Ariel Zeevi Te Guruma

I still find the application of the new leg grab rule a bit questionable. In particular, what gets called a legitimate counter often doesn’t look like a counter to me. Here’s an example of Ariel Zeevi (one of my favorite judoka) winning one of his many matches at the 2010 Tokyo Grand Slam with a Te Guruma.

I’m assuming the refs allowed the leg attack because they considered it as a counter or saw Blue’s cross grip as over-the-back (which is what’s required for a leg grab to be legal).

I get tired every time I have to write, talk, or think about these nuances (since I believe all throws should be legal, unless they severely endanger either player). But it’s important for me (a guy who values pickups) to understand when I can and can’t do them. As a practitioner of both BJJ and Judo, the ability to practice and successfully execute leg attacks is essential for me. I have many judo tournaments coming up, and I fully intend to use te guruma according to the rules. Hopefully the refs will allow me to do just that.

0 thoughts on “Ariel Zeevi Te Guruma

  1. Eric

    Not really sure why this was not an illegal attack. It sure looks like what they use as the example of what will get you disqualified. I agree with you, unless it is dangerous it should be legal.

  2. Darrell

    The rule my club was taught and the way we have been teaching it, is for a grab anywhere below the belt, the Judoka has to be reacting to a counterattack or a combination throw. In the video above, there was no legitimate combination or counterattack for white to be throwing a te guruma. Grips or fake attacks do not constitute use of a te guruma in this situation, and any tournament i have been in since this rule was implemented would have made that throw a hansaku-make.

  3. Chris Round

    It was legal due to blue holding a cross grip. Once a cross grip is initiated it is legal to grab the leg. Blue had also initiated a form of seoinage.

  4. Niko

    Lex , first i am not agree with your statement that all throws should be legal unless they can hurt badly. The quality of stand up judo dramatically improved since the leg rule were applied. This was discussed by Sheldon in some commentary and many other high level coaches . First ability to grab leg right away affected posture of judokas. right now leg rule and quick shido for over defensive posture makes judo way more upright which creates great opportunities for classic judo throws. if we compare average A level tourney 7 years ago and now than we will see way more nice classic judo throws now . Also all body judo techniques like te guruma and other leg grabs are still here but they way more exciting than it used to be. I really love how one time Sheldon ( IJF commentator ) said that it’s exciting to see huge lag grab attack but what people are missing is how boring to watch failed leg grab attacks for 8 hours . That is why when we saw kata guruma compilation we feel , damn i miss this opportunities. But if we remember how judokas were banded in order to protect from straight kata attack than it makes this look different.
    back to Zeevi throw it was perfectly legal cuz HWANG initiated attack and went to lose body contact trying execute that seoi so it was classic counter.
    I would recommend you to watch Andrei Kazausenok sambo match cuz he is best lag grabber in the world. You would see how way more they are banded compare to judo match only for this leg rule. Its not better or worser but just different.

    1. Lex Post author

      Good point. Judo after all is a sport, and whatever improves the beauty of the sport is good. But I’m always also thinking of judo as a system of throws that can be used in wrestling, submission grappling, jiu jitsu, mixed martial arts, street fighting, etc. Then you have to wonder whether all the restrictions will have a long term positive or negative effect…


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