Mess With Their Feet, Part 1: The Messing

If they can't walk, they can't attack.

This is the first post in a series about messing with your opponent's feet - specifically, how to harrass every step they take.  This post will focus on the "phases" of a step, and what attacks suit themselves to the different phases.  The next post will look at what to do if your attack doesn't successfully throw the opponent, but does disrupt their step...

Think about the step as a cycle:

  1. The foot and body rise and move forward
  2. The body lowers as the foot begins to plant into the ground and take weight ("the fall").
  3. The foot is planted, and the other foot (particuarly in Tsugiashi, less so in Ayumiashi) closes distance with the first foot (what I'll call "the recovery").
There are great opportunities to attack the feet at each point in this cycle. For my purposes, I selected a subset of Ashiwaza (foot techniques) that can be quickly launched without having to turn the body away from the Uke.  And not only can these low-risk throws be quickly launched, but they can be quickly recovered from, which is important for part 2 of this series (coming... soon?).   Note that if you attack during the rise or the fall, you will want to generally get as far away from the middle of the step as you can - either hit the beginning of the rise, or the end of the fall.  This is because the travelling foot tends to "float" in the middle, and attacking a floating foot isn't generally going to be successful.

The start of the cycle (the rise):
  • Hiza Guruma
  • Sasae Tsurikomi Ashi
  • Osoto otoshi
  • Osoto Guruma
The fall:
  • Ouchi Gari
  • Kouch Gari
  • Osoto Gari (sort of)
  • Kosoto Gari
  • Osoto Otoshi
  • Hiza Guruma
  • Sasae Tsurikomi Ashi
  • Deashi Barai
After the plant (pre-recovery, or early recovery):
  • Ouchi Gari
  • Kouchi Gari
  • Osoto Gari
  • Kosoto Gari
  • Kosoto Gake
  • Osoto Otoshi
  • Osoto Guruma
Late recovery:
  • Okuriashi Barai
  • Deashi Barai
  • Harai Tsurikomi Ashi
This is certainly not a comprehensive list.  If you can think of a particular throw that I didn't post but should have, please let me know.  There would be one of four reasons why I missed it:
  1. Oversight - I just didn't think of it.
  2. Ignorance - I don't know how to do the throw that way - and I'd love to understand how you do it.
  3. Intentional Omission - It didn't fit the criteria I was looking for.
  4. You're wrong - Maybe it really doesn't work the way you are thinking (It's possible, right?)
So what do you think?  A useful way to think about this?



Patrick Parker said...

I think you're on the right track here, and I can't wait to see where you take this stream of thought on "the messing"

I break it down similarly, but not in as much detail. I divide throws into up/down, early/late, and guruma/otoshi.

A few of your throws in your list good out to me as "not how I think about them" for instance, hizaguruma is an early/up/guru a throw, but sasae is a late/down/otoshi throw.

I suspect that our difference here is because of different preferred variations but also because if the walking cycle is a true cycle then you can divide it differently depending on how you look at. It. Depending on how you divide the cycle something might seem early or late. For example, I can do deashi early or late, and osotogari has two variations that seem early and late but are actually the same thing.

kodokanjudo said...

I see that I'm not the only one observing how bernie-Sensei positions his uke's feet whenever we are fortunate to have him demostrate techniques for us.