Wednesday, March 03, 2010

3 ways to rescue a failing hip throw

Photo courtesy of Simmr

It's happened to everyone who has practiced judo for any length of time - you get what you think is sufficient kuzushi, turn in for your favorite hip throw, and uke blocks it or slips it.  Sometimes you might want to start over with a new kuzushi, but sometimes you can rescue that dying hip throw.  Here are three of the best, most common ways to save a hip throw that's not quite there.

  • reset the fulcrum - If you enter for a hip throw and can't get it to go, reset the fulcrum (your hip) lower.  Change ogoshi to tsurikomigoshi.  Change ukigoshi to hanegoshi or haraigoshi.  The lower you get the pivot point, the more likely uke is to fall over it.  If you can't lower the fulcrum then you might try raising your grips (eg. ogoshi to sodetsurikomigoshi).  This can have the same effect.
  • guruma - Sometimes you can't set (or reset) the fulcrum because uke is holding back from you.  If you can't get your hip into position against uke, try a guruma action - particularly ashiguruma or koshiguruma.  This tactic seems to be favored by larger judoka when fixing a hip throw that is failing against a smaller opponent, perhaps because larger, slower judoka have more trouble getting turned all the way in before they are blocked or slipped.
  • sacrifice - Sometimes, despite getting as good a fulcrum placement as you can, you still can't make the thing go.  Maybe the thrower is too small or the uke is too big.  In this case, switch to a sacrifice version of the hip throw (like seoiotoshi or drop-knee seoinage or makikomi).  This tactic seems to be favored by smaller judoka when throwing larger opponents because it lets the smaller player use more of his mass and it's easier for the smaller guy to drop-knee between a larger guy's feet than vice versa.

So, next time you are working your hip throws in randori and you're blocked or slipped, you might try one of these ideas to breathe some new life into a dying hip throw - reset the fulcrum, guruma, or sacrifice.
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Patrick Parker is a Christian, husband, father, martial arts teacher, Program Director for a Cardiac Rehab, and a Ph.D. Contact: mokurendojo@gmail.com or phone 601.248.7282 木蓮
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