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This article is excerpted from the book "Kodokan Nage Waza" written by Daigo Toshiro 10dan. (Picture, Tori: Sengoku Tsuneo 7dan, Uke: Sato Tadashi 8dan)

6. Obi-Otoshi (hand techniques)

Obi-otoshi is accomplished by grabbing Uke's belt in the front with Tori's right hand (or left hand) and as he continues to pull, Tori steps behind Tori's right (or left). Tori holds Uke's hip from Uke's right side (or left side) and scoops up and drops. All similar to this is considered Obi-otoshi.

(Type 1) Tori grabs Uke's belt in the front with his right hand and continues to pull. Tori sticks his left hand under Uke's left armpit to hold Uke's hip (Obi-otoshi)
Hold each other in right natural posture. Tori steps back his right foot. At the same time Tori grabs Uke's belt in the front with the right hand facing upward (with four finger inserted upward)(picture 1).
Tori pulls Uke close to his body to place Uke in a floating position. Then Tori steps back his left foot and pulls his left hand to make Uke off balance to his right front forward and stop. At this time, Tori moves his left foot back as he places his right foot in front of Uke's right foot. This right foot movement is very important because it is necessary to step his left foot in behind Uke.

(picture 1)
Uke resists Tori's pull by stretching his arms stiffly and bending his body backwards. He continues to resist by stepping the left foot, right foot forward. Since Uke's belt in the front is pulled by Tori, Uke bends his body backward for defense.

At this moment, Tori pulls Uke to his right side without loosening his right grip. Sweeps away Uke's right hand with his left hand (the hand gripping Tori's left collar). Tori slides his left hand over Uke's stomach and using his right foot as a shaft, he steps his left foot between Uke's legs.

(picture 2)
Tori puts his left hand behind Uke's left hip to hold Uke's lower body to make him off balance backwards. Since Uke bends his body backwards, his weight goes to his heels to lose his balance.

At this time, Tori places his left foot behind Uke's left heel and puts right foot near the outside of Uke's right heel. Bend both knees and drop his hip to take a well-balanced position. Tori slides his left-hand down over Uke's right chest to his hip to hold Uke's upper body. Tori puts left hip against Uke's right hip and pull hands tight for close body contact (picture 2, 3).

(picture 3)
Tori, using his front hip, pushes Uke's hip upward while holding Uke and scoops upward with his left hand and by twisting his body to the left and throws down. Uke's body falls to Tori's left backward (picture 4).
(picture 4)
The key point of this technique is to pull Uke's belt in the front tight and make Uke bend his body backward to make him off balance. Therefore, Tori keeps pulling his right hand tight and controls Uke for close body contact. If Tori loosens his right hand pull, Uke will step his right foot back to make some distance from Tori and returns to a secure position. Therefore, Tori will miss his opportunity for Obi-otoshi.

So, if Tori controls Uke's legs to prevent movement (lower body) and only allows Uke's upper body to bend backward, control can be achieved.

When Tori grabs Uke's belt in the front, there are two ways to insert his fingers. 1.Gyaku-insert four fingers upward. 2. Jun-insert four fingers downward.

In order to pull Uke's body upward into floating position, it is more efficient to use gyaku grip. However, in some cases jun grip can also be efficient. The right hand grip has a great advantage because of the strength of the pull.

However, it can be easily detected and blocked by Uke. Therefore, Tori must take some advantageous movement. Such as, pulling Uke's front belt quickly, stepping quickly behind Uke, and holding Uke's body by one hand and using his hip to scoop up Uke's body. Using this movement in sequence in split second is most important.

You can apply this technique to the following. When Uke grabs Tori behind the neck with his right hand and pulls Tori close to this body, and steps his right foot between Tori's legs to turn his body half way to execute Haraigoshi.

At this moment, Tori steps his left foot behind Uke's right side, drops his hip and stick his left hand over Uke's stomach, and holds Uke's left hip. Then, grabs Uke's belt in the front with his right hand and pull close to control Uke's upper body (picture 13, 14). Scoops up Uke, like Type 1 and throws down. If, Tori sacrifices his body backward to throw Uke, it is categorized as Yokosutemi. Therefore, it is classified as Taniotoshi.

Techniques of practical applications

(1) Sticks left hand over Uke's both arms and hold Uke under Tori's left arm pit (Obi-otoshi)

When Uke is in right-handed position, Tori takes left-handed position. Tori's left hand grabs Uke's collar in the back over Uke's right arm and grab his left sleeve in the center with his right hand. Tori grabs Uke's belt in the front with his right hand and pull him close to his body.

Then, Tori steps his left foot behind Uke's right back and pushes Uke's right arm at the elbow with his left arm. He, then, holds both of Uke's arms and pull Uke's body up to off balance him to the back. Then, he scoops up with Type 1 technique and throws down.

This technique has some difference in the usage of his left hand.

In this case, Tori controls Uke's body with his left arm over Uke's arms. Because the control over his arms is not sufficient, the left hand should be wrapped around Uke's elbows tightly and Uke is pushed off balance backward. At the same time, Tori grabs Uke's belt in the front with his right hand and pulls strongly to have tight body contact. A strong hold and control is extremely important.

(2) Move left hand over Uke's left arm and wrap over the arm to hold Uke under his left arm pit (Obi-otoshi)

Tori grabs Uke's belt in the front with his right hand and the left hand grabs the trouser over his right knee, and Tori takes a defensive posture (picture 5).

While Uke steps back, he pulls Tori two or three times strongly. Tori puts down his right (or left) knee on the mat and looks for an opportunity for a counter attack .


(picture 5)

When Uke tries to pull Tori upward to a standing postion, Tori stands up and steps into Uke's right behind and pulls his right hand (which grips the belt) tight. At the same time, holds Uke's left arm over the stomach and controls it (around the elbow) for tight body contact and scoop up and throws .

This technique also has some difference in usage of the left hand. Such as, Tori holds Uke's body using Tori's left arm over Uke's left arm for control. According to Kodokan tournament rules, prohibited act #35, the following rules apply for competition so this type of techniques can not be used nowadays.

(3) In standing position, you must not take any ugly posture more than six seconds.

(4) While you are competing in standing position, you must not grab your opponent's belt or edge of the sleeve more than six seconds.

During the Meiji and Taisho Era, these techniques and technique of throwing from lying on one's back were allowed by regulations in competition. So, it was widely used in those days.

(Type 2) Difference between Obi-otoshi and Sukui-nage (Type 1)

Obi-otoshi: Grabs Uke's belt in the front with one hand to pull and the other hand holds Uke on the hip in the back to scoop up (picture 6).


Sukui-nage: Use both hands to hold Uke behind the hip to scoop up.

There is a difference of using the right or left hand in the above techniques. But, the concept of scooping up and dropping are the same. So, Obi-otoshi can be considered as "using the belt Sukui-nage".

(picture 6)
During the Meiji Era, Obi-otoshi seemed to have been used in Rondori practice, because we can find this technique in Gokyonowaza #3-6, which was set in the 28th year of Meiji. However, the 9th year of Taisho, the rule was revised, and Obi-otoshi was eliminated due to not being practical for Rondori practice.
Information for books; Nage Waza (Japanese), Throwing Technique (English) are not available (discontinued in 2012).