Tai-otoshi (body drop) is a throw that is on the yellow belt syllabus. Does this mean it’s a throw that is only used by low kyu grades? Well from my own experience it’s a throw that I learnt for my yellow belt but rarely got any success out of when doing randori. I think the reason for this is that there is a lot more to this throw than meets the eye. This is possibly the reason why the BJA put this throw in so early in their syllabus as it takes years to learn properly so you might as well start learning it from the beginning of your Judo journey.
If there’s one person who is synonymous with Tai-otoshi then its Neil Adams. Tai-otoshi was his favourite throw and he used it throughout his career to great effect so I had to include an instructional video of the master himself. Last night at DJC we had Graeme playing the part of Neil Adams.
Graeme showed us many different entries and versions of Tai-otoshi but I ended up favouring the Brian Jacks version which involves tori stepping across with his left foot and planting it wide to ukes left leg before spinning and planting your right foot across ukes right foot. I’d love to be able to post a video to aid my description but unfortunately I cannot find a single example of Brian Jacks doing Tai-otoshi anywhere. The reason I favoured his version was that I was able to generate more power and more whip to the throw, if that makes sense.
Following last week’s lesson where we got lots of practice with our throws, last night’s lesson was very similar. Before we progressed on to randori we got the crash mats out and practiced throwing everyone else in the club. We each got two goes at this.
We finished up with 3 rounds of newaza and then tachiwaza randori. The highlights for me were a successful reversal from the turtle in to a Yoko-shiho-gatame, a couple of Juji-gatame’s and a san-gaku-jime. Standing up I had a really nice tussle with David, where we both managed successful throws without the need for stiff arming or using too much strength. With David being a lot lighter, younger and quicker than I am, doing randori against him forces me to improve my footwork to keep up with him. It’s challenging but something I enjoy and probably need