Gripping - Underarm/underhook and sleeve grip
Thereís been a lack of judo threads in here lately so I thought we should have something. The last gripping thread I did was too general so Iím going to go with something more immediately applicable.
Iíve always liked the underarm/underhook and sleeve grip. It provides good offensive control and is also strong for counterthrows. Iím about five eight and fighting in -81 kg I was usually shorter than the majority of my opponents so that made it even easier to get.
The end-point of the grip is to have your right hand under the opponents left armpit and grabbing gi at the middle of your opponentís back while the left holds the opponents right sleeve, usually lower, closer to the wrist than the elbow. This is the right handed grip and the one Iíll be referring to throughout. If youíre a lefty just reverse everything.
There are several ways to achieve this grip. The quick and dirty way is as follows. Circle your opponent, moving to your left. Once youíve maneuvered yourself more in line with their right shoulder, reach across and grab their left lapel with your left hand. Pull on the lapel and step into them. Reach around the back with your right hand and secure the grip around the back. Donít swing your arm out in front while doing this, slide it forward as close to the body as you can. Circle to the right and catch the left sleeve grip when you can. Usually just putting your left hand out your opponent will grab and it and you can catch the grip then.
Itís important to circle to the left when doing this method of catching the grip. If you try it straight on your opponent it leaves you open for an uchi-mata. By approaching from the side it greatly reduces your opponent s attack options while securing the grip. That angle also makes it more difficult for your opponent to block your grip since youíre coming across the body rather than from the front where they can catch the arm as itís coming in straight on. From the side to block they have to reach across their own body which is more awkward.
My other method to achieve the grip is a bit more methodical and less snappy. Work your way into a standard lapel and sleeve grip. Likely your opponent has the same at this point so weíll work from there. Take a step back and snap your opponent down with the lapel and sleeve to get them slightly bent over. Itís important that you step back while doing this, donít just pull down while standing there. The most likely response to this will be for your opponent to step back and straighten up. If they do, step forward and let go of the lapel, sliding your hand around the back. Grab the gi there to secure the grip.
The key point in this method is that while your opponent is stepping backwards they cannot attack you. You have a short window where you can safely let go and switch your grip without being worried about getting thrown. As soon as you feel your opponent moving backwards and straightening up you have to switch your grip. Wait too long and you run the risk of being thrown as you release your lapel grip.
The other primary way to achieve this grip (and the easiest) is if your opponent likes to take an overhead grip. Then itís really easy since theyíll go over your head and you can just take the underhook. The key in this situation is not to bend over. Keep your back straight and be prepared to a big forward throw. The underhook gives you a strong grip base to counter backwards or to do a sukashi if they attack with a forward throw.
Next post will deal with attacks from this grip.
Last edited by Southpaw; 11/14/2008 11:45pm at .
we covered the "left hand into the left lapel and pull for the back" business at the last sambo seminar i went to.
Something i meant to ask then, but it slipped my mind...When you bring your left hand into their left lapel (i'm assuming fingers in, next to their chest), what keeps them from pushing your elbow down and coming in on you?
Do you do the technique quickly, or does them doing that open them up to something else? I'm not good at judo, as you can see.
That's why you do it from the side, not straight on. If you do it straight on you're exposing your left shoulder/back as you reach across. From the side they can only catch your arm which is fine since there isn't really anything they can do from there without another hand on you. If they catch your arm and square up you just slip in the underhook as per the plan and you're in the position you want.
Originally Posted by 3moose1
The cross grip method I do tend to do quickly. You take your time setting up and getting to the side but the actually cross and switch you do quick.
Fun post. Thanks. It's my preferred grip for Harai. I think I'm going to play with that circling setup, since my partners are getting used to me going for something else when I circle left.
Originally Posted by Judobum
I can't wait for sunday to try this out.
I have absolutely no judo training (save for getting JUDOWNED a few times, and youtube)
It seems like harai and uchimata are right there. Kani Basami, too, but that illegal...
What about other throws? Or more importantly, what would YOU suggest?
Attacks from this grip. I have a few favorites that I'll go through.
1) Uchi-mata. This is not the standard one since you can't really get square enough from this grip. It's more of a hopping one where you bring your leg up to the opponents upper thigh and do two or three little hops to kick him over. Pull on the sleeve hand is essential. The motion of the throw is more of rolling him onto his back than throwing over your hip.
2) Te-guruma. This is my bread and butter throw from here. You clamp hard with the hand that's behind the back and let go of the sleeve. Drop your hips and grab the pants near the ankle (or the ankle but pants give you and better grip). You're grabbing his right leg. Bring the leg up in a wheeling kind of a motion while stepping forwards and driving down with the other hand. You're essentially trying to move the foot you're holding in a circle where he will end up on his back. This is a really, really effective throw since often guys feel like they're out of it until you move forward, then it's too late.
3) O-goshi / uki-goshi / Harai-goshi. These are all pretty straight forward and good to do from this grip. One of my favorites is to come in for uki-goshi then switch to a double. No-one expects it so it usually works.
Those are the ones I use. Under no circumstances do you want to do o-uchi gari. It seems like it should be okay since you're kind of underneath but you will get countered really hard pretty much every time since your opponent has a grip on your back.
The other thing to do with this grip is ura-nage when you opponent tries a hip throw. The grip on the back is a really powerful handle and if someone does a half-ass throw you can really launch them.
What about Tani otoshi or Tai Otoshi?
Also, do you think you could maybe post an instructional on a good uchi-mata? I can't seem to get mine to work...
I'll defer to Judobum if he wants to chime in, but the grip is completely wrong for tai otoshi, just do harai. Tani otoshi could work, especially if you move to a body lock.
Originally Posted by 3moose1
Yep. Tai otoshi won't work because you can't bring your shoulder around to finish it. Tani will work though but it's better as counter since you're less mobile with this grip in. Trying to force it usually ends up with you hitting the mat at the same time as your opponent which in a judo comp could end up with a score for him depending on the ref and how the motion looked.
Originally Posted by junkielectric
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