Leg grabs are still part of the game and you should be thinking about how to use them.
The new IJF rules in play since 2010 have almost abolished leg grabbing techniques. However, there are a few exceptions in which a Judoka may attack the legs. If an opponent is attacking then a player may grab leg to counter. If an opponent grabs one-sided, over the top grip (aka Cross-Grip) then the other player may grab the leg. Finally, if player grabs leg in sequence of combination of techniques it is legal.
This being said it is extremely hard to set up combo’s that end in a leg grab of any kind and it’s extremely risky to allow your opponent to attack you in the hope of countering successfully.
This is why, having played with this rule for over a year now I have found a relatively safe strategy to execute some of my favourite pick up techniques. So here’s how I set up a Te-Guruma.
Firstly, I decide very early which side I want to attack. From there I control the hand from that side (ie if I want to pick up right leg I control right sleeve) and push it across opponents body into their opposing hip (right hand into his left hip) effectively tying him up and suffocating his potential movement. Stay square and press straight on, push him, shove him. I do this a few times over and use Ashi-Waza to stay active and not incur penalties for stalling.
When I am ready to throw I set up the same grip but this time I drop my head and lean my right shoulder into my opponent’s chest. Ninety-nine times out of 100 he will throw a big top grip to try and assert his dominance and given that my head has dropped and exposed my shoulder it will be a cross-grip.
Once they have taken the grip I step in, grab the leg with my left hand, use my right grip to bring opponent onto me, prop my fight and drive my opponent up and across my shoulders and finish for Ippon.
Note: Be aware of opponent instinctively turning for Harai Makikomi which may work if you don’t commit 100% to the throw. Try it.
If you want to watch Te-Guruma in action you can watch the video clip below.