Monday, January 28, 2008

A helpful handful: 5 ways to improve your ushiroate

Here are a handful of (hopefully helpful) hints for ushiroate. Five things I've noticed. Maybe you have too or maybe you can get something from them.

  • On the entry, I often get the feeling of crawling up uke’s arm to his shoulder. Right hand controls uke’s right wrist, left hand controls uke’s elbow, right hand switches to uke’s right shoulder, left hand switches to uke’s left shoulder.
  • If you put your right hand on the front of uke’s right shoulder as you pass him, your momentum and the connection will slingshot you around him into position for ushiroate. The feeling is similar to that of skating around a post holding on with one hand.
  • We talk about grabbing uke’s shoulders to throw him down but shoulders are too easy to slip off of. A better contact happens when you put the entire palm of the hand one uke’s upper chest near his neck.
  • If ushiroate does not throw uke down, let your momentum slingshot you around him and center on him with a push to the front of the shoulder to separate you and perhaps throw him backwards.
  • Try this technique as in the Sankata tantodori. As you pass on his right side, hook his far (left) shoulder and push off of it. This adds to your separation momentum and it may spin him into a backfall.


  1. And, if uke is too tall for you to be working in your playground at uke's shoulders, use uke's hip bones as the point of redirection.

  2. Good point, Scott! And another cool variant of ushiroate (cool but dangerous - play on a crashpad or not at all) is to slingshot around uke and take both knees from behind - sorta like a backwards morotegari (double leg pick)


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