Options from O goshi

Not long ago, Nick Lowry Sensei mentioned how we ought to beware of falling in love with harai goshi. Rather, he encouraged us to focus on o goshi, because if you understand and internalize that one, all the other hip throw ideas will build on it. If you can do o goshi, in other words, you can do all the rest, but if you only focus on one of the peripheral throws, you'll only really have that one throw.

So, I myself have been trying to follow that advice for a while, and I've been trying to help the morning class do the same.

This week, we've started by doing a throwing line on the crash pad, getting in a number of o goshi throws. From there, we worked with a few failure conditions.

1) Hani goshi
I asked Kyle Sloan Sensei about this one recently, mostly because I don't do it a whole lot and I don't totally understand it. I mean, I kind of understand it, but it's not "internalized" if that makes any sense. He said he didn't do it a whole lot either, but showed me a nice way to practice it based on an attempt at o goshi.

2) Harai goshi
Years ago, back when Windsong Dojo was located near I-40 and was owned and operated by Chuck Caldwell Sensei, we would occasionally hold a little shiai practice during class. There was a relatively small dude named Justin Rose (who now teaches down in Dallas, I believe) who used to toss much bigger guys all the time this way, which I believe we got from Mr. Caldwell.

Basically, he would start with a regular entry into o goshi, but the other guy would drop his center and brace against it, which is normal. Well, if you keep a hold of the man, and take a small step forward and down the line of his feet, dropping your weight into that step (just like aikido), you'll bring your uke with you and get him tipped forward just a tad. At that point, your other leg just raises and a harai goshi pops him over.

3) Ko uchi gari
Then we worked on a more classical follow up to a failed o goshi. When uke drops center and braces against your forward action, he's essentially leaning back to counter it. So, we go with it, slip our foot between his legs and behind one of his support feet and throw ko uchi to his back corner.

All of which just goes to show that if you want to stop a hip throw, you're better off dancing out of it rather than bracing, but it's still a fairly natural reaction and people, even trained ones, still do it on occasion, so it's nice to be prepared!