Harai Suri Komi Ashi: A Step In Time Only Backwards

Harai Suri Komi Ashi beats so many Judoka that I know and yet once you understand it it is easy.

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I will confess that it had me beaten for many years. Like most throws it was easy to pull off by accident in a contest but uchi komi (practice) was another matter.

The closest I could get to it when doing uchi komi was to lift uke up on their toes before I tried to sweep their foot. However that was quite unsatisfactory as it meant that the throw was basically a strength play and to me that is not what Judo is all about.

Notice The Lift On This Harai Suri Komi Ashi

If you look at the video you can clearly see the lift so that of course, was where I put my concentration. I mistakenly thought that was where the kusushi (breaking of the balance) was, hence the need to use so much strength but that was not it at all.

Take a closer look and you will notice that Tori connects with Uke's foot just before Uke steps back and follows it through Uke's entire step backwards.

The narrator in the video below does not comment on this at all but if you watch the video you will see it. Uke has just raised his foot ready to move backwards but has not yet moved his foot.

This one little change to the tskuri (Set up) allows for the Kusishi to take place when you lift with very little strength. The Kake (Finish) is then as simple as drawing uke forward to throw. If you are going to make Harai Suri Komi Ashi you must connect with Uke's foot before it moves or at the very least at the very moment of the backward movement.If you delay at all you have missed the Kusushi and almost certainly the throw.

I am always fascinated at how it's the little things, that when you get them right make all the difference between a successful throw and a fluffed one. I am also struck as to how such lessons mimic life.

I often hear people say "don't stress over the little stuff" and I understand its truth but sometimes it's not. Sometimes it's the little things that make all the difference. The trick is knowing when they do matter and when they don't.

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