Creating openings on bigger, stronger opponents

Discussion in 'Judo' started by Archibald, Apr 3, 2014.

  1. Archibald

    Archibald A little koala

    Hi everyone!

    I'm a few months into my Judo training, still loving it, and I have a question on creating openings on opponents who are larger and stronger.

    I find the any attempt I make to open these dudes up for a throw is easily blocked by their strength - they either push me away with their arms or simply lift me straight into a counter throw.

    The only success I've had so far is by waiting for them to make an attack and then attempting to counter (got a beauty of a foot sweep the other night doing this!). However this requires playing quite defensively and I'm aware that's probably not a great thing to be?

    Is there any advice for opening up particularly large and strong opponents? I was thinking maybe it was horses for courses - basically the only person at the club lighter than me is a female BB and she continuously floors me with superbly timed sweeps - are these the sorts of throws I should be thinking about?

    cheers! -Jon
  2. YouKnowWho

    YouKnowWho Valued Member

    Don't let your opponent to grab you. Break his grip ASAP.
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2014
  3. PointyShinyBurn

    PointyShinyBurn Valued Member

    It's not so much which throws you use, but what you use them for, which is to continuously probe their defence and make them adjust their weight. You'll never catch him if he's standing still, you have to use lots of attacks that force him to move his feet while staying on balance yourself. I mainly play wrestling, not Judo, but if I cleanly throw a bigger guy it's most often the fourth or fifth move in combination.
  4. robertmap

    robertmap Valued Member

    Hi 'Archibald',

    Several things...

    - Don't rush, it will come.
    - Ask your instructor.
    - If you have an opponent who is pushing you away,. then that is an opening, go with the direction of their push, but faster and/or further and you will have the beginning of a throw.
    - Beat size and strength with speed and cunning.

    Hope that helps a little.
  5. Kurtka Jerker

    Kurtka Jerker Valued Member

    Yes, those are the types of throws you want to look at. Sacrifice throws are great too, but against bigger guys it's easy to become reliant on them. As soon as you do, they stop working, too.
    So if you start to focus too much on them, require yourself to successfully use something else then reward yourself with a sacrifice throw attempt.

    But really, kuzushi is the truth. Trips can help you develop them and they work well against bigger guys. The bigger guys usually aren't used to being threatened, either. So constantly attacking with low-risk trips usually produces openings for bigger and better things. But you MUST have a variety of trips. If you just spam the "front trip" all day, it's never going to work. Keep him guessing about which attack is coming and make sure he doesn't have time to regain his balance, mentally or physically, before the next attack.

    One counter trip that I like a lot against bigger guys is tani-otoshi. If you can predict their entry for a hipthrow, the counterattack comes very smoothly.
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2014
  6. Archibald

    Archibald A little koala

    Thanks for the answers everyone, all helpful advice.

    Attack at all times, take the initiative and force the other guy to move and thus provide openings, keep him on his toes figuratively and literally :D seems to be about the gist?

    I find myself often falling into old habits and using single neck ties to pull taller guys downward, which works well but is that really a Judo thing? No one's told me not to do it so far (a lot of students are wrestlers anyway) but I haven't got round to asking anyone either.

    Onward to training, thanks again.
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2014
  7. holyheadjch

    holyheadjch Valued Member

    Action-Reaction. That's pretty much the answer for any 'how do I make X work in Judo'.

    If they're pushing you off when you try to move in for a rear throw, use their forward momentum to bring them onto you for a forward throw.
  8. Archibald

    Archibald A little koala

    It's not so much that they actively push me off, more just keeping the arms locked and stiff, does that make sense?

    Again I'm sure this is down to my inexperience.
  9. Smitfire

    Smitfire Cactus Schlong

    Try a drop seoi nage maybe? Used to love that throw.
    Grab an arm/sleeve and attempt to drop your weight right between, and through, their legs as fast as you can.
    Takes real commitment but it does work against stronger/bigger people.
    Might work against the stiff arm because there will be an arm to grab and the space to turn in. They may already be leaning slightly forward which will help.


    This gif shows the leg action you can try if you get them bent over but still not thrown. Spring forwars out of the drop.

    Last edited: Apr 3, 2014
  10. holyheadjch

    holyheadjch Valued Member

    Instead of pushing straight against their arms, try taking a slight step sideways before moving forward, so you are not aligned with them anymore. Then instead of pushing straight into their arms, where their structure is strong, you'll be pushing at an angle and they'll struggle to hold you off.

    Also, apply pressure to their elbow - if they're stupid enough to lock their own elbow holding you off, make use of it. Push up to apply a standing armlock and pull down to collpase the elbow, both should get them to shift their arm position, giving you an opportunity. Throw as soon as you've got them to compromise their position.
  11. YouKnowWho

    YouKnowWho Valued Member


    - collar hold is called "upper body control". It's used by a taller person to against a shorter person.
    - waist hold is called "lower body control". It's used by a shorter person to against a taller person.

    If you are shorter than your opponent, you should play with his waist, legs, and not his head. To have

    - one hand to hold on one of your opponent's wrist,
    - one arm surround his waist,
    - one of your legs "sticky" on his leading leg,

    You then wait for your opportunity.
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2014
  12. Archibald

    Archibald A little koala

    Hey guys thanks for those bits of advice, been to busy to reply. Training tonight so I'll let you know how I go! -Jp
  13. Archibald

    Archibald A little koala

    So I was moderately more successful tonight, mainly because I just moved more - I was pushing, pulling, circling...and while it often led to me getting caught and thrown, I also find quite a few openings as well, got a couple of nice sweeps and even a few hip throws on another newbie.

    Thanks again y'all

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