I’ve been watching videos of judo matches from the Tokyo Grand Slam. As my own judo gets better, I start to notice more and more details in these matches about gripping, footwork, strategy, timing, etc.
One of the things I’ve noticed, especially in the female divisions, is the use of what are essentially a succession of quick kicks that are supposed to look like footsweeps but don’t involve much upperbody commitment. The most popular of these is the kouchi that would never throw anyone but is designed to give an appearance of attacking. I’m talking about attacks that look something like this (except of course with good posture, etc):
The key observation I made is that the ref’s are buying these non-committed attempts as positive judo. The players that were putting together these combinations were not being penalized for stalling.
I need to utilize this strategy more often, especially against stronger defensive players that don’t open up. In order for me to throw, I need them to open up, and a pretty good way to do that is to get a yuko lead through penalties. Of course, the story is a little different in randori when people don’t get penalties, but such combinations just might frustrate folks enough that they try to throw (thereby opening themselves up to be thrown).