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  1. judoka_uk is offline
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    Posted On:
    9/29/2011 3:28pm

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    Ko uchi gari

    Ko uchi gari is a small technique, but a phenomenally powerful one when pulled off perfectly, capable of knocking someone unconscious.



    When its not being used to flatten people Ko uchi gari is a perfect attacking technique to induce movement and create opportunities and as such is very often used as the first technique in combinations with major throws.

    A deceptively simple looking technique, there are several key points that should be born in mind when practicing it.

    Body positioning

    Body positioning is the biggest cause of throw failure and wasted practice time when it comes to Ko uchi gari. Or more accurately, incorrect body positioning is the biggest issue.

    Its very common when beginners are introduced to Ko uchi gari or are practicing it either as a solo technique or as part of a combination, that they bend over at the waist as the apply kuzushi or try to sweep.



    It is vital to ensure a good Ko uchi gari that tori’s body is upright when attacking.





    However, this doesn’t mean that tori should be bolt upright on tip toes.

    Tori’s upper body should be upright, but his centre of gravity lowered so that it is below uke’s.







    Tori should also concentrate on attacking the chest, ensuring that he doesn’t enter for the thow side on.



    Instead tori should attempt to ensure he is making as much chest contact as possible and that as much as possible his shoulders are in the same plane as uke’s.



    Correct body positioning is vital and by ensuring your position your body for Ko uchi gari, correctly. You will find that the other aspects start to fall into place fairly naturally.

    Hands

    As in other ‘Gari techniques’ tori should concentrate on attacking the chest with the hand action.


    The tsurite is very important in all ‘Gari techniques’ and is equally important in Ko uchi gari.

    The forearm makes firm and sustained contact with uke’s chest.





    The sleeve hand draws downwards and towards tori’s hip.



    As in all techniques both hands should work together and simultaneously. So that uke’s weight is shifted on to the rear of the heel about to be reaped.



    So that when the foot action is performed uke is perfectly position to be thrown.

    Feet

    As I see it there are two main ‘schools of thought’ on the foot action for Ko uchi gari.

    There is the school I ascribe to which is the oikomi school of thought, in which a tsugi ashi foot movement is used to create a very powerful explosive attack and there is the ‘touch step/kick out’ school where the attack is less explosively and relies more on the reaping action.

    Regardless of the exact footwork one point remains constant.
    The foot should be turned over and cupped so that the sole of the foot is what makes contact with uke’s ankle, not the ridge of the side of the foot or the instep.



    Tsugi ashi



    In this form of Ko uchi gari the tusgi ashi foot movement is used to generate force and then applied to power the reaping action.

    The rear foot is brought to the front foot to provide impetus for the action of the advanced reaping foot.





    The foot is then reaped roughly into the area indicated by the red box.



    Some reap almost directly forwards akin to Ko soto gari others add some degree of diagonal angle to the reap.

    I personally prefer this version, because it suits my style of Judo, which as a heavyweight tends to be fairly sedate with little movement. So opportunities for the drawing out/hikidashi style of Ko uchi gari so often practiced in this drill



    Are very few and far between.

    As an aside, I loathe this drill with an absolute passion.
    I think its literally the worst drill in Judo and whenever I’m at a club and end up doing it, every second of it I feel my blood pressure rising.

    I hate it for two main reasons:

    Basically no one uke’s for it properly. Instead of stepping forward and allowing themselves to have the weight brought onto their heels. They stomp the foot forward as if doing a Sumo shiko and as a result no one learns anything except how to waste everybody’s time.

    Its utterly useless for teaching beginners, because to try and avoid the Sumo stomp people try and rush to get the sweep in before uke’s clubbed foot becomes glued to the mat. They forget all about the hands, body positioning etc and concentrate solely on stepping back and sweeping as quickly as possible.

    So its a **** drill, please stop using it coaches. Unless you really, really, really hammer home to uke that it isn’t a contest into who can stomp the mat the hardest and that they’re actually supposed to help their partner out...

    And even then, there are better options.

    Touch step

    Another common footwork for Ko uchi gari, in my experience is what I call the touch step movement.

    In the touch step foot pattern the planted foot is brought to the reaping foot.



    The advanced to the side of the foot about to be reaped.



    Then the reaping foot attacks the intended foot.





    The foot is then reaped roughly into the area indicated by the red box



    Some perform a very linear reaping action, most tend to do it in a shallow parabola.

    Kick out

    The ‘kick out’ Ko uchi gari is one of the other most commonly seen variations, it can be done with either the tsugi ashi foot action or the touch step foot action.

    However, the initial footwork is done the reaping action is always the same.

    The foot is literally kicked outwards laterally.



    I don’t think its particularly important which action you do.

    Although I personally don’t teach the kick out, because I believe its too easily open to abuse.

    Rather if you concentrate on getting the body positioning and hand action right then the exact foot action becomes of less consequence.

    Combinations

    Ko uchi gari is a fantastic technique for use in creating opportunities and linking to big throws. As such its used a lot in combinations.

    Some examples of combinations involving Ko uchi gari.

    Ko uchi gari into Uchi mata


    Seoi nage into Ko uchi gari


    Ko uchi gari into Tai otoshi



    As always, I hope this has been useful to people and comments, critiques and criticisms are welcome.
  2. captainbirdseye is offline

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    Posted On:
    9/29/2011 5:17pm


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    Thanks for the article, as always.

    Do you throw with this often? I've never thrown someone with it outside of drilling, although I do use it with a lot of success to set up tai otoshi.
  3. judoka_uk is offline
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    Posted On:
    9/29/2011 5:31pm

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    Quote Originally Posted by captainbirdseye View Post
    Thanks for the article, as always.
    You're welcome.

    Quote Originally Posted by captainbirdseye View Post
    Do you throw with this often? I've never thrown someone with it outside of drilling, although I do use it with a lot of success to set up tai otoshi.
    No not really. I have thrown people with it, but its not one I throw with regularly in randori. I've been trying to dial it in a little bit lately to partner up with my naiscent Tai otoshi, because the O uchi doesn't help to set up the kenka yotsu situation that's ideal for Tai otoshi.
  4. BKR is offline
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    Posted On:
    9/29/2011 7:47pm

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    Nice work, I have to LOL at your hatred for the hikidashi drill, I love it. I agree that uke has to play his role (as usual), but I don't have that many problems getting uke to behave properly. If I do, I go to the "kick out" drill/version. Just depends on the individual usually.

    I also use the oikomi and "kicking out" versions. Oikomi is usually saved for last, as it is the hardest to do, and the balance and feel are well developed if you have gotten the hikidashi versions down.

    Kouchi Gari is an incredibly versatile throw, that does not expose tori to strong counters, and sets up all sorts of other throws.

    Have you tried it to combine with lapel side STKA? If you catch it right uke goes over so hard and fast it will surprise you.

    Ben
    Falling for Judo since 1980
  5. judoka_uk is offline
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    Posted On:
    9/29/2011 8:12pm

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    Quote Originally Posted by BKR View Post
    Nice work, I have to LOL at your hatred for the hikidashi drill, I love it. I agree that uke has to play his role (as usual), but I don't have that many problems getting uke to behave properly. If I do, I go to the "kick out" drill/version. Just depends on the individual usually.
    I really hate it, the only thing I hate more than it, is doing uchikomi whilst standing on a crash mat.

    Mate, if I had a quid for every time I've had to deal with a spastic uke whilst doing this, well I'd be close to being able to sort out our budget deficit single handed.

    Quote Originally Posted by BKR View Post
    I also use the oikomi and "kicking out" versions. Oikomi is usually saved for last, as it is the hardest to do, and the balance and feel are well developed if you have gotten the hikidashi versions down.

    Kouchi Gari is an incredibly versatile throw, that does not expose tori to strong counters, and sets up all sorts of other throws.
    You think so?

    Oikomi is the basic version I learnt, in fact my coach only ever taught the oikomi version. The first time I saw the hikidashi was outside of my uni club.

    So for me all other versions are 'non-standard', that pesky NA influence coming through again, lol!

    Quote Originally Posted by BKR View Post
    Have you tried it to combine with lapel side STKA? If you catch it right uke goes over so hard and fast it will surprise you.

    Ben
    No I haven't, but I've long had a chub on for this combo.

  6. BKR is offline
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    Posted On:
    9/30/2011 9:41pm

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    Quote Originally Posted by judoka_uk View Post
    I really hate it, the only thing I hate more than it, is doing uchikomi whilst standing on a crash mat.
    LOL,hey, to each his own. You've really had to do uchikomi standing on a crash pad? That's just plain wrong.


    [QUOTE=judoka_uk;2610634Mate, if I had a quid for every time I've had to deal with a spastic uke whilst doing this, well I'd be close to being able to sort out our budget deficit single handed.[/quote]

    No doubt, but I rule with an iron fist and spastic uke soon fall into line. However, I'm not teaching a hungover mob of college students either.


    [QUOTE=judoka_uk;2610634You think so?[/quote]

    Not sure what I think so about, other than Kouchi Gari is a great throw that all judoka should be proficient at.

    [QUOTE=judoka_uk;2610634Oikomi is the basic version I learnt, in fact my coach only ever taught the oikomi version. The first time I saw the hikidashi was outside of my uni club. [/quote]

    I can see that happening. I first learned the hikidashi version, then transformed to the oikomi in the space of a year or less. I'd basically do the Okano hip twitch/t-step and load move and if they reacted to the back (fearful of seoi nage) I'd do Kouchi Gari, often with spectacular results. In fact we worked on it last night with good results. Student has very strong hikidashi version. Also worked on a ken ken version of kouchi for grins.

    It's all good, either method works if a good progression is used.



    [QUOTE=judoka_uk;2610634So for me all other versions are 'non-standard', that pesky NA influence coming through again, lol![/quote]

    We should all be so lucky to have the NA influence. All I have is 4 of his books I just unearthed after a spelunking expedition in the boxes of books in storage. NA Olympic Groundwork/Olympic Throwing/Grips and Tai Otoshi


    Quote Originally Posted by judoka_uk;2610634No I haven't, but I've long had a chub on for this combo.

    [video=youtube;4uY29Vrv27s
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4uY29Vrv27s[/video]
    That, my friend, is true Judo porn!

    Our japanese coach (from Tokai and sempai/friend to Suzuki) when I was at Idaho State University showed us a video of that one. We practiced it a lot for a while. Not much success, though, for obvious reasons!
    Falling for Judo since 1980
  7. judoka_uk is offline
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    Posted On:
    10/01/2011 8:55am

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    Quote Originally Posted by BKR View Post
    LOL,hey, to each his own. You've really had to do uchikomi standing on a crash pad? That's just plain wrong.
    Yes, I have been subjected to it on a few occasions. Its really fucking stupid. As, you can imagine, it basic makes it impossible to do the footwork for anything properly.

    Quote Originally Posted by BKR View Post
    Not sure what I think so about,
    Oikomi being harder to learn than hikidashi.

    Quote Originally Posted by BKR View Post
    I can see that happening. I first learned the hikidashi version, then transformed to the oikomi in the space of a year or less. I'd basically do the Okano hip twitch/t-step and load move and if they reacted to the back (fearful of seoi nage) I'd do Kouchi Gari, often with spectacular results. In fact we worked on it last night with good results. Student has very strong hikidashi version. Also worked on a ken ken version of kouchi for grins.

    It's all good, either method works if a good progression is used.
    I haven't really given much thought to teaching Ko uchi, because I tend to only ever teach throws I'm competent at and it isn't really one of them.

    Quote Originally Posted by BKR View Post
    We should all be so lucky to have the NA influence. All I have is 4 of his books I just unearthed after a spelunking expedition in the boxes of books in storage. NA Olympic Groundwork/Olympic Throwing/Grips and Tai Otoshi
    Sadly its only the influence none of the skill has managed to pass down the line....

    Was thinking about that thing people say about being able to tell who taught you Judo by watching you. I don't know if anyone would be able to work it out, by watching my frog in a blender -Judo....

    Quote Originally Posted by BKR View Post
    That, my friend, is true Judo porn!

    Our japanese coach (from Tokai and sempai/friend to Suzuki) when I was at Idaho State University showed us a video of that one. We practiced it a lot for a while. Not much success, though, for obvious reasons!
    Suzuki is my age in that video. :(

    If I ever have 1/10 of Suzuki's ability with my ashiwaza I'll die happy.

    Btw tried the Ko uchi -Sasae thing this morning. Works ok Ko uchi- Sasae, but then again my Sasae is one of my strong throws. Wasn't working very well Sasae-Ko uchi, because I was getting too much movement from them off the Sasae.

    Will have a further play with it, but I tend to only use throws in combination where I can throw dan grades for 10 with each individual technique of the combo. And I haven't thrown a dan grade with Ko uchi yet, will work on it.
  8. BKR is offline
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    Posted On:
    10/01/2011 10:50pm

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    Quote Originally Posted by judoka_uk View Post
    Oikomi being harder to learn than hikidashi.
    I'm sure it's just what one is exposed to first. My idea on hikidashi is basically the preservation of momentum in forward direction-the basic debana for most throws noobs learn. So I stay consistent with hikidashi, then segue to oikomi once basic competence in hikidashi is gained.

    On the other hand, with oikomi, it works better as a combination to forward throws and somewhat better if uke reacts to the rear after a forward throw attempt. I've seen very good progressions for oikomi for forward throws, and this goes well with oikomi for kouchi/ouchi gari.

    I haven't really given much thought to teaching Ko uchi, because I tend to only ever teach throws I'm competent at and it isn't really one of them.
    You don't see many heavy weights doing Kouchi Gari, do you? I may be wrong, but I don't think it's that common. Suzuki and his sublime ashi waza aside! However, if you keep working on it you will eventually make it useful. Even if you don't, it's good training for coordination.

    Sadly its only the influence none of the skill has managed to pass down the line....
    You are better off than if you have been doing Zen Judo, at least!

    Was thinking about that thing people say about being able to tell who taught you Judo by watching you. I don't know if anyone would be able to work it out, by watching my frog in a blender -Judo....
    One couldn't tell by watching me, either, I feel your pain.


    Suzuki is my age in that video. :(

    If I ever have 1/10 of Suzuki's ability with my ashiwaza I'll die happy.
    Try 1/100th and you'd be better than 99% of judoka.

    Btw tried the Ko uchi -Sasae thing this morning. Works ok Ko uchi- Sasae, but then again my Sasae is one of my strong throws. Wasn't working very well Sasae-Ko uchi, because I was getting too much movement from them off the Sasae.

    Will have a further play with it, but I tend to only use throws in combination where I can throw dan grades for 10 with each individual technique of the combo. And I haven't thrown a dan grade with Ko uchi yet, will work on it.
    The Kouchi to STKA is the one I was thinking of, the other way I can see why it would be difficult. I'd think Osoto Gari or Seoi Nage from STKA to lapel side.

    Don't worry about throwing them with the Kouchi, just give massive Oikomi kick/shove to drive the leg back, put that foot on the mat, and turn for the STKA, trying for chest contact.

    Ben
    Falling for Judo since 1980
  9. judoka_uk is offline
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    Posted On:
    10/03/2011 1:09pm

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    BTW if anyone does have questions feel free to jump in, its not just about me and Ben having a chat.
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    Posted On:
    10/03/2011 1:12pm

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    Quote Originally Posted by BKR View Post
    I'm sure it's just what one is exposed to first. My idea on hikidashi is basically the preservation of momentum in forward direction-the basic debana for most throws noobs learn. So I stay consistent with hikidashi, then segue to oikomi once basic competence in hikidashi is gained.

    On the other hand, with oikomi, it works better as a combination to forward throws and somewhat better if uke reacts to the rear after a forward throw attempt. I've seen very good progressions for oikomi for forward throws, and this goes well with oikomi for kouchi/ouchi gari.
    That's my experience too, especially when doing static or moving nagekomi. Its very hard to do the Hikidashi version and most people are much more comfortable with Oikomi.

    Quote Originally Posted by BKR View Post
    You don't see many heavy weights doing Kouchi Gari, do you? I may be wrong, but I don't think it's that common. Suzuki and his sublime ashi waza aside! However, if you keep working on it you will eventually make it useful. Even if you don't, it's good training for coordination.
    Tmenov springs to mind, but apart from him and Suzuki I can't think of anyone else.

    You just generally don't see much 'subtle' ashiwaza like Ko uchi, De ashi, Okuri ashi in heavyweights, for obvious reasons, that the margin for error is small.

    Quote Originally Posted by BKR View Post
    The Kouchi to STKA is the one I was thinking of, the other way I can see why it would be difficult. I'd think Osoto Gari or Seoi Nage from STKA to lapel side.

    Don't worry about throwing them with the Kouchi, just give massive Oikomi kick/shove to drive the leg back, put that foot on the mat, and turn for the STKA, trying for chest contact.

    Ben
    Booting someone in the leg, I can do!

    Seoi nage, not so much.

    Kick them in the leg and then Tai otoshi.
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