Tag Archives: Newaza

Judo: Left-handed ground techniques, leg encircling guard pass and more

Training again last night. I’m still not into a proper routine as I’m not back at work yet, so I still don’t feel fit to any degree. The whole deal will kick off next Wednesday (I’m writing this to give myself precious little weasel room when that time comes).

Again, not enough movement… but at least I was trying things, even if they weren’t working out.

In Newaza, it is interesting that if I put on a left-handed hold my instincts aren’t in place, as they are for a right-handed hold. For example, assume Kesa Gatame is in place, and Uke decides to bridge. Right-handed, I have no problem posting on an arm to prevent this and slipping into a new position to compensate. Left-handed, it was if it was the first time I’ve done the hold, as I just held on for dear life until I ended up on my back…

So taking some time to drill holds left-handed would be beneficial.

I did employ the guard-pass I was shown recently, which works when Uke has not pulled you into their guard securely. It’s pretty simple: Encircle their legs with your arms (now you can see why this doesn’t work if their guard _is_ secure), bear down, then just move round at your leisure. It’s something I used to (still will?) get caught by all the time.

In Tachiwaza, there was some more crash-mat work (primarily a deep-entry Ippon Seoinage, although I worked on my left Uchi Mata as well).

Randori showed that I MUST ensure deep entry with my version of that throw. Having long legs is great for attacking from a distance, but if that distance isn’t closed quickly, I am exceptionally prone to leg-grab counters!

Pre-Christmas Judo

Well, that was the final session before Christmas. Although I am happy that this club doesn’t like having large breaks — back on the mat next week! Hmm, if I can remember which day…

Main thing I took away from Newaza was more on strangles (Finishing when hooked in from behind by exerting leverage… another way is to push own left arm deep behind the head so that Tori’s shoulder effectively works as a block).

Tachiwaza concentrated on defenses against a high collar/back grip. I liked these. A good one being to clamp down on the arm (to force to to bend, thus becoming weak), then stepping round and pulling to upset balance then throwing as appropriate. But NOT letting go into order to use BOTH hands to bend it… that would be bad.

It is important to actually PULL when stepping round. If you don’t, you just move around Uke but Uke remains nicely on-balance.

Makikomi was touched on. A throw I think would be quite good for me but needs a lot of work. It’s a hard landing. After a demo I lost the ability to see the colour blue correctly for a few moments… oops!

Pre-Christmas but a full mat!

It was the usual Tuesday session, and surprisingly (considering the run-up to Christmas) it was the busiest I have seen it for ages! Mainly because our sister club was down, so other seniors to play with.

It was a Randori-centric session, and I got a good work-out (mainly because I felt unfit and just “out of it”… I really need to push myself harder when this happens).

Some notes based on this:


Got some good pins on, but generally I was sluggish and not moving fast enough. A typical example was letting someone pin my arm when I was trying to take back control. Firstly, I shouldn’t have let this happen, and secondly, should have fixed the situation with movement rather than just working on force.

Got some nice sweeps to work. Again though, also got stuck underneath in a terrible stalemate (someone trying to strangle, I blocked, that’s it!). Should have used more movement to try and turn that around. Far too much strength involved, so hellooooo bicep burn!

So, the summary there (and you will see this as a regular theme in this blog), is that more movement is required.


A little disappointed in myself. The throws I got to work were my sacrifice staples (Tani Otoshi, bastardised Yoko Otoshi, Obi Tori Gaeshi). Far too much reliance there, rather than the techniques I am trying to work on now, such as Uchi Mata, Ouchi Gari and Osoto Gari.

Why? See Newaza – just too slow, not setting up throws, not fighting for grips spiritly enough. Sluggish. I partly do this to stop getting tired but this also means I won’t get any fitter. I REALLY need to step it up a gear properly.

However, an enjoyable session, and I’ve got things to think about.

Strangle efficiency and more…

An informal session tonight, mainly due to the leisure centre playing host closing early in order for its staff to go party!

Newaza was the focus. The notes that I have taken away with me are as follows:

One of my favourite techniques when I’ve got my hooks in, and have managed to reach in for a strangle, is to roll. From here, and controlling the opponent’s position with my legs, execute the strangle (I like this position as even if a strangle fails, it is a strong position to transition into a hold from).

However, most times I have been unable to finish the strangle. As of tonight, I have managed to improve this significantly.

I was going for Kata Hajime but, stupidly, only using my right arm. While this certainly gets some leverage into the strangle, it just isn’t enough most of the time, and it can be blocked. As soon as I remembered to use my left arm to control Uke’s left arm (as in the link) everything magically worked. Key point: Use both arms to implement the strangle!

Also touched upon was Koshi Jime. This is the position I am normally in prior to establishing back control then rolling for the previous technique. However, if the planets align correctly, it is possible to execute a strangle from here. My flaw was when dropping my weight was to drop it down to the mat, instead of onto the opponent! So some pointers were received to make that work much better. Key point: Ensure weight is on opponent at all times.

In terms of passing the guard, a beautiful technique was shown to me. I’ll have to look for opportunities for it. I know these exist, as I have been suckered with this MANY a time (I strongly need to work on control in this area). Anyway, simple: Reach outside of Uke’s legs to close them, then you push your own weight on them and pass at leisure. Obviously not going to work once they have closed their guard in some form – it’s one to go for when your opponent is trying to draw you in.

Minor point on making Kami Shiho Gatame more effective: Ensure weight is bearing down on Uke’s chest/head area to immobilise. I tend to drop my hips and concentrate the weight there which is just not as good.

Some great learning in there!