Multiple World medallist Kirill Denisov is a left handed fighter. When up against opponents who are also left handed, Denisov’s prime target is to catch and then neutralise their power hand, before he does anything else.
As his opponents will not give up their sleeve easily, Denisov’s strategy is to come out in a right handed stance and grip the left lapel.
From this position he has two gripping sequences that end with him catching the left sleeve.
The first one involves a big pull using both hands and the strength of the upper body. This allows him to come onto the sleeve and take a high collar grip, whilst switching to a left stance.
The second variation includes Ashi waza and a circular movement, before finishing in the same position.
When up against a left hander who likes to throw a high cross grip, commonly known as the ‘Russian arm’, Denisov circles and pushes away his opponent.
But if he is really able to anticipate the Russian arm, he catches it at the elbow point, clamping on with his left arm and turning into his opponent.
He then moves down to the sleeve and takes his favoured collar grip.
As mentioned, Denisov’s main objective against same stance opponents is to neutralise the power hand.
If a left handed opponent leads with their right arm, and aims for his lapel, Denisov catches the hand before it’s able to establish a strong grip
Don’t miss out on your chance to learn these very unique and effective gripping strategies from one of the modern greats of heavyweight Russian judo.