Most Judoka will look for any way to escape when their opponent has an extreme cross grip, Dimitri Dragin is not one of them.
Instead he looks to attack with his thigh variation of the Front Leg Sasae.
With Uke having an extreme cross grip, Dragin starts by creating some distance.
Doing so removes the immediate danger, moving into what he calls the ‘survival and attack’ position, allowing space for the leg to come through to make the thigh contact.
Dragin says there are two options he likes to use to get distance from uke.
The first is to place your hand on Uke’s upper arm
A good connection is required so you can push on the arm, helping to disrupt uke's balance and posture.
The second option is to place the hand on uke’s hip or the side of their body.
Once again a good connection is required, as this not only allows him to keep the distance but it will also help’s in disrupting uke’s posture when executing the attack.
With the distance created, Dragin looks to step to the side with his left leg just like in his other Front leg Sasae variation.
As he steps to the side Dragin starts pulling down on Uke’s lapel.
The pull is crucial in taking uke out of balance and helping to execute the throw when uke has a cross grip. This is because Dragin no longer has uke’s sleeve to lift and rotate their top half.
At the same time as the pull, you bring the leg through.
Whether pushing on the side of uke’s body or their upper arm, the leg comes through the same.
The aim is to get the thigh to thigh contact and continue to drive.
To finish, Dragin simply pivots around, continuing to pull down on the lapel and pushing with the left arm.
The step, thigh contact and lapel pull, all work simultaneously when done at speed.
This technique is a great solution to turning a potentially dangerous and negative situation into a positive scoring opportunity.