Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Pietri's delayed seoi

France's Loic Pietri likes to do seoi-nage, in various forms. Sometimes he does it as a standing version. Sometimes as a reverse version. And sometimes as a drop version.

In this particular attack, his opponent manages to land completely on his front. But Pietri keeps the momentum going and eventually rolls him over, all in a continuous motion. As a result, he scores  yuko.

Even if you fall on your front, you're not safe. If the attacker continues rolling you, he will get a score.

Let's examine Pietri's roll:

At this point, Pietri's seoi-nage attack seems to have failed.

His opponent has managed to land completely on his front.

But Pietri doesn't give up. He keeps rolling and rolling...

... until his opponent falls over and he scores a yuko!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Loic Pietri's standing seoi

In my last posting, I featured the USA's Travis Stevens, one of the few players who does his seoi as a standing technique. France's Loic Pietri often does his seoi as a drop technique and as a reverse technique. But occasionally he does it as a standing technique as well. And here, we see him do it on none other than Travis Stevens, in the 2013 Tokyo Grand Slam.

Stevens, the standing seoi specialist, must have been surprised at being caught with his own technique.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Travis Stevens' standing seoi

Ever since the great Toshihiko Koga retired from competition, we seldom see standing ippon-seoi-nage. One of today's players who does it fairly regularly though is the USA's Travis Stevens.

Here, you can see him throwing Georgia's Ushangi Margiani with a standing seoi that scores waza-ari. Not as dynamic as Koga's but still impressive nonetheless.

Notice how straight his legs are when he comes in. Standing seoi's are often done with straight legs.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Gomez's illegal waki-gatame

In the five postings I've done on illegal waki-gatame, all of them were done by men and all of them were Asians. But women do it too and so do Europeans as can be seen by this clip, which shows Spain's Laura Gomezattacking Germany's Mareen Kraeh with an illegal waki-gatame in their bronze medal match at the 2012 Chelyabinsk European Championships.

The attack injured Kraeh (not surprising) and earned Gomez a hansoku-make (fittingly so). Like South Korea's Hwang Hee-Tae, she didn't really want to shake her injured opponent's hand.

(Thanks @Ibai from the Usurbil Judo Club for pointing this out to me!)

Sometimes the refs do get it right and give a hansoku-make for an obviously dangerous technique.

Cho Jun-Ho's illegal waki-gatame

My last two blog postings about illegal waki-gatame featured Cho Yong-Chul's and Hwang Hee-Tae's shameful, illegal attacks. I can't help but think the South Koreans have a penchant for waki-gatame because you see it quite often from their players. Take for example Cho Jun-Ho, who attacked Japan's Masashi Ebinuma (poor fella keeps getting attacked by waki-gatame) in their 2012 London Olympic match.

Unlike Cho Yong-Chul and Hwang Hee-Tae, who both snapped on the waki-gatame before the throw/takedown, in Cho Jun-Ho's case, he actually throws first, then snaps on the waki-gatame in the last moment. Nevertheless, that's still illegal. You cannot do waki-gatame in conjunction with any throw or takedown. The penalty is hansoku-make. But as with many of the examples I've shown so far, Cho gets away with it. No penalty. (In the end, he lost the match though).

Whether you start the waki-gatame before or after a throw, it's just as dangerous and just as illegal.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Hwang Hee-Tae's illegal waki-gatame

In the past three postings on illegal waki-gatame, all the perpetrators got away with trying to injure their opponents. Now, for once, I can post an example where the referee got it right and gave a hansoku-make to a player for doing this illegal move.

The player in question is South Korea's Hwang Hee-Tae, who snapped on a waki-gatame on his opponent, Japan's Hiroshi Izumi, in the final of the -90kg division at the 2005 Cairo World Championships. His attack was easily as vicious as the one Cho Yong-Chul did on Hitoshi Saito 20 years earlier.

The referee rightly disqualified him and awarded the match to Izumi. Hwang proved to be a sore loser as well when he refused to shake Izumi's hand. What a sore loser!

For once the referee made the right call and gave hansoku-make for a dangerous and illegal move.

Hwang launches an attack that was clearly meant to injure his opponent.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Cho Yong-Chul's illegal waki-gatame

I've highlighted two egregious attempts at injuring an opponent, the first by Mongolia's Dashdavaaand the second by Kazakhstan's Mukanov. These are are recent events with the former happening at the 2013 Tokyo Grand Slam and the latter at the 2013 Rio World Championships.

For today's posting I'm taking you all the way back to the 1985 Seoul World Championships, where South Korea's Cho Yong-Chul broke Japan's Hitoshi Saito's arm with a vicious waki-gatame attack. Amazingly, the referee, in conference with two corner judges, awarded the victory to the South Korea.

It's amazing how after all these years, referees still can't catch illegal waki-gatame attacks, as evidenced by the Dashdavaa and Mukanov attacks.

Allowing the waki-gatame was a real failure by the referee and corner judges.

Cho snapped Saito's arm with his illegal waki-gatame.

Mukanov's illegal waki-gatame

Azamat Mukanov did extremely well in the 2013 Rio World Judo Championships, making it all the way to the final where he faced the talented Japanese, Masashi Ebinuma.

In that incredible contest, Mukanov attempted an illegal waki-gatame not once, not twice but three times! Such bad sportsmanship failed to pay off though and in the end, Ebinuma managed to smash Mukanov for ippon despite having a badly injured arm.

Let's have a look at the three shameful attempts at waki-gatame. He's worse than Dashdavaa!

Mukanov is clearly trying to throw while doing a waki-gatame. He should have been disqualified!

Such blatant attempts to injure an opponent deserves a hansoku-make!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Dashdavaa's illegal waki-gatame

It's always distressing to see that clearly dangerous and illegal techniques like "waki-gatame while attempting a throw" are still being attempted by some international players. Worse still, they sometimes get away with it.

Here is an example of an illegal waki-gatame technique by Mongolia's Amartuvshin Dashdavaa, who should have gotten hansoku-make for it. But as it turned out, neither the referee nor the video judges gave him a penalty for it. Strange. And worrisome.

Dashdavaa's clearly illegal waki-gatame attack injures his opponent yet he doesn't get a penalty for it.

Waki-gatame is a despicable attack that deserves to get hansoku-make.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Takajo's Seoi-Otoshi

Seoi-nages abound in every competition. But it's actually quite rare to see seoi-otoshi, which is often described as a cross between seoi-nage and tai-otoshi.

The difference between a seoi-nage and seoi-otoshi, of course, is that instead of "throwing" the person (nage), you drop them (otoshi).

Here's a classic seoi-otoshi executed by Japan's Tomofumi Takajo in the recent 2013 Tokyo Grand Slam.

Let's break it down:

He starts off in an ai-yotsu situation (right versus right).

For his entry, he jumps in with both feet off the ground.

When he lands, he is in a classic morote-seoi position.

His opponent tries to hop over to avoid the throw.

Takajo raises his right leg to block his opponent.

He doesn't reap but plants his foot down. It's seoi-otoshi.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

First judo podcast with Lance Wicks

Lance Wicks and I have finally recorded our first judo podcast. The topic of our discussion was the IJF rule changes (2010 and 2013). We talked about various aspects of the rule changes and also looked at how some top players have managed to work around these rules. It's mostly audio but there is some video in the podcast. These usually appear when we discussed specific players. Hope you enjoy our first ever collaboration.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Urantsetseg Munkhbat's reverse seoi kosoto combo

I know I said the reverse seoi series is complete and that I'll be moving on to other themes but I just came across this amazing reverse seoi-kosoto combo that has got to be shared.

Mongolia's world champion Urantsetseg Munkhbat turns in with a standing reverse seoi but instead of pulling her opponent to the ground as most reverse seoi specialists do, she sweeps her opponent's leg and smashes her to the ground. It's devastating.

Let's analyze how she does it.

She starts off with a lapel grip in a kenka-yotsu position.

Next, like  in all reverse seoi's, she gets a two-on-one grip.

As a right-hander, he spin will be counter-clockwise.

Most players would drop but Munkhbat stays standing.

Notice how she has spun around almost 360 degrees.

Instead of just pulling down, she also sweeps the leg away.

Shishime's double stab uchimata

These days, even if a player lands on his knees or on his front after being thrown, as long as his attacker continues to roll him, a score will be given. As long as there is no break in the movement, it's deemed to be worthy of a score, though usually not ippon.

Japan's double world junior champion Toru Shishime is an uchimata specialist. In the clip below, we see him attack his opponent with an uchimata that actually fails. His opponent is flung into the air but he lands on his front. Doesn't matter though. He keeps rolling his opponent and he achieves a yuko score for it.

Even if you land on your front, if your opponent keeps rolling you, he could get a score for it.
Let's see how Shishime does it.

In a kenka yotsu situation he readies for the attack.

His entry is to just insert his leading leg straight away.

He starts to life while rotating and pulling with his arms.

At this point it looks like his opponent is about to go over.

But somehow, he manages to end up landing on his front.

Shishime follows up by using his right leg to do the roll.

His partner is on his back but the soft landing means yuko.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Kyong Sol's gold medal reverse seoi

Perhaps it's fitting that we end the reverse seoi-nage series with an entry about a Korean player since this technique did seem to originate in Korea. (The technique has since travelled widely across Asian and is a regular feature in Japanese judo these days).

North Korea's Kyong Sol was the surprise winner in the -78kg division of the 2013 Rio World Championships. She had used sode-tsuri-komi-goshi extensive in her preliminary rounds and in the semi-final, but in the final she caught her opponent, Marhinde Verkerk of the Netherlands, off-guard with a surprise reverse seoi-nage, which she had not used throughout the day.

Sol catches Verkerk with a very Korean-styled reverse seoi-nage to win the gold medal in Rio 2013.

Key to the success of the reverse seoi is the strong rotation. Right-handers rotate in a counter-clockwise motion, while left-handers rotate in a clockwise rotation. Sol is a left-hander, so she rotates clockwise.

She faces her opponent in a classic kenka-yotsu situation.
After securing a two-on-one lapel grip, she spins clockwise.

As she tugs downwards, she keeps on spinning clockwise.

In this close-up, you see her starting to spin as she drops.

Even before touching the mat, she's rotated considerably.

See how far she's rotated. This is crucial for reverse seoi.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Yuka Nishida's standing reverse seoi

In my previous post, I highlighted Elio Verde who is unique in that he is one of the few Europeans who specializes in reverse seoi and he does it in a rare standing version.

Generally, reverse seoi is favoured by male players but Japan's Yuka Nishida proves that not only can women do it, they can do it standing as well! In the clip below you can see her amazing standing reverse seoi that's so smooth, it looks like kata!

Nishida is left-handed so she spins in a smooth clockwise motion and stays on her feet throughout!

And here is a breakdown of how she does it:
A left-hander, she secures a left-handed grip on the lapel.

Next, she secures the two-on-one grip on the same lapel.

As she is left-handed, her spin is in a clockwise rotation.

Notice how far she rotates, and how she stays on her feet.

Instead of dropping to her knees, she just bend forwards.

She does a kind of somersault to ensure a clean ippon!

Verde's standing reverse seoi

Although the reverse seoi is largely done as a drop, Italy's Elio Verde does his as a standing technique. It should be noted that there are not many European players who have adopted this technique (which has widely been adopted in South Korea and Japan). Verde is one of the few who has chosen to specialize in it. In the clip below, you see him doing a standing version of the technique.

Verde starts with a right hand grip on his partner's lapel.
From this view, it looks like he's doing a morote-seoi-nage.
He actually has a two-on-one grip on his partner's lapel.
After rotating counter-clockwise, he just pulls down hard.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Yuya Yoshida's Reverse Seoi

Yuya Yoshida is another big man (-90kg) who does the reverse seoi. And what a smooth one he does too, much like his compatriot, Takashi Ono. Both these men prove that the reverse seoi is not exclusive to lightweights.

In this clip below, you see him executing a perfect reverse seoi against Slovakia's Milan Randl, who seems to be susceptible to reverse seoi.

Yoshida executes a perfectly-timed reverse seoi-nage that has his opponent falling flat on his back.

Let's have a look at how he does it.

Like the others, he starts with a single grip on the lapel.

And like others, he goes for a two-on-one lapel grip.

Next, he spins & drops in an counter-clockwise direction.

When his knees hit the mat, his partner is already falling.

His version is clearly an "otoshi" rather than a "nage".