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Koshi Guruma Set Up With Matt D'Aquino

Koshi Guruma Set Up With Matt D'Aquino

Being able to build off of your opponent’s defense and just moves in general is the sign of a great competitor. Being able to adapt to whatever your opponent does and still be able to work off of it is not only a great way to keep yourself in the fight, it’s also a great way to break your opponent;’s mind in a fight.

Imagine that with every movement you make,your opponent is still able to dominate you. That would get your mind out of the fight really quick. 

The ability to build off your opponent’s defense is especially important in Judo. Oftentimes an opponent’s movements to keep themselves safe from one technique opens them up for another. This means that you could fake an attempt for one move so that your opponent will defend, which can set up the move that you’re actually going for. 

In this video, we have Matt D’Aquino show us a setup for a Koshi Guruma in this video.

Who Is Matt D’Aquino 

Matt D’Aquino is an Australian fourth degree Judo black belt. He is a two time Australian Judo champion and even represented his country at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, competing in the 60 Kilogram extra-lightweight weight class. 

Koshi Guruma Set Up 


The video starts off with Matt having grips on his opponent but his opponent keeps his head up high and real stiff. This is because Matt’s opponent is expecting him to go for a Seoi Nage and keeping a tall posture is a good way to avoid that. That’s because if Matt really wants to get that Seoi Nage, he’s going to have to break his opponent’s posture and get under them, which, aas you can imagine, is pretty hard.

The silver lining to this situation is that this stiff posture that his opponent has taken has made it a lot easier for Matt to land a Koshi Guruma. 

Matt uses the analogy of a long wooden board. If you pull on the top of a stiff wooden board, the other side will go the other way. 

To really set up the Koshi Guruma, you want to pull on your opponent after they stiff up. This will let them build confidence in their defense and make them think you’re only going for the Seoi Nage.

From there what you want to do is sneak your arm around the crown of your opponents head. This will bend your opponent’s head over and break their posture. You don’t even really need to involve anything else in this throw like a hip bump, because of the way that your opponent is standing. If you land this right it’s almost like your opponent just slides around you. 

Something that you can also do is turn around your stiff opponent and then go from the Koshi Guruma, as that momentum will let your arm swing with even more power. 

Learn More From Matt D’AquinoMastering The Judo Shoulder Post by Matt D'Aquino

If you like this shoulder throw technique breakdown and want to learn more from Matt D’Aquino, then you should check out his complete shoulder throw video series “Mastering The Judo Shoulder Post by Matt D’Aquino” available exclusively on Judo Fanatics.