Kirill Denisov is a left handed fighter, so throws with left Kouchi gari.
He uses Kouchi against right handed opponents.
If he’s unable to attack directly with left Kouchi, he will set up the technique with a right Kouchi.
This is designed to destabilise the opponent and push the right leg back, which brings the left leg within range.
Here, you can see that uke anticipates Denisov’s left Kouchi, by lifting and pulling back their leg. So Denisov switches to the right side, which opens up uke, pushing back the right leg and presenting the left…
From this position, Denisov is now able to attack with his favoured left Kouchi gari.
The idea of the first Kouchi is not just about getting the target leg closer, it’s about getting uke into a position where they are unstable.
The more square on uke is, the more their bodyweight shifts to their heels. And, therefore, the more susceptible they are to Kouchi gari
When it comes to the upper body, Denisov maintains a classical sleeve and lapel grip.
He pushes uke’s arm across their body when he attacks the right leg, and then gives a big pull up on the sleeve to open the opportunity for the left Kouchi.
The push across helps shift uke’s bodyweight to their right side.
And the pull up stretches out uke, which helps destabilise them and transfers weight to the back of their body and onto their heels.
As for the hips; he leaves space on the right side, and then goes as tight as he can when attacking on the left.
Denisov likes his forearm tight to uke’s chest when throwing.
So, here it is then, when it all comes together.
Notice just how fast the footwork has to be, as Denisov transitions between the left Kouchi and the right Kouchi gari.
Speed, of course, is a big factor in the success of this technique.