Tsuri goshi: A Seriously Misunderstood Judo Throw

Tsuri Goshi is not Uki Goshi

Like the title says, Tsuri Goshi is a seriously misunderstood judo throw. It is so misunderstood that it is often written off a not worth practising because it is just Uki Goshi whilst grabbing the belt.

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As a younger Judo student, I was convinced that the only reason why this throw was separated out from the other Goshi's is that you have the ability to capture the arm when you do it. That is going over the Uke's arm and grabbing the belt instead of going under Uke's arm to put your arm around the waist.

Then I discovered that you could do this throw under the arm as well and not capture Uke's arm. When I asked, "so if you can do the throw under Uke's arm how is it different from Uki Goshi?" I was met with blank stares.

Some Judo Clubs Didn't Teach It

For this very reason, some judo clubs didn't teach it. Some only taught it if the syllabus to pass grading requires it but they would only teach them over or around the arm version. Yet others would teach the underarm version but make no mention of distinction.

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It wasn't until one Sensai told me that the thing that distinguishes one throw from another is the Kasushi(how the balance is broken): that all other forms of distinction are purely western forms of thinking that often have little or no bearing on the original reason why the throw was named and included in the Gokyo; that then it hit me.

Kasushi is the Key

Tsuri Goshi breaks the balance (Kasushi) differently from every other Goshi because it grabs the belt. The whole dynamic of the throw is changed when you grab the belt. Mostly because you lift with your arm to break the balance. So it is not Uki Goshi whilst garbing the belt and conversely, if you lift with your arm when you move into Uki Goshi you are not doing Uki Goshi; you are doing Tsuri Goshi.

Even with this revelation, the throw was a very neglected throw. But it came into it's own a few years back here in Victoria Australia for juniors, when new rules effectively banned Koshi Gurumma as a counter to any of the other Goshi's. Tsuri Goshi fit within the rules but Koshi Gurumma did not.

The Video

The following video is one of the best I've come across. It still doesn't clearly show the grab around the arm version but if you are looking for it, it is there. It's is easy to see how this throw requires a little more strength than other Goshi throws.







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