Traditionally the second technique taught in Kodokan Judo (per the Gokyo), hizaguruma is a vital part of the core of judo technique. Following are five hints that have helped me hit hiza more often.
- Hiza-Osoto combos: Hiza and osotogari are dynamic opposites, so you can do them as a combo in either direction. In other words, make an attempt at osoto and if it is resisted, it makes hiza easier to get. Or you might try hiza and switch to osotogari. You can't resist both actions at the same time.
- Stand on the line: As uke steps one of his feet onto the ground, draw a line extending through both feet and stand on that line or slightly in front - certainly not behind them. You can't stand behind uke and pull him to make him fall forward. Make sure your foot that is on the line is pointing at both of his feet.
- Aiki brushoff in judo: Think of it as a brushoff, trying to push or brush uke past you with both hands.
- Early and rear: Hiza works much, much better if you throw it early on the back leg instead of late on the front leg. In fact, when it does actually work on the front leg it's almost an accident. If you are going to throw this type of foot-stop late on the front leg, then use sasae tsurikomi ashi. In fact, because of the early-late nature of hiza and sasae, an opportunity for sasae almost always follows an opportunity for hiza. You can try this thing as a hiza-sasae combo.
- Dump uke in the hole: Make your pull 90 degrees between uke's feet and try to give uke a little logroll action (guruma) so that he turns on his long, vertical axis.
Patrick Parker is a Christian, husband, father, martial arts teacher, Program Director for a Cardiac Rehab, and a Ph.D. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 601.248.7282
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