If you haven’t heard of Angie Delgado yet, you’re about to know her name as familiarly as the best professional athletes you follow. Angie is the number 1 ranked athlete in the United States in Judo. THE number one, meaning she currently outranks all other male and female athletes in the US! As if that weren’t enough, Angie competed in the 2016 Olympics and represented the US in the 52kg category. If her accolades didn’t speak highly enough about her, wait until you see what she can do on the mats. Her specialty is The Koshi Garuma to Ouchi Gari.
In this video, Angie describes and executes one of her favorite combinations: Koshi Garuma to Ouchi Gari. Watch once first all the way through, and then re-watch to really grasp all of the details she throws into this combo. Much like a refined palate can pick out the initial taste of food, and goes back for a second bite for the equally important undertones profiles of the dish; this combination is packed with flavor and personality. Speaking of food, among the many things Angie does well, eating right is right up there with them. As a fighter, what you fuel your body with is of utmost importance. Without further ado, let's get started!
A Career in Sales
In this combination, a successful result relies on real commitment from both players. That means that the assailant (in this case, Angie) has to really sell and attempt the first throw, as if it were her true aim (the first throw referring to the Koshi Garuma). Once Angie sells it, her partner (in this case, Adonis, also a number 1 ranked US athlete in the 60kg division) has to give her a real reaction in defending the forward throw.
Newton’s Laws of Motion
Let’s take a brief moment here to throw it back to high school science class. Whether or not you paid attention to them, Newton’s Laws of Motion are in play whenever we are. In this case, the best example is Newton’s Third Law. Simply put: For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. Angie cites this law in the video (looks like she paid attention in science class) and it is a really fitting description for what she is doing.
By selling the first throw, she’s able to get an equal and opposite reaction out of Adonis, that reaction is what allows her to execute the Ouchi Gari using Adonis’ reaction against him. How does she do this so well? And what can you take away from this step-by-step? We’re glad you asked!
Step 1 Koshi Garuma to Ouchi Gari:
First and foremost, you have to make a committed first throw, which forces your opponent to block. Your ability to sell this throw, and their subsequent reaction, is what sets up a successful Ouchi Gari. Without you selling the Koshi Garuma, the Ouchi Gari doesn’t happen. This combination can be deadly to your opponent, but you have to set it up right.
Step 2 Koshi Garuma to Ouchi Gari:
Once you’ve sold the Koshi Garuma and your opponent takes the bait, take a step and pivot back into them and get your head close to theirs. It is very important that your head is on the opposite side as the leg you are reaping, so pay very close attention to your head placement when you spin back into your opponent.
Step 3 Koshi Garuma to Ouchi Gari:
Now the fun part: Sweep the leg! Keep contact and maintain pressure on your opponent’s chest through the duration of the sweep. Angie sticks to Adonis like glue in this video, not giving an inch and doing everything she can to support the work she just did.
Step 4 Koshi Garuma to Ouchi Gari:
Your landing is critical, by ensuring you land smoothly and maintain that chest pressure on your opponent, you give yourself the best chance at staying in control and finishing the job. It’d be foolish to not take advantage of a well-executed combination like this, the easiest way to lose it at the last moment (and you better believe it is easy) is to forget to maintain chest pressure on your opponent. Don’t make that mistake!
Combination throws are underutilized and vastly underestimated skills. When doing judo, it’s extremely important to have a super strong arsenal of combination throws. How many times have you been doing judo and felt like your opponent knew each and every move you were throwing at them? With a well-executed combination, you can trick your opponent and rack up scores, and find a way to win.
Misdirection and Trickery
Misdirection is sometimes the best way to get scores. Really selling throws, tricking your opponent and catching them off guard is the way to do it. Angie does a great job misdirecting Adonis into thinking she is fully committing to a forward direction. Little does Adonis know, she has no intention on carrying out the full Koshi Garuma. Adonis plays a strong defense, which is just what Angie wanted (and needed) and by the time she shifts her momentum and transitions into the Ouchi Gari, it is too late for Adonis and Angie scores with her backward technique.
A Final Thought
The cool part about combinations is that they can be unique to the individual. While most combinations have been tried and experimented with, you get to decide which works for you and which ones you can really sell and score with. So get off the internet, get to the mats, and try a few out! Let us know how they go.