Introducing New Techniques

Introducing New Techniques

For this post, I will be covering the practicing of the new tachiwaza techniques and the addition of a new technique. 

Warming Up

My warmup drills always include ukemi practice, ashiwaza practice while continually stressing the importance of posture. Always remember that judo has difficult positions for new students so when you are doing these drills always show the right way first. Then you can correct your students when doing it wrong but give the learning process time. Your students' progress will vary but if you are diligent your students will eventually be successful.

The Importance of Tori and Uke

When teaching new students, you must teach tori (player executing the technique) to do the technique correctly while also teaching uke (player receiving the technique) how to be a good partner.

Learning to be a good uke is a critical part of the learning process and keeps both students engaged during the practice

I use a crash pad for learning new techniques and I am a believer in the old saying “repetition is the mother of all learning.” Before practice I show the correct way to do the technique so they can get a refresher on how to do it. I like to take one pair at a time when the numbers are not too high and have them demonstrate before we start the repetition. Show students how to properly grab the Gi and make sure hand position is correct for both the lapel and sleeve grip. 


The new technique I will add is a counter to osoto gari. Counter techniques are called kaeshi-waza. In countering osoto gari you keep your weight on the leg that is being attacked and bring your other leg around turning your hips and changing the direction of the attack and execute osoto gari. This is an introduction to turning your hips and bringing the leg back. After enough practice, when your students begin doing it correctly (note this may take a few practices) have them try the counter against a strong osoto gari attack. 

This is a similar hip movement for entry into forward throws like uchimata and harai goshi. I will be showing this in a future live coaches’ session. 

My next call will be on Sunday, April 16th at 12:00pm est.

Technique Development was the topic of our coaches call this month but as always, I will be open to questions and other topics as well. We will be adding video examples on how to develop a technique and what the end product should look like. 

It is my hope as Head Coach at the American Judo System that we can bring coaches together from all levels, dojos, and the country to share the knowledge we have. Our team is full of coaches who are eager to grow the sport from the basic level to the elite level. We are also unique in the fact that Jimmy Pedro and I, have experience in coaching all the areas aforementioned (day one to Olympic podium) and we are excited to share our experience and systems with you. I also hope that you will share your knowledge and experience with us because if we are going to grow judo we must work together!

Thank you for your time and I look forward to working with you! 

See you on the tatami! 

Steve Cohen

US Olympian & US Olympic Coach

Head Coach, American Judo System

Please email me at steve@americanjudo.comwith any questions, comments, or topics you may want me to cover.

About Steve Cohen

Steve Cohen has been doing judo for over 60 years. Starting judo at the age of 5, Steve had a long successful competitive career ending in 1988 at the Seoul, Korea Olympics. Steve along with his brother, Irwin ran a successful judo program in Illinois producing the first Olympic Silver Medalist and first Junior World Champion for the United States. They also had many athletes on Pan American Games Teams, World Teams, and Olympic Teams. Throughout the years they ran local, regional, and national tournaments. Every Summer, they held a camp where the best youth and junior judo athletes in the country would come to learn and develop, and the best senior judo athletes would attend, teach, and train. Many of those young athletes that attended went on to great success as competitors. Steve became the National Coach for the United States in the 1990’s becoming the Head Junior National Coach for 4 years and following that became the Head Senior National Coach which included being named the Head Coach for the 2000 US Olympic Team. Steve is still active in coaching and developing athletes out of Illinois and works with athletes all over the country. 


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