Kirill Denisov has five main Ashi waza Uchikomi.
The first is for a standard Kouchi gari.
The second is for his double Kouchi combination.
Then comes his skipping Kouchi gari.
Next up is this De ashi barai counter attack.
The idea is for Denisov to anticipate De ashi, and attack with Kouchi gari.
And, finally, is his Sasae tsurikomi ashi, which he practices on both feet.
Kouchi gari is a core technique in Denisov’s Tachi waza repertoire.
Denisov scored quite frequently with Kouchi. However, he mostly used it as a way to pressurise or destabilise his opponent, or to set up one of his bigger throws.
As it is used in so many aspects of his judo, regular and precise Uchikomi is fundamental.
Notice that it’s full body engagement and the clear foot contact for the Kouchi.
Here is Denisov’s double Kouchi gari combination, which he sets up with his right foot and then finishes with his stronger left foot.
This Ashi waza Uchikomi is arguably one of the best ways to practice attacking with both sides of the body.
For it to feel realistic, there must be commitment to the initial Kouchi, which is performed on the weaker foot.
Speed is a big factor in the success of this technique. Denisov aims to transfer his weight from his left leg onto his right leg as quickly as possible. The right foot isn’t even back down onto the mat before he launches the left footed Kosoto.
Denisov’s third Kouchi gari Uchikomi is for his skipping variation of the technique.
It’s a two-step skip. The idea is to be half a step ahead, and to sweep ukes foot before it’s had a chance to land on the tatami, or just as it’s landed.
Denisov has a very clever Kouchi gari, where he lures his opponent into attacking with De ashi barai.
The Uchikomi for it is divided into two halves, with uke first sweeping with De ashi, before Denisov’s Kouchi.
So there’s the De ashi.
The idea is to anticipate the De ashi, and as uke sweeps, Denisov has already initiated the Kouchi.
Therefore, when it comes to the throw, his leg avoids the De ashi and he exploits the attacking momentum generated by his opponent. It’s this momentum and loss of balance from the opponent that makes this technique work.
Denisov’s final Ashi waza Uchikomi is for Sasae tsurikomi ashi.
This is another one where he likes to sweep with both feet.
It requires a lot of circular movement, and, as with all Ashi waza, timing is absolutely critical.
Notice how Denisov dictates the transference of weight in his uke. He uses his arms to pull down on one side of the body, and then releases the weight, transferring it to the other side. And as he does this he initiates the Sasae tsurikomi ashi.
A brilliant set of Ashi waza combinations from one of Russia’s greatest heavyweights.
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