Colin Oates says that in his early competitive career he spent a lot of the time finding ways to neutralise his opponent’s attacking abilities.
Against right handed opponents his principle gripping technique was the sleeve pull through. He credits the pull through as one of the main reasons he had success against some of the world’s best judoka. Oates admits that not only did it prevent his partner from attacking, it also hindered his ability to attack. It did, however, put him in a position where he could initiate Ne waza, by using a chop down.
The idea of the pull through is to neutralise your partner’s power hand by taking in the right sleeve and putting them in a position where they feel uncomfortable. By catching the right arm and pulling them through you put your partner in an extreme right stance.
Oates points out that right handers generally prefer fighting square on, and when put in an extreme position which they are unfamiliar with they will lack the confidence to initiate Tachi waza. From this position Oates would look to put them under pressure, either through groundwork or penalties.
The sleeve pull through is a very risk-free way of grip fighting and is an effective tool against any strong opposite stance opponents, especially when combined with fast transition and effective Ne waza.