Kata Guruma – Hand Technique (Te Waza)
Kata guruma is a dramatic judo throw that was popular in international competition until recent rule changes prohibited grabbing the leg. Modified versions can still earn a score in competition, but it is seldom seen now. The technique is a hand throw (tewaza) that is practiced as part of the nage-no-kata.
Because uke is lifted over the shoulders of tori, no other technique can achieve the sheer height of a kata guruma throw. However, other versions are also possible where tori kneels or even sits.
Kata guruma is a forward throw so uke will generally be vulnerable when he or she is moving or pushing forward.
In the classic right side version of kata guruma, tori will pull strongly with the left hand while ducking his or her head under uke’s right arm and grabbing uke’s right thigh with the right arm. Tori must squat low while keeping the back upright so that uke rests squarely on tori’s shoulders with his or her belt directly behind tori’s head.
Tori throws by continuing to pull with the left hand while lifting with the right arm so that uke is wheeled over the shoulders of tori.
- Keep uke moving forward throughout the technique.
- Use your legs to squat low and avoid bending at the waist.
- Lift with your legs as you throw uke over you.