Monday, January 17, 2011

The differences between ukigoshi and ogoshi

This is one of the perpetual questions for beginners and often as not, even more advanced players have a hard time sorting out the difference between ukigoshi and ogoshi.
  • The name ukigoshi means floating hip, whereas, the name ogoshi means large hip or major hip.
  • Ukigoshi feels like your feet get lighter until they slip sideways and you fall.  In ogoshi you are spun around a fulcrum off your feet and onto your back
  • Ogoshi is a crack-of-the-butt throw - tori's buttcrack goes on uke's thigh or knee.  Ukigoshi is not a buttcrack throw
  • Ukigoshi often starts with  the side of tori's hip in contact with uke's groin.  Ogoshi begins with the back of tori's waist against uke's groin.
  • Typically ukigoshi is easier with a low grip around uke's waist and ogoshi is easier with a high grip near uke's shoulder.
  • In ogoshi, uke slides over tori's low back or kidneys as he turns over onto his back.  In ukigoshi there is no slide - uke turns horizontal on tori's hip then drops.
  • Ukigoshi tends to drop uke with his feet behind tori.  Ogoshi lands uke with his feet in front of tori.
  • Often ogoshi is a larger amplitude throw, but ukigoshi is a more severe fall because there is less time to get your fall right.
Following are a couple of pretty good video explanations of these ideas.

[photo courtesy of Basegrinder]

Patrick Parker


  1. (ahem) Just wanted to humbly point out, sensei, that you posted a picture of Tsurigoshi... I like your post, and I am going to point my students to it; one thing I disagree with, however, is the comment about hand placement. I find ogoshi easier with the same floating rib grip that I use for uki goshi. I have taught the near-armpit grip for (what I called) a koshiguruma variant, but maybe that was an ogoshi after all...

  2. To me ogoshi and ukigoshi are "baseline" throws. They both fall under the general title of hip throws but lead in a different direction. Ogoshi actions in general are "straight-over" techniques. ukigoshi actions, including harai and hane, are "redirect" hip actions. There's either something involved in the leg actions or more likely how uke moves around, instead of straight into tori, than with ogshi actions. Same idea, but they lead to different paths.


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