Do You Love A Turtle?

I usually go into spasms of delight when I see my opponent ‘turtle up’ on the ground.  While this can be a score saving ‘trick’ in shiai, it usually means only a quick defeat in the dojo.

My favorite turnovers usually involve getting one of uke’s arms… and there’s a number of ways to do so… once you have an arm, unless you’ve run into a Judoka with an extremely bizarre shoulder joint, you have all you need to turn him over… and, as I’ve previously discussed, I like to quickly switch between techniques to pry out an arm… for example, I’ll simply push him, and unless he posts an arm or elbow, he’ll roll over… when he posts that elbow or arm, I’ve got all I need.  Or I start for a choke that will usually bring the elbows out… once again, it’s all I need.

Another yudansha at our club favors a Sankaku entry that he’s developed to a fine art.  Leading into Sankakujime, Jujijime, or even Sankakugatame, he has a wide variety of attacks from his basic start.

Every student must become proficient at ‘attacking the turtle‘, because the position comes up often, even when uke isn’t making any special effort to turtle up.  As well, each student of Judo should learn to fight immediately back out of the turtle - its a very difficult place for offensive work - and you can’t beat an opponent with defense.

The Judo that I like on the ground involves the guard, it’s a truly even position with possibilities for both Judoka - but everyone must master the art of the quick defeat… when someone hands you a victory - which is what they do when they turtle up, you must learn to actually turn it into a victory.  In the game of chess, they often run into the same problem, winning the game when they have a winning endgame… all it takes is the knowledge to do so.  And trust me; it’s a far easier victory than trying to throw uke while standing up.