Saturday, January 4, 2014

Naohisa Takato's evolving kata-guruma

In my last posting, I showed how Cuba's Asley Gonzalez managed to work around the IJF rules against leg-grabs. In today's posting, I want to show how Japan's Naohisa Takato, one of the few Japanese players who actually specializes in drop kata-guruma, has managed to work around the rules as well. (Thanks, Hans van Essen, for suggesting this).

As recent as the 2012 Tokyo Grand Slam, he was still using the leg grab version because when done as a combination, it was (then) considered legal. You can see how he gets around the rules in the following clip, taken from his final match, against his compatriot, Hironori Ishikawa. It is not a direct attack leg grab. When he first enters into the drop kata guruma, he has two hands on Ishikawa's right arm. Takato only grabs Ishikawa's right leg after the attack is well underway, making his leg grab a combination attack (which was legal then).

As Takato drops into the attack, he doesn't grab the leg, keeping it legal.

But as he finishes the attack, he grabs the leg -- a legal combination (then).

Of course by the time the 2013 Rio World Championships came around, all manner of leg grabs were deemed illegal, including those done as a combination. But that didn't deter Takato, who proceeded to throw his very tough South Korean opponent, Kim Won-Jin, with the same technique, except this time he doesn't grab the leg. As you can see from the video clip, he is still able to whirl Kim over -- for a waza-ari (perhaps had he been allowed to grab the leg, and therefore have more control, it would have been an ippon). Nevertheless, Takato proves that you don't necessarily need a leg grab to do an effective kata-guruma.

You can see Takato avoiding the leg-grab to keep his kata-guruma legal.

1 comment:

  1. great site guys , so much info to work thru :-)

    John S – Judo white belt – bjj purple belt- blog editor