Transitioning: Making the Connection

Making the Connection
So often when we practice Judo we do each segment of the Judo match in isolation- gripping is done separately from throwing, throwing from moving, tachiwaza from newaza. However, in a contest we have to be able to do all of these things seamlessly being able to grip, move, throw and transition into newaza without pausing significantly in between.

Coaches often therefore use training exercises to help people chain together the separate aspects that we usually train often in isolation. They will use drills where you break a grip, move, T-up and throw and as concerns this article they will use drills that try and replicate the transition from standing into groundwork. 

In between the application of a throw, tachiwaza, and the application of a roll, strangle, pin or armlock – newaza- is the transition. 

Conceptualising the transition

As I have been taught there are two key elements to the transition they are the connection and the catch. Note that I’m not referring to throwing situations where tori attempts a throw and lands in a pin or where uke becomes tori, during the throw, and lands in a pin. I’m talking about situations where a throw is not applied in a controlled fashion that lands tori in a position to apply a pin.

In these situations there are two key concepts:  The first is "the connection" the second is "the catch.  We will deal first with "the connection"

The Connection:
As Adams explains and demonstrates above after having performed a throw it is vital that tori remains in contact or connected to uke in order to place himself in the best place to then attack further in newaza.  Tori throws uke and releases his grip on the lapel, whilst maintaining hand contact:
Tori’s hand moves from the lapel to uke’s lat muscle and retains control and grip of uke’s sleeve.  As uke continues to roll from the throw, tori retains contact with his tsurite hand on uke’s lat muscle and his hikite hand moves to uke’s shoulder.
As tori does so he manoeuvres around and with uke so that he retains contact.  Tori continues to stay with uke and finishes in a strong position ready to attack.


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