Long-Time Judoka Learns New Trick!!

What's This Throw?

Approaching more quickly than is comfortable will be my 40th year in Judo… I’m already beyond the 35 year mark…

So it comes as a surprise to run across a Judo throw that I’ve never seen before.  This technique isn’t even close enough to another technique for me to be able to put a name to it!  Last week, I put a couple of our black belts on the mat, and had the entire class ‘run the line’, doing randori with both black belts.  Ludovic, a shodan from France, and Helmudt, a shodan from Germany.

Near the end of the line, when Helmudt was tossing around the adults, he smoothly shifted into a throw that brought a gasp of appreciation from the rest of the class - including me!  It’s a throw that I’ll do my best to describe.

With Uke in Jigotai (bent over and defensive) - take his right sleeve grip with your left hand.  Now, move your right hand up, over, and to your left of uke’s right arm. (So your right arm has crossed over your left arm as well)  So now you have your left hand sleeve grip sort of under your right armpit.  Now, reach down and from uke’s front grab uke’s  right leg. (your right hand is going between uke’s legs from the front to grab behind)  Best location: back of the leg below the knee.  Now, read through this one more time if you don’t understand this rather unique position.

Now, your setup is complete, here’s what you do next.  Dive your head around to your left and place it between uke’s feet from behind him.  This is a sutemi technique, so you’ll now be laying on your back.

Now … there’s no way that you can visualize this… I have trouble myself, and I’ve both seen and performed this technique!  So I had Helmudt do this a few times, while I took some photos.  It’s a really rough gif movie, but you can see the technique more easily than I can describe it.

I quizzed Helmudt on this technique, and he’s unaware of any name for it.  He says that he learned it when he was about 14 in Germany (he’s in his twenties now), and states that sometimes Uke will manage to ’sit’ on you if you don’t get enough momentum going into the technique.  He also stated (and I can believe this!) that he’s never managed an Ippon out of this, but has frequently received wazaari in competition.

So I’m putting this technique out there for everyone to try out.  Perhaps this is so commonplace in Europe that no-one remarks on it, but I’ve never seen this technique performed by anyone in the U.S. - so I was quite surprised to see it.  After all, my last Judo promotion was about the time Helmudt was being born, so I can be forgiven my surprise, right?

Can anyone put a name to this?