Sumi Gaeshi counter to single

Do any of you do this move? If he's attacking my right leg, which leg of his would I put my shin under to launch them? I did it yesterday with my right leg under his right leg, but I vaguely remember that it's supposed to be their left leg. Also, what's your favorite grip to take on this? I used a belt and sleeve grip. Has anyone used a ude garami grip? Any tips on this move would be appreciated.

Oops, I meant "single leg."

There's a couple of different variations depending on his head position

1) If his head is on the outside of your hip. In this case, he's looking to either run the pipe (dump), or to lift & go behind. His posture allows you to get your hips really deep underneath him where you can drop down and push off really hard with your free leg. Grips should be tight and as low down his back as you can get, or on the belt with your right hand, blocking or trapping his arm with your left. The motion should be to take him pretty much vertically over the top

2)If his head is on your belly. From here, he'll either try to spiral ride/trip you down to the front, or go to your hip and take you backwards. This is where I'd go back to my wrestling roots, whizzer hard and get my hips free, create space and if he opens up or retreats, go for sumi. You can either use the whizzer in the right hand and a sleeve, or release it and go to a back/belt grip. The throwing motion will be quite a bit more diagonal than the first option. Just remember to keep his arm trapped inside or he'll post out and you'll be fighting off your back.

Uchimata is also a great option from this position

My 2cp

i started late so i wasn't really confortable with the sumi-gaeshi or tomoe-nage counter. it can go against you so if you don't execute it right. however, i learned to use the harai, koshi-guruma or the sesae as a counter.

just make sure you have made it obvious that his single leg has been stopped before you take a sumi. otherwise.. its his score, guaranteed.

Thanks guys.

Leroy, for those two options, which leg should I be lefting with the sumi?

In order for the Sumi Gaeshi to be effective as a counter, it needs to be done extremely quickly. For this reason, I coach my students to never attempt a sacrafice technique as a counter to a leg grab.

The reason is that if a person inititiates an attack on your leg and you drop down onto your back or side to counter with a sacrafice, you've just been scored on. Its just too dangerous to rely on a ref to call this in your favor and in fact if you watch the most recent Olympic games video, they will not call it in your favor.

The uchi mata counter is also dangerous if you miss his leg as you turn in. You will no doubt be picked up and slammed.

uchimata is a safer counter than the sumi-gaeshi is, just be damn sure to get your sweeping leg where it belongs or you will suffer a demoralizing fate as JD said above.

harai-goshi can do the job just as well as uchimata, with less chance of being countered.


If you don't coach your students to stop the single leg with sumi gaeshi or uchi mata, what do you suggest?


Our first level of defense is knowing exactly who we are fighting and what techniques they do. If they like leg grabs, we are ready.

The second level of defense/offense is gripping. We drill grip fighting to excess. We then put in situational grip fighting whereby one fighter attempts a leg grap and the other defends it.

Next we will show them the uchi mata and give them that option.

Then we will drill turn outs over and over and over. The fighter must have the ability to know when they must not extend a losing position and risk a score.

We also drill sprawls. We have a sort of sprawl/drag down into newaza that works great for kids. No matter what, we never teach them expose their backs when another player initiates an attack. Too much can go wrong.