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  1. judoka_uk is offline
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    Posted On:
    5/07/2011 6:55pm

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     Style: Judo

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    Tai Otoshi

    Tai Otoshi is one of the hardest single techniques to master, in Judo, not least because it is so appallingly taught in many places. A big, powerful technique it requires a very good mastery of fundamental skills and a keen sense of debana and when executed expertly, as a pure tewaza, beautifully epitomises Ju Yoku Go O Seisu.


    So without further ado.


    Fundamentals

    In my opinion there are 3 fundamental things that beginners need to get right in order to ensure correct Tai Otoshi practice, they are head, hands and legs.


    Hands

    As I have discussed previously the tsurikomi action is at the heart of almost all Judo and this is no less true than in the case of Tai otoshi.



    The biggest error with the hands in Tai otoshi is incorrect usage of the tsurite/ lapel hand. The tsurite arm must have the forearm inserted into the ‘pocket’ created by uke’s armpit and chest:



    Alot of problems, not only with throw, but also to people’s joints, tendons and muscles are caused by incorrect usage of the tsurite during Tai otoshi.



    The biggest, most common and most painful error is inserting the elbow of the tsurite/lapel arm across uke’s chest in a Morote seoi nage style:





    Because uke isn’t properly loaded onto the back as in Morote seoi nage and instead in a halfway house between tori’s hip and upper thigh and because tori’s hands have fallen behind their head. This is a very weak position and to then attempt to complete the throw requires a lot of power to be extracted from joints that aren’t in the correct position to provide power, the result is very weak and will result in injury when attempted on a resisting opponent.
    Tori’s tsurite hand should never fall behind their ear





    Tori should ensure that the tsurite is inserted into the pocket and that it doesn’t fall behind their head.


    Whilst keeping the tsurite forearm tucked into the pocket and not allowing it to fall behind the head. The action of the hikite/ sleeve arm should be that of a smooth and continuous upward pull.


    Tori’s pull on the sleeve arm should remain high and not slacken off until the end of the throw.





    If the tsurite arm is not slotted into the pocket and falls behind the head and if the hikite arm doesn’t have a good, continuous upward pull then uke will be drawn onto the hip and tori’s body will be put out of alignment






    Tsurite in the pocket and hikite kept high is vital to a correct hand action.





    Flaws in the hand action often lead to flaws in the positioning of the legs and the head and cause major structural problems with the throw.


    Legs

    There are two main schools of thought on the use of the legs in Tai otoshi. I call them the ‘Adams school’ and the ‘Japanese school’ the central difference between them is how tori’s weight is distributed between the two legs.


    The ‘Adams school’ advocates a 50/50 weight distribution between the legs




    The ‘Japanese school’ advocates a 70/30 weight distribution with the majority of the weight being put on the outstretched leg



    It doesn’t really matter which school you adhere to, advocate or emulate. However, there is one constant between the two schools which is a fundamental principle of Tai otoshi, which must be adhered to no matter which school you prefer.

    That you must never have more than 50% of your weight on the leg which you don’t throw uke over.

    Here Nicholas Gill demonstrates how incorrect weight distribution puts uke back on balance and tori off balance.




    Another major issue that people encounter with Tai otoshi which causes them to have incorrect weight distribution between the legs is the exaggerated backswing of the planted foot.

    In Judo for uchikomi we start opposite our partners



    Then step to the peak of the triangle



    It is at this point, in Tai otoshi, that the exaggerated backswing tends to appear.






    This tends to shift all of tori’s weight onto the non-throwing over leg, pulls their hands out of alignment and shifts their head over their non-throwing over leg.


    Head

    Where the head goes the weight follows. Not a revolutionary new diet regime, but a simple maxim for understanding weight distribution in Judo. In order for the legs to have the correct weight distribution and thus the upper body to be in the correct position for proper use of the hands the head must be used correctly.


    Here Neil Adams explains the importance of head positioning for weight distribution.




    If you over rotate your head and cause it to be over your non-throwing leg or ‘wrong leg’ as Adams calls it this will shift the weight distribution of your legs, pull your upper body out of alignment and ruin your hand action.


    Summary

    Head must be either central or over the ‘throwing over leg’ never over the ‘non-throwing over leg’.


    You weight must be at least 50/50 between the two legs and never more than 50% on the ‘non-throwing over leg’.


    Your hands must not fall behind your head, your tsurite/ lapel forearm must fit into the pocket of uke’s armpit and your hikite/sleeve arm must keep pulling upwards until the last minute.


    Refinements

    Uke to tori, not tori to uke

    In the fundamentals section I outlined some of the core things necessary for a good Tai otoshi and covered some of the major and most common errors found in Tai otoshi. In this section I will cover some of the refinements on the core principles of Tai otoshi. As I’m not a Tai otoshi expert, far from it, I have chosen to call this refinements rather than ‘intermediate’ or ‘advanced’, because I think it reflects better the level of the advice.


    Tai otoshi is a forwards technique, however, in practice we normal practice and learn it with what I call a ‘backwards pivot’, this means that tori advances with his foot to the peak of the triangle





    And the brings his trailing foot to meet it, tori’s feet represented by red Ts and tori’s hips by a red circle









    This, however, often causes a lot of problems for beginners with crashing their hips into uke and undoing their own kuzushi:




    To avoid this it is vital that tori observes the triangle when breaking uke’s balance and entering and concentrates on bring uke towards him rather than himself towards uke.

    When practicing Tai otoshi during moving uchikomi and nagekomi it is usually beneficial to concentrate on practicing it with a forward pivot whilst retreating.


    3 toe kuzushi

    Often for forward throws we are taught as part of our standard tsurikomi to break uke’s balance forward. In the case of Tai otoshi, however, this can often be counter productive.


    Breaking uke’s balance directly over their big toes allows uke to utilise their hips to push forward and hip block the technique



    If, however, you conceptualise your kuzushi as breaking uke’s balance over their three smallest toes instead of over their big toe it becomes much harder for uke to regain their balance.







    3 toe kuzushi being practiced in uchikomi



    Look where you throw

    The phrase ‘look where you throw’ is issued to beginners so often it becomes cliché, however, often despite this constant repetition either through instructor ignorance or beginner incompetence, when it comes to Tai otoshi the advice ‘look where you throw’ is valmorphanized into ‘look where your chi might project uke if this were an aikijokers wet dream’

    NOTE THIS ADVICE REFERS TO HEAD TURN DURING THE TSUKURI PHASE NOT KAKE

    When beginners perform Tai otoshi, they have a tendency to over rotate their head, this was touched upon earlier, but I wanted to revisit it to emphasis how you should use your head.

    All too often beginners have a tendency to turn and look as if they were throwing uke into the blue box, which is obviously impossible



    Instead, in reality, you throw uke into the red box.

    Adams demonstrates the correct head movement and how to properly look where you throw:



    Combinations

    As a stand alone technique Tai otoshi is very difficult to score with, however, when combined with other techniques opportunities for it open up a lot more and your success rate increases exponentially. Not only this, but Tai otoshi has a myriad of techniques that can accompany it making it one of the most versatile forward throws.
    De ashi barai into Tai otoshi





    Ko uchi gari into Tai otoshi





    O uchi gari into Tai otoshi





    Note how when performing the ashiwaza combinations Tori maintains the triangle and appropriate spacing.


    I hope this has been useful and that people have got something out of it. As always comments, critiques and questions are welcome.
  2. BKR is offline
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    Posted On:
    5/08/2011 9:44am

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    Good work again.

    I have a question for you, though. How do you get that high pull with the hikite when uke is resisting? Even if tori has sleeve control? Or do you?

    Ben
    Falling for Judo since 1980
  3. judoka_uk is offline
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    Posted On:
    5/08/2011 10:00am

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    Quote Originally Posted by BKR View Post
    Good work again.
    Cheers

    Quote Originally Posted by BKR View Post
    I have a question for you, though. How do you get that high pull with the hikite when uke is resisting? Even if tori has sleeve control? Or do you?

    Ben


    What are you trying to get at?
  4. BKR is offline
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    Posted On:
    5/08/2011 10:09am

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    It's not a trap at all. Just my Mr. Myagi act.

    I'll start another thread instead of polluting yours. You have to start with the basic, which is what you are doing, or dealing with what I alluded to won't work anyway.

    Ben
    Falling for Judo since 1980
  5. judoka_uk is offline
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    Posted On:
    5/08/2011 10:18am

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    Quote Originally Posted by BKR View Post
    It's not a trap at all. Just my Mr. Myagi act.
    Didn't have you down as a waxing man.

    Quote Originally Posted by BKR View Post
    I'll start another thread instead of polluting yours. You have to start with the basic, which is what you are doing, or dealing with what I alluded to won't work anyway.

    Ben
    Well I think some bright spark is going to pick up on it eventually. That is to say that the high pull we do in uchikomi isn't replicated in randori. I'm actually not sure whether I keep the sleeve high when doing nagekomi as I've never seen myself doing Tai otoshi, obviously.

    I was reading Lafon's blog today and his post on how throws are done differently in competition and in uchikomi and how we should change uchikomi to fit more what we see in competition. I instinctually feel that his reasoning is flawed, but don't think I'm yet at the stage of understanding to be able to deconstruct his position.

    Your take?
  6. Colin is offline
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    Posted On:
    5/08/2011 10:28am

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    Yet another comprehensive yet concise technical explanation for what is surely one of the most well known and distinctive 'Judo' throws.

    Between this thread, and Omega's video (Judo/Sambo setups for mma) I'm really enthusiastic on making Tai-Otoshi my theme for this week's training.
  7. Res Judicata is offline

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    Posted On:
    5/08/2011 11:12am


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    Here's the bad news, Colin: Tai otoshi is, arguably, the most difficult major contest throw in Judo. When it works, it's magic. But everything has to happen just right at just the right time. It's not one you can get sort of right and then power through (e.g. osoto). You really need someone who knows the throw well to teach it.

    One of the truly fun things about Tai otoshi is that it can be done in virtually any direction and from many grips - uke moving forward, back, to the side, kenka yotsu, ai yotsu. You actually don't need that tsurite arm in the pocket for some advanced versions.
    Last edited by Res Judicata; 5/08/2011 11:17am at .
  8. BKR is offline
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    Posted On:
    5/08/2011 11:12am

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     Style: Kodokan Judo

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    Quote Originally Posted by judoka_uk View Post
    Didn't have you down as a waxing man.
    "The moon is a very funny fellow, I watch him wax and wane, I watch him wax and wane."

    Colin might recognize that.


    Quote Originally Posted by judoka_uk View Post
    Well I think some bright spark is going to pick up on it eventually. That is to say that the high pull we do in uchikomi isn't replicated in randori. I'm actually not sure whether I keep the sleeve high when doing nagekomi as I've never seen myself doing Tai otoshi, obviously.
    Whether or not you keep you sleeve high is going to depend on how much resistance uke is giving you. If he/she is cooperative, probably yes, although to finish it won't be extended. With the grips set and no sleeve control, no, unless you are doing Judo with a child, grips set and sleeve control, maybe, but probably not.

    Quote Originally Posted by judoka_uk View Post
    I was reading Lafon's blog today and his post on how throws are done differently in competition and in uchikomi and how we should change uchikomi to fit more what we see in competition. I instinctually feel that his reasoning is flawed, but don't think I'm yet at the stage of understanding to be able to deconstruct his position.

    Your take?
    I actually know Gerald Lafon, that small Judo world again. He'll throw out ideas, but does not give away trade "secrets". I'm so desperate for attention I have no qualms about doing so other than not wanting to confuse people or get them ahead of themselves in their training.
    I have a video of one of his clinics, and he does not cover any of that unless it got edited out.

    My take is that he is correct but that the basics need to be learned first. Movement, action reaction, control, ukemi, transitions, etc need to be introduced even in simplified form as soon as possible, but not competition variations of throws IF that is what Gerald means.

    I've never seen Gerald actually show a teaching progression for a specific throw, which is funny given how vocal he is about training methods in Judo.

    Ben
    Falling for Judo since 1980
  9. Colin is offline
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    Posted On:
    5/08/2011 11:24am

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    Quote Originally Posted by Res Judicata View Post
    Here's the bad news, Colin: Tai otoshi is, arguably, the most difficult major contest throw in Judo. When it works, it's magic. But everything has to happen just right at just the right time. It's not one you can get sort of right and then power through (e.g. osoto). You really need someone who knows the throw well to teach it.
    Who do you think I'm going to be working on my Judo with?

    My Dungeons and Dragons group?
    My Call of Duty Clanmates?
    My mother's Sewing circle?


    I will be working on Judo with my Judo Colleagues, and my Judo instructor - which is something that Judoka and BKR would have assumed in the first place, imo.

    BKR: Admitting that I know the source of that line would reveal my true age. It's not going to happen. HOWEVER if you DO know anybody that can knit me a kimono that can alter its own size to match my fluctuating weight, hook me up.
  10. Res Judicata is offline

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    Posted On:
    5/08/2011 11:33am


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    All I'm saying is that tai otoshi isn't one that's going to magically work for you right away, and that not all judo instructors are equal when it comes to this (or other) throws. Don't get frustrated if its not working right away. I think it took me more than a year to actually throw someone with tai otoshi - and that was with steady feedback on my uchikomi. It's easier if you're a fast guy, though. It's awesome when you get it to work.

    Or, as Judoka_uk said at the top of his first post:

    Tai Otoshi is one of the hardest single techniques to master, in Judo, not least because it is so appallingly taught in many places. A big, powerful technique it requires a very good mastery of fundamental skills and a keen sense of debana and when executed expertly, as a pure tewaza, beautifully epitomises Ju Yoku Go O Seisu.
    Last edited by Res Judicata; 5/08/2011 11:37am at .
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