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Beautiful foot sweep

Very well done sasae tsurikomi ashi in high level competition. Timing, timing, timing…

Sasae tsurikomi ashi means “propping lifting-pulling foot.” The foot is blocked at roughly the level of the ankle, the lifting and pulling is with the upper body. Often it looks similar to hiza guruma (knee wheel) but it can be differentiated by the direction of the turn. Guruma means wheel and refers to the action of the upper body – the tori (person doing the throw) is blocking the knee with their foot and turning the upper body like a big wheel. In the throw seen above the tori is lifting and pulling (tsurikomi) with the upper body and the foot is placed lower.

Does the distinction matter? Yes and no. In a competition you just want to make the other person fall on their back, and you can let others argue about what throw it was exactly. But as a student of judo it’s important to distinguish so you can learn the different theories and concepts of the throws.

The motion of your uke (person taking the fall) differs and the way the bodies move through space feels different as well. If you train the motions repeatedly, you will recognize the opportunity for each when it presents itself. Although the motions are similar, one person’s body type, stance, or way of moving may be slightly more suited to hiza guruma or sasae tsurikomi ashi.

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