Seoi nage Ė An Introduction
This is intended to be a brief introduction to Seoi nage, in its two major forms. It is not in any way a masterclass or in depth exploration of throw, for the simple reason that Iím not very good at it.
So without further ado.
Seoi Nage Basics
Fundamental to both Ippon and Morote seoi nage is correct spacing between uke and tori. This is often the critical error in a beginner Seoi nage and has negative consequences for all other aspects of the throw.
Regular readers will be familiar with the basic spacing concept the triangle.
That core idea of ensuring their is enough space between uke and tori after the initial step for tori to turn into and for ukeís balance to be broken into remains.
However it is modified slightly.
Instead of the triangle it is better to think of a rectangle.
Toriís initial step should be to the corner of the rectangle
The reason the rectangle is a better aide memoire for spacing than the triangle, for Seoi nage. Is because it ensures that toriís hips and body and correctly aligned.
Stepping to the top of the triangle in Seoi nage
Often means that as you attempt to load uke onto your back that they become twisted around your body.
Thus setting the throw up for failure as uke is not loaded properly onto toriís back.
Body posture Ė
One of the major structural errors with Seoi nage and often an error that is a consequence of failure to achieve proper spacing is body positioning.
You must have a straight back with hips slightly lower than ukeís and your feet in the correct position
To ensure that you have a straight back and good body posture it is vital that during tsukuri you keep your head up.
When practicing entries during uchikomi it is often beneficial for beginners to pause and look straight ahead to ingrain correct habits.
Not entering with good body posture-
Good body posture as explained above is a straight back, looking straight ahead.
All too often due to an over eagerness to load uke onto the back and structural errors meaning that throwing uke is often a struggle. A beginner will come in arse first and attempt to jack up uke using their arse.
Over rotating the head during tsukuri-
As Neil Adams explains in this video over turning the head during tsukuri is a major error.
Having your head over rotated during tsukuri will not only wreck your weight distribution, it will mess up the control with your hands for Morote seoi nage and will eliminate your ability to lock uke up onto your body to throw them.
Morote seoi nage
A lot of people have a lot of problems with Morote seoi nage. These usually can be traced back to flaws in spacing and body positioning.
However, they can also be caused by a misunderstanding of how to place the elbow properly.
Often beginners will try to fit their elbow into the space under ukeís armpit rather than opening up a space for their elbow to go into and then lowering their bodies.
I have discussed previously the importance of a strong, high and continuous sleeve pull.
This is especially important in Morote seoi nage as tori must open up space for their elbow and combine this with correct body lowering.
A common remedy people use to compensate for poor sleeve lift and failure to create space is to do a very low squat.
This is almost always problematic for beginners because very few people have the strength and stability to go that low. Normally it will cause people to rock or be pulled backwards into uke which is disastrous for a forward throw and undoes all kuzushi that has been achieved.
If youíre struggling to create enough space and lower your body correctly to insert your elbow then simply hold the lapel two inches lower down, than normal. This should give you enough slack and space to be able to fit in properly.
3-toe kuzushi can be used with Morote seoi nage
Ippon seoi nage
Similarly to Morote seoi nage most errors with Ippon seoi nage can be traced back to errors in spacing and body posture.
However, one key aspect of Morote seoi nage that is often overlooked or not taught is how to clamp with the arm.
It is vital that you clamp the shoulder not the bicep or elbow
Clamping the shoulder locks uke onto tori and ensures that they are loaded onto the back properly.
Clamping the bicep or elbow gives tori minimal control and is a major cause of uke slipping around toriís Ippon seoi nage attack.
Never clamp the elbow
Always clamp the shoulder.
Hopefully thatís proved useful to people and cleared up some points about Seoi nage in its two most common forms.
As always comments, critiques and questions are welcome.
Dude, I love your threads.
Two hypothetical questions (for a crappler like myself):
1.) If you bungle the ippon seoinage and find that you in fact, have snatched your opponent's elbow, where do you go from there?
2.) For the right handgrip on the morote seoi nage, what if your opponent isn't wearing a gi? (Or is it a gi specific technique?)
i'd like to see a sticky or something which links to all these threads and your blog under categories or something.
you're building up a great online resource. would be nice to see people from other martial arts imitating your style of internet instruction.
Cheers old boy.
Originally Posted by Omega Supreme
Well you can complete it, usually by performing Seoi otoshi, but its sub optimal and even trying to drop for the Seoi otoshi, because you lack control, means uke can spin out and avoid the score/ attack you in newaza.
Originally Posted by yli
The difficulty of locking up the shoulder is one of the major reasons that standing Ippon seoi nage is so rarely succesful in competition.
Depends what you have to work with. A jacket, coat, t-shirt etc... all still enable you to do the Morote seoi nage.
Originally Posted by yli
I always feel smarter after reading a JUKER thread.
That video was too perfect for the following reasons:
Originally Posted by judoka_uk
1.) It shows an engagement on the d34dly street.
2.) It's Israeli and you can tell what I practice from my style field.
3.) It's hilarious having a transgender person beat up a (presumably) drunk assailant.
As for gripping with the right hand, I was also taught a variation where the right hand either underhooks the uke's left arm or wraps around the uke's torso. Any comments on that one?
I really like the fact that you brought up the over rotation killing the throw. It seems like the thinking of "if a little circular motion is a good thing then a lot must be great" gets into peoples' heads when they learn seoi nage. Morote seoi nage is, without a doubt, an incredibly weak throw for me. I definitely will revisit it and work on it with the things that you have brought up. I find that I rely too much on the lapel grip rather than sleeve grip. Thanks again for another quality breakdown.
That sounds like o goshi rather than seoi nage.
Originally Posted by yli