O goshi is a basic hip throw in judo, it is one of the easiest judo throws that beginners learn in judo classes.
In this article, you will learn:
- How to do O goshi (step-by-step guide)
- Combinations of O goshi with other judo throws
- Variations of O goshi
How to do O goshi (step-by-step guide)
Important note: In this guide, we have broken down this throw into several steps. This does not mean that you have to execute each step separately, sometimes you have to execute several steps simultaneously.
1. What grips to use? (Kumi kata)
In order to execute a fully successful O goshi you must control your opponent’s back.
- Start by gripping your opponent’s sleeve with one hand
- With the other hand, grip your opponent’s back from the gi material with an underhook (your arm under their armpit).
- You can also grip the belt instead of the back if you have a long arm reach and you can wrap your arm around your opponent’s back.
- If your arm isn’t that long and your opponent has a wide torso, you should compensate by going with your shoulder deep under your opponent’s armpit.
- Don’t go high and grip the upper back, this is a mistake. You won’t have enough leverage for the throw.
Notice how the white gi competitor is grabbing the blue gi competitor from the back using the gi material
Or just wrap your arm around the back like in this example
How to trick your opponent to get an underhook?
I often recommend my judo students to learn from collegiate wrestlers how to get underhooks. They are the best at doing that!
One of the most popular tricks to use is to feint and fake.
- Start by going with your hand above your opponent’s shoulder as if you want to grip their back
- This will trigger a defensive reaction from your opponent against that feint
- Go for the same feint two or three times until you build a pattern inside your opponent’s head
- Now change that pattern and switch to an underhook (under their armpit)
- Go as deep as possible with your underhook. Once you secure a deep and solid grip on the opponent’s back or belt, they won’t be able to get out of it easily.
2. The stance
The success of O goshi depends primarily on your stance versus your opponent’s stance.
If you are right-handed and you are holding your opponent’s back with your right hand, you must have your right foot forward and your opponent must have their left foot forward.
Always right foot versus left foot and vice versa. This is essential to the success of the throw.
Don’t go for an O goshi if your opponent is having their right foot against your right foot. The throw won’t be a success and the mechanism of the throw won’t work.
Right foot Vs. Left foot example
Left foot Vs. Right foot example
How to make your opponent adopt the right stance for you?
The goal is to make your opponent stand right foot against right foot.
You can do that easily by circling and making your opponent stand behind you.
This is not a very common technique, but it can serve you well if you need it.
Most judokas prefer to use footwork and dance with the opponent until the opponent falls into the trap of going right foot versus right foot or left foot versus left foot.
3. Step and pivot
Now is the time to step into your opponent’s range.
- Take a step with your right foot towards your opponent’s right foot
- Pivot on your right foot to face the same direction your opponent is facing
- Now step with your left foot towards your opponent
- Both feet toes should be pointing to the same direction your opponent is facing.
4. Hips against your opponent’s body
- Pull your opponent toward you
- Push your hips toward your opponent. Meet with your opponent in the middle.
- Leave no space between you and your opponent. Your body and your opponent’s body should be one entity. This is essential to the success of the throw.
Notice how there is no space between both opponents
5. Bend your knees and lower your hips
O goshi is a 100% hip throw, there are no sweeps or reaps in it, the hips are fully responsible for the success of the throw.
Your hips must be lower than your opponent’s hips. Your opponent’s hips are the center of their gravity, so if you want to control their body you must control the center of its gravity by going under it with your own center of gravity.
6. Lift and throw
The most important steps are done, now it’s time for the fun and easy part where you finish the throw.
- Hit your opponent with your buttocks under their groin area or in the upper thighs. This will help load them on your back easily
- Use the back grip to lift your opponent on your back. That’s where the belt grip comes in handy, it will help the lift tremendously.
- You can also lift your opponent by wrapping your arm around their torso and gripping on the love handles
- Stay on the balls of your feet, don’t stand on your heels. Staying flat-footed is a good indication that your weight can lean backward which can sabotage the throw. Stay on the balls of your feet and lean forward.
- Use the sleeve grip to pull your opponent to the ground
- Use the back grip to slam them against the ground.
7. Follow through
Many students make the mistake of letting the opponent go once the throw is successful. This is a big mistake.
You should always keep control of your opponent after the throw, then decide if you want to transition to the ground game.
- Release the back grip and keep the sleeve grip.
- Hold the sleeve with both hands
- The standard control is to be standing above your opponent’s shoulder
- Your opponent’s arm must be placed between your legs
- Bend your knees slightly
In practice: use this standard control to program your brain on never releasing the opponent.
In competition: It is more chaotic, so just work on keeping your opponent under any type of control. The most important thing is to never release the arm.
This is an example of great control
Congrats! Your throw was a success.