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Judo/Sambo UnderGround >> Tell me about pinky up

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11/30/10 5:23 AM
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Robin Ashe
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A friend of mine just told me that this is crucial for some throws, and that apparently most Judo books mention this. I've apparently glossed over or immediately forgotten this every time I've read it in a Judo book, or I'm just reading the wrong books.

Why does having the pinky up make such a big difference, and what goes wrong if you don't do it?
11/30/10 6:57 AM
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judoblackbelt
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I think your question has something to do with your sleeve grip hand and you rotate the hand so the little finger points upward. The reason for this is to tighten the gi near the elbow/forearm depending on the stances. There are so many other factors in throwing. I am not sure you are aware of this in randori. It is something you focus on in uchikomis. Bringing the sleeve hand up and in a wide arc, rotating your hand wrist to tighten the gi around the opponents elbow/forearm.
11/30/10 2:31 PM
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Robin Ashe
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So in a Morote Seoi Nage if I were throwing them by their right arm, I would be doing pinky up with my left hand (or both? would I also need it for the lapel grip?)
12/1/10 10:05 AM
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judoblackbelt
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Doing a right side morote seionage, would you do pinky up with your pulling left hand, this opens up uke's right side for your right hand lapel grip/forearm to enter underneath Uke's right arm pit. Your right hand does a slight wrist rotation forward as your forearm enters underneath uke's right arm pit. This slight wrist rotation forward helps prevent an injury to your elbow/shoulder. So your pinky goes from straight up to pointing forward when you do this wrist rotation. Their are judoka who do not do this wrist rotation and keep their lapel hand pinky up. Both ways are correct. Play with it an see which method you are comfortable with. I prefer the wrist rotation to prevent injury. Let me know what you think when you try it. Did I make sense.
12/1/10 11:28 AM
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khd29
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"Hello?": Lapel grip- pull to your ear.
"What time is it?" look are your "wristwatch" as you look away: Sleeve grip

Basically.
12/1/10 1:40 PM
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Robin Ashe
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That does make sense, I actually did experience pain in my shoulders when doing morote seoi nage before, so the wrist rotation might be the solution there. I'm assuming that the reason doing pinky up with the pulling hand creates extra space is because you're gripping the sleeve from below to start with, and going pinky up will put their arm in a sort of front crawl position?
12/1/10 2:54 PM
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judoblackbelt
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You are close. "Pinky up" as you describe is from your beginning grip which is near the elbow for like stances(right vs right or left vs left) pulling up (60 deg angle)and in a wide arc as you step in for the turn. this is common for front throws, harai goshi, uchimata, hane goshi, seionage, tai otoshi. Can't interpret the front crawl analogy. The idea of what I described (sleeve hand) is to get uke off balanced onto their front (right) foot. One of the best seionage throwers I have his instructional tape on is Jeon the former Korean World Champion. Koga also. Kogo gets in so deep. Why the focus on morote seionage? Seionage is more common at the beginner/intermediate level. Seio Otoshi (Tai otoshi with morote hand postion is more common at lower levels.
12/1/10 5:06 PM
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Robin Ashe
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The focus on morote seoi nage is because it was conceivable to me that either grip could require the pinky up, so I wanted to be sure. Plus, it's the throw I've had the most difficulty with as a result of (to me) strange hand and arm placement. Ippon seoi nage, o goshi, kata guruma for example all have wrestling equivalents. Morote seoi nage is rather alien by comparison.

Once I have them off balance with that grip, would the throw then still come partially from the arm or is it that they're then off balance and stretched over my back that it becomes a matter of bending forward?
12/2/10 7:00 AM
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judoblackbelt
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It is because your hips are lower then theirs mostly. Seionage specialists can really get below their opponent. Other forward throws do not require the "squat" that is required for seionage.
12/2/10 6:30 PM
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Robin Ashe
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OK. Going back to the pinky up grip - is it something that gets used quite a bit for other throws, like footsweeps or kata guruma?
12/2/10 6:56 PM
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judoblackbelt
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Foot sweeps where you are pulling the opponent forward and sweeping the legs back. There are variations of the same foot sweep where the hand action can be different. Kata garuma is illegal if you grab the leg as an initial attack, not as a counter. kata garuma from standing can be "pinky up" to off balance uke before you move in to grab the leg .Kata garuma from the ground you are usually pulling down on the sleeve to launch uke over you so pinky up is not part of this variation. Remember "pinky up" in general is when you are trying to off balance the opponent forward.
12/3/10 12:56 AM
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Robin Ashe
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Does off balancing count as an initial attack for kata guruma? Or for that matter, anything where I'm grabbing a sleeve and still holding on to it while going for the legs?

Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions!
12/3/10 7:30 AM
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judoblackbelt
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Your welcome, I can tell by your questions some of this is new. You can accomplish the same if you train regularly with a top instructor. My instructor is Japanese, A level ref. and well respected in the judo community. He represented the US at the 2004 Olympics. Has ref'd at many world champoionships. Every class I seem to learn more of the basics. Also attend siminars by high level players. they all have unique tricks/strengths to share with you.

No,off-balancing in general does not count as an initial attack. Inital attack can be by the opponent. They try a sasae tsuri komi ashi and you grab the leg for a counter. Or you initiate an attack and follow up with a second attack and grab the leg. Simple one is where you attempt kouchi and pick the leg. Sidebar: If the opponent uses same side grip (Russian grip)with both hands you can grab the leg(s) without an attack.
12/3/10 10:34 PM
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Robin Ashe
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Yeah, I've spent much more time with BJJ and wrestling, I started doing Judo about a year ago, got injured, spent ages out and I'm back healthy enough to get back in training, so I'm back in martial arts information gathering mode.

The interesting thing I find with asking questions on line vs from a coach, is the coach and training partners are a pretty small group, so the variation in explaining things is much less than online. I remember several of them telling me to do off balancing by pulling, but there was never any mention of arm rotation or pinky placement - I guess they just took it for granted or didn't have as clever a way of explaining it.

So aside from the Russian grip, any leg grabbing attack has to be done in sequence following at least one other non leg grabbing attack to be legal?
12/4/10 6:30 AM
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judoblackbelt
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Your last statement is basically correct. And wrist rotation for morote is a way of preventing injury. Not the standard for morote. Just a slight variation. Morote against a shorter/heavier opponent is not a good throw.When we practice uchikomis the pulling hand is going up and kind of out(this is the arc I mention). You exagerate this movement (in practice) to build into your body's automatic reflexes. Whenever I go to a top level tounament I always observe the uchikomis being practiced by the players.
12/5/10 3:45 AM
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JoshuaResnick
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RA... you really should just go and join a 1/2 way decent judo club.
12/5/10 1:48 PM
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Robin Ashe
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I did, over a year ago. That's where I got injured.
There's a wealth of information to be had outside of training - books, instructional DVDs, competition footage and forum discussions. It's silly to suggest that I should only have one source of information.

Plus, pretty much all the Judo clubs around here work on the same schedule so it's not like I could be spending time training instead of on here discussing things, as the clubs range between 2-6 hours per week with heavy overlap. I could pull off 8 hours alternating between two clubs. I doubt most people have access to more training than that anyway, so you can assume that anyone has more time available to them to talk about Judo than to train it.
12/5/10 9:32 PM
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Bull_in_chinashop
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judoblackbelt - You are close. "Pinky up" as you describe is from your beginning grip which is near the elbow for like stances(right vs right or left vs left) pulling up (60 deg angle)and in a wide arc as you step in for the turn. this is common for front throws, harai goshi, uchimata, hane goshi, seionage, tai otoshi.  
That's how I was taught.
12/11/10 1:40 PM
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TerreM
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khd29 - "Hello?": Lapel grip- pull to your ear.
"What time is it?" look are your "wristwatch" as you look away: Sleeve grip

Basically.

hahaha I can hear my old sensei saying that!
12/15/10 12:22 AM
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JoshuaResnick
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RA... it is difficult for many people here, including myself obvioulsy, to imagine that somebody who is being provided with decent instruction would be asking about this detail.

it is one of the more critical nuances of any forward throw and ive never seen a decent instructor who didnt spend ample time discussing this.
12/23/10 3:45 PM
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Your Arsonist
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are you talking about a principle executed during kuzushi? we always were taught to act as if you were checking the time on a watch you were wearing on both wrists....check the time...check the time....check the time....this lifts your opponent ever so slightly forward on to his toes for off balancing.

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