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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)

7. Morote-Gari (hand technique)

Morote-gari is accomplished by Tori holding Uke's legs by wrapping both hands around them and by putting his shoulder against Uke's stomach to push him backward for a throw. Also, techniques that are similar to this technique.

(Type 1) When grappling with each other, Tori holds Uke's both legs and lifts and throw backward by Tori twisting his body to his right or left (Morote-gari)

When Tori and Uke approach for grappling, they look for the opportunity for a good grip.

When they grip each other, Tori takes a right defensive posture and grabs Uke's both wrist to push upward to stop his advance. Uke pushes back and tries to shake off Tori's grips to become a stable posture.

At this moment, Tori releases Uke's both hands. Therefore, Uke loses his balance forward to a floating position and becomes defenseless. At this opportunity, Tori drops his hip and body and swiftly places his right foot between Uke's legs. Tori, then, takes a right defensive posture. Then, Tori puts his right shoulder against Uke's stomach and at the same time uses both arms to hold Uke around his thigh or knees. Using a scooping motion, Tori throws Uke (picture 1, 2).

Or Tori uses his dashing power to break Uke's balance. Then, Tori spreads Uke's legs apart (to Tori's sides of the body) and bring Uke's body close and throws down.

Morote-gari is effective when Uke carelessly steps out or bends his body and attempts to regain normal posture. Therefore, it is practical and effective in competition.

The key point of this technique is the judgement of distance between Tori and Uke. Also, requires sharp perception.

There was a competitor who favored Morote-gari such as this.

When Tori comes close to Uke, Tori claps hands in front of Uke's eyes (commonly called Nekodamashi). Also, when Tori attacks Uke's eyes with upward motion of his fingers of both hands (or one hand) (commonly called Ryotegasumi or Katategasumi), catching Uke by surprise and causing him to lean backward. At that precise moment, Tori attacks Uke with Morote-gari.

Next techniques are all categorized as Morote-gari.

When Tori executes Morote-gari by holding around Uke's hip or waist, Tori places his right shoulder against Uke's chest while pulling both hands and pushes Uke down backward (picture 3).

If Tori's holding position is too high, it is difficult to drop Uke down sharply. Therefore, Tori uses the power of his right shoulder and both hands to push Uke down.

Presently, this type of techniques is not named clearly. But, according to the concept of Morote-gari, I, as the author categorize this as Morote-gari.

When Tori throws down in the following way, it is not called Morote-gari.

Once Tori holds up Uke's body with both hands and throws down forward, it is called Sukuinage. For judgement, we should categorize the name of the throw by holding up or not (picture 4).

The technique of Morote-gari is basic throwing technique in wrestling and Sambo. Therefore, this technique is widely used in Judo competition. I believe it is necessary to train and study Morote-gari in the future.


(picture 1)


(picture 2)


(picture 3)


(picture 4)
Techniques of practical applications

(1) When grabbing each other, Tori holds both of Uke's legs and covers with his body and pushes Uke down (Morote-gari).

When grabbing each other, Tori dashes into Uke's abdomen, holds Uke's legs with both hands, puts his shoulder against the right of Uke's abdomen and using a covering motion, throws down (picture 5).

At this time, Tori takes a right defensive posture. Then, combining all the movements, such as, holding Uke's legs, putting right shoulder against Uke's chest to push him backward, swift steps, into one motion is very important. Sometimes, Tori rolls his body over to push Uke down.

Occasionally, Morote-gari is countered with Tawaragaeshi (Masutemiwaza) by Uke .

Therefore, sometimes the referee misjudges this throw even if you throw the opponent. So, you must be cautious when you execute this throw.

(2) Switch Seoinage to Morote-gari.

(a) Getting into Seoinage, turning the body half way to switch to Morote-gari.

When Tori executes the right Seoinage, Uke blocks Tori's throw by leaning backward. At this moment, Tori let goes of both hands and turns his body half way to take a right defensive posture to face Uke. Then, Tori puts his right shoulder against Uke's right chest to push him down with Morote-gari.

This technique is used when Uke blocks Tori's Seoinage.

(b) Pretend to execute Seoinage, then, turn his body 360 degrees to switch to (Morote-gari).

Tori grips in the right handed position. Then, Tori releases his left hand while continuing to hold Uke's left collar with his right hand. Tori pretends to execute right Ippon seoinage. He, then, turns his body 360 degrees to face opponent to become left defensive posture. Tori puts left shoulder against Uke's left chest to execute Morote-gari.

In the same way, Tori releases his right hand and continues to pull his left hand while putting some distance between Uke and himself. Then, he pretends to execute right Ippon seoinage and turns his body 360 degrees to execute Morote-gari. At this time, Tori take a right defensive posture. He, then, puts right shoulder against Uke's abdomen to change to Morote-gari to push him down.

Actually, Tori's objective is not to throw with Seoinage but to use it as a combination technique for Morote-gari.





(picture 5)

(3) Tori executes Tomoenage, then, stand to change to Morote-gari

When Tori tries right Tomoenage, Uke drops his hip while stepping out his right foot over Tori's left outer thigh. He lifts Tori with both hands to defense.

At this moment, Tori raises his body and stands while holding Uke's legs and puts his right shoulder against Uke' abdomen and pushes him down (picture 6).

This technique enables Tori to throw Uke from a lying position to standing position. According to present tournament rules, it is not recognized as a throw but during Meiji and Taisho Era, this was an effective throw in a competition. Many people used this technique.


(picture 6)
(Type 2) Tori uses both hands to hold Uke's one leg to execute Morote-gari

While grappling with each other, Tori dashes into Uke's abdomen, drops his hip to take a right defensive posture. Then, he holds Uke's right leg and puts right shoulder against Uke's abdomen. He, then, rolls over Uke's body and throws down.

This technique is not the regular Morote-gari, but Kodokan Waza Study Group Department recognizes as a Morote-gari.

When Tori uses one hand to hook Uke's leg to throw him down backward, it is categorized as a Kuchikidaoshi.

In the old Jujitsu, there were some similar techniques like Morote-gari. In Fusenryu, it was called Hizaori (by Mr. Raisuke Kudo).

During Kodokan Era, people used this technique in competition. However, there was no regular name in the beginning. Generally, people called it Ashitorinage at that time.

One day (date is not known), Mr. Kyutaro Kanda, ninth degree, had demonstrated this technique in front of Professor Jigoro Kano and asked his opinion. Since this was his favorite technique, he asked Professor Kano, "Is it appropriate to call it Morote-gari? Professor Kano replied that it is a very effective technique and to name it to Kodokan's Morote-gari. Unfortunately, Professor Kano passed away in 1938 and this technique was not added to Kodokan's techniques. This story was published in Kodokan Judo magazine "Sweat and Tear" in April 1969.

In 1936, when Mr. Kanda competed in the All Japan Judo Championship, the name of the Morote-gari was already being used in describing the throws. In October 1982, Morote-gari was officially added to Kodokan techniques.

Information for books; Nage Waza (Japanese), Throwing Technique (English) are not available (discontinued in 2012).