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Judo Seoinage A Very Thorough Description

A Very Thorough Description of Judo Seoinage

“Se” means back like the upper back “oi” means to carry so it's to carry something on your upper back nage's throw. So Judo Seoinage is a "back carry" throw. This is not a shoulder throw despite what it looks like.

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The description of “It's kinda like Santa Claus taking his bag and filling it up over his shoulder and carrying it up high on his back” is a good one. This is important because it's on the upper back that you need to contact.

There's an old technique called Seoi Goshi, that is done in some schools. It is a technique in which your hands are similar to Seoinage but you make it into a hip throw. Seoinage is not a hip throw.

Seoinage is a hand technique. It's a Te Waza and so the hands should dominate. This is a big hand movement. You throw somebody up and over, by making contact with your upper back. You carry them on your upper back.

The variant of Seoinage, Ippon Seoinage is in the Nage No Kata and it is very popular in Rondori and Shiai (Contest without scoring and Contest with).

Principles – Key Points (Yoten)

The Kuzushi

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With Seoinage first, we want to make Kuzushi (off-balance) The Kuzushi for Seoinage is direct to the front. It's very important to recognize where the front is. If Tori draw a line between Uke's legs from one leg to the other, the line that runs 90 degrees to that line is the front.

If Tori stands to the side of Uke with Uke's legs facing away from Tori, and if Uke turns to face Tori without moving their legs the front would still be 90 degrees to the original line. Tori needs to throw 90 degrees to the original line, not the way Uke is facing. If Tori tries to throw from the side Tori will be throwing Uke off Tori's hip. Tori won't be able to make the back contact and the technique depends upon that very much. So Tori needs to make sure that they throw to the front.


The video gives clear step-by-step instructions for this throw. But it is worth emphasising that this throw works best if you are very low when you enter. This allows for Uke to be placed in the correct upper back position before throwing.

Many beginners don't go in low enough and their arms and/or wrist hurt because they are actually trying to pick up their partner with their hips.

There are a lot of variants of Seoinage. The video below mentions a number of them which are all given different names. A propensity that has always seemed obsolete to me as one throw is only different from another because its Kuzushi is different. You should just learn all the variants. In my opinion, renaming the same throw takes a student's mind off the fact that all the variants are basically executed in the same way just with a different grip or stance. But if you really feel the need to learn the names, enjoy.

The video also discussed the various ways to defeat Seoinage and I don't think you need any further description than what is in the video.

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