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Hiza Guruma Judo Throw: The Correct Foot Placement

How To Do Hiza Guruma Judo Throw With The Correct Foot Placement

It is very common for the placement of the foot and in particular the heal, to be incorrect when doing the Judo throw Hiza-Guruma.

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This is possibly not surprising because I was never corrected when I was a junior. That is not necessarily the fault of the instructor as it can easily appear that the foot position is correct or assumed that it is correct because the throw appears to execute O in practice as Uke cooperates and falls over.

As a junior Hiza-Guruma rarely worked

As a junior when I started competing and found that Hiza-Guruma rarely worked. I concluded that the throw was basically a show throw and not very useful. However, when I observed that others were getting it to work I realised that something was wrong so I started to research why. The problem was that, just as my instructors had assumed I was doing the throw correctly, it appeared to me that everybody was doing it correctly as well.

It turned out that there were and still are a lot of Judoka that do it incorrectly.

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The flawed assumption

One flawed assumption is that the throw is executed by blocking the leg. The blocking is correct but for Hiza-Gurma to work you have to block the knee not the thigh or the shin as many do. This is a problem because it allows Uki to just step over the foot and avoid the throw altogether.

The other flawed assumption was that the throw is executed by your toes around the knee or leg in order to push the leg inward towards Uki's other leg causing uke to stumble forward as they try to continue in a straight line or roll sideways. This actually works sometimes but requires a lot more instability than is mostly the case even in a competition or in the case of rolling sideways for Uki to be doing something like skipping around Tori in a circle. The latter does sometimes happen which I suspect is why Judoka continue to do it this way.

Variation or Efficiency

Of course, if Uke does skip sideways and they are caught by Troi's foot around the knee, this is still Hiza-Guruma, it's just a variation. However, it is a movement that is way less common and the throw can work in many other instances if it is just done correctly.

The video shows the correct placement of the foot/heel in order to make the throw work most efficiently. I wanted to concentrate on foot placement because that is the most common error. So the Kuzushi (breaking of the balance) is not included.

Dah! or Ahh!

Now I know there are some reading this that are going to say, "well Dah!" But keep in mind there are a lot of Judoka that have had problems with this throw without knowing why. They are not one of the lucky ones that intuitively got it right. They are not one of the even rearer Judoka that had it taught to them the correct way from the very start.

I am willing to bet that there will be a lot more people that watch this video and rather than saying, "Dah" they will say, "Ahh! that's how it is supposed to work".









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