Judo Shoulder Throw Seoi Nage

Judo Shoulder Throw Seoi Nage

Seoi-nage (shoulder throw)

This throw is traditionally the favourite of the little man. However, in these days of

weight divisions men of any size can use it. The advantage of this throw for a smaller man is

that once he is in position even though outweighed by two or three stone it is still possible to

carry it through against resistance. Many throws fail if the initial impetus is halted but not the

shoulder throw. There are two ways to do it, both of which are equally effective. I’ll describe the

double arm should throw (morote-seoi-nage).

The literal translation of the Japanese name for this throw is not shoulder throw. Seoi

comes from a verb meaning to carry on the back and this can help us in picturing how the

technique should be done. Imagine a man wanting to unload a heavy sack of coal from the low

back of a truck. He grasps the top corners of the sack turns round and sinking down hoists the

sack on to his back. This is the action of seoi-nage.

Stand in the right natural posture with the normal grips. Move the right foot across and

slightly in front of the left foot. Pivoting on this swing the left foot round so that you have made

an about turn. At the same time as you start the foot movements pull strongly with the left hand

so that your partner starts to fall forward on to your back and still holding tight with your right

hand swing your elbow across and under your opponent’s arm pit. You should now have wedged

your partner tight to your upper back. To finish off the throw, bend at the waist and unload your

partner on to the mat. If your partner is slightly shorter than yourself, it will be necessary to bend

the knees more so as to swing your right arm comfortably under his armpit. When you do this

throw, imagine the analogy of the sack of coal. Of course, your opponent is not just a dead

weight so it is necessary to do it at top speed.

Your opponent will try to stop you by pulling his right arm free when you swing under

so make sure that you have a strong grip with your left hand. It is not necessary to pivot close

into the opponent’s legs. Aim to move slightly forward in the pivot and by pulling strongly with

the arm cause your man to fall or step forward into the throw. Remember this is a hand throw

and most of the power is employed in the arms and shoulders. This is one of the most strenuous

throws and it also requires a lot of speed. The older Judo students would do well to specialise

in one of the other throws which do not require so much energy – for example, o-uchi-gari.