Friday, October 10, 2008

Hizaguruma and ukigoshi

Lately I've been getting more randori time in, and I' ve had some pretty good randori sessions. First off, I've been doing more hizaguruma and you know what, it's really easy! For years I beat my head on this technique. I even had an instructor tell me that the reason that it is close to the beginning of the gokyo (Kodokan syllabus) is that it is so darn hard that they put it first so you have plenty of time to learn it before black belt. Phooey! That's just plan stupid. That instructor just sucked at hizaguruma and was coming up with a rationalization. Once I finally had someone show me the right way to work it and the right time/situation in which to do it, it was really easy! I've even got white belt students that can reliably do it on most opponents in moderately resistive randori.
Another thing that I've been working on lately is ukigoshi. Well, I tell my white blets that I'm doing ukigoshi because that's what they are supposed to be working on, but more often I get into hanegoshi, which is just a minimal variation on ukigoshi. You can ask anyone who knows me - I'm certainly not a hip throw guy. But lately, the way we've been working on this stuff more, I've not only been getting more and better ashiwaza, but the ashiwaza timings have actually been creating hip throws for me. Yesterday I was getting some fairly magical hanegoshi by letting uke footsweep me into it! Coolness!


  1. I can't get hiza to work either. The foot placement is too high so it's easy for people to block. i rarely get thrown with it. The sasae blocks the leg at the ankle -- much easier because it's lower and harder for uke to counter.

  2. You might think about the relationship between hiza and sasae like this - hiza happens early during uke's forward step, while sasae happens very late.

    Because of the way the knee and ankle hinge, if you are tripping uke late in his step then you have to trip his ankle, like in sasae, but if you are tripping him early during his step, you need to trip him at his knee.

    a cool consequence of this is, a chance for sasae always follows a chance for hiza. If you are able to get sasae sometimes, look just a little earlier for hiza.

    here are a few more hints on hiza in my new post:


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