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Sutemi-waza - Sacrifice Throws in Competition (Shiai)

Sutemi Waza - Sacrifice Throws

Sutemi-waza - sacrifice throws in competition (Shiai), are always spectacular hence they are regularly seen in the movies and on television. When I was a junior, they were always very popular in competition (Shiai)but not necessarily because they were spectacular. However, they are more difficult to carry out in competition now.

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When I was a junior it was quite popular to attempt a sacrifice throw because many players were more comfortable on the ground than standing. This stopped, I think when the false attack rule started to be enforced. (Groundwork for many, is still more attractive hence, the popularity of Brazilian JuJitsu).

From a competition perspective there are some significant drawbacks in the sue of Sutemi Waza in competition:
  1. As Tori, once you are on the ground you are at a significant disadvantage because you are the person on the bottom. It is not necessarily the end of the contest if the throw fails but you had better be ready to do some very strong groundwork.

  2. Even when you do succeed with the throw the referee may still call it against you because your back or side hit the ground before your opponent.

These two have been the reason for a significant reduction in the use of Sutemi-waza in competition.

However, that does not mean you should stop practising sacrifice throws and I'll tell you why shortly.

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Sutemi-waza is defined as "the classification of Judo throws in which the attacker sacrifices himself by purposely falling to the mat while in the process of throwing his opponent".

Two Types of Sutemi waza

Sutemi waza are divided into:
  • Masutemi (supine sacrifice throws)
  • Yokosutemi (side sacrifice throws)

Masutemi (supine sacrifice throws)

These are throws like:

Yokosutemi (side sacrifice throws)

These are throws like:

Why Bother With Sutemi Waza

If it is so difficult to succeed in using Sutemi-waza why even practice it?

Well, there are 2 reasons:
  1. Judo is not just about competition it is also about art. Failing to learn these techniques is to abandon that art. More than that, at some point in your Judo career you are going to reach the point where you can no longer compete. The beauty of Judo is that it doesn't stop when you stop competing. When you stop competing is where the art takes over. If you want to continue in judo after you stop competing you are going to want to learn the art and Sutemi-waza is part of that art.

  2. Sutemi waza is still very useful in Judo competition. Sometimes it may be as a last resort but not always. You just have to be very careful that it can be clearly seen that you were both the initiator and controller of the throw.

If you are going to use Sutemi waza in competition it would be very wise to practise to perfect your prefered throw.

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