Yamaarashi: Tori uses both hands to grip Uke's right (or left) collar and right (or left) sleeve to push up Uke's body off balance to right (or left) front forward. Then, sweep up Uke's right (or left) leg to throw down or apply techniques similar to this technique.
The key points of this technique are as follows: Normally, Tori grips Uke's right collar by inserting his thumb under the collar with the four fingers outside facing upward (little finger on top). Sometimes, Tori grips Uke's right collar by inserting the four fingers under the collar with the thumb outside. As Tori steps back to pull Uke forward, he jerks Uke's body up and down. When Uke tries to raise his body half way, Tori changes the direction of his pulling to Uke's right front forward to pull him off balance. It is important that Tori must use Uke's rising reactions to make him off balance. At this moment, Tori drops his hip, then, by spinning his body in front of Uke in a big motion, pushes his right hand up and attaches his right hip against Uke's lower abdomen. Tori attaches his right calf to Uke's right shin and wraps his right toe around Uke's right ankle and sweep up for a throw. This sweep is different from Haraigoshi. Tori pulls up both hands while stretching his left knee and hip to throw Uke down forward. When Tori grips Uke behind the neck deeply to pull Uke down to bend his body forward, sometime, Uke tries to keep his balance by putting his head through Uke's right arm to gain his correct posture. At this point, Tori already has his grip of Uke's right collar and right sleeve, which enables him to make (Tsukuri and Kake) like Type 1.
The technique of Yamaarashi is not depended upon powerful arms or body. It depends upon a strong mind, such as, the spirit of go for broke. According to the dynamics, the logic of Yamaarashi is based on the breaking of the opponent's balance within a short distance and attacking with full speed. It is the most dynamic and skillful of all other techniques. If we hold each other in right handed position (Saigo was left handed), Tori grabs Uke's right collar deeply with the right hand and grip Uke's right sleeve with the left hand to take an extremely right handed position. Tori moves his body up and down to pressure Uke backward. In response to Tori's controlling movement, Uke tries to push forward to regain his position. When Uke tries to come forward, Tori picks up Uke's body on his shoulder in full speed and sweeps Uke's right ankle like a Haraigoshi (a gust of wind). It can be considered a combination technique of Haraigoshi and Seoinage (the thumb of the hand grabbing the collar can be inside or outside of the collar).
According to my memory, Saigo used both ways. This technique seems easy enough for anyone. However, in reality, it is a very difficult technique. Why did Saigo use this technique as his favorite technique? Saigo had two distinctive physical characteristics. First of all, he was a very short person. Therefore, he did not need to lower his hip to pick up an opponent who was pushing back. He saved time because he did not need to lower his body and did not need to worry about being squashed down. Another characteristic was that his toes were different from others. All the toes were pointed downward like a rake. Therefore, when he sweeps his legs like Haraigoshi against the opponent's ankle, he never missed the aimed spot. His toes always stuck to his opponent's leg like an octopus. Furthermore, when he executes his throwing techniques, he always aimed for only one shot and he never failed to throw the opponent. This technique is more effective for a short person rather than a tall person." According to the record, the height of Saigo was 153 cm and weight was 53 kg.
Shiro Saigo vs Taro Terushima
In the exhibition matches between Kodokan Judo and all other Jujitsu School, sponsored by Tokyo Police Academy, Shiro Saigo's outstanding performance with Yamaarashi was spot lighted and greatly helped Kodokan Judo development. In the book (Yamaarashi and Saigo, published by Kodokan Bunka Kaikan, June 1931), author Tsunejiro Tomita described Saigo's match as follows: "I would like to tell you and describe Saigo's Yamaarashi through out the matches which were fought against other schools. I think this is the best way to explainYamaarashi.
On May 5, 1885, a match was held at Marunouchi Police Academy. Shiro fought against Taro Terushima, professor of Yoshinryu School (Hikokuro Totsuka's most favorite student). At this time, Terushima was well known in the Jujitsu world and, also, a famous fighter. On the other hand, Saigo was a young but unknown fighter from Kano Dojo. At that time, Kano Dojo, itself, was not recognized by the Jujitsu world. Saigo, usually fought in the left natural posture. After taking a bow to each other, Saigo posed in the left natural posture. Terushima was over confidence because Saigo was so small. Terushima raised and waved both hands in weird angles. Then, tried to grab Saigo in one snatch. But, Saigo had a strategy. Therefore, he did not give Terushima a chance to grab him. Terushima was too eager to grab Saigo's left sleeve. He tried one step forward in full speed. At this moment, Saigo turned his body to the right and pulled the middle of Terushima's left sleeve strongly. At the same time, Saigo's left hand grabbed Terushima's high left collar deeply like lightning (thumb under the collar).
This was Saigo's most favorite and strategic grabbing technique. By picking up his left hand, Saigo tried to pull and push the opponent all around the contest area. Terushima was a good fighter, also. When Saigo tried to pick up Terushima, he went behind Saigo to hold his body to execute Uranage and Ogoshi. But, both failed. Saigo stood straight and pushed his left arm up very hard while still grabbing Terushima's left sleeve. When Terushima pushed back, Saigo picked up Terushima's body deeply by attaching his hip close underneath Terushima's abdomen like a torpedo. Then, he swept opponent's left leg as though trying to break it. Terushima flew over Saigo's head and lay on the mat like an honorable dead soldier. In this way, mountain storm (Yamaarashi) swept through this match." Shiro Saigo, 6th Dan, is in the Kodokan Hall of Fame for his great achievement.