Ogoshi: too basic for competition?

Is Ogoshi too basic to work well in competition at the higher levels of Judo?

I ask this because after watching several matches both on tape and in person (probably nearing the hundred mark) I have rarely seen the Ogoshi used effectively in competition beyond the beginning states. Is the throw just so basic that it is easily seen coming and countered? Have you guys seen anyone make it work at the higher levels of Judo competition? If so, how?

Insight from those with years of Judo experience, competing, teaching, or both, would be most appreciated

I see more people use tsuri goshi. It is the exact same throw as ogoshi but instead of cupping the back, tori grabs uke's belt. Sometimes this action turned into ken ken uchimata.

nothing is too basic... it just isnt seen a lot, but anything can work if the person doing it is good at it.

Its hard to get your arm wrapped that deep around a good judoka's back - maybe thats why...

"Shi" can also mean death (an entirely different kanji though) which is why it is an unlucky number in Japanese. You never give anything in fours, etc. Most counters use "yon" as in "yondai" (four cars), "yonken" (four buildings), etc. The notable exception is "shigatsu" (April).

The "sho" in shodan is the character meaning "first." "Dan" means step. I suppose this is a much cooler way to say "first step" than ichidan would have been.

It is worth noting that even Japanese people who are unfamiliar with martial arts often mistakenly say ichidan. That goes to show that's not quite as intuitive as it could be.

Hope that made sense


its very true that getting your arm that deep around uke is surely not easy in competition... it is much more common to see other forms of Ogoshi like uke- and tsuri- goshi used in competition just becuase of the mature of things.

truth be told, if you ask most competitors if the throw was o-, uke- or tsuri- goshi, 99% of them couldnt know the damn difference.. the truth is that when you practice 1 of them you more of less practice all 3 of them. the differences are truly very small details and much of that difference depends on how uke reacts and how you respond to the reaction.

i dont know any players who say "i dont train ogoshi becuase uke-goshi is a better option." they just train for a hip throw in general and let it be.

I knew a brown at APA's in North Bergen who had a badass O-goshi or Tsurikomi-Goshi or whatever. I mean he was so freakin' fast with it he'd catch big guys all the time with it. The only thing was, his particular style of getting under his opponent cause some ankle problems. He actually would enter and throw off of his right toe. I don't think that would be recommended, but the idea is to step deep and finish hard.

My understanding is that Ogoshi leads to other throws.

That is, if one masters Ogoshi then he or she can master other related throws, namely all the other hip throws.

In wrestling the Ogoshi is the backstep and is one of the seven essentially skills a wrestler needs to know.

My personal opinion is that people should master the fundamental movement first then move on to the various variations and techniques which contain that movement. So if the majority of hip throws have the backstep movement or a variation of it, than learning and master the Ogoshi will make it easier to learn and master all those other throws.

I know of some Russian/Soviet Judoka who were very skill with Ogoshi and I think this goes back to master the backstep and making it the foundation for all hip throws.

I guess I have to take a little issue with Josh's post regarding O Goshi, Uke Goshi, and Tsuri Goshi.

They are three distinct throws that use different princicples to work.

Now, I think Josh means that in competition or randori, you go in for a hip throw that involves grabbing the belt or around the waist, and you take what you get, and in fact you may start with one thing, go to another, and end up in something else to finish. If that's so, I agree. I also agree that a lot of competitors might not really know the differences between the throws.

I'm sure Josh knows the differenes, though.

Ben Reinhardt

Yeah, Josh is right. It seems there are too many different names for basically the same throw except a very slightly different position - makes it confusing.

"Yeah, Josh is right. It seems there are too many different names for basically the same throw except a very slightly different position - makes it confusing.


They are not basically the same throw, Michael. Not at all.

Ben R.

they are very distinct throws within their own right.. though, if you really look at the 3 of them, IMHO, they are all pretty much based off the same core principle, just modified for a certain reason.

uke goshi doesnt lift like Ogoshi does... why? maybe becuase sometimes the opponent is either too big to lift or tori isnt capable of it or perhaps just becuase uke moved sideways and slipped off a bit.

all the same, if i practice only a basic ogoshi and am in randori there are high chances that, without knowing either of the other 2 throws, that i could do them while attempting ogoshi only.

they are such a close-knit family of throws that i dont think you need to practice all three of them hundreds of times to be able to use them.. i think if you have a good ogoshi that you can easily use the other 2 and begin moving to uchimata, harai and hane...

BTW.. did you ever notice how often 4-10 year olds will do uke-goshi while attempting Ogoshi...

Uki-goshi + o-goshi.

How many time you try o-goshi and don't get in deep enough so it ends up being an uki-goshi.

I think we're splitting hairs.


...I think if we look at things like sode tsurikomi goshi, or even morote
seoi nage, we see Ogoshi in there.

We need to remember the Gokyo was put together to be building
blocks to other actions.

Harai Goshi is much easier to learn if you understand uki goshi.

Another example is there is a very big difference between koshi
guruma and kubi nage; but almost all teach and perform it as kubi
nage. Even though by defination Kubi nage is illegal in randori or shiai.

This is why students do need to learn the Gokyo and "gasp" at least the
concepts of the kata, so we understand what technique is what, and

mark, absolutley not.

kids have no reason whatsoever to learn the kata. they do not need to learn how to bow in sync like that, how to take fake, non-existant grips and how to move in such slow motion in order to learn the throws of judo or to learn what throws build into other throws. if you teach them solidly and if you are good with kids and keep them from getting bored they will learn judo so fast and so well they will amaze you.

IF ANYTHING id say it would be much more useful to some adults who are starting judo late in life as they have the ability to comprehend it as a concept and usually dont suffer the "pick your nose, pantyhose" and ADD issues that kids do.

the kata sucks for little kids. they dont have the patience to learn it and there is no reason for us to believe that they need to. if it was at all a necessary thing then i am sure it would be taught to kids in japan (whose players are easily the most technical in the world) and it isnt.

I agree with you, Joshua.

I could be wrong, but I don't think coach Tripp was referring to kids in his statement. Hell, I have never seen any place that has tried to teach kids kata--what a nightmare that would be! Gotta keep those little tykes moving, playing games, and having fun. =)

Well Josh, of course that is your opinion, and you are welcome to it.

After all, US Judo is doing so well on every level with its "kata sucks"
and here is the best way to teach judo....

...aren't we?

well, Mark.. by no means do i know you to be a great instructor of kids or to have developed any true quantity of kids who have gone on to do well at a high level of competition. come to think of it, i cant recall ever competing against anybody in any tournament ever who had you in the coaches chair. nor, can i honestly say do i know of anybody at the senior level who came out of your coaching.

in all honesty, somebody who somehow managed to go from shodan to yo- (or was it go-?) dan, in a single weekend, under the old premises of the Phil Porter JA, is NOT somebody who i would be looking to for real knowledge, experience, or technical abilities in regards to teaching, developing and maintaining a high level of judo at my club.

and, if you wish to know the TRUTH about things in the USA and judo as a whole.. the reason why we fail at the international senior level is becuase there is no ability to retain our young athletes. these wonderful "grassroots" programs of the JA and JF that some people tout so highly suddenly stop offering anything of worth the moment somebody is beyond 18 years of age. they give a lot of resources to local clubs and to kids, but NOTHING AT ALL to anybody who is transitioning from the junior to senior level. it reminds of of a lawnmover when the grass it a tad too long.

so please, mark.. dont sit there talking about how making little kids learn the kata is somehow going to be a fix-it for any of the situations faced in the US.. only an idiot would think that the problems with USA judo compared to the world in general is a lack of technical abilities. ANYBODY who has EVER traveled around the world can see that on a technical level we are every bit as good as any european, and most asian (outside of Japan and Korea) nations.

then again, i wouldnt expect you to know that with your vast international travel, training, competition and coaching experiences.

flopsy.. the vast majority of kids worldwide who are attracted to judo are not the kids who have the energy or patience for katas.

how it is that the karate and TKD clubs get those kids to do kata over and over is a mystery to me.. then again, we can all safely agee that the vast majority of those kids have absolutley no to little ability to translate their "kata" skills into somehting effective should it be needed.

the only way people learn to execute anything under duress it to train it that way.. its a proven fact that people who practice something while under strain will perform it much better than those who dont. kids are no different. randori is a very, very necessary thing for children.

there are also lots and lots of games and activities that should be done with kids to teach them movement, gripping, throws and newaza. the katas require far too much patience and are just not any damn fun for your typical 6-10 (even up to 17) year old.

You really think that Karate and TKD are doing so well because they have such great support for elite competitors?

I somehow doubt that those kids doing Karate and TKD kata are there saying to themselves "I really hate this stupid kata, but the XXX Karate Federation will support me so well when I get to be 18 that I will do it anyway."