It can be obsession and personally to me .... Good Obsession ... Everything about ranchu is swimming. The value of a ranchu is ultimately valued on how well it swim. I know some might put me on the back burner, thinking my obsession with swimming overwhelm every other beauty/aspect of ranchu...its okay...I feel good having this strong view on swimming and believe that as much as I might be different or whoever else is different, we as fellow hobbyists should give each other space to learn...to express and to make mistakes...wouldn't you think so too?? Being compliant and never questioning and never pushing the boundary of knowledge will just keep us stagnated and forever bobbling in the middle of the ball park. So what exactly is swimming and what is a "good swim" when we look at ranchu. If we look back at my earlier blog about riding a bicycle without handle bar.....
it literally express in very simple understandable form how a ranchu without dorsal fin, in its movement is just like a human riding a bicycle without handle bar. To go forth, riding a bicycle without handle bar...the power of control and movement is all shifted to the waist and the legs. In ranchu swimming, the ranchu is man made without a dorsal fin, the power to swim forward is all thrown towards the back of the ranchu and shifted through the peduncle into the tail. So how does one view a ranchu swimming as good swim....what is swimming??? In the mid 2000's where there wasn't much guidance from ranchu seniors or Japanese Masters as ranchu was just taking off, we were all blessed with the advent of youtube. Suddenly hobbyists get to see downloaded videos of ranchu swimming. Below is one video of one of my early ranchu and I repeatedly come back and look at it and have shared it many a times with hobbyists on the basic movement of the ranchu tail when it swim...this video is very simplistic because the ranchu swim in a casual leisurely manner and carry its tail with nobility. Please note that this is not a perfectly correct ranchu and might be just borderline comp grade, but it display the swimming that is (imho)deemed ideally basic in good swimming...the swinging widely of the tail in a rhythimic manner and consummating power in the swing of the tail... gracefully and powerfully.
A ranchu that swim well will not use its head to swim...just like a tiring runner crossing the finishing line with both arms fraying...a badly constructed ranchu will repeatedly jerk it's head to generate power just like rappers doing their shoulder lean. A good ranchu swim with its tail and not its head.
Once one understand how to see good swimming, the viewing of ranchu in a bowl takes on new dimension and it will be just a matter of time for that understanding of good swim to generate interest in learning/understanding the structural anatomy of the ranchu and how it affect the swimming.