one-armed shoulder throw

In the Ippon-seoi-nage (one-armed shoulder throw), Uke is pulled onto Tori’s back and thrown over the right shoulder by extending the legs and pulling the arms forward.

  • Tori grips Uke with the left hand on the right lapel.
  • Tori takes a big step backward and pulls Uke forward-upward by the collar.
  • Tori places the right foot next to his left and takes Uke onto his back.
  • Tori throws Uke over the right shoulder by extending the legs forward.



(one-armed shoulder throw)

Technique description

Both sides grapple in the right natural posture. Tori positions his left foot again while pushing Uke back, and begins to advance with his left foot, then his right foot, to break Uke’s balance. Uke is pushed back and steps back with his right foot, then his left foot, and then his right foot again. He pushes Tori back and begins to step forward with his right foot.


In time with Uke pushing back, Tori steps his right foot between Uke’s feet and moves his left foot back diagonally. While adopting a right posture, he lessens the pushing action of his left hand and pulls instead, causing Uke to begin stepping forward with his right foot.


At the moment Uke moves his right foot forward and begins to transfer his weight onto it, Tori lifts and pulls with his right hand, pulls forward and upward with his left hand while slightly opening it to the outside, and lifts Uke to the right front corner, breaking his balance.


At this moment, Tori steps his right foot inside Uke’s right foot, bends his right knee, and lowers his waist while turning his body to the left by pivoting on the tip of his right foot. He steps his left foot back and around to the inside of Uke’s left foot and positions the back of his waist below the front of Uke’s waist (above the front of his thighs). Simultaneously, Tori slides his right arm up from the right side of Uke’s chest to the inside of Uke’s right armpit, bringing his right upper arm (under the shoulder) tight against Uke’s armpit. He draws firmly with his left hand, making Uke’s right arm cover the top of his right arm.


Tori pulls even more firmly with both hands while straightening his knees and raising his waist in one stroke. He leans forward, lifting the front of Uke’s waist with the back of his waist. Tori then throws Uke in a large rotation around the fulcrum of the moment: their bodies and Uke’s right shoulder.

Key points

The key in this kata is that tori uses uke’s oncoming attack by dodging it to load him onto the right shoulder and execute the throw. In this technique, tori breaks uke’s balance toward the front right corner, carries his right armpit on the right upper arm at the moment uke advances with his right foot, and executes the throw. At the moment uke begins to step forward with his right foot and pushes back, tori lessens the pulling action with the right hand so that uke’s right foot is drawn out. At that point, tori assumes a stable right posture, and at the moment uke has stepped forward with his right foot, tori pulls up with the right hand, pulls diagonally upward with the left hand raising the elbow, and lifts uke onto the tip of his right foot, thereby breaking his balance.


Tori steps his right foot inside uke’s right foot, and pivoting, he opens his body to the left and steps his left foot back and round, while inserting his right arm through uke’s right armpit. Tori pulls with the left hand with his upper arm on uke’s armpit. Tori brings his upper arm (near the shoulder) tight against uke’s right armpit, and his back and waist tight against uke’s abdomen and the front of his waist. If tori does not maintain firmness in this state, a space will open between them, and he will not be able to execute the loading action.


At this moment, tori’s feet are positioned inside both of uke’s feet. Tori maintains a straight upper body, while bending both knees deeply and lowering the body.


Master Kano has the following to say regarding drawing uke out to bring your body against his in seoi-nage, in Kodokan Judo Kogi (Kokushi published by Zoshikai, December 1901): “There is one point you must be careful of at this are firmly in contact. If not, the technique will not be effective. Suppose I turn my body to the left once, but do not establish firm contact with my opponent’s body, I must then turn even more, until it has been established. This is a very important point.


Another important point is to try to draw uke out very quickly using your strength. You must also affect him with the strength from your pulling action first, when you lean forward to throw him. If not, he will perceive your intention quickly, and the technique will not be effective.”


When tori loads uke onto his back, he should simultaneously straighten both knees vigorously in a single breath, lean forward deeply (with his upper body), and pull with both hands all in one combined movement, throwing uke with the momentum from inserting the right arm under uke’s armpit and from turning the body to the left.


The importance of physical contact between both bodies has been explained, but if tori holds the middle of uke’s sleeve, the drawing action can easily be made redundant. In this case, tori can draw by gripping uke’s right front collar from over uke’s right arm with his left hand and control uke’s right arm from above.


Ippon-seoi-nage from this posture is the specialty of many noteworthy judoka. If uke responds at this moment by beginning to turn toward the right, tori loads uke onto his back while controlling uke’s right hip with his right arm, and throws him.

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