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Old 01-08-2013, 08:34 AM   #1
Cliff Judge
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The shoulder grab - where does this come from

At my dojo and, I believe, ASU in general, we practice techniques from kata dori, which is a shoulder grab. Generally, you grab a handful of dogi right around the shoulder area.

Questions:

1) Do you practice techniques from this type of attack at your dojo? A shoulder grab. Kata dori.
2) If so, do you also grab a handful of dogi?
3) Can anyone comment on where this attack comes from?

This is not common in koryu jujutsu as far as I can tell. What IS common in koryu jujutsu is eri dori, which is a lapel grab. But eri dori provides very different openings for a technique.

I am not a judoka but I have been told that a shoulder grab like this could happen while coming to grips. But it isn't a starting point. Maybe it is in some kata. Basically I am not satisfied that this is "a judo thing."

Not very common in Daito ryu, either....there is this aikirentai clip...but this looks more like the standard judo grip, grabbing the sleeve around the bicep.

I don't like grabbing a handful of gi around the shoulder because I don't like mangling my fingers when they get all crunched up in the fabric. As often as possible, I simply grab the whole shoulder. I think having uke's palm open makes a better channel for entry and connection, but from uke's perspective it is a less effective attack, so it makes the technique less combative.
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Old 01-08-2013, 08:46 AM   #2
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Re: The shoulder grab - where does this come from

As a set up to kata dori men uchi: grab and control the arm, break his balance and strike him?

In Iwama style it comes from a shomen uchi/ate situation where uke cuts down the arm, grabs the shoulder and then strikes.
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Old 01-08-2013, 09:12 AM   #3
Cliff Judge
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Re: The shoulder grab - where does this come from

Quote:
Peter Gr´┐Żndahl wrote: View Post
As a set up to kata dori men uchi: grab and control the arm, break his balance and strike him?

In Iwama style it comes from a shomen uchi/ate situation where uke cuts down the arm, grabs the shoulder and then strikes.
Are you saying that the shoulder grab only comes up in more advanced training in your tradition?

Or is it a regular setup for basic static practice, and what you are talking about is more of an explanation of why the attack would happen?
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Old 01-08-2013, 09:26 AM   #4
grondahl
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Re: The shoulder grab - where does this come from

More of an explanation but also how it┤s trained at a more advanced level. In basic practice it┤s common to just grab and hold (as in katate dori etc). Kata dori is also useful as a training method since it┤s easier to understand to use the body instead of just the arms to drive the waza (ie simpler than in katate dori).

Any static grab is a pretty silly form of attack.
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Old 01-08-2013, 10:01 AM   #5
dave9nine
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Re: The shoulder grab - where does this come from

in my iwama-lineage dojo, kata dori is often explained as something you would do as you are trying to attack with the other hand. we are specifically told to avoid grabbing too close to the chest -- it should be more on the outside of the shoulder so that you could extend the person away from you if needed. we are also told to avoid leaving the thumb inside.
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Old 01-08-2013, 10:14 AM   #6
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Re: The shoulder grab - where does this come from

The grab and punch is a common explanation for it that I've heard, but I feel that's our answer to why and not the answer.

We do both the push to the shoulder and the lapel grab under the name katatori, just depends on who you're working with and how they choose to do it.

my own more recent explanation for the modern impracticality of the "attacks" in aikido is that they are meant to be little more than exchanges of force designed to test/reinforce proper body structure and stability and your ability to negate/absorb/redirect that force acting on your body on your way to breaking uke's balance and throwing or controlling them. Basically like paired exercises rather than some sort of simulated confrontation or fight.
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Old 01-08-2013, 10:19 AM   #7
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Re: The shoulder grab - where does this come from

It's always good to ask, and subsequently to understand the reasons why something is done a certain way. Particularly in traditional arts there can be approaches to techniques based on things a modern adept isn't even thinking about. Koryu jujutsu is a case in point. People can be critical of certain movements: why didn't you do this, or do you see the opening there?
Years ago I did a demo in a judo dojo with a judo friend of mine (who did understand the difference). We put on armor and we proceeded to show how many fit-ins, grabs, and attacks, no longer worked, and how immune we were to certain "openings" while I proceeded to cut with a knife.

So the closer judo fit... doesn't fit...with two do hitting each other and chokes or neck attacks take on a whole new meaning with steel in the way.

So when looking at single keikogi grips ....learn the history -yes sometimes it is just plain dojo stupidity (not all teachers really know what they're doing) and other times they're profound.

Good Aikido is about movement and it can be very good. In the end, try to just know the difference between inane and good movement and make the best of both, and hell...just look at it as yet another opportunity to work on shit that "might" happen.

Why do I say that? I once got stabbed in a bar. Know how it happened? He grabbed my coat by the shoulder and swung me round!! Imagine that?
Many times the people who cause the most trouble, are the least trained, and also the least prepared for the outcome.
Dan

Last edited by DH : 01-08-2013 at 10:28 AM.
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Old 01-08-2013, 10:41 AM   #8
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Re: The shoulder grab - where does this come from

Quote:
Cliff Judge wrote: View Post
1) Do you practice techniques from this type of attack at your dojo? A shoulder grab. Kata dori.
2) If so, do you also grab a handful of dogi?
3) Can anyone comment on where this attack comes from?

...I don't like grabbing a handful of gi around the shoulder because I don't like mangling my fingers when they get all crunched up in the fabric. As often as possible, I simply grab the whole shoulder. I think having uke's palm open makes a better channel for entry and connection, but from uke's perspective it is a less effective attack, so it makes the technique less combative.
We do kata dori, but we're an independant dojo so I couldn't say for sure where it came from. The few clips of Chiba sensei I've seen seem to come pretty close to the form of it I'm familiar with.
We grab a handful of gi; the grab/suppression begins kuzushi and generally sets up a follow-up strike.
As a side note I've seen a couple fights where the shoulder was "grabbed." In one case the shirt just got ripped (attacker had to re-engage); in another it was used to pin the guy against a wall.

Last edited by mathewjgano : 01-08-2013 at 10:49 AM.

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Old 01-08-2013, 11:09 AM   #9
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Re: The shoulder grab - where does this come from

I can't speak to the Koryu element, I'm on the look out now though. Are you differentiating between Kata and Sode also? If you include both Kata and Sode, there are around 15 techniques done by Ueshiba in Budo Renshu that come from this attack. It's a surprisingly large number of techniques from this type of attack compared to other attacks show in the book. So Ueshiba had an interest in this sort of attack, and a pretty big one. Most all of them include Uke striking down just after he grabs though, and this is something we don't see in a lot of in modern Aikido practice.

I've never really officially studied Judo. But I've done Judo randori, and done jacket and sub wrestling with lot's of Judo guys quite a bit. The common Judo grips is a Mune (or Mae Eri Dori) with the right hand, and a elbow level Sode dori grip with the left. Although that's just a fundamental position, lot's of that happens while moving around trying to throw. As you get better at grabbing your hand gets trapped and crushed less often. There are also a few clever techniques that allow you to grab the gi really good and keep your fingers fairly safe. Although twisted fingers can always happen.

Speaking from my own personal practice. I used to dislike Kata dori, and didn't teach it too often. Then I realized that when we play our randori game, and people were trying to clinch with me, Kata dori was a common starting grip. That is to say, when we were moving around, lot's of times a Kata or sode grip would be the first thing Uke would grab, and then pull themselves in from there. I started training kata more, and found that lot's of the techniques helped.

I think the Judo connection isn't a bad one. It has been shown that at least for a short time Ueshiba was interested in making a kind of "anti-Judo". It could be that Ueshiba found it useful in quick multiple attacker situations, which is something I have personally experienced. Or it could have been something he just thought was cool, without any connection to anything else. One thing is for sure though, he really did like the attack.

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Old 01-08-2013, 12:04 PM   #10
lars beyer
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Re: The shoulder grab - where does this come from

I was taught that grapping is a way to control the partner, so the shoulder grap is a way to control
your nage or uke┤s body as well as the arm connected to that shoulder and as a consequence there are
techniques to counter graps that would othervise restrict your freedom of movement.
My two cents.. :-)
Lars
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Old 01-08-2013, 12:20 PM   #11
David Partington
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Re: The shoulder grab - where does this come from

3) Can anyone comment on where this attack comes from?

If the person was wearing armour then wouldn't it equate to grabbing the sode? But then why call the attack katadori?

If the person was wearing a kataginu however, the attack and name would seem plausible.
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Old 01-08-2013, 01:48 PM   #12
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Re: The shoulder grab - where does this come from

Quote:
David Partington wrote: View Post
3) Can anyone comment on where this attack comes from?

If the person was wearing armour then wouldn't it equate to grabbing the sode? But then why call the attack katadori?

If the person was wearing a kataginu however, the attack and name would seem plausible.
I Know that Ueshiba, in Budo Renshu use's the term Kata, and Sode. From the picture's it's impossible to tell a difference, other then the Sode in some drawings is a little lower on the arm. In that book techniques 49-60 are Kata and techniques 61-76 are called Sode. Both look to be grabbing the cloth. In Aikido Densho, there are six techniques labeled Kata and three labeled as Sode. Aikido Densho follows almost exactly the same order as Budo Renshu, the only major difference is that there are fewer techniques in this manual. But You can clearly see that Kanemoto Sunadomari was trying to show Ueshiba's techniques.

So I would bet money that Ueshiba himself made the distinction, why he called one Sode and one Kata, I don't know. But 11 Kata, and 15 Sode tell us that he was very interested in that kind of attack.

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Old 01-08-2013, 02:21 PM   #13
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Re: The shoulder grab - where does this come from

I believe in the movie from 1935 O sensei is grabbing his attacker by the shoulder and throwing him with some kind of kokyunage.... All this from pretty static position, nice, isn't it ? So the techniques from shoulder grab can be seen as a kaeshi waza?

Nagababa

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Old 01-09-2013, 08:17 AM   #14
Cliff Judge
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Re: The shoulder grab - where does this come from

Had an appropriate opportunity to work on kata dori last night thanks to the apparently psychic teaching staff at Aikido Shobukan Dojo...

I am thinking that kata dori should be broken up into two different types of attacks: the pull and the push. The pull is when the attacker grabs a handful of gi and tries to break your balance forward or at some sideways angle. I have a lot of problems with this because I dislike technique that requires uke to hang on, when if they really wanted to do something to me they would let go and switch to something else. But there are things we study when the shoulder is pulled that I am not going to argue with my instructors about too vociferously. Thing is, I am not convinced that a lapel grab would just as fine a way to study these things, with the added benefit of not leaving so many little flecks of blood on nage's shoulder from stressed fingernails.

The thing about the push is, it is arguably a more common attack, typical of affective aggression situations. The stuff you can study against a shoulder push are different than the things you can study from a shoulder pull, seems to me.

Thanks for the comments...in particular I appreciate Dan mentioning that just because it doesn't SEEM like a common attack doesn't mean it wouldn't happen. And Chris brought up good points about the content of Budo Renshu...I didn't have time to check my copy of that last night.

I don't think it is any clearer to me what the historical provenance of kata dori is, and I am still pretty interested in that. I guess it is something that Ueshiba liked to use to demonstrate certain principals though. Hmmm...did Ueshiba teach against a shoulder push or pull, or both?
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Old 01-09-2013, 11:42 AM   #15
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Re: The shoulder grab - where does this come from

I would have to really look, but I know with several techniques in Budo Renshu, he said if Uke was pulling or pushing, I would guess some of these guide lines were from Kata or Sode attacks as well.

I actually added up all the technique attacks in Budo Renshu last night. The book heavily is weighted towards Soda, then Kata dori techniques. It was clearly important to him.

The desire for Uke to keep holding is something that we see in lot's of Aikido techniques. This can easily be explained be the need to keep a hold of a weapon. I've used (in a Dojo) a sleeve grab many many times to keep an armed person from "stabbing" me. It's useful. But beyond this, I was doing some ground grappling last night, and realized that lot's of times I would hold fast to the gi sleeve, even with out the motivation of a weapon, simply because the sleeve grab gave me some control.

Anyways, those are my thoughts.

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Old 01-09-2013, 02:03 PM   #16
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Re: The shoulder grab - where does this come from

Kata dori is in my opinion one of the most modern attacks in Aikido and perhaps helps to deliniate Aikido as gendai budo rather than a true Koryu style.

Chiba Sensei always used to apply a pushing or pulling force during kata-dori - often combined with a blow or kick.

This stood me in good stead during my (brief) time as a door supervisor at a nightclub, when I realised this was actually quite a common attack; often used to intimidate the victim.
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Old 01-09-2013, 02:22 PM   #17
Cliff Judge
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Re: The shoulder grab - where does this come from

Quote:
Philip Smith wrote: View Post
Kata dori is in my opinion one of the most modern attacks in Aikido and perhaps helps to deliniate Aikido as gendai budo rather than a true Koryu style.

Chiba Sensei always used to apply a pushing or pulling force during kata-dori - often combined with a blow or kick.

This stood me in good stead during my (brief) time as a door supervisor at a nightclub, when I realised this was actually quite a common attack; often used to intimidate the victim.
Thanks, Philip. Did Chiba Sensei call for a "grab a handful of dogi" attack or was it grabbing the meat of the shoulder?
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Old 01-09-2013, 03:40 PM   #18
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Re: The shoulder grab - where does this come from

The push or pull in katadori is clearly evident on my Yoshinkan videos. If pushed, tenkan, if pulled irimi.

I have always seen that the gi was grabbed. I can't see bring controlled with just a hand on the shoulder. I have always been taught that the shoulder grab was a prelude to another attack. Grab the shoulder to prevent the victim from running away from the other attack.
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Old 01-09-2013, 04:53 PM   #19
sakumeikan
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Re: The shoulder grab - where does this come from

Dear All,
Certainly judoka consistently grab the shoulder [the gi area not flesh ] ,either 1.Pushing.2.Pulling.3. Keeping the guy from moving around.Grabbing the sleeve reinforces the control of the uke.
As Philip Smith pointed out after the grab on the sode [sleeve] has been applied to your partner a sharp tsuki to the face/lower maegeri to the kneecap etc/ or a shomenuchi attack can be applied.This type of attack is difficult to deal with especially using shiho nage as demonstrated by Chiba Sensei.
Being grabbed and pushed or pulled can have an adverse effect on a persons stability [both physically and mentally ].any one who is a bit timid try wrestling with some angry 17 stone judoka.From personal experience of this in the past I found it quite thrilling.
By the way the rugged chaps in Glasgow usually grabbed you by both lapels then quietly administered the redoubtable Glasgow Kiss ie a well placed head butt.This was a fairly well known strategy used by tearaways in the period when I was in short pants. Cheers, Joe,
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Old 01-10-2013, 02:30 PM   #20
Walter Martindale
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Re: The shoulder grab - where does this come from

Dan beat me to it. I've not actually been stabbed or attacked with a knife in "real life", but was shown what can happen if someone grabs either kata-dori or mune-dori with one hand, and pulls you onto the other hand with is augmented by a long sharp bit of steel but which was held out of view during the initial grab.

The sensei in question had us enter to the outside of the grabbing arm with a tenkan - stretching the grabbing arm across our back, and immediately turning back toward attacker with the arm that had been grabbed by the attacker sweeping upwards to join the attacking wrist in an ikkyo...(with the attacker having a bit of a balance issue, following his arm around) - followed by rather forcefully smashing the attacker to the mat and separating his elbow. after all - he DID attack with a knife...

So - say attacker has knife in R hand. grabs your R shoulder with his L hand.
You go beside him to his L, and pivot around to your L, which should lead him to follow you around, raising his R hand to stab (tsuki) as he comes around - you turn back, and with your R hand at his forearm/elbow execute ikkyo, use L hand on his elbow for control and grip his wrist with R hand, and finish the ikkyo to the floor. Pin elbow to ground with L hand, lift his wrist too hyperextend his elbow, and relieve him of the edged weapon. stand quickly and watch for his friends. Don't leave the weapon on the floor for him to collect with his other hand, or for his friends to collect..

Haven't had to do it for real, but it went pretty well in the dojo (without the finishing snap, of course)...
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Old 01-11-2013, 05:05 AM   #21
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Re: The shoulder grab - where does this come from

Q1. yes
Q2. yes - I grab whatevers there. If I'm Uke I'm going to try to jam the shoulder to prevent Tori from punching me with that arm. As others point out ..in the dojo it'll be accompanied by menuchi or something similar...outside its more likely to be a punch to the face, elbow or glasgow kiss if you are in joe's neck of the woods.
Q3. where does it come from? Who can say....most of these attacks would come quite naturally in any attack on the world from people without a jot of training.

Personally I'm more interested in HOW the attack is dealt with than a historical source, but thats just me.

I've seen it dealt with in many ways....different yet ultimately similar in that uke beats the arm and then uke up. Ive seen short stick defence, yawara bo defence, karate defence....all hitting the arm or pinning the hand and then moving on with a number of strikes or a lock...or a a takedown.

These are all interesting, effective methods of dealing with this....but as an aikido person I'm interested in using Aiki...we all are right? so wheres the Aiki way of dealing with it that differs from jujitsu, from karate etc?

Others have mentioned push and pull...forces. A lot of my historic practice has been around moving away from a push or into a pull.

I look at moving away, or turning as tenkan....if I combine this with a rotation around my spine and irimi/atemi on the other non held side...I see yin & yang.........some could call this combination a union of opposing forces in me.....and then for me as an Aikido person it starts to get interesting.....using more than just beating up uke to find solutions.

FWIW

Regards

D
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Old 01-11-2013, 07:09 AM   #22
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Re: The shoulder grab - where does this come from

Quote:
Walter Martindale wrote: View Post
So - say attacker has knife in R hand. grabs your R shoulder with his L hand.
You go beside him to his L, and pivot around to your L, which should lead him to follow you around, raising his R hand to stab (tsuki) as he comes around - you turn back, and with your R hand at his forearm/elbow execute ikkyo, use L hand on his elbow for control and grip his wrist with R hand, and finish the ikkyo to the floor. Pin elbow to ground with L hand, lift his wrist too hyperextend his elbow, and relieve him of the edged weapon. stand quickly and watch for his friends. Don't leave the weapon on the floor for him to collect with his other hand, or for his friends to collect..
and if you can't do the pivot, say there is a bunch of folks or a wall or a row of table/chair blocking, then what?

"budo is putting on cold, wet, sweat stained gi with a smile and a snarl" - your truly
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Old 01-14-2013, 06:03 AM   #23
Walter Martindale
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Re: The shoulder grab - where does this come from

Quote:
Phi Truong wrote: View Post
and if you can't do the pivot, say there is a bunch of folks or a wall or a row of table/chair blocking, then what?
Good question... Surely the collective wisdom of Aikiweb has possible answers? Hypothetically, strike to the eyes with the hand on the grabbed shoulder, very hard kick to the shin/knee, some form of block to the arm that has the knife? I'm speculating. take the initiative and offer a "glasgow kiss" of your own? Can't lose awareness of the knife.. I count myself fortunate in that I've never bumped into this "out there"...

And of course, anyone can offer "what if" ad nauseum.. What if nobody ever attacks you "out there" Have we wasted all those years of training? Have we developed skills and fitness through doing something we enjoy that also provides potentially useful abilities?

Last edited by Walter Martindale : 01-14-2013 at 06:06 AM.
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Old 01-14-2013, 07:33 AM   #24
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: The shoulder grab - where does this come from

Quote:
Walter Martindale wrote: View Post
I count myself fortunate in that I've never bumped into this "out there"...
I count myself fortunate because the opposite. It is an enlightening experience.

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Old 07-04-2013, 04:29 PM   #25
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Re: The shoulder grab - where does this come from

Quote:
Cliff Judge wrote: View Post
At my dojo and, I believe, ASU in general, we practice techniques from kata dori, which is a shoulder grab. Generally, you grab a handful of dogi right around the shoulder area.

Questions:

1) Do you practice techniques from this type of attack at your dojo? A shoulder grab. Kata dori.
2) If so, do you also grab a handful of dogi?
3) Can anyone comment on where this attack comes from?

This is not common in koryu jujutsu as far as I can tell. What IS common in koryu jujutsu is eri dori, which is a lapel grab. But eri dori provides very different openings for a technique.

I am not a judoka but I have been told that a shoulder grab like this could happen while coming to grips. But it isn't a starting point. Maybe it is in some kata. Basically I am not satisfied that this is "a judo thing."

Not very common in Daito ryu, either....there is this aikirentai clip...but this looks more like the standard judo grip, grabbing the sleeve around the bicep.

I don't like grabbing a handful of gi around the shoulder because I don't like mangling my fingers when they get all crunched up in the fabric. As often as possible, I simply grab the whole shoulder. I think having uke's palm open makes a better channel for entry and connection, but from uke's perspective it is a less effective attack, so it makes the technique less combative.
Us tall guys use that shoulder grab spot all the time on shorter opponents in judo randori, either gripped "in" oor "on" the gi, depending on how the person prefers to play. Persoanlly, I keep my hands open (now) and use the palm surface's friction to establish what I need to accomplish my techniques, but when learning, for the first 10 years I was always grabbing, fngers digging in on that part of a shorter partner's jacket.

It just works out that, if you are playing inside your proper "strength" position, hands at shoulder level on a shorter opponent, you'll have your hands over his shoulders on a shorter guy.

By contrast, that's where the waist grab stuff might come from, shorter guys vs. taller ones.

Sorry about all the "guys"... lady judoka can whomp you just as easily.

I find it interesting that the kanji character for kuzushi illustrates a mountain falling on a house.
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