Thursday, November 15, 2012

What I DON'T teach first (and why)

Despite the fact that I learned o goshi (major hip throw) as the first throw when I learned judo AND that many people still teach that as the first throw, I do not. The previous statement is a lie. And it isn't.

Let me explain. First of all, as JudoWill pointed out yesterday, o goshi, where you grab your opponent's right elbow with your left hand, put your right arm around your opponent's waist, lift him/her up on your hips, turn and throw is a powerful throw and easy to do. Thus, it is very reinforcing for beginning judo players.

It also addresses those points I brought up yesterday, getting a grip, pulling, turning your back to your opponent, having BOTH of your feet now facing in the opposite direction. Those two Japanese words that are the first two parts of a throw - kuzushi: off-balancing and tsukuri: fitting in.

So, what is my big gripe against o goshi? Simply, this, the right arm around the waist part. You almost never get that grip when standing. The exception is if you are fighting an opposite side player who takes a high grip, for example, a right-handed player fighting a left-handed player.

I'm not against the throw at all, mind you, just not having it be your first throw, because then, until you learn a second throw, it is your ONLY throw. In most cases in randori then,  you have two right-handed kids both trying to get their arm around the other kid's waist - which is pretty easy to prevent-  and nothing really happening.

That's why I don't usually teach them ogoshi until I have taught a couple of other throws.

On the other hand, I DO usually teach it the first or second day, just from the knees as a transition into matwork. When kids are new at judo, often they will be in matwork like the situation above, they both get up and try to get a headlock on the other kid and throw them to the mat.

In this situation, I have them do exactly o goshi but from their knees, as you can see the player in the picture above on the right about to do.

One reason I do this is, like Al also said in the comments yesterday, people come in different sizes. The shoulder throw they are doing might not fit so well for the 200 pound player. So, we can do this "hip toss" throw from the knees that is a really good move for a heavier player. Also, it is not a hard fall from your knees, so they get used to grabbing and throwing someone and being thrown AND they learn to go right into the pin .... but that drill is for another day. Or, you can read our book. I actually described it in detail.


Anonymous said...

Have you considered teaching them foot sweeps first (de ashi, sasae)? no need to change grips there. If you don't teach them foot sweeps, is it because they end up kicking each other? I'm curious, b/c I have next to no experience teaching children.


Dr. AnnMaria said...

I think foot sweeps are harder to learn at the beginning since it requires having good timing.

Also, my foot sweeps suck. So, I prefer to teach stuff I'm good at and when other people, like Blinky, are teaching who are good at foot sweeps have them teach those.

Fusion Mixed Martial Arts said...

i agree foot sweep are hard to teach. i am guilty of teaching o goshi without combat application