Sode tsurikomi goshi is a throwing technique in judo, it is classified under Kouchi waza, which is the hip throws category.
In this article, you will learn:
- How to do Sode tsurikomi goshi in a step-by-step guide.
- Variations of Sode tsurikomi goshi.
How to do Sode tsurikomi 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 grip to use? (Sode tsurikomi goshi)
In judo, each category of throws rely on an essential element, some throws rely heavily on momentum, others rely on timing, Sode tsurikomi goshi is a throw that relies heavily on the grip.
The success of Sode tsurikomi goshi depends on controlling the opponent’s arm with a grip made of steel. The arm is the main mechanism of the throw.
With that being said, let’s get to the possible grips you can use.
There are two major types of grips for Sode tsurikomi goshi:
1. Two-sleeve grip
As its name suggests, this grip consists of controlling both arms of the opponent from the sleeves.
Obviously, if you grip the opponent’s sleeves, they will grip your sleeves back and you will both be in a 50/50 situation.
There are some good tricks to force the opponent to release their grips, which puts you in an advantageous situation where you can surprise them with a Sode tsurikomi goshi.
This video explains it very well
2. One sleeve grip
This grip is also widely used amongst high-level judokas. This grip consists of gripping the lapel of the opponent with one hand, and gripping the sleeve with the other hand.
I often tell my students to use whatever grip is available in the match, if you see your opponent offering the two-sleeve grip, take it and don’t hesitate, the two-sleeve grip will give you more power and more control over your opponent as their limbs will be tied up.
If your opponent uses the standard grip (sleeve & lapel) take it too, it’ll do the job fine. I have seen judokas executing successful Sode tsurikomi goshi throws using ONLY ONE ARM while their other arm remains free and doesn’t grip anything.
Here is a great example of a one-arm Sode tsurikomi goshi executed brilliantly by Soicho Hashimoto
2. Step in and load the opponent’s arm on your shoulder
This is the tricky part where you have to be very careful about how to load the opponent’s arm on your shoulder.
If you are gripping your opponent’s sleeve with your left hand and the lapel with your right hand, here is what to do:
1. Use the lapel grip to push your opponent away from you
2. Use the sleeve grip to pull their arm towards you. The lapel grip should be for the push and the sleeve grip for the pull.
This way, you will extend your opponent’s arm away from their body, which will give you more control over the arm. Limbs are stronger when they are close to the body, so take the arm away from the opponent’s body to weaken it.
3. Now use the sleeve grip to place the opponent’s arm on your shoulder. How? (Remember that you are gripping the sleeve with your left hand and the lapel with your right hand)
- Take a step with your left foot towards your opponent’s left foot, pivot on your left foot to face the same direction your opponent is facing.
- Use the sleeve grip to push your opponent’s arm to your right
- Now move your left elbow under your opponent’s right arm and move your elbow across your face
- Your left hand should be placed around your ear as if you want to speak on the phone
- Now take full control of your opponent’s right arm and place it over your left shoulder. Now you should be facing the same direction your opponent is facing with the right arm of your opponent over your left shoulder
- Tighten your arm control by pulling their arm in front of you until their armpit makes contact with your left shoulder or left trapezius
Note that you have to be careful when pivoting and bringing your elbow up, I have seen my students hitting each other on the chin with the elbow many times, so be gentle with your partner.
The old method of loading the arm
The method above is the modern way of doing Sode tsurikomi goshi.
There is another method of loading the opponent’s arm, but I often advise against it because this old method requires extending your own arm along with your opponent’s arm up in the air, which makes the loading time slower than the previous method explained above.
This method requires more force and strength because it requires pushing the opponent’s arm up in the air.
Also, the arm extension may telegraph the throw, which might put you in danger of being countered.
High-level judokas have a sharp ability to detect telegraphed throws coming their way. I prefer the first method, where you use short elbow movement and rotation for the arm loading.
3. Leave no space
Before initiating the toss for Sode tsurikomi goshi, you have to make sure that there is no space left between you and your opponent.
If you leave space in-between, you will have great difficulties for the lift. Your opponent’s body has to become an extension of yours.
4. Narrow stance
Now that you are facing the same direction your opponent is facing, make sure to adopt a narrow stance.
Your stance has to be narrower than your opponent’s stance, your feet must be inside.
Notice the stance of the blue gi judoka, his feet are inside his opponent’s stance.
5. Drop your level
Now bend your knees and lower your hips as much as possible. You have to get under your opponent’s hips if you want to control their weight.
The center of gravity of your opponent is at their hips, you must go under it in order to control it.
6. Feet must go deep
You must go deep with your feet as much as possible, you shouldn’t be standing away from your opponent.
The deeper you go the more successful the throw will be, when you initiate the toss, try to stand at the same line of your opponent’s feet.
Notice how deep the blue gi judoka went with his feet
7. Initiate the lift
1. With your buttocks, hit your opponent in the upper thigh area. This will help load them on your back easily.
2. Bend over and pull your opponent’s arm with you. This is where you lift them on your back
3. Now wheel your opponent over your hips (remember: your hips are the fulcrum of the throw)
4. Now pull the arm down to drop your opponent on the ground
5. Your opponent must fall in front of you
8. Maintain control
Once you drop your opponent in front of you, maintain the sleeve grip and release the lapel grip.
Keeping control over your opponent’s arm is crucial to reap the fruits of your hard-earned throw, a full controlled arm will make it easy for you to transition to groundwork.
Variations of Sode tsurikomi goshi
Knee drop Sode tsurikomi goshi
Knee drop Sode tsurikomi goshi works great against opponents who like to bend over and get their hip away from you