For the first time on Superstar Judo we can reveal Kirill Denisov’s Tobikomi Kosoto gari.
His amazing jump in variation of this classical Ashi waza is one of the most spectacular throws currently seen on the International Judo Federation’s World Circuit.
He’s used it time and time again, year after year, and with continued success.
Denisov says that Uchi mata is one of his favourite throws, and he uses its threat to get the reaction for Kosoto gari.
From a traditional sleeve and lapel grip Denisov performs the entry for Uchi mata, before going in the opposite direction for Kosoto.
It’s critical, he says, to show the throwing leg of the Uchi mata, in his case - his left, before the change in direction.
The entry to Uchi mata involves the whole body, with Denisov pulling on the sleeve and lapel, at the same as turning in with his left hip and projecting his leg forwards.
The natural reaction of an opponent to defend the Uchi mata is to turn in with their right hip to block the entry.
And it’s this reaction from the opponent that Denisov exploits.
For the Kosoto to work best there needs to be a big forward momentum from the Uchi mata entry. It has to be believable and feel realistic, as the success of this throw relies almost entirely on this defensive reaction of the opponent.
It’s for this reason that Denisov prefers a Tobikomi entry into his Kosoto gari.
This allows him to generate extra power and momentum into his Uchi mata entry, which gets an even bigger reaction in the opponent.
During a contest Denisov says that he will normally attack with, or show, his Uchi mata a few times, before using it as a feint for Kosoto.
This is yet another ingredient in getting that big reaction from the opponent.
He says that he uses his thigh to sweep for the Kosoto, as opposed to a traditional footsweep.
And that he aims to jump in alongside his opponent’s right foot.
As he switches from Uchi mata into Kosoto, Denisov is relaxed and light on his feet. He says that the movement should be easy; not tight and rushed. The momentum is being generated by the opponent, so it’s about feeling the moment and guiding them down to the mat.
Here is Denisov’s contact drill, which he uses for both variations of his Kosoto gari.
This Uchikomi is the best way for him to train the sweeping motion of the hip as he throws.
Notice the change in head direction, and the relaxed nature of the upper body as he pulls uke with his left arm, and lifts with his right.
Each and every repetition has the full sweeping action of the attacking leg.
From the opposite angle you can see that his preferred left handed grip for this drill is high on the back. This enables greater control with uke throughout the Uchikomi.
Denisov says that the thigh contact is very important. It should be a big sweeping and lifting action of the leg.
And so when it all comes together, here is Kirill Denisov’s Tobikomi Kosoto gari.
That initial attack gets the opponent thinking about Uchi mata…
And then it’s one fluid movement in transition between the Uchi mata feint and the Kosoto.
Denisov adds that this technique works particularly well in a situation where an opponent is relatively static. The jumping entry provokes movement and momentum from both judoka.
So, once more, here’s Denisov showing his Uchi mata.
And now it’s the Uchi mata feint, straight into the Kosoto gari.