Sunday, January 5, 2014

Sol's take on one-handed sode

In the previous two postings (one on Gonzalez's legal pick up, and one on Takato's legal kata-guruma) I showed how two players have managed come up with innovative ways to overcome the IJF rule against leg grabs.

One of the effects of the IJF rule against leg grabs is the disappearance of the so-called "one-handed sode" first made popular by Israel's Oren Smadja. In the video compilation below, you can see Smadga executing his dynamic technique in various international competitions.

Smadga takes hold of his opponent's left sleeve when starting the attack.

As he turns in, he doesn't have a lapel grip. At this point, it's one-handed.

But once he's in position, his left arm grabs hold of his opponent's leg.

Although it's widely referred to as a "one-handed sode", it actually involves both hands. Smadga's right hand takes hold of his opponent's left sleeve. He then turns into the sode without any lapel grip, giving the impression that it's a one-handed technique. However, once he has fully turned into position, his left hand comes into play and it grabs hold of his opponent's left leg, turning the throw into almost a kind of kata-guruma.

After Smadga successfully introduced this throw in the world arena, many players began to imitate it and like Smadga, they would always grab the opponent's leg with their free hand once they are in position.

When the IJF first barred a direct attack leg grab in its 2010 rules, players were still able to do this technique because the leg grab happened only after the initial turn in, making the leg grab a combination technique (which was legal then).

In 2013, leg grabs of any kind (even in combination with other attacks) were completely banned. And all of a sudden, the so-called "one-handed sode" disappeared.

That is until North Korea's Kyong Sol showed up with her version of the "one-handed sode". She used this technique to great effect throughout the competition.

Against Japan's Ruika Sato, Sol uses a drop down version... twice!

Against Hungary's Abigel Joo, Sol starts off standing then finishes off with a drop.

Against Canada's Catherine Roberge, Sol does a standing version with a somersault ending.

What's Sol's secret? How is she able to execute a technique that is practically unseen since the new 2013 IJF rules came into effect? Like Smadga's, her "one-handed sode" is actually a two-handed attack but unlike Smadga, she doesn't grab hold of her opponent's leg, instead, both hands hold onto her opponent's sleeve.

Here, Smadga would have grabbed the opponent's leg but Sol doesn't.

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