Newaza Combinations - The Triangle Of Techniques

Combinations are popular and well-known in Tachiwaza, if not used as much as they should be… but many Judoka forget that combinations are just as powerful on the mat.

I often refer to the ‘Triangle of Techniques’ to illustrate the simple concept that there is always something you can do to uke on the ground. You have Katamewaza, Shimewaza, and Kansetsuwaza (Pins, Chokes, & Armbars) to work with on the ground. The key is to use each to set up the next.

For example, if someone is turtled, and resists the turnover, he cannot simultaneously stop a choke. He must be posting hands, elbows, and head to prevent a turnover, and this prevents him from guarding the throat. Visa Versa - when uke is strongly defending against a choke, it’s relatively easy to roll them out of the turtle - they have nothing to post with!

One of the strongest defenses to Okurierijime, for example, is to grab your own lapels, and deny control of them from your opponent - but in doing so, you restrict your ability to use your hands and arms in other locations - such as posting out to prevent being turned.

So the next time you are stopped - even for mere seconds - when trying a technique on the ground; shift into the next leg of the ‘triangle’… it’s simply not possible to defend against all three possible attacks at the same time. For exactly as stepping around a Seoinage sets uke up for an Ouchigari (a typical combination), posting an arm to prevent the turnover sets uke up for either an armbar or a choke.

This same concept applies just as strongly when someone is in your guard - if they resist the sweep by posting, they set themselves up for the choke or armbar… if they attempt to resist the choke, they set themselves up for the sweep…