Posts Tagged ‘traditional judo’

Judo Throws for the Non-Judo Practitioner – Pt 2

Monday, June 25th, 2012

Last Friday, we split up our class: Mike and I were working with two white belts on their yellow belt throws, while Dave took Francisco aside to work on judo throws specifically for his tournament. In Part 1 of this series, I mentioned that Francisco will be entering the NAGA world championships in early April. He needed to work on judo throws to take his opponent down and be in his control when the judo throw was complete. This series covers judo throws for the non-judo practitioner – throws which can be learned relatively quickly and are specific to certain body positions which the opponents have when they begin.  Since I didn’t work with Francisco during this class, Dave will write about their working on tani otoshi valley drop, both a defensive version and an aggressive version. 

Dave Here:

We chose Tani Otoshi for a number of reasons.  It’s a great throw if set up correctly (I guess all of them are! :) ), can be used either as a counter or as an attack, and it ends with either tate shiho gatame (full mount) or kesa gatame (scarf hold).

The key to Tani Otoshi, particularly when used as a counter to a forward throw such as koshi guruma (or most any other forward throw), is a very strong and pre-emptive hip thrust coupled with a forward step with the left leg (assuming countering a right-handed throw), breaking uke’s balance to the rear quarter. 

Once you’ve done that, the left hand reaches up and grasps the back of the collar, the left leg stretches across and behind uke’s legs, blocking both of them, and you drop your weight to the ground, dragging uke with you and throwing him to the rear.  While in mid-fall, either turn, straddle, and come up to tate shiho gatame, or sit through into kesa gatame.

An attacking form of Tani Otoshi is similar except you’ll be initiating the movement.  Duck under uke’s right arm or attack at his right wrist to force his arm across his body, step strongly to his side while breaking his balance with a hip thrust and rearward pull of your right arm, grasp the back of his collar with your left hand and drop and throw to the rear.

Te Guruma could also be used in either of the above cases, but we felt that Tani Otoshi would be easier to pick up for a person new to throwing and be successful within a short time frame.

Back to Angi:

Other throws which are relatively straightforward and easily learned are Ko Uchi Gari – minor inner reaping, and Ko Soto Gari – minor outer reaping. In both cases, though, the opponent cannot be leaning forward dramatically as they tend to do at the beginning of the BJJ matches. These throws are better suited to situations in which the opponent is standing upright.

In the first case, you would be pushing him to his right back corner, hand high on the collar or lapel. If he is difficult to move backward, jolt him forward for a fraction of a second. As he straightens up to avoid a forward throw, pull him backward at the same time as you move between his legs with your right foot. Bring your left foot up behind your right to balance yourself. Take your right foot and reap his right ankle, while pulling him back. As he falls to the ground, follow him. You will be in an ideal position for a partial mount.

In the second case, ko soto gari, you will be positioning yourself to the outside of your opponent’s body, to his right side. Once again, jolt him forward slightly. As he compensates for this by straightening up, move to his outside, first with your left foot and then with your right to balance. Use your left foot to reap out his right ankle while, at the same time, pull his right sleeve back with your left hand and push with your right hand as you grip the lapel. He will fall to his right back corner. Follow him to the ground. Retain your grip on his right arm, and quickly move your right arm around his shoulders while you sit out into kesa gatame.

This completes our preliminary series on judo throws for the non-judo practitioner. I hope you found it useful. For detailed videos of judo throws, go to the Traditional Judo section of this website; videos of no-gi throws are in the Judo for MMA section of this site. 

Click here to go to Judo Throws for the Non-Judo Practitioner – Pt 1


March 18, 2009

Traditional Versus Non-Traditional Judo

Tuesday, January 6th, 2009

Over the last several weeks this topic has been ruminating in the back of my brain, partially because of a comment on judoforum after someone had accessed our brand new website.  This person who was a black belt in judo reacted in a somewhat negative way to our site: he stated that instead of showing judo going to MMA, it should be the other way around, i.e. MMA going to judo. This, of course, is not practical, or reasonable: mixed martial artists are by definition combining skills from multiple martial arts.  They would not go from many to one, unless that one (in this case, judo) were the martial art they started from.

Our club has always had an amalgam of other martial arts: Our previous sempai and sensei had interests ranging from wrestling to aikido. Chris Miller, whom you can see in a number of our videos, practiced kendo for several years. A few years ago, Chris’s wife, Hyekyong, was a member of our class. Her background is in hapkido. Dave practiced the jo for many years and is picking it up again.  We had a Korean fellow in our class for a few months who taught us the basics of taekwondo. We’ve all been to jiu jitsu clubs. Perhaps because of our exposure to these other disciplines, we are more apt to discard the judogi and apply our skills to mixed martial arts.

That does not mean that we have abandoned traditional judo. In fact, to advance in our club, no matter the judoka’s previous experience, he or she must follow the curriculum. If people are keen to learn judo and obtain the higher belts, then they must come to the requisite number of classes and be tested for each belt in succession.

If the class members are not interested in traditional judo on a particular day, we are fine with that as well. We teach and re-teach some traditional judo always, though. Breakfalls are crucial. Many people have come into our dojo saying they know breakfalls and that is definitely not the case. Throws and other techniques are taught the traditional way; however, non-traditional methods are also taught.

If a judo club teaches mostly sport judo, then the traditional judo is essential. The judoka who participate in tournaments must all have the same backgrounds in order to compete in the matches. Other than one person in our wee club, we do not compete. We get together to have fun, learn new techniques and practice old ones.

We rarely bow before the dojo or call Dave, “Sensei”, although we used to do both in our old club at Dalewood. I suspect this comes from two years in the Mouse Room. We have no set rules about judogi. If someone wants to come to class and has no gi or a white jiu jitsu top and black pants or any other variation, we’re OK with that. I’m sure that comment will grate on all those in judo-land who are fanatics about white gis (you know who you are). The point of our club is not to wear a certain garment, but to learn and participate. Eventually people serious about working on judo obtain judogi because they are hardy clothes and appropriate for judo techniques. We can show respect to Dave without bowing and calling him, “Sensei”. We can show respect to the dojo without bowing in and out. We do bow before randori or ne waza matches, though.

I’m not certain why North Americans and Europeans feel a need to be so Japanese and so traditional in their attitude in judo.  Judo really has not been around very long – 127 years – and yet we treat it and Jigoro Kano with a reverence that’s stifling. If judo is to continue, we must broaden our approach, let other ideas in, basically evolve the martial art. We can take the best of judo and use it in other areas, other disciplines. Traditional boxing is going the way of the dinosaur, being incorporated into mixed martial arts. I think that judo is far more complex than boxing and has far more to offer mixed martial artists; however, judo clubs must loosen the rules a bit. Even the English language adds new words continually; although some are stupid (e.g. “meh”), others embrace changing technologies and workplace situations (e.g. “upskill” – to learn new skills).

You know the old definition of tradition without change? It’s constipation. Change without tradition is not any better. It’s diarrhea. We are proposing to meld traditional judo into a non-traditional sport, that of mixed martial arts, using the best of both.


January 6, 2008