Judo Holding and Moving
Holding your partner
If you are right handed, grip opponent’s left lapel at about your own shoulder height with
your right hand. If you are tall or your opponent is very small stick to this rule about shoulder
height. It can be of great advantage to hold up high around the collar at the back of your partner’s
neck. The left hand holds the opponents sleeve halfway on the outside. There should be no slack
but with the cloth gathered up until it is tight on the opponent’s arm. There are several variations
on holds. The standard hold is best as it gives maximum control of the opponent. The body
should be slightly inclined to the right with the right foot forward. Left handers should follow
these instructions substituting left for right, and right for left in all cases.
Judo Holding and Moving
Having completed a few of your basic lessons your instructor should get you on to ‘free
practice’. This is where you try to put into actual practice all you have learnt against an attacking
and defending partner. This is where the beginner is surprised to learn that the throws which
seemed so easy to do against an unresisting partner now seem impossible. This is where knowing
how to move round the mat comes in useful. The beginner will be shown that for most throws
there is a particular position in which his partner’s feet and body should be in. Some throws
depend upon whether the opponent is upright or crouching over, moving forward or scuttling
back. An inexperienced man will in the beginning be in a bad position but it doesn’t take long
to learn how to keep out of trouble and this is where it is essential to know how to manoeuvre
your opponent into a suitable position for throwing. It is not usually possible to make a man
move as you want. If, for example, you tried to make a man step forward with his right foot by
stepping back with your left foot and pulling him forward with your left hand the chances are
that he would realize what you were after and do the exact opposite. This gives a clue, however,
for action. If you want a man to step forward push him backwards. In many cases he will react
against your push and come forward.
However, if you make your push too hard and obvious, the opponent will realize instantly
what is happening and use your own pushing action for his forward throw. The art in moving is
not to make your manoeuvering obvious.
If a man is moving backwards then push him just a little faster than his own movement.
Then when you get some forward reaction pull harder than he is pushing you. This can be done
from front to rear or from side to side or a combination of all four. The actual time during which
a man will be doing what you want will be very short so that it is necessary to attack
immediately the opportunity presents itself.
As for your own movements, try to make them unpredictable. Change direction as often
as possible in any random combination.
If your partner doesn’t know what you are going to do next it will upset his attacking
plans. It is also essential to be able to change your weight from foot to foot. Therefore don’t
stand with your feet spread wide or close together.
Stand with the feet shoulder width apart and the body upright. When moving about try
to keep roughly to this distance. Do not cross one foot in front of the other when turning round.
It is very easy to trip somebody with crossed legs.
The extent to which you will move around will depend upon your height, weight and
temperament. In general the big men are slow and the little men fast. However, a big man may
meet someone even bigger and the small man someone smaller. In which case it is necessary to
change the tempo of attack, etc.
A little man practising with a big man must rely on his speed and stamina and try to
outmanoeuvre his larger partner. The bigger man, being slower, must rely on his strength and
weight to anchor his wily partner on one spot so that he can pick him off.
Most throws can be done with the two men standing almost stationary providing that there
is not much weight or strength difference between them. On the move it takes a lot more
accuracy but they are more successful as they combine both the thrower’s and defender’s impetus