kg of weights on him and that the muscle he built up from that training made his jumps without the weights so much easier.
    At the very end (after he had a hard time thinking of goals), they showed the autograph and message he wrote. It was, "Don't get carried away!!" (can also be translated as "Don't let it go to your head"). He said that was the advice his coach gave him as he goes into the Grand Prix Final. The commentators said he certainly didn't seem to be doing that.

    I've spent some time with Taka and his father and can attest to the fact that this kid is as sweet and unassuming as he seems (and OMG, his edges are to die for!!)
    Thanks to both of you!

    Intuitively speaking, skating with 20-30kg of weight sounds really a lot. I wonder if he doesn't get injured. Of course, his team would know much better than I as a layperson do about the things like that though. Does he jump with it, too? I also wonder if it could be off ice training in the gym.
    Last edited by Bennett; 12-04-2008 at 10:24 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bennett View Post
    Thanks to both of you!

    Intuitively speaking, skating with 20-30kg of weight sounds really a lot. I wonder if he doesn't get injured. Of course, his team would know much better than I as a layperson do about the things like that though. Does he jump with it, too? I also wonder if it could be off ice training in the gym.
    You're welcome

    And I shared your concern and question. At first I thought he said he skated (the exact word he used is "training") with the weight of 20-30 kg so that he could built up muscles and his jumps, as a result, have become more stablized this season, and I found it rather unbelievable.That's why I said I was very unsure about what he meant and thought I might simply get it wrong. It just didn't sound like a healthy trainig method to me. But as a layperson too I don't think I know any better than his team.

    Or maybe he didn't jump with it but simply skated with it (as in, without jumping)? Or maybe he just did the weight training in the gym as Bennett said?----Hope someone who knows can make a clearer clarification

    And many thanks to vlaurend's translation and the way-too-generous compliment to my Japanese!
    Last edited by SusieH; 12-05-2008 at 02:14 AM.

  12. #12
    Dreaming and dancing Bennett's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SusieH View Post
    You're welcome

    And I shared your concern and question. At first I thought he said he skated (the exact word he used is "training") with the weight of 20-30 kg so that he could built up muscles and his jumps, as a result, have become more stablized this season, and I found it rather unbelievable.That's why I said I was very unsure about what he meant and thought I might simply get it wrong. It just didn't sound like a healthy trainig method to me. But as a layperson too I don't think I know any better than his team.

    Or maybe he didn't jump with it but simply skated with it (as in, without jumping)? Or maybe he just did the weight training in the gym as Bennett said?----Hope someone who knows can make a clearer clarification
    Not that I know of the training method and my apologies for that this is just my speculation. But if he used the word, "training" in Japanese, it sounds more like off ice training. If he wanted to refer to skating on the ice, I feel that he would say "practicing" or "skating."
    In any case, it is hard to imagine that he could get around on the ice with 20-30 kg of weight on him.
    Last edited by Bennett; 12-05-2008 at 06:39 AM.

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    Yeah, I'm really curious about the weight training, too. It does seem like it would be kind of dangerous to jump with 44-66 lbs of extra weight, but that's not enough weight to train with if he's just doing regular weight training (squats, etc). At his level, I don't think it would be out of the question for him to do double jumps with weights on, as long as the weight is distributed evenly in the form of some sort of vest or body suit. I know some skaters who have that much extra weight on them (from simply gaining weight) who can still do axels and some doubles and they aren't nearly at his level.
    Last edited by vlaurend; 12-05-2008 at 02:15 PM.

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