No Gi Judo Throws
When it comes to submission wrestling, everyone either shoots for double leg takedowns or pulls guard. But there is a fine alternative to those options if you want to spice up your takedown game. The way to do that is to practice no gi Judo throws. In the gi, Judo throws are very effective due to the kimono and belt grips. But you can transfer that effective nature of those throws to no gi as well. If you want to start using Judo throws in the no gi environment, then you need to get a firm understanding of no gi grips. Practice and drill the use of underhooks, whizzers (overhooks), wrist grabs, neck grabs and tricep grabs. Almost all Judo throws in no gi are based off of these controls. Here are three effective throws adapted for no gi training. If you are more into wrestling, check out our article "The Double Leg Takedown."
The first Judo style throw that works great for submission wrestling is the Kouchi gari. The Kouchi gari is what I would call a rather safe throw. Unlike many other sacrifice throws in Judo, the worst thing that can happen if you make a mistake on this throw is that you end up in your opponent’s guard. You can set up this throw a few different ways. My preferred method uses an underhook and a wrist grab. Once you get your opponent’s upper body controlled, you can work on the finishing mechanics of the throw. Make sure you have the correct foot work of your legs going sideways and inward. Also make sure you have good head placement, with your head going into your opponent’s head. From there, you can land the inside trip that works so very well. Here is Rick Hawn demonstrating the throw below.
The second throw that really transfers nicely to no gi is the Tai Otosho. The Tai Otoshi is one of the Judo style throws that looks beautiful when used correctly on the mat. It is a crowd pleaser due to the fact that you can make your opponent look silly with this simple trip. Now, for the set up, there are several ways to successfully get this trip, a lot of it is dependent on timing, timing is everything when it comes to throws, trips, and takedowns. The correct mechanic is using the leg to trip, but for the leg to help the throw. Lift, pull and throw to get the opponent down, and land in a scarfhold type of position. Here is Rick Hawn again showing some excellent instruction.
The last throw that really works great in the no gi setting is the uchi mata. The uchi mata is my favorite Judo style throw. It is particularly strong, and just feels really nice when executed correctly in a live situation. The grips for the uchi mata make use of the whizzer overhook and either a wrist or forearm grab. Once you attain your grips, you can do a little back step inside, and then use your other leg to get that lift on the inside of the opponent’s leg, as you apply pressure with the whizzer and pull down on the wrist/forearm grip. The great thing about the no gi uchi mata is that you can use it as a straight offensive technique, or you can use it as a defense to the single leg. Here, Sambo coach, Vlad Koulikov shows the technique with a good breakdown.
Judo style throws are awesome techniques to be practice and then use in submission wrestling. They give you ways of getting an opponent to the ground that is not of the regular variety. So if you are looking to expand your takedown game, consider these no gi throws and get to throwing. We have an excellent DVD with Bellator Fighter and Judo olympian, Rick Hawn on No Gi specific Judo. Rick Hawn is the most accomplished male Judoka in MMA ever. His DVD"No Gi Takedowns Made Easy" is an excellent resource to learn from.