If your takedown game is trash, investing some time in watching elite level judo and wrestling is going to help move you from “meh” to that next belt. And fortunately the Judo World Championship Baku 2018 has been going down this week, so there’s a lot of new footage to review.
First is a stellar performance by the new reigning “world’s youngest” champion, 17-year-old Ukranian Daria Bilodid. The teenager took on world champion Funa Tonaki of Japan, dethroning Tonaki with a superquick o-uchi-gari as Bilodid’s mother/coach looked on from the edge of the mat. Cinematic stuff:
We’re pairing the Bilodid/Tonaki match with this grip-game heavy showing that came a few days later from judokas An Chang-rim An and Soichi Hashimoto of South Korea and Japan, respectively.
Chang-rim’s performance demonstrates exactly why aggression and chaining matters in takedown game as much as it does on the ground. Hashimoto may have been able to recover from the initial uchi-mata, but combined so swiftly with kosoto-gari there was no way to resist the sinister pull of gravity:
O-uchi-gari, uchi-mata, and kosoto-gari are all trip/throw techniques that have a place in your standup jiu-jitsu game, so resist the urge to get into Reddit fights about which discipline matters in “the streets” and get on the mats to practice these Judo staples instead. Your trophy wall will thank you later.