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Black Tiger
Black Tiger's picture
Throws for karate?


If one didn't wish to take a full Judo/Jujitsu class but just wanted to learn say 9-10 throws to compliement their karate, which throws would be the bests to learn

Hip throw, Single Arm Shoulder throw, Leg sweep, hooking leg sweep, single & double leg takedown etc

Possibly something that could be applied in both Training, Sparring and Kata

Looking for some good basic throws that a KarateKa could use without too much involved training

Breakfalls should be part of the daily routine

Zach_MB's picture

I would start with Funakoshi's 9 throws and then go from there.


They're  not exhaustive, nor did Funakoshi throw as well as modern Judoka now or then. But for karate practitioners it is a decent starting point. They're not horribly complicated and most, not all, are rather useful.

ky0han's picture


some of Funakoshis throws are rather brutal and so they are pretty hard to train in a save manner.

I would utilize fewer throws to gain a good understanding of the principles throws are based on. Once you got a basic understanding you can go and try some of the more complex throws.

I basicly start teaching throws with an O Soto Gari type of throw as for the Ashi Waza types, O Goshi and Koshi Guruma types of throws (both very simmilar in my eyes) for Koshi Waza and Seoi Nage, Kata Guruma and Aikidos Kaiten Nage types of throws for Te Waza.

I hope that helps.

Regards Holger

deltabluesman's picture

Black Tiger wrote:

Looking for some good basic throws that a KarateKa could use without too much involved training

I am a bit pressed for time today so I will only offer one comment.  I agree with you regarding single/double leg takedowns.  I have found that most people are able to learn a so-called “blast double” with relative ease.  Yes, this technique (like almost all others) varies in effectiveness depending on your build, level of strength, and explosiveness.

I still recommend it based on its simplicity and effectiveness.  I could not find a good instructional video on Youtube so this one will have to do:  

A few points...

  • Aggression is key for a beginner.  This technique is relatively forgiving so long as you are highly aggressive.
  • You do not need to drop to your knees.  A slight level change will enable you to quickly snap up the legs and drive forward.
  • You can enter this technique from many different ranges.  I had a training partner who was naturally very skilled with this technique.  An aggressive barrage of punches followed by a blast double was his favorite entry.  You can also do it off of a flinch reflex (such as you would find in Kanku-Dai).  You can do it from a clinch.  
  • You must drive forward hard with your face.   
  • There is a trade off between aggression and balance.  The more aggressive you are, the more chance you have of landing on your opponent.  If you DO happen to land on him, he will absorb most of the weight of the impact.  Someone who is good at the technique will feel when the technique has been successful and may be able to remain standing.  
  • If someone of roughly equivalent skill level and build is easily stuffing this takedown, you are not being aggressive enough.  
  • Watch out for the guillotine and/or knees.  If you focus on driving forward with your head into his chest/solar plexus, you will simultaneously take him off balance and protect yourself reasonably well from incoming strikes.  This is why you need to be aggressive, so you can get his feet off the ground and take away his power.  This actually is not that big a deal IMHO; just focus on driving forward as hard as you can.  
  • If it looks pretty, your opponent is not fighting back hard enough.


A video of the blast double in action (within the first nine seconds).  The best part of this is the way he jumps around 0:07.

So what if you do the blast double and you are so aggressive that you fall right onto him?  Worse, what if you are fighting over gravel or some other kind of hard surface?  Yes, you will probably bloody your knees.  But with practice you will learn to instinctively make him take the brunt of the fall.  You can then train to immediately leap back to your feet and take off running. 

Some ideas for training and sparring:  For training drills, you can pair up one person as striker and another as grappler.  The grappler wins if he/she takes down the opponent with the blast double and runs away.  The striker wins if he can keep from being taken down OR if he gets taken down and manages to hang on to the grappler.  You can introduce all sorts of variations:  as soon as one person wins, you switch roles of grappler/striker and immediately resume the drill (for improving conditioning/simulating fatigue).  Or, you can introduce a third person who joins the fight as soon as the grappler secures the takedown (raising the stakes for a grappler who is not keen on escaping).  Striker can fight to secure a guillotine as an option.  Etc.  You can then escalate these drills into sparring as soon as both students genuinely understand the technique.  At a minimum you will need a mouthguard, mats, and some kind of MMA/karate-friendly glove.  Mats are especially important here because sometimes people will hit the back of their head if you do this hard enough.

A caveat:  some schools do not call this a blast double.  So there may be some terminological debate.  I think it is almost irrelevant to debate the proper name of a technique, so I still call it a blast double.  Second caveat:  it is similar to but not the same as your conventional double leg takedown.  There are many variations on the double leg.  Third caveat:  a conventional double leg is actually highly technical.  So transitioning from a blast double to the conventional double may involve a lot more training (depending on your level of expertise with this technique).  Final caveat:  although I sometimes use this technique, I do not train it frequently.  It is not one of my bread and butter options.  But I am just saying that I have seen a lot of people walk in the door and start throwing decent blast doubles within 30 minutes.  

In closing.  I think the single most important reason for a karateka to learn takedowns and throws is not to be able to use that throw against an attacker/competitor.  Instead, I believe the most important reason to do this is to increase the level of skill among your training partners.  A training partner who really understands takedowns will be able to challenge you when you are learning to defend takedowns.  This sort of challenge will enable you to develop both an unconscious awareness of your body such that you will have a better chance of staying on your feet in a high-pressure situation.    

All best.

Wastelander's picture

My Top 10 Throws for Karate:

  1. O-Soto Gari (Major Outer Reap)
  2. Koshi Guruma (Hip Wheel) or Harai Goshi (Sweeping Hip) if you need a boost
  3. Tai Otoshi (Body Drop)
  4. Ippon Seoi Nage (Single Shoulder Throw)
  5. Hiza Guruma (Knee Wheel)
  6. Ko-Uchi Gari (Minor Inner Reap)
  7. Ko-Soto Gari (Minor Outer Reap)
  8. Deashi Barrai (Advancing Foot Sweep)
  9. Morote Gari (Double Reap) or Kibisu Gaeshi (Heel Trip Reversal) if you can't get both legs
  10. Sukui Nage (Scoop Throw) or Obi Otoshi (Belt Drop) if you can't grab the leg


I feel that these cover a wide variety of situations, and map well to karate for me, personally. I'm probably cheating a little by grouping throws for 2, 9, and 10. One could certainly argue that Ko-Soto Gari, Ko-Uchi Gari, and Deashi Barrai are all more-or-less the same movement, though, which would trim my list down a bit.

nielmag's picture

For me I try to use the throws that I know to be in kata.  im sure there are more, just talking about the ones I am familar with:  his is not a one size fits all,SHOULD BE DONE THIS WAY list so much as how I do it list:

  1. Koma Nage - 3rd and 4th gedan barai's of Heian Shodan
  2. Osoto gari or osoto otoshi/kubi wa - found in nukite of Heian Katas & Kanku Dai
  3. Koshi Gurumma/cross buttocks - Heian Sandan knee lift to kiba dachi, then back fist
  4. O goshi - Heian Sandan  after oi zuki, spin in kiba dachi, last 2 moves of kata
  5. Seo Nage - Heian Godan move before and during the jump
  6. Tai Otoshi - after last mountain punch and spin into fronstance in Bassai Dai
  7. Morote gari/double leg takedown - double age uke, double low hammerfist of Bassai Dai
  8. De Ashi Barai/Footsweep - wave kick & torso twist of Tekki
  9. Have no idea what this is called, but if someone throws a haymaker or something over head, block, use your other arm to get their punching arm in a shoulder lock, which you can use to get them going backwards.  Not sure what kata this is from, but i just think its really cool to do smiley
Tau's picture

First, you need to consider what you mean by "throw." This may seem simple to begin with but do want things that look Judo or Jujitsu - ish or do are you looking for methods that will fulfill a specific purpose? Also do you just want things that are highly pragmatic or other "fun" things that will compliment training? For example the neck crank found in Pinan Shodan (rear hand block) might or might not be considered a "throw."

As an aside, in my oppinion, not enough time is invested in the skills of staying on the feet and regaining the feet. There are some hugely fun activities to develop these skills.

All this said, my ideas follow. I haven't read the other lists above but I strongly suspect that there will be a lot of repetition which I think has to be a good thing

- A fairly low-level throw that serves as a great introduction to other throws

- Ippon Seoi Nage (as seen in H.Godan

- Koshi Guruma for no other reason that it's in the kata

- Moroto gari although I personally wouldn't want to to use it. But it's in the kata (personal chocie I suppose)

- "Mawate" (neck crank)

- Various flavours or Irimi nage

- Kata guruma, as seen in Kushanku. Again, I wouldn't use it, but it's in the kata

- O soto gari - if you're going to do throws you need this

- Ko soto gari - understated. Also seen several kata

- Kotegaeshi - there's a reason it's in so many systems

That's all off the top of my head.

Zach Zinn
Zach Zinn's picture

1) Osoto gari/otoshi/whatever

2) sukui nage -  version I favor involves no grabs at all, almost more knockdown than a  throw

3)Harai goshi


4)tai otoshi

5)couple of  leg picks

6)clothesline/irimi nage variations

7) lots of throws where you use the neck/head as lever, a bunch of variation here

Personally for Karate purposes this nearly covers it for me, there are other things i  could add in but it's a pretty small handful. For me really delving into "Karate throws"  is also looking at entry alot, because just learning Judo/Jujutsu throw (for instance only practicing the throws from grips, either naked or gi) then trying to relate them to Karate will be confusing I feel. The same throws exist but IMO they are entered into and function differently in Karate than if you start everything for a sort of even clinch situation, as they are typically taught in Judo or Jujutsu.

Dod's picture

I think we need to mention our host’s book here “Throws for Strikers” that covers a number of throws,  links them to Kata,  and discusses the place of throws in general.

My understanding is that karate throws should be relatively simple (compared to judo experts),  opportunistic,  and  brutal in application so as to avoid also going to ground if possible.  It also helps if they are in our kata.  Other throws are good for further interest and fun. 

Because my karate club does not really practice throws,  like many others I have found that some cross training in Judo is invaluable for my karate.

Iain Abernethy
Iain Abernethy's picture

“Funakoshi’s Nine” are always a good place to start as they have a nice mix of methods. Personally though, I’d drop three of them right away if the aim in 100% functionality (i.e. no historical or academic interest). The three I’d drop would be:

Swallow-Returns: Too fiddly to work against resitance and you’re left in a bad position.

Upside-Down-Hammer: It needs Tori do be much stronger than Uke in order to work; and there are the obvious legalities around lifting someone half your size so you can drive their head in to the floor (looks cool though! :-).

Spearing-Through:  In my view this is impossible to apply on anyone who does not want to be thrown (one for compliant ukes only).

The other six are solid throws, although I personally do them a little differently to Funakoshi in that I generally train them a clinch (which is when throws are most applicable) as opposed to from a blocked punch. Here is a video I filmed a few month’s ago that looks at my take on some of these six:

Dod wrote:
I think we need to mention our host’s book here “Throws for Strikers” that covers a number of throws, links them to Kata, and discusses the place of throws in general.

Thank you Dod! Yes, that book was written to address the question that started this thread and it can be bought from this website: http://shop.iainabernethy.com/acatalog/Iain_Abernethy_Books.html

All the best,


Throws for Strikers

Many martial artists are now critically re-evaluating the effectiveness of their chosen art. As a result, it is now more widely understood that to be a truly effective martial artist, you need to be competent at all ranges of fighting.

Practitioners of striking systems need to be sure that they know what to do at close-range in case their strikes don’t end the fight. The need for these basic grappling skills was fully understood by the martial artists and boxers of the past.

It is only in comparatively recent times due to the martial arts changing their focus from self-defence to sport and physical-development that the striking arts have neglected the close-range techniques covered in this book.

This book covers the basic throws that were once commonly practiced in striking systems and provides instruction on the throws themselves. It also covers the fundamental principles that apply to all throws, includes practice drills that enable the reader to develop competence in live situations, and explains what to do should a throw go wrong and you end up on the ground.