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BJJ Instructional Videos
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The Perfect Tai Otoshi Throw With Jimmy Pedro And Travis Stevens

The Perfect Tai Otoshi Throw With Jimmy Pedro And Travis Stevens


Learn The Tai Otoshi From Jimmy Pedro And Travis Stevens

The Tai Otoshi (or body drop) is an incredibly powerful throw in Judo. Technically it is classified as a hand technique in Kodokan Judo but as you will see it involves your entire body, especially your foot work and hips. When done correctly, the Tai Otoshi should feel effortless. It is designed to be low effort, while generating the lift that will give your opponent a hard fall by driving him straight into the mats.

The Tai Otoshi is a powerful throw, and Travis Stevens is one of the best in the world at hitting it. He has a whole DVD series with fellow Olympian and Judo Coach Jimmy Pedro on how to throw with the Tai Otoshi and many others.


Today we are going to look at how to do a Tai Otoshi from four time Judo Olympian and 2012 Olympic Judo coach Jimmy Pedro. In this video Coach Jimmy Pedro breaks down the entire technique into details steps in order to make this throw work. If you have been struggling with take downs this one might just be for you! Watch the video below and then we will break down the technique. Check it out now!

The first step when performing the tai otoshi is establishing grips. Coach Pedro explains to us right off the bat that it can be work from several different grip scenarios. The traditional grip for the tai otoshi is an inside lapel grip with one hand and a sleeve grip with the other. This is a very explosive technique, pay attention to Coach Pedro’s motion. He goes for a big pull on his opponent using the sleeve grip. Your feet do a very explosive one – two backwards step into the center of your training partner. From here the third step is to drop your body weight low, stepping across your opponent’s body using your calf to set up the throw. Notice that all Coach Pedro does to finish the technique is to continue to pull with his hands (from the same grip positions) while he drives with his head in a full circle using your calf muscle to trip your training partners front leg.

What I admire about this throw is how effortless it is. As you can see the technique is was makes the throw work this way. Another great thing about this throw is that it puts you in a great position to immediately go for an arm lock on your opponent. Coach Pedro shows a variation on the tai otoshi for BJJ guys. Instead of having the lapel grip with his left hand he gets in closer with an under hook. The reason for this is that most jiu Jitsu guys are leaning to the rear and it is hard to get them to come forward. The under hook allows you to dictate your training partner’s movement. Notice Coach Pedro always keeps his head up next his opponent’s head – this is an important detail.

This is a great training resource for anyone who is learning tai otoshi. Coach Pedro has such good technique, it is amazing to see just how lighting fast he can hit this throw. Of course, when you are training it, you will be moving much slower. But the whole point is to refine the technique first. Having good technique will allow you to eventually hit this throw with more speed and less effort. Also keep in mind, if you are struggling to control your opponent’s body movement with the lapel grip, try the under hook variation at the end of the video. I would also recommend watching this a couple more times paying specific attention to the foot work.

If you want to beat the guys at your belt level you need to be better than them in some areas. You could try to get better at sweeping or passing than they are at sweeping & passing, but that’s going to be difficult because they are working on those skills 3 to 5 times a week in class. Luckily, they are ignoring their standup games – some simple drilling of the right moves will give you a huge advantage.



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