Performing Hip Throws Safely

Years ago I attended a meeting where the association I was with at the time discussed dropping hip throws from their syllabus because there had been too many injuries (backs and knees). They actually put forward replacing it with an intrinsically more dangerous throw with the logic that they had had no claims about that technique. This is crazy, the new technique was less taught, usually only to more advanced students and that is the reason there were no claims on it. The solution was to teach the hip throw properly and safely. (not the conclusion they came to)

1. The principle is that this should work on any one of any size, but that is when you have perfected the technique so for beginners, especially children, make sure they are of comparable height and weight.

2. Show that the throw pivots the thrown around the hip. It is not a lift, a common mistake that can hurt the back. The body position extends the hip, basically you stick your bum out, hip beyond the thrown person’s. The back remains as straight as possible so you don’t pull the thrown across your back.

3. The belt is the centre of balance, so drop your belt below the belt of the person being thrown. To do this bend your knees, and the keep this safe the feet should be planted firmly roughly shoulder width apart and however deep you bend the knees must always be in line with the toes.

4. To finish the throw, turn the upper body and pull the thrown around your hips, they should land at your feet for full control.

I’ll put a video up to illustrate this. It’s not difficult and though there are some variations from Ju Jitsu to competition judo the basics remain the same.

How adaptable should you be?

Our style is pretty wide and accommodates different levels of athleticism, body shape and tastes, but how much should you adapt for the tastes of students?
For example, we incorporate kick boxing and grappling into the same classes, some people prefer one over the other, should we then have separate classes for these? Or should we teach both to all as a complete system? I had one student who didn’t like to be touched near the neck, this meant that other students couldn’t perform Koshi Guruma (hip throw with the arm round the head) on her, nor perform any choke or strangle hold. It also meant that she was unwilling to try some of the crucial self defence techniques specifically designed to help with what she was most scared of. Do you let it go or be as encouraging as you can to help them through this or do you expect them to get on with it like everyone else in the class?