Tactical awareness: Throwing (or being thrown) from the floor

This is a guest post from Tristan Greaves of http://extricate.org/
Tristan is a qualified football and Judo referee who often pops down to practice at Windsor Judo Club – as he writes interesting and well-though out posts, we thought you might like this one. 

Ippons are perfectly scorable when Uke is on the floor. There’s this blurry line between the tachiwaza and newaza phase and you want to exploit it, and avoid being exploited.
Here’s Choi throwing Paischer for Gold in the 2008 Olympics:

This illustrates an important factor that referees must remember when scoring techniques: “It ain’t over ’till it’s over”. The whole, continuous motion must be kept in mind when deciding what score to give. In the above example, the referee team clearly felt that the attack continued from Uke dropping to the floor, resulting in the Ippon.
Before I continue, it is very important to point out now that the throw Choi used here is not going to be allowed come 2010! This thread on Judoforum.com has the information. Unfortunately, it isn’t 100% clear. For example, some of the techniques are not permitted when both players are clearly standing either. Also, fine line here: Will Ura-nage eventually be disallowed as well, due to it also involving picking a player up?
(Forgetting to consider the entirety of the throw can catch referees out for a different reason: A HUGE Kata guruma which has the “oooooooh” factor and the referee instinctively awards Ippon but… right at the end Tori loses control and Uke drops onto their side. Oops.)
Anyway, we have covered that throws in this phase are scorable. I saw a couple of great examples of this at the weekend, including one for the Gold medal.
Firstly, a player comes in for a failed Kata Guruma or leg grab of some description. They are down on one knee. Their opponent can take advantage of this (Uchi-mata especially!) for a good, sweeping, clean Ippon.
Secondly, this could be combined with a more tactical approach. Uke may feel they are ‘safe’ and will start to stand. This can also happen if both players have stumbled to the ground and stand up again. This is fine and the referee will not call Matte if both players are doing so of their own volition. Tori can take advantage of this lull and throw! Perfectly scorable and beautifully tactical.
So always be wary of these opportunities. If you are Uke in the above, you may want to turtle up and not move until Matte is called… just in case. ALWAYS be away of the tactical situation. Your opponent is unlikely to be letting you stand up because they like you and want to give you a nice slice of cake, are they?
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