Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Tai-otoshi Masterclass

Generally speaking my daughter Florence is a good sleeper; however on Monday night I was awakened by a blood curdling scream. Now this wasn’t the normal “baby crying at night” noise, this was more akin to a “help there is a monster in my wardrobe” scream. Now midway through her blood curdling scream she started making these “mama” noises, which I knew would mean my wife would go and attend to the wardrobe monster, which she duly did. Unfortunately when, an hour later, she let out a similar scream I knew I would have to rise from my nice warm bed and the elbow in to the ribs from my wife confirmed that it was indeed my turn. Now why am I writing about my sleeping habits, well all the above meant that come Tuesday evening I was feeling pretty tired and lethargic and not really up for Judo. In addition to feeling tired my beloved Chelsea were playing Barcelona in the Champions League semi final, second leg. Now, even though they had a one goal lead no one really gave them a chance, including me. Fearing the worse I decided I would rather not watch them get annihilated so rather begrudgingly I trudged off to Judo.

On arrival I noticed there were not many people present, in fact only Big Stewart and Black belt Stewart were in attendance. Peter had to leave early due to work commitments which meant there were only 3 of us. At this point I wished I had stayed at home, with my feet up and watched some footie. Then, rather unexpectedly Oli turned up. The reason this was unexpected was because Oli has work commitments on a Tuesday evening but, as he soon explained, he will be free for the next couple of Tuesdays at least.

Once we were warmed up Big Stewart showed us a nice turnover in to Juji-gatame. With Uke in turtle and tori on his left side, tori grabs the nearside collar with his left hand and gets his left leg hook in. The Tori rolls over Uke, towards his right shoulder, and as Uke is turned over Tori hooks his left leg under Uke’s chin. Then, whilst keeping hold of Uke’s collar, Tori uses his other arm to secure the juji-gatame.
I liked this turnover, it was a lot quicker than the other Juji-gatame turnovers that I know and because you keep hold of Uke’s collar you are kept really close and therefore the armbar is really tight.

We did 3 rounds of Newaza after this, all taking turns against each other and the rounds were quite long as well which meant we were able to secure submissions or pins a couple of times in each round. I managed two Juji-gatame’s, both whilst attacking from the bottom. I also, after a couple of weeks of head scratching, secured a San-gaku-jime, although Oli did manage to escape the first one that I put on him.

In response to a question asked by Boris on whether I was pulling down on Uke’s head when doing the San-gaku, I asked Big Stewart if this was legal in Judo and he confirmed it was, providing that I didn’t put too much pressure on Uke’s neck as the ref might consider this to be a spine lock, which is illegal in Judo but not in BJJ competition.

Following the Newaza Big Stuart had us practice Tai-otoshi from a kneeling position. This was basically so we could practice the hand movement only and means you can practice the throw multiple times without having to continually take a fall.

We then proceeded to practice this throw against someone with a high stiff grip. So if they are gripping you with their right hand high on your left collar, you grip them with your left hand under their armpit and your right hand under their elbow on their left arm. Then you bump their right hand up and turn in for a left sided Tai-otoshi. It was very effective and there was really nothing you could do once the person doing the throw had turned in.

We then went on to practice a couple of Tai-otoshi combinations, first as a set up for O-uchi-gari and then we used Ko-soto-gari to set up the Tai-otoshi..

The class finished with about 10 minutes of Randori and I left buzzing with excitement and was really glad that I had decided to turn up despite my tiredness and my desire to watch the football. On the drive home I found out that, against all odds, my beloved Chelsea had, despite having a man sent off, managed to get a 2-2 draw against Barcelona and thus secure a place in the Champions League final.


  1. Wow...You're a Chelsea fan and you still did your Judo class. That's commitment!

  2. Of course, although the fact that I don't have Sky Sports and I thought Chelsea were going to get spanked helped