Thread: Sasae Tsurikomi Ashi
4/27/2011 6:45pm, #1
Sasae Tsurikomi Ashi
I think that Sasae tsurikomi ashi is one of the most underrated and overlooked throws in Judo, which is a shame, because it is a fantastic technique with which you can score massive ippons and create movement and openings for a whole host of throws.
This is going to be a loser and less logical structure than I normally do, basically, because I couldnít come up with a satisfactory structure.
Anyway without further ado, to business.
I have previously discussed the principle of offsetting for throws in my piece on O soto gari. Offsetting as a principle is important to O soto gari, Sasae tsurikomi ashi and Hiza guruma and once you appreciate the principle of offsetting and start applying it in your uchikomi and randori you will see a dramatic improvement in your throwing.
Normally in practice for uchikomi and nagekomi we start off with our feet parallel with our partners, like so:
This is fine and correct for the majority of throws, however, starting off like this is the root cause of many structural problems with peoples Sasae tsurikomi ashi.
Starting off parallel means tori has to step diagonally to position himself for the throw.
The problem is that this means tori will lean back diagonally away from uke.
The result of practicing like this in uchikomi and nagekomi is that in randori your Sasae will look like this:
Your posture is wrecked, ukeís balance isnít broken properly, you have no real control over uke and you either topple backwards or you get leg grabbed and thrown for ippon.
In Sasae tsurikomi ashi, and all Judo throws, keeping posture is vital. In Sasae tsurikomi ashi you should rotate your upper body, but have remain basically straight.
So itís crucial to offset yourself before you begin an uchikomi or nagekomi.
Due to the importance of offsetting you frequently see Sasae tsurikomi ashi used and resulting in massive ippons when you have extreme right on right stances. In which the feet are naturally in the offset position.
Offsetting on the move
A lot of people and beginners especially struggle with Sasae in moving uchikomi and nagekomi mainly because the concept of offsetting hasnít been applied to them, but also because those who have sort of sub consciously figured it out struggle to apply it on the move.
Once presented and explained, however, the process is relatively simple.
It is described here for a sleeve side Sasae, reverse the actions for a lapel side Sasae.
Tori begins retreating and when comfortable with the rhythm retreats with his left foot, assuming a right handed tori.
Tori then retreats his right foot in a backards J direction.
A visual example is presented below:
A common mistake and cause for throw failure when attacking with Sasae tsurikomi ashi is attacking the foot when it is already advanced and planted.
Itís very hard to throw uke when the foot is fully advanced unless uke is very unskilled or tori is very strong.
An analogy I like to use to explain the timing for Sasae is to imagine youíre carrying a big box so that you canít see the floor. Whilst walking you stub your foot as you plant your foot and you stumble you may fall but it will be slow and you have a chance of recovery. However, if whilst walking you step and catch your foot as youíre stepping then you go absolute flying and break whateverís in the box.
So in Sasae tsurikomi ashi you need to block ukeís foot as it meets the midway point, between being fully retreated
And fully advanced
You block ukeís foot as it advancing foot as it comes level with his planted foot
As uke is in the middle of transferring his blocking the foot halfway through the movement will send uke flying.
Use of the hands
Part of Sasae tsurikomi ashiís usefulness lies in the fact you can use it to both left and right without changing grips.
When performing Sasae to the sleeve side it is vital that you perform a correct, canonical tsurikomi action. The throw is after all, called, Sasae tsurikomi ashi.
This requires a smooth, strong and continual pull with the sleeve hand and good forearm contact with the tsurite hand. Lots of chest contact, ensuring the forearm fits into the pocket created by ukeís armpit.
When performing Sasae to the lapel side, which is more common, you have a choice of tsurite hand being in the traditional pocket position.
Or to have the elbow flared upwards
When performing Sasae to the lapel side the action on ukeís sleeve is vital to ensuring correct rotation and completion of the throw.
Tori must position his hand under ukeís elbow and drive it upwards and around in a strong wheeling action.
One of the great things about Sasae is how many opportunities for breaking down defence, creating movement and creating throw opportunities it allows. Sasae can be used as a preparatory technique or combined with just about any forward throw, common ones are Tai otoshi, Seoi nage and Uchi mata.
However, due to a lack of quality video material demonstrating those combinations I will discuss Sasae and its Ďsisterí throw O soto and a combination I believe to be one of the best in the whole of Judo Ė Sasae tsurikomi ashi to Okuri ashi barai.
O soto gari and Sasae tsurikomi ashi are perfect partners because of how easy it is to link them in the action reaction sequence and how when done properly both can elicit such massive reactions that make the subsequent action very easy and very powerful.
Katanishi outlines the action-reaction sequence
Yamashita adds further
Sasae tsurikomi ashi to Okuri ashi barai is, for me, one of the most awesome combinations in Judo, because it combines to very difficult techniques that when done properly result in enormous ippons and rely on subtlety over brute force.
Iíve have a mighty tally of one male white belt and one female brown belt that I have felled with this combination in randori. However, they hit the mat very hard and very unexpectedly that it knocked the wind out of both of them. Thatís how powerful a combination in can be even in the hands of a spud like me.
In the combination tori attacks with Sasae and uke manages to step off or over it. To do this uke has to over extend the leg that has been attacked as part of the Sasae attempt and as such needs to bring his trailing leg to his advanced leg in order to regain his balance. It is this recovery action that is exploited and attacked with the Okuri ashi barai.
As uke is still trying to recover balance and defences from the Sasae and this is a very uncommon and unexpected combination when you catch them with the Okuri ashi barai uke gets really launched.
This video demonstrates the movement pattern, tori doesnít actually apply the Sasae but the stepping pattern is exactly the same. Note this combination is usually done with a lapel side Sasae as it makes the Okuri ashi barai easier.
Why not try and have a play with making your own combinations from Sasae tsurikomi ashi, however, remember to observe proper spacing and positioning
Hopefully that has given you some greater insight into a great, but underrated technique and has given you some ideas to improve your Sasae tsurikomi ashi.
As always comments, critiques and questions are welcome.
4/28/2011 12:39pm, #2
Nice work once again. I'm personally leading a revival of STA and Hiza Guruma in our area. Ashi waza in general, really.
A couple of additions.
1.) If your tsurikomi action is not good overall, then STA is going to be tough to pull off. If you have problems with tsurikomi action/elbow control then keep working on those and try STA after that.
2.) The timing is critical. I use/see it as a sort of Dynamic Delay (tm) in reverse. Uke and tori are moving in synch, but to catch uke at the right moment (his foot position as you note), you have to get a part of a step ahead of uke. This is well illustrated in the nage no kata version of STA, where the second step tori takes is truncated a bit. I call it a stutter step sometimes.
Of course, sometimes you apply Dynamic Delay(tm) in STA and Hiza Guruma as well, depending on the movement pattern and exact circumstances.Falling for Judo since 1980
4/28/2011 12:49pm, #3
As with any throw tsurikomi is fundamental. No tsurikomi, No Judo. You're right about the tsurikomi being a big part of the sleeve side Sasae I think its slightly less vital for the lapel side, but still important to the technique overall.
Timing wise, what really helped me with the time was the 'offsetting' concept. As a heavyweight my Judo isn't dynamic so I don't often end up in the moving in circles kind of situation like the Nage no kata. However, if you're aware of the offsetting principle then even with a slower more preponderous style of Judo you'll notice that natural movement will create an 'offset' situation. So that really helped me with the debana for the throw.
4/28/2011 1:40pm, #4
- Join Date
- Mar 2009
I love Sasae, good to see this technique getting the praise it so fully deserves, I have found that when done well, even if uke isn't thrown their balance is wrecked from the effort of staying on their feet and they are sitting ducks for almost any throw that sends them backwards.
4/28/2011 1:41pm, #5
I'm bad at judo, but this throw is one of the few I feel semi-confident about. The biggest help for me in terms of timing the foot sweep was to imagine trying to "stick" my foot to uke's a moment before his foot plants.
4/28/2011 1:49pm, #6
- Join Date
- Sep 2006
The greatest sasae I've ever seen on video -- and by a heavyweight!
Sato's Ashiwaza masterclass book is great, too.
A sasae-like movement is also a great way to unbalance someone.
4/28/2011 1:53pm, #7
Uke's feet blue U, tori's feet red T
If uke's foot gets into the red zone then tori has to lean back and lose posture in an attempt to effect the throw and this will lead to throw failure and higher chance of being countered.
4/28/2011 2:17pm, #8
OK I haven't read this thread properly, but there's a guy I train with who has a mutherfucker of a TSA. He does it when you're going backwards though, and uses a load of hip, basically pushing your back leg back until he makes body contact at which point he hoists you up and tips you over.
It actually doesn't look like a big throw but it's one of the hardest landings I can think of, and that's without him following me down for the pin.
4/28/2011 3:39pm, #9
4/28/2011 3:51pm, #10
The offset idea I'm having to think about some more. It looks to me like you are basically saying to start out offset in the position you would normally move to to do STA, to the tsurite grip side, in order to make up for a lack of ability to move (due to your uke or yourself).
In a normal STA, the offset is part of the overall tai sabaki, or part of the preparatory movement.
STA to the tsurite side is easier to do for me, and I'm better at it that way. There is more direct control of uke upper body due to the lack of slack/distance in the lapel vs the sleeve. So the sleeve side version requires finer timing and control.
The tsurikomi is still critical to get a clean throw on the lapel side, and is still there, it's just a bit different. But one can slop/power through it on the lapel side easier (see previous paragraph).
One of my students is really getting the hang of it. He nearly threw one of his rivals with it in a kenka yotsu situation recently, and the kinsa he got in golden score won the match. He also threw a shodan with Hiza Guruma recently for ippon from the more extreme right vs right situation you describe. We like to do it from a double lapel grip as well, especially when the battle for the sleeve gets stalemated, it is usually a big surprise.
BenFalling for Judo since 1980