Seoinage shoulder throw

This throw is traditionally the favourite of the little man. However, in these days of weight divisions men of any size can use it. The advantage of this throw for a smaller man is that once he is in position even though outweighed by two or three stone it is still possible to carry it through against resistance. Many throws fail if the initial impetus is halted but not the shoulder throw. There are two ways to do it, both of which are equally effective. I'll describe the double arm should throw (morote-seoi-nage).

The literal translation of the Japanese name for this throw is not shoulder throw. Seoi comes from a verb meaning to carry on the back and this can help us in picturing how the technique should be done. Imagine a man wanting to unload a heavy sack of coal from the low back of a truck. He grasps the top corners of the sack turns round and sinking down hoists the sack on to his back. This is the action of seoi-nage.

Stand in the right natural posture with the normal grips. Move the right foot across and slightly in front of the left foot. Pivoting on this swing the left foot round so that you have made an about turn. At the same time as you start the foot movements pull strongly with the left hand so that your partner starts to fall forward on to your back and still holding tight with your right hand swing your elbow across and under your opponent's arm pit. You should now have wedged your partner tight to your upper back. To finish off the throw, bend at the waist and unload your partner on to the mat. If your partner is slightly shorter than yourself, it will be necessary to bend the knees more so as to swing your right arm comfortably under his armpit. When you do this throw, imagine the analogy of the sack of coal. Of course, your opponent is not just a dead weight so it is necessary to do it at top speed.

Your opponent will try to stop you by pulling his right arm free when you swing under so make sure that you have a strong grip with your left hand. It is not necessary to pivot close into the opponent's legs. Aim to move slightly forward in the pivot and by pulling strongly with the arm cause your man to fall or step forward into the throw. Remember this is a hand throw and most of the power is employed in the arms and shoulders. This is one of the most strenuous throws and it also requires a lot of speed. The older Judo students would do well to specialise in one of the other throws which do not require so much energy - for example, o-uchi-gari.

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