Blue Belt Rooting Nage

-As you have previously studied, rooting Nage involves ensuring a person is firmly rooted on at least one leg and then orienting a person such that his or her rooted leg can no longer support their structure.

In this belt, we study several additional rooting throws. Some of these throws may seem familiar. Others will be quite new. As with all throws, you must utilize care to ensure that neither yourself nor Uke is injured as a result of the throwing process or the way an individual falls to the floor.

Shin to Hip Lock Throw

This is a particularly dangerous throw and can lead to substantial knee or hip injury for Uke. This throw must be done with great caution when practicing with another person.

To initiate this throw you must be able to straighten the front leg of Uke. This is often accomplished by closing and then placing your front leg just inside the front leg of Uke. Usually, you then twist your foot so your instep rests against the back of Uke’s heel. Now press your shin directly into the shin of Uke to force his or her knee directly backward. Three things will begin to happen. First, Uke’s heel will be pressed into the floor. Second, Uke’s knee will straighten and lock. Third, the thigh bone (femur) will press directly into the hip joint causing the hip to be projected down and backward. As pressure continues Uke will be forced to fall backward.

As you may suspect, doing this throw can be very injurious to the knee, hip, and ankle. For this reason, this is not a throw we allow in any competition, demonstration, or sporting activity. It is a self-defense-only throw. When practicing this throw it must be done slowly so that Uke can tap out at any time.

It may occur to you that Uke could easily throw you as well since your two legs are essentially in the same relative positions. This is true. The only thing that gives you an advantage is the element of surprise and any pre-positioning you can accomplish during your entry. As a result, it is common to force Uke’s shoulders back slightly on entry to prevent him or her from applying force against your leg. Avoid using too much force or you may cause Uke to raise his or her front foot, which then makes this throw impossible to accomplish. If not done quickly then Uke could employ a throw like Osoto Gari or Yoko Otoshi. Therefore it is important to monitor for any structural changes that might indicate Uke is attempting one of these throws.

We should also note that the throw is unlikely to work if Uke does not have significant weight on his or her front leg. If Uke has nearly all of his or her weight on the back leg, then Uke can readily lift the front leg and negate the throw (of course, he or she is then vulnerable to other types of throws). This situation can be avoided if you first manipulate Uke so he or she is forced to put additional weight on the front leg.

Kote Gaeshi

This throw is also often called an outside wrist throw, a wrist redirection throw, or an outward twist throw. The throw can be initiated from a wide range of possible entries and attack defenses.

The basic mechanism for the throw remains the same no matter how the throw is initiated. You grab Uke’s’ wrist with both hands and pull his or her arm forward so you can position yourself to Uke’s ear side. This action is designed to force Uke to lean forward and place his or her weight predominantly on the front leg.

Now you release the pulling pressure on Uke’s arm and bend Uke’s elbow while forcing Uke’s wrist back toward his or her bicep. Once the elbow has been bent 90° or more pull Uke’s forearm into your center while maintaining the bend in his or her elbow. Now step back with the back leg as you twist Uke’s wrist in the direction of your torso rotation (you will be turning to the outside of Uke’s arm). Apply a rapid downward motion as well to facilitate the throw. Uke will land on their opposite side in front of you. You may wish to maintain your hold on Uke’s arm to facilitate future actions.

After you have pulled Uke’s forearm into your center, the stepping and rotation of your body are designed to facilitate the movement of Uke’s hand from a vertical orientation to a horizontal orientation. This causes Uke to be thrown very rapidly and with substantial force. The force is amplified if the step, turn, and hand repositioning are all done as one continuous rapid movement.

It can help, but is not essential, to lock Uke’s wrist during the throw. This is done by positioning your hands so that your two palms cover the back of Uke’s wrist while your fingers are placed into the palm of Uke’s hand. Your two thumbs then press into the back of Uke’s hand. Uke’s wrist is then forced to bend, providing you with a good deal of additional control and leverage. Uke can be readily thrown without this wrist locking position, but the wrist lock provides added intensity to the throw and offers you an immediate controlling position after Uke has been thrown.

Try various ways in which this throw can be initiated. Consider how to initiate the throw in the following situations (and look for other opportunities as well).

  • Uke has grabbed you on the shoulder
  • Uke is delivering an Oi Tsuki
  • Uke has grabbed your wrist in a mirror side grab.
  • Uke has grabbed your wrist in a cross grab.
  • Uke is attempting to grab you around the waist from behind.
  • You step to Uke’s ear side and shadow their extended arm.
  • Uke attempts to stab you with a knife
  • Uke attempts a backhand strike with a stick
  • Uke attempts an overhand strike with a stick

As you will quickly see this throw can often be applied anytime Uke extends an arm that you can grasp. This, combined with the inherent control offered at the end of the throw makes this a very versatile Nage.

Parallel Universe Throw

This throw can be used when someone has grabbed you on the shoulder or upper chest area from the front. The throw involves an initial trapping action followed by the throw itself. We will discuss a right-handed grab from Uke that is applied on your left shoulder to make our explanation simple. You should practice this throw on both sides.

To begin we must take control of Uke’s grabbing arm. We do this by taking our left hand and trapping Uke’s wrist in its current location. Once this is accomplished we will rotate our center slightly to the left (CCW) and use our right hand to grasp Uke’s right elbow, pulling the elbow inward and toward our center until it is inside the position of Uke’s right wrist. This force’s Uke’s right shoulder inward and down. It also twists Uke’s other shoulder away, reducing the possibility of a strike from the left side of Uke’s body.

We now rotate our center so our left shoulder moves inward (CW) slightly. This is an essential step that should not be overlooked. This traps Uke’s forearm between your outside shoulder, hand, and chest wall. We maintain our right-hand position at Uke’s elbow and pull Uke’s arm inward tightly. At this point, you can release your left hand since Uke’s right arm is well trapped.

Now move your left hand, thumb facing downward, to the left side of Uke’s head. Pull the head inward and twist the head as you rapidly rotate your center CCW, turning at least 90°. Maintain your hold on Uke’s arm. Uke will fall directly in front of you. You should now be able to initiate any escapes, controlling maneuvers, or strikes as required by the situation.

This throw is characterized by the fluid rotations of your center. When viewed from above your body (and assuming your left shoulder is being grabbed) you will rotate CCW, then CW, and finally CCW again. This is all done in a fluid and continuous manner. This is a rather straight forward example of the Body Follows Head concept (see the link at the bottom of this page).

Mae Geri Nage

You may decide to use this throw when Uke attempts to kick you with a Mae Geri. You step forward so you are inside the range of the kick and then extend your front arm under the back of Uke’s extended kicking leg, trapping the leg in the air.

Immediately raise the leg slightly to pitch Uke’s upper torso back, reducing the chances for a subsequent hand strike. Without delay, place your back arm under Uke’s kicking leg. Once this is in place, move your front hand over the top of Uke’s leg and hook it under Uke’s knee. Pull Uke’s knee in your direction as you use your other arm to rotate Uke’s lower leg to facilitate a bend in Uke’s knee.

If you have moved to the ear side then Uke’s balance will be moved so far away from their pedestal leg that he or she will be forced to fall. Uke will normally fall on his or her face or side in front of you.

If you have moved to the face side then forcefully bending the knee inward and down will cause Uke to rotate on his or her pedestal leg. They will either fall during this rotation or will be forced to turn their back to you. You can reposition yourself in any number of ways to make Uke lose his or her balance and fall. You will also notice that Uke’s groin and pedestal leg are each susceptible to attack from this position.

This is just one way in which you might throw Uke following a Mae Geri. Anytime you can trap Uke’s leg from below you can simply move backward, to the side, forward, or any combination of these movements to find a way to make Uke fall. Be careful when trying these various movements in practice however as it is fairly simple to move too fast in the wrong direction resulting in torn muscles and other soft tissues in Uke’s legs, groin, or abdomen. In a self-defense situation, you may wish to use these actions to inflict precisely these types of injury, but during practice, you will not make friends by tearing soft tissue.

Another potential throw using a trapped kicking leg is to position your back arm just above Uke’s ankle. Lift this arm rapidly as you press down and away firmly on Uke’s upper thigh with your other hand. You must remain vigilant about a strike from either of Uke’s arms. Pulling the ankle up sharply helps reduce this risk somewhat, but you may also find it advantageous to lower your head to make it a less attractive target.

Juji Nage

This throw can be a bit difficult to initiate and you will need to experiment with various front and rear grab scenarios to see how to apply this throw seamlessly from these initial positions. We will discuss the actual mechanism for the throw, but you will need to find ways in which this throw can be established from different initial conditions.

The throw involves using Uke’s two arms as leverage against one another. You will hold both of Uke’s wrists. Pull Uke’s arms forward so that one arm crosses over the other. Now pull the lower arm until it is straight with your hand near your same-side hip. Bend Uke’s other arm at the elbow so that this arm presses into Uke’s straightened arm. Now rotate your center toward the wrist of Uke’s straightened arm as you press the bent arm forward and pull the straight arm down and inward. Uke will fall forward landing on his or her back in front of you.

The throw is fairly easy to accomplish, but putting Uke in a position to accomplish the throw can be difficult. You will find that you often need to cross your arms or Uke’s’ arms as a prelude to the throw. You may also find it necessary to force Uke to release his or her grip so you can establish the proper arm positions. Practice this throw from a rear hand grab, a front mirror grab, a front cross grab, and a two-handed arm grab (Uke grabs your arm with two hands). Each requires a completely different method for initiating the throw.

You will often find it necessary to allow your hand to rotate while positioning yourself for the throw. This might happen when you are raising Uke’s arm after bending his or her elbow. Your hand may need to turn over if you had initially held Uke’s arm with your palm facing up. Turning the hand is necessary before you can press Uke’s arm forward. When this is necessary keep your palm in contact with Uke’s’ arm until you can again grab his or her arm. Do not allow a void to develop in the vicinity of your rotating hand.

See Also

Body Follows Head

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