Ashibari (Universal Leg Throw)

What I call Ashibari (which really just means leg throw in Japanese) is roughly translated Pendulum Leg or Universal Leg Throw. Pendulum leg is an approach to counter throwing that integrates a number of separate movements and techniques into a single sequence that resolves its application "on the fly." This makes the throw more reactive and less sensitive to exact timing.

This sequence of sessions goes over the necessary review and practice to teach Pendulum Leg, a new technique that is not in the Kihon lists. It is my all time favorite counter throw and teaching it is a way to end a large number of bad habits and to help students seek to act with an empty mind or mushin.

Session One: This session begins with Saseatsurikomiashi (propping drawing ankle) being used as a counter throw. Execution begins just before or just as Uke begins to execute a throw -- just as or just before Uke steps forward. A good practice (for this throw) is to have Uke kick back to start a throwing movement (a bad habit you see all the time, as a judoka kicks back to "get momentum") and then to have Tori execute the prop as Uke's foot starts back and draws even with Uke's supporting foot.

This throw is difficult to execute in real life (perhaps the hardest in this sequence) but the counter throw application of Saseatsurikomiashi starts students looking at the potential when they see someone "kick back" to start a throw.

Session Two: This session begins with Deashiharai (Foot Sweep) and Deashiharai used as a counter to Deashiharai. Begin with a short review of Deashiharai. Then go to Uke beginning the sweep and Tori then executing a sweep against the sweeping foot, sweeping the sweeper. After substantial practice of this application, Uke begins to step in for a power throw rather than step in with a sweep and Tori sweeps Uke as Uke begins his step (but before the foot plants). Tori should try this against Uke with Uke "kicking back" and then against Uke with Uke properly executing the power throw (such as Ogoshi or Seoinage). Make certain that Tori's sweep connects before Uke's foot plants.

Reprise (Session Three): Saseatsurikomiashi before Uki steps and Deashiharai as Uke steps, but before Uke plants. Emphasize the shift in body position between the two throws and the hip movement as the foot reaches out. Also focus on good Kuzushi in the execution of the throw. Also work hip and extension drills.

Session Four: Review Ushirogoshi (Rear Hip). This kaeshiwaza is an excellent defense against many loin or hip thorws and is executed with the left hip centered, weight dropping. The throw has a varient (my favorite) executed with the left leg rising and this is the varient that the practice should focus on and the version of Ushirogoshi that should be used for the session.

Session Five: This session focuses on the use of Kosotogari (minor outside reap) against an opponent who is stepping in to execute a throw. Just as Saseatsurikomiashi and Deashiharai are executed against the stepping foot, this use of Kosotogari is executed agains the foot/calf just after or just as the foot is planted. Also work Kosotogake (minor outside hook) in its standard form a little.

Session Six: In this session the transition is made to Kosotogake and Nidankosotogake as executed against Uke as Uke steps in to throw. The practice then goes through a brief review of Uchimata (inner thigh throw) and then Kosotomata (minor thigh throw) executed very much like Nidankosotogake except that the throw uses the left thigh to throw against the back of Uke's thighs as Uke steps in to throw. (This takes the students through countering before the step, during the step, as the plant begins, Nidankosotogake as the second leg comes in and now Kosotmata as Uke plants both feet into the throw).

Session Seven: Ushirogoshi (Rear Hip) again, against Uchimata, Seoinage, Ogoshi. Work Ushirogoshi solidly.

Session Eight: Kosotomata (Minor Thigh) again.

Session Nine: Work with Seoinage, Taiotoshi, Haraigoshi and Tsurikomigashi. This may take two session. Work the throws solidly and with vigor.

Session Ten: Introduce Ashibarai (Pendulum Leg Throw). At this point the student puts the entire counter sequence together. As Uke moves, Tori starts the leg movement, with a slight reap. As Tori makes contact with Uke, Tori's hips drop with the leg going through Uke and the counter throw being executed. Take the class through the sequence starting with Ushirogoshi (Rear Hip) then Ushirogoshi and Kostomata (working both depending on how far in Uke gets), then Kostomata, Nidankosotogake and Kosotogake. Then Kosotogake and Deashiharai. Then Dehashiharai and the full commitmentof the hips and body in Saseatsurikomiashi.

Session Eleven: Worked the linked throws again, with emphasis on hip and leg power, Kuzushi, and remaining centered. Ippon Kumite: Pendulum Leg vs. Seoinage, Taiotoshi, Haraigoshi and Osotogari (first just Seoinage, then Seoinage and Taiotoshi. Then Taiotoshi or Haraigoshi. Then Seoinage or Osotogari. Then Uke can use any of the four).

Session Twelve: Two weeks with no counter throws allowed in Randori (students are to think but not act).

Final Session: Reintroduce Ashibarai (Pendulum Leg), answer questions, encourage application in Randori. Reprise Review (two months later): Ashibarai and Honshiashibarai (i.e. execute the throw with the left leg and then with the right leg. Also work on Taniotoshi (valley drop) as a counter.

Final Review (at six months): Break Ashibarai into elements. Make individual adjustments. Review Honshiashibarai only with students who show a good connection with the throw.

Ashibari Tegurumaotoshi Eri Seoi Age Copyright 1997
Stephen R. Marsh

 Martial Arts HyperBanner  Advertisement