Green Belt Uprooting Nage

We will again discuss a number of common uprooting throws. These five throws are widely practiced in Judo and Jujitsu systems and can be quite effective in the proper circumstances.

This article makes use of abbreviations and background information associated with the octagon. If you are unfamiliar with these abbreviations and the octagon concept then you may wish to review the article about the octagon in the See Also section at the bottom of this page.

Many of the throws we will discuss are considered to be sacrificial throws. This suggests that you are willing to sacrifice your standing position in order to throw your opponent. This is not always ideal from a Karate style perspective, but can be quite beneficial if you subsequently intend to grapple with or manipulate your opponent while on the ground. You will want to become quite accustomed to using sacrificial throws.

Kata Guruma Nage

Kata Guruma is a shoulder throw. It is not what you may initially think. In this throw you do not throw the opponent by the shoulder, rather you lift the opponent until he or she is on your shoulders, then you throw the person to the floor. This is obviously a risky and difficult throw involving taking on your opponent’s full body mass, so it is important that both you and your Uke have considered how you can perform this throw safely with limited risk of injury. You must practice this throw on an adequately matted or cushioned surface.

The basic pattern of this throw is that the opponent is lifted upward on one side of your body, then thrown on the opposite side of your body. So the opponent is lifted perhaps over your right shoulder and is then thrown to the floor over your left shoulder. Here is how that is accomplished (you should be able to do this throw on either side).

The first goal in this throw is to get the opponent to step forward so that his or her center of balance moves in your direction and the opponent’s center turns toward you. You often do this by grasping the opponent’s front arm and guiding it so the opponent will step forward.

As the opponent steps you bend forward (or ideally bend your legs deeply) so the opponent’s torso descends onto your upper back (shoulders). You concurrently reach your hand between the opponent’s legs and wrap your front hand around the opponent’s front leg. You now rise up so that the opponent is suspended in the air and resting on your shoulders.

Now you pull the opponent’s arm (which you are still holding) down and inward briskly so the opponent will fall off to that side (opposite the side from which you lifted him or her).

If you were to use your left arm to grab and guide the opponent’s right arm forward, then the opponent will likely step forward with his or her right leg. As the opponent steps you drop down until you can reach inside and around that leg with your right hand. Once you hold the opponent’s arm and leg securely you rise upward lifting the opponent off the ground. You head will be roughly even with the opponent’s midsection. Now you pull your left arm down and inward to initiate a throw along your left side. The opponent will either land on his or her face or will tuck the head inward and land on his or her back. When working with your Uke it is important that you ensure you position the Uke so he or she will always land on the back.

If the person is bent forward or in a low stance prior to initiating the throw you will find it difficult to get them to step. In that case you can shoot forward, landing on your back knee, until you can grasp the leg. Now the remainder of the throw will be done from a kneeling position. This is the form you should practice initially until you have gained skill and confidence with this throw. This can be a dangerous throw and warrants adequate practice before attempting to stress both yourself and your Uke with a full standing version.

Hane Makikomi Nage

Hane Makikomi is in many ways similar to O Goshi Nage. Hane means wing, jump, bounce, or upward turn at the bottom. Makikomi means to roll up, swallow up, wrap around, or drag into. So this throw is generally interpreted as a winding hip throw or a springing wraparound throw. We will discuss throwing over your right side, but you should become adept at performing this throw on both sides.

Begin by grasping Uke’s right upper arm with your left hand. Now pull in with your left hand briskly as you concurrently step forward and spin CCW such that your back is directly in front of Uke. While spinning place your right arm over and then under Uke’s right arm trapping Uke’s right elbow. You will adopt a low Heiko Dachi facing what had been your octagon angle 2 at the conclusion of this spin maneuver.

In some cases it may be beneficial to begin the throw by placing your right hand behind Uke’s neck and use this as a short duration lever to initiate a forward lean by Uke. This is not a focused grab, however, and is quickly vacated in favor of wrapping your right arm around Uke’s right arm. You might think of wrapping around the neck as a minor augmentation technique that can help a little if Uke is not already leaning or moving forward. In general, however, it is not necessary to involve Uke’s neck in the throwing process.

You now use both of your arms and a CCW center rotation (continuing from your entering movement) to pull Uke forward and over your right hip. This is often described as having Uke wrap around you during the throw. Naturally you will rotate in a CW manner if performing the throw on the opposite side.

You may simply spin and throw Uke in a single wrapping motion. This works quite well if Uke is already moving or leaning forward. It is a little more difficult to accomplish if Uke is stationary, has a stable posture, or is leaning back slightly. To accomplish the throw under these latter conditions normally requires that you step further toward Uke and then inject your hips more fully into the mid-section of Uke, forcing him or her to pitch forward abruptly. This will usually then provide the necessary forward momentum required to perform this throw.

This throw is also often augmented by pressing your right lower leg or the sole of your right foot into the shin of Uke’s right leg. This kicks Uke’s leg up and outward so Uke is now supported by a single leg. This makes the subsequent roll much easier to accomplish.

Uke will be twisted during the throw so that his or her legs fly upward, often above Uke’s descending head. You are effectively doing a forward roll during the throw. This combination results in Uke landing on his or her back. You will land on your right side or back, but you will rest on Uke’s chest. You will be positioned roughly at 90° to Uke’s orientation on the floor. You will want to ensure you maintain your grip on Uke’s arm throughout the throw and after you have both landed on the ground. You may then elect to use Uke’s arm and/or head for further manipulations or rotate to initiate some other control maneuver.

This is a powerful throw in which you will momentarily take on Uke’s mass. This is a temporary condition if the throw is successful, but can result in a significant burden if the throw stalls or is otherwise unsuccessful. You should perform this throw only when you know Uke will be unable to resist the tremendous momentums offered by this throwing technique.

Osoto Guruma Nage

This is another Ashi Nage technique in which you will twist and throw Uke onto his or her back. We will discuss moving to Uke’s right side to perform this throw. You should be able to accomplish the throw on the opposite side as well.

Grasp Uke’s right arm with your left arm. Use your right arm to grasp at the right shoulder or right upper chest. You might also conceivable place your right hand on Uke’s face in a combative situation.

Now step L5 to move outside and slightly behind Uke. As your left foot lands pull and twist Uke so he or she begins to move in a CCW manner. Now slide your right leg outside of Uke’s left leg until you can move your right leg up behind both of Uke’s legs. Use your right leg to then press into the back of both of Uke’s legs as your project your torso forward and twist more dramatically so Uke spins more rapidly in a CCW manner. Uke will fall onto his or her back in front of you.

This throw can be augmented by allowing your right hand to release its grip and then rise upward until your forearm or inner elbow presses up under Uke’s chin. This forces Uke’s head back resulting in a more effective throw. You need to be careful so that you do not subsequently force Uke’s head into the floor.

If you and Uke are moving about trying to establish a dominant position then you may be able to use your left foot to sweep Uke’s left leg inward and toward Uke’s right leg. This provides Uke with a very narrow stance with increases the effectiveness of the throw. It is now easier to step outside and behind Uke to begin the throw. This comes at the cost of having a two-step process for the throw which may not always be practical. However, if you can get Uke to establish a very narrow stance (e.g. Heisoku Dachi) then it is easier to accomplish this throw.

Uke will typically fall onto his or her left side or back (when performed by stepping to Uke’s right side). This varies depending on the rapidity of the twisting motion and how far you have stepped when moving to Uke’s side. Invariably you will end up leaning forward just above Uke’s head. You must be careful to ensure Uke does not pull you down and into a forward roll. If you release your grip with your right (back) hand as Uke begins to fall you will be able to remain more erect during the later stages of the throw. This reduces the chances of being pulled forward and down by Uke. It also places Uke’s arm in a position where it is vulnerable to a lock or other controlling maneuver.

In situations where you do not feel comfortable sweeping both legs concurrently (due to your position relative to Uke) you may find it beneficial to attack and weaken Uke’s nearest leg first, then subsequently sweep both of Uke’s legs.

Another variant is to simply plant your right leg behind the heel of Uke’s left leg. This can help root you more firmly and offers a solid fulcrum over which you can throw Uke. The resulting throw may not be as forceful, but you may feel better structured during the throw.

Uki Otoshi Nage

Uki [/glossary]Otoshi[/glossary] Nage is often referred to as a floating drop throw. You begin the throw by grasping both of Uke’s arms from below. Now you either induce or wait for Uke to step forward. You now rotate inward (toward Uke’s front leg) and pull inward with both arms. Now step back T2 and drop downward onto your back knee. The goal is to root Uke firmly on his or her front leg. You now aggressively pull inward and back with primarily your back arm so that Uke is pulled down and outside of your back leg. Release your grip with the front hand but maintain your grip on Uke’s arm with your back hand. Uke will go through a forward roll and will normally land on his or her side opposite the arm you are holding and toward your local angle eight. You must now rotate quickly to gain control of Uke who is now essentially behind you.

This throw also works quite well if you are holding Uke’s front arm and rear chest or shoulder. As Uke is rooted onto his front foot you can pull and then press on Uke’s chest or shoulder as they progress through the throw.

You will benefit, from a positional perspective, if you think of rotating your center during the throw. You begin be facing Uke, but rotate so your center stays focused as Uke moves off to your side. By rotating your center to track Uke you will be better positioned to move quickly to control Uke at the conclusion of the throw.

A variant of this throw is to remain standing as Uke is rooted on his or her front foot. Now press Uke’s back elbow up and inward using your front hand to further root Uke on his or her front leg as you rotate your center toward Uke. Continue rotating your center as you pull down then in on Uke’s front arm, lapel, or shoulder and concurrently step back to pull Uke forward and over his or her rooted front leg. As the throw completes (in the direction of your original angle two) release what is now your back arm and use Uke’s front hand to establish a lock or other controlling maneuver.

Tani Otoshi Nage

Tani Otoshi Nage is usually referred to as the valley drop. It is in many ways similar to the Osoto Guruma except that you use your front leg rather than your back leg to contact both of Uke’s legs from behind. This throw works well if you are centered on Uke at 90°.  It also works well in other situations such as in defense of a side headlock or if you have trapped Uke’s front leg following an attempted Mae Geri.

To begin the throw raise your back arm so that you grasp or press into Uke’s upper torso, neck, or chin. Lower your front hand and grasp Uke at the waist line. Now shift your weight onto your back foot and raise your front foot until it is in contact with both of Uke’s legs. This may not always be possible, but your leg should be positioned so that is behind both of Uke’s legs.

Once your hands and feet are positioned properly bend your supporting leg and drop directly downward onto your front hip, dragging Uke downward onto his or her back. You will land on your side facing and generally parallel to Uke.

You can utilize your back hand to better facilitate the throw by pushing up and back on Uke’s elbow, chest, neck or chin. Any of these actions can shift Uke’s center of balance backward, making it much easier to pull Uke down from behind.

See Also

The Octagon

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