Breakdown (Part II): Throws


Standing is much harder to describe and list than the ground is. There aren’t positions. There are grips, but they can be rendered useless by footwork, hip placement, weight, etc. The one thing the ground and standing have in common is that throws can be chained like submissions. Your flow drill of arm-bar > omo plata > triangle > arm-bar > jigoku jime (Hell strangle) > omo plata > … applies standing. Continuous Attack. Just like on the ground, what you switch to is heavily dependent on your opponent’s reaction, but in general they will move into, away from, or around the throw to avoid/counter it and the reactions that successfully stuff a throw are all pretty common.

When you play standing you’ll find throws that suit your play-style. This is just like anything else in grappling. I lack the great sense of timing that most judoka have. For this reason my foot-sweeps end up as hooks, I add drive (like a wrestling throw), and my movement is far more predictable.

No-Gi: Koshi Guruma > O Soto Gari, O Soto Gari > Koshi Guruma

Gi: Ippon Seoi Nage > O Soto Gari, O Soto Gari > Ippon Seoi Nage

That’s my go-to combination. It works and it works well. My no-gi o soto gari relies on an over-under (to trap their head and pull on their neck). For this reason the only real way to stop it is to step out which opens you up for the head steal (koshi guruma) without me having to change grip, just throwing my hip in. The gi changes things – the same combination works, but of course with new grips come new defenses. There are more ways to follow up the gi version for the increase in number of defenses, but it’s hard to describe them since they fall in the grey area between throws (like ippon seoi and hane goshi).

In addition to combinations that work well, there’s also the go-to throws. My favorite throw is hane goshi. Due to some knee pain I get when I do harai goshi, hane is just a better fit for me. The concept is the same, and when I miss I end up with uchi mata or harai goshi so it’s not a big deal. The half-hip throws (hane, harai, uki goshi) are ones that I find everywhere. The only problem is, they don’t work on the wrestling stance without a lot of set-up. A lot of judo throws depend on the upright posture of a judoka. There are still things to do to wrestlers though, including things to “correct” their posture to make judo throws an option.

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