Developing Your Judo #22

#22: When The Train Hits You
In the last tip, I discussed the importance of having a portfolio of renraku-waza, or combination techniques.  One of the most effective and powerful renraku techniques that I have personally experienced was the seoinage/kouchi-gari combinations by the legendary Isao Okano,  All-Japan champion and 1964 Olympic gold medalist. 
 As a middleweight (80 kg), he used this combo to score wazari against a much bigger Yukio Maeda (105 kg) in the 1969 All-Japan Championships.  The initial attack is with seoinage where tori is pulling uke forward. Instinctively, uke reacts backwards while at the same time bracing his feet to block the attempt usually in a wide foot stance.  This wide stance and the backward movement by uke is perfect for a backward throw like kouchi-gari. Immediately after faking, or partially attempting seoinage, tori turns back to facing uke and reverses his initial action into the same direction that uke is now moving - which is backwards.  

 At this point, both judoka are moving in the same direction helped by both uke's reaction to blocking tori's seoinage, and by tori who is now moving forward while executing kouchi-gari. I know this technique works very well because I did randori with Okano while training in Japan back in the early 1970s, and the force of the kouchi-gari hitting you was like a train coming at you.

If you want to see Okano in action at the 1969 All-Japan, click the first link below:
 The second link shows Okano demonstrating this combination

By: Rainer Fischer (Canadian Olympian) 


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