Saturday, December 20, 2014

Even the experts fail sometimes... Takato's sode

Quite often, what we see are the top player's successful throws, not the ones where they fail to execute the throw properly. That's because much of the judo we see are highlight reels. Unless you are judo crazy (ahem), you won't spend hours and hours watching raw contest footage.

What you watch is the slickly produced videos by Fighting Films or by some Internet enthusiast who has done his own YouTube compilation of the player's best moments.

I'm currently doing some research on the judo of Naohisa Takato, one of the most fascinating players around. Hopefully by early next year, I'll be able to produce an e-book about his top techniques.

In researching his fights, I've noticed that for every successful throw he makes, he has a lot of failed ones. For example, one of the throws he is known for is sode-tsuri-komi-goshi. He is very good at it and when it works, he flings his opponents high into the air. But sometimes he can't just get it to work.

A case in point is his match against South Korea's Jang Jin-Min in the 2011 Qingdao Grand Prix. He tries sode-tsuri-komi-goshi five times and each time, his attempt was thwarted by the awkward Korean. Sometimes, it's as interesting to see the failed techniques as it is to see the successful ones. Watch the fascinating clip below:

Try as he might, Takato can't get sode working against Jang

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