Judo Hip Throws Koshi Waza
Koshi-Waza (Hip Throws)
Opportunities for the leg throws mentioned in the previous section occur mostly when the
opponent is standing fairly upright or bracing back against a forward throw. Should your
opponent be bending forward at the waist with his arms fairly straight, it will be difficult to do
the leg throws described in the previous chapters. However, against this posture forward hip
throws are usually employed and three of the most important will be described in this section.
O-goshi (major hip)
This shows the basic action of the hip throws. Stand in the right natural posture. Step with
your right foot to a spot just in front of your opponent’s feet. Pivoting on the ball of your right
foot swing your left leg and foot round to about the position where your right foot was first. You
should now have made a complete turn and be facing the same way as your partner with your
feet about shoulder width apart. As you take the first step with the right foot, let go of your
partner’s jacket, and as you swing your body and left leg round put your arm round the
opponent’s waist and pull him forward onto your right hip. Do not move close in to your partner
with the foot movements. Turn more or less on the spot where you are and aim to pull the
opponent forward and on to your hips.
You should by now have your main pinned tightly on your hip with your legs slightly
bent. To throw the man straighten your legs so that your partner comes off the floor and by
swinging slightly round to your left side unload him off your hips.
Your left hand helps to pin the man on your hips by pulling strongly forward in
conjunction with the pivoting movement of the feet and body. This technique is rather difficult
to do as a straight throw. The reason is that when you let go with your right hand the opponent
usually knows what you have in mind and defends strongly against it.
However, in a mix-up when one man has attacked and failed with, say a hip throw, it is
possible to do. In this case when he is still close to you slide your arm round his waist and when
he moves out from his own attack follow up immediately with this hip throw. Another occasion
when it is possible to attack with o-goshi is when for some reason or other you are only holding
with your left hand. This happens very often. Instead of resuming the normal grip on the lapel
with your right hand jump in quickly, pulling strongly with your left arm, and whip your right
arm round your partner’s waist in one movement.
Two variations on this throw can be employed. The first is to throw your right arm round
your opponent’s neck and head instead of his waist. This can be used with great effect by a tall
man on his shorter opponent. The other is to hold your partner’s belt at the side and heave him
up and onto your hips. This can be a very powerful throw. It does not depend on too much speed
and can be used by a slower short stocky man. These two variations have slightly different names
in Japanese but I consider them as more or less similar to o-goshi.
Harai-goshi (sweeping hip)
Stand in the right natural posture. Step across with your right foot as in the previous
throw, then round with the left foot so as to pivot as before. This time the right leg sweeps into
the opponent’s right leg, so it is not necessary to push your hips completely in front of the
As your left leg swings round pull the partner forward and with your right leg sweep the
opponent up so that he almost somersaults and lands on his back. Study the plates. The arms in
this throw pull the man forward strongly and onto the sweeping leg. It is not necessary, as in the
previous throw, to hoist the man up with your hips. Care should be taken to see that your right
leg actually sweeps the opponents legs and doesn’t just dangle in the air. In the sweep, keep the
leg fairly firm and use the weight and impetus of the leg to hit the opponent and sweep him off
his feet rather than putting the leg in position and slowly hoisting.
This is quite an effective throw especially for tall long-legged men. The position of the
right arm can sometimes be uncomfortable. If you are shorter than your opponent try to push
your right elbow somewhere under the opponent’s armpit, and if you are taller let your elbow
point up to the ceiling. Having pulled the man forward on to your sweeping leg take care to keep
your man pinned tight to your body. Imagine your opponent is like a door hinged not at the side
but at the top. If you want to sweep his legs up, ie, the bottom of the door, you must have the
top of the door hinged to something firm. Try for chest contact. Although it may not always be
possible to keep actual chest contact try to get as near as possible. If you have pinned and hinged
your man firmly on his upper body it will be easy to sweep his legs away.
Once again remember the direction of this throw. You should be pitching forward with
your partner to his right front corner. Judo hip throws Koshi Waza