Ō-goshi (literally: “major hip”) can be thought of as an introduction to takedowns. Ō-goshi is the most basic hip throw, and it is the first takedown taught to jūdō players. Jūdō players rarely use ō-goshi in their matches, as they have more spectacular and powerful throwing techniques in their repertoire. However, many of these powerful throws (e.g., seoi-nage; harai-goshi) are variations of ō-goshi. Although it is very basic, ō-goshi covers most of our needs. Throwing is technically complex, and will take some practice — but not effort — as long as you remember to do everything by the numbers:
- Kuzushi (Destroying balance): Ō-goshi is a “towards throw;” which requires that the opponent’s energy to move towards you. As such, ō-goshi is appropriate when the opponent is charging at you, pushing you, or is stunned and doubled-over following a strike to the abdomen or groin. Do not use ō-goshi if the opponent is pulling you, or if they are leaning back. Fighting against the opponent’s momentum and balance is counter-productive.
7-3 to the inside; ō-goshi only works from the inside.) Grab the opponent’s same-side wrist with a grasping block, and pull them forward. As you step in, hip check the opponent’s groin with a motion.
- Tsukuri (Positioning): Your free hand should wrap completely around the opponent’s waist to their opposite-side hip, as though they were a bikini girl. Turn, so that you and your opponent face the same direction. You must have a solid, secure connection before you can transfer kinetic energy and momentum to your opponent. Your opponent must be snug against you so that no light can pass through the space between you and the opponent, causing middle school dance chaperones to yell at you. For optimum efficiency and leverage, there are three little posture quirks that you must have just right. For a perfect ō-goshi:
- Your center-of-mass must sink below the level of your opponent’s center-of-mass. Shorter people have a natural advantage over taller people with this technique. Taller or equally-sized people can still perform this technique, if they squat lower than their opponent’s belt knot. There is a natural tendency to lean forward when squatting, but this is a bad habit that will compromise your balance. While leaning may look like getting low, you cannot lie to physics. Exceptionally tall people will struggle with ō-goshi, and all other hip throws. Hip throws were not designed with tall individuals in mind, so they should substitute tai-otoshi in place of ō-goshi.
- Your feet must be inside of your opponent’s feet. That is, ō-goshi works best when your stance is narrower than your opponent’s.
- Your butt needs to be outside your opponent’s butt. Again, shift your hips in a Shakira-like motion towards the opponent’s extended arm.
- Nage (Throw): Simultaneously perform the motions listed below. When combined, they will be like a groin punch, and the opponent will roll over your hip, landing directly in front you in a side breakfall. Maintain your grip on the opponent’s wrist, as this is a setup for a shovel pin, arm bar, stomp kick, or other technique, depending on what the situation calls for.
- Straighten your legs to lift the opponent slightly.
- Pull the hand grabbing the opponent’s wrist your grabbing hand to its hip,
- Push the hand holding the opponent’s hip forward.
[video of O-goshi fast and slow, from different angles. Try to avoid the “sack-of-potatoes” throws, as that’s actually another technique]