Colin Oates’s underhook variation of Sumi gaeshi comes from when neither judoka has a sleeve grip. This technique evolved when Oates was chasing his opponent for the sleeve, but they were fighting hard not to give it up. As a result, momentum comes into play even more so than his standard variation of Sumi gaeshi.
Instead of the sleeve grip Oates underhooks the partner’s armpit as he launches into the throw. Oates developed a second underhook variation when he felt pressured, and unable to win the battle for the sleeve. With his partner chasing the sleeve grip he uses their forward drive to spin in with the Sumi gaeshi.
Oates says that leg placement is largely irrelevant. It’s all about timing, momentum and speed. Here’s the set up and entry to the first variation – with Oates chasing the sleeve. With the partner pre-occupied on backing away and keeping their sleeve out of reach, Oates’s attack comes with the element of surprise.
The grip around the back is the same as the standard variation, and for the throw he aims for the same sort of movement pattern with the feet. When he felt under pressure on the sleeve Oates would sometimes fight to keep it free. He then quickly realised that he could adapt his Underhook Sumi gaeshi to exploit their forward momentum. So, he started using his sleeve as bait in order to tempt his partner forwards.
When it all comes together, here is Colin Oates’s very impressive Underhook variation of Sumi gaeshi.