Colin Oates’s mentality against left handed opponents was ‘stop the left hand, catch the hand, break the grip’.
He felt most uncomfortable when his opponent managed to get a high lapel or collar grip. If they managed to get the grip, his main way of dealing with it was by easing their hand down his collar. This changed the balance of strength in grips to Oates’s advantage. He describes this action as ‘squeeze, squeeze, squeeze.’
The grip is underneath the triceps, pushing down and away. This eases the grip off his neck to where Oates no longer feels like he’s being dominated. For the grip release to work Oates says it’s important to engage the entire body using your lapel hand, moving the feet and attacking the partner’s legs.
These act as distractions, shifting your partner’s focus away from their high collar grip. When his opponent took a deep grip, such as the shoulder, Oates was quite happy to leave it there opting for his own lower back grip.
A big pull in with the right arm gets him into position. From this very tight position he is able to control the partner’s right shoulder which in turn dictates the movement of their body.
Oates lifts with the elbow underneath their armpit, destabilising their balance and making them vulnerable to Osoto Gari. This means that if Uke attempts to attack with Osoto Gari, Oates is in a very strong position
He points out that you should lower your body weight in anticipation of the attack, before the lifting action with the elbow and the Osoto Gaeshi.
Oates says that due to his posture and the contact against chest technique, his partner was rarely able to get a deep grip onto his back. But on the occasions when they did, he looked to close the space immediately, faking to attack with Ura Nage.
Although not a specialist in Ura Nage, his commitment to closing in was enough to make his opponent think twice before attacking. By causing a bit of panic, the partner would back off, and from there, openings and
opportunities were created, from which Oates could attack.