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Yoko Guruma: A Surprising Judo Competition Throw

Yoko Guruma A Surprising Counter

Yoko Guruma is not a competition throw right? It's only any good for Randori and Kata, right? Well no! It's actually a very good competition throw and common in top-level contests.

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So why would people think that it's not a competition throw?

It's because the traditional version has you landing on your back to execute it and we all know that if your back is the first to hit the ground the score goes against you. But you don't have to do it that way.

You can see a competition variation in the first video below. Note how the thrower's (Tori) back never touches the ground. You can apply this technique to a number of different sacrifice throws but I think that there is little doubt that Yoko Guruma lends itself to it the most.

It Takes Practice

There is a lot of practice involved in learning how to rotate without your back touching the mat and without hurting yourself in doing so. I, therefore, would recommend that you start practising on a crash mat.

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Once the rotation technique is mastered however there are a large number of throws that you can use Yoko Guruma as a counter to. You can see this in the second video, even though all of those are performed in the more traditional way with Tori's back going to the ground first. But you can practice them without your back ever needing to.

Yoko Guruma Competition Version

Yoko Guruma Traditional Version

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