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Sasae Tsurikomi Ashi with Colton Brown

Sasae Tsurikomi Ashi with Colton Brown

At Judo Fanatics we’re excited to soon be bringing to you an instructional by multiple Pan Am medalist and 2016 Olympic Judoka Colton Brown! In the video below we look at Sasae tsurikomi ashi with Colton alongside Silver medal Oympian and John Dahaner black belt Travis Stevens.



Sasae tsurikomi ashi, meaning Supporting Foot Lift-Pull Throw, is an Ashi waza (or foot technique) that is among the first forty throws developed by Jigoro Kano, the founder of Judo. As it is among the Dai Ikkyo, or first group, of throws in Judo it is well-known by Judoka and a fantastic technique if executed correctly. 

The orthodox version of Sasae tsurikomi ashi begins as usual from a sleeve and lapel grip and the kuzushi (breaking of balance) is done to the front right side corner if ourselves and our opponent is in the orthodox stance. 

The version of Sasae tsurikomi ashi we will be looking at with Colton uses movement to break our opponents balance, but to learn the technique we break balance from a stationary technique using our grips on the judogi. 

As our opponents balance is broken our left foot sweeps just above their right ankle using a scooping or blocking motion with the sole of our foot. Now we have blocked their leg from moving we lean backwards and twist to the left while maintaining the power of our posture by not bending at the waist. 

The first difference from the orthodox Sasae tsurikomi ashi for Colton is that he’s a leftie so his stance will be the opposite of an orthodox set up. 

As Colton’s left foot will be his front foot it will be opposite the front foot of his right sided opponent. This will typically prompt his right handed opponents to post against Colton’s shoulder by taking a lapel grip with their right hand. 

As Colton anticipates his opponent taking their lapel grip like this he uses the opportunity to land a good cross sleeve grip with his right hand and pulls their arm across his body, collapsing their elbow. As Colton does this it leaves a space for him to come around him opponent and grip on their back with his left hand. 

By gripping like this Colton is rotating his opponents elbow inwards and really weakening their arm, mechanically making it very hard for them to recover

Colton’s shoulder is pressing and locking his opponents hand in a disadvantageous position that he can exploit for a successful Sasae tsurikomi ashi

The grip Colton is taking on the back further reinforces this pressure on his opponent, and is taken just above the obi, or belt, of his opponent. If the back grip is too high this creates a space that his opponent can use to press him away and begin setting up their own counters and attacks. 

So now Colton has successfully controlled the right side of his opponent he takes a sleeve grip with his right hand and steps forward with his right foot. Now rotating around his opponent begins to spin and at this point Colton employs the sweeping foot to block above the ankle, and successfully throws his opponent. 

As we can see Colton retains control of Travis arm and this opens up great options to transition to a dominant ne waza, or ground technique position

Some important points to note are Colton’s posture stays strong throughout this spiralling movement. If he were to break his posture by bending at the hips Colton’s power would be reduced along with the likelihood of a successful throw. Colton’s head is also moving in the direction of the throw and is key for power generation and direction of the throw. 

While the orthodox foot placement for this throw is above the ankle as long as we have all the previous mechanics and momentum in place the placement of the foot can range from the ankle all the way up to the knee. As always, timing, kuzushi and full body involvement are key for successful waza

We’re excited to be bringing Colton’s unique knowledge to you so keep an eye open for when we announce this and in the meantime, see how you can Learn More and Win More with Judo Fanatics by seeing our range of tutorials here!