Nage No Kata

 
Forms Of Throwing
     
  The techniques of the Nage no Kata were developed and formalized in 1884 and 1885 by the Kodokan. This kata consists of 5 sets of throwing techniques with each set consisting of 3 representative techniques performed on both the right and then left sides. The two kata participants, Tori (thrower) and Uke (receiver) begin with a formal opening series of bows onto the mat, to the judges and respected viewers, and each other. Tori stands to the right and Uke to the left as viewed from the perspective of the judges. With each technique, Uke attempts an attack on Tori. As the kata progresses, the attacks build based upon the previously attempted, and failed, attacks. This demonstrates how Tori adjusts to each attack and how Uke also changes the attacks based on the previously failed attempts on Tori.

The Nage No Kata was developed to help students understand and master the theoretical basis of throwing in Judo.

Nage no Kata is the first of the two Randori no Kata.   Its fifteen techniques are given below.   To begin the kata, you and your partner stand facing each other at a distance of about 5.5 meters.   You should be on the right as seen from the joseki if you are Tori.   Both turn toward the joseki and perform a standing bow, then turn and face each other and do a kneeling bow.

In this form, some fifteen representative techniques are chosen from among the many throwing techniques. They are divided into 5 groups of three techniques. They were selected as model techniques to aid the study of the theory of methods of throwing. Nage No Kata represents the ideal application of the principles of throwing, kuzushi, and tai sabaki.

The Nage No Kata (Kata of throws) which is the first Part of the Randori No Kata, or Forms of Free Exercise, was created by the late Professor Jigoro Kano, who definitively fixed therein the form and the spirit.

Tradition requires that the demonstration of the First Kata should usher in all Judo displays and competitions in order to put contestants and spectators in touch with the environment of Judo. It is composed of 15 throws grouped in 5 series of 3 movements each, as indicated in the following table.
 
     
 

Opening Movements

 
  To open Tori stands at the far right-hand edge of the mat farthest away from the judges and Uke stands at the far left-hand edge of the mat. Both bow onto the mat at the same time and walk down the outside of the red zone (competition area) to the middle of their respective sides.

Together, both bow onto the mat and at this point are standing about 9 meters apart. Starting with the left foot, both step forward to a position about 5.5 to 6 meters apart. Tori and Uke then turn towards the Judges and together perform a standing bow.

Uke and Tori, having completed the bow to the judges, remain in place and perform a kneeling bow to each other. Both lower to the left knee first followed by the right. When rising from the mat, Uke and Tori rise with the right followed by the left. After a momentary pause, both take a large step forward with the left foot.  

Tori and Uke then walk in ayumi ashi toward each other. Both come together about 18 inches apart and about 5 feet to the left of center mat from the perspective of the judges.
 
     
 

Set 1 - Te Waza (Hand Techniques)

 
  1. Uki Otoshi - Floating Drop  
     
  After returning to a standing posture from the now complete opening sequence, Tori moves about ¾ of the way across the mat while Uke moves about ¼ of the distance. Tori moves to within about 18 inches (.5 meters) of Uke. At the same time, both take a small step forward with the right foot and secure a standard right-side grip. Without pausing after taking a grip, Uke and Tori begin their movements for Uki Otoshi.
 
At this point Uke, has no prior experience attacking Tori, so Uke begins by stepping forward with the right foot and pushing Tori backward. Tori responds by stepping backward with the left foot in tsugi ashi, demonstrating the principle of yielding and allowing Uke push forward without resistance. On the 3rd step/push by Uke, Tori drops to his left knee and remains facing his original direction. Tori pulls strongly with the left hand as well as the right hand to cause Uke to be thrown forward.
 
Tori’s drop combined with the action of his hands causes Uke to be unable to retain his balance forward.  Uke lands in a right side fall with Tori holding his left sleeve. Uke should not be holding onto Tori’s gi at this point and Tori should have a single hand grasp of Uke’s sleeve while still facing in the original direction. Tori and Uke are not facing each other.
 
After a short pause, Tori releases his grasp of Uke’s sleeve and moves to a corresponding position on the opposite side of the mat from where Tori and Uke began. Uke follows Tori and assumes a standing position in front of Tori about 18 inches apart. Without too long of a pause, both step forward with their left foot a short distance and take a left side standard grip. At this point Uke pushes strongly on Tori and both work together to execute Uki Otoshi to the left side. This left side should mirror the right side technique as precisely as possible.
 
Once Uke has completed the fall, Tori should rise and take a standing position about 18 inches to the left of center of the mat. This is necessary so that when the next technique (Seoi Nage) is performed, Uke will land at center mat.  
 
     
  2. Ippon Seoi Nage - One Arm Shoulder Throw  
     
  Uke learns that pushing Tori doesn’t work so changes the attack to strike the top of Tori’s head with his right hand. As Uke steps forward with his right foot and strikes at Tori, Tori steps forward with his right foot and blocks the overhead strike with his left hand. Tori should allow the strike to follow through so that Uke breaks his own balance. Tori steps into a right side Seoi Nage throw.
 
The key is to not stop Uke’s moment but to allow Uke to fall forward on Tori’s back and essentially fall over Tori with Tori exerting very little effort. Uke lands at Tori’s feet with Tori holding only the sleeve. Uke then stands and walks away from Tori so that Tori can take a position about 18 inches to the right of center of the mat facing the right side of the mat. This is necessary so that when Tori executes a left side Seoi Nage, Uke lands center mat.
 
The left side Seoi Nage is executed exactly as it was on the right with Uke striking with the left hand and Tori throwing Uke with a left side Seoi Nage. After a momentary pause Uke stands and Tori moves to a position about 1.5 to 2 meters (5-6 feet) to the left of center of the mat to prepare for the next technique. Uke takes a corresponding position about 18 inches (.5 meters) in front of Tori.
 
     
  3. Kata Guruma - Shoulder Wheel  
     
  Tori and Uke simultaneously take a small step forward with their right foot and take a standard right side grip. As soon as Uke and Tori take a grip, Uke begins pushing Tori and steps forward with his right foot causing Tori to retreat with his left. Uke, remembering the result of the pushes from the first technique, pushes less vigorously and uses each step with the right foot to retain his balance.
 
Tori takes the impetus on the second step this time and changes the sleeve hand from an outside sleeve grip to an inside sleeve grip. On the third step, Tori takes a little larger step to the rear with his left foot, pulls firmly with the left hand and lowers himself so that he can load Uke onto his shoulders with Uke’s belt being at or just above Tori’s neck. As Tori loads Uke onto his shoulders, Tori slides his left foot in towards his right and stands up straight. Uke should have a strong posture so that he is straight and not slouching across Tori’s shoulders. Tori and Uke should form a ‘T’ and neither should show poor posture.
 
Tori throws Uke to his left front corner and should only bend at the legs while retaining a grasp of Uke’s sleeve. Tori should not break at the waste as this shows poor balance and control. After a momentary pause, Tori moves to a position about 5-6 feet to the right of center of the mat and prepares to execute a left Kata Guruma mirroring the right side technique just completed.
 
Tori and Uke return to their original starting positions and while facing away from the center of the mat, take about 3-5 seconds to straight their uniforms. At the same time, they turn to face each other and Tori moves to about 18 inches of the left of the center of the mat in preparation for Uki Goshi.
 
     
 

Set 2 - Koshi Waza (Hip Techniques)

 
  4. Uki Goshi - Floating Hip  
     
  Uke, having not succeeded with either pushing attack and having been thrown with Seoi Nage on the only striking attack decides to attack Tori with another strike to the head. This time however, Uke will keep his left hand forward to block Tori’s hip when he attempts to use Seoi Nage.
 
Tori sees this change on Uke’s part and steps forward with his left foot allowing Uke’s right hand strike to over shoot it’s target. Tori seizes Uke’s extended left sleeve with his right hand and encircles Uke’s waist with his left arm. At this point, Tori throws Uke with a left side Uki Goshi. This is the only time in the 15 techniques that Tori counters with a left side throw and then subsequently follows up with the right side.
 
In this technique, just as in Seoi Nage, Tori’s position on the mat should be so that Uke will land at center mat. After a momentary pause Uke rises and Tori moves to about 18 inches to the right of the center of the mat with Uke taking a position in preparation for striking at Tori with his left hand. Tori executes a right side Uki Goshi so that Uke lands at center mat.
 
After a short pause, Uke rises and Tori moves to a position about 5-6 feet (1.5-2 meters) to the left of center of the mat and waits for Uke’s approach to within about 18 inches.
 
     
  5. Harai Goshi - Sweeping Hip  
     
  Uke, having failed at pushing Tori aggressively attempts to block Tori’s throws by softening his posture and arms so Tori is not so readily able to throw him. At the same time, Tori and Uke take a small step forward with their right foot taking a standard right side grip. Uke pushes Tori again but this time, he is pushing Tori up away from slightly bent legs in an attempt to keep his center of gravity below Tori’s. On the second push, Tori releases the lapel hand and places it under Uke’s left armpit so that it cups the shoulder blade at the back. There is not a grip so DO NOT grab Uke’s gi with this hand.

On the third step, turn toward your left and sweep Uke’s hips over your right leg executing Harai Goshi. After a momentary pause, Uke rises and Tori moves to stand about 5-6 feet to the right of the center of the mat in preparation for the left side Harai Goshi. Again, Uke initiates and both take a small step forward with their left foot while taking a standard left side grip. At this point, Tori and Uke mirror the movements previously executed on the right side so that Uke is thrown just past the center of the mat with a left side Harai Goshi.

After a momentary pause, Uke rises and Tori returns to the same position from which Harai Goshi was begun in preparation for the next technique. Uke also moves to within 18 inches of Tori to prepare for the next technique.
 
     
  6. Tsurikomi Goshi - Lift Pull Hip  
     
  Tori and Uke take a small step forward with the right foot and Uke again pushes Tori backward with a slightly rising push. On the third step, Uke stiffens the torso and hips so as not to be swept off of the mat like in Harai Goshi. Tori raises the grip on the lapel up to ear level and turns and squats deeply so that the right arm is fully extended.
 
Tori leans forward and throws Uke with Tsurikomi Goshi while Uke maintains a stiff body through the throw and softens just before landing. After a momentary pause, Uke rises and Tori takes position about 5-6 feet to the right of the center of the mat where Uke joins him. Uke and Tori both take a small step forward with the left foot and take a standard left side grip.
 
Uke immediately initiates by pressing Tori backward and keeping his torso and hips stiff to avoid the left side Harai Goshi. Once Tori completes the left side Tsurikomi Goshi, both return to their original starting positions from the beginning of the kata and fix their uniforms while facing away from each other. After about 3-5 seconds, they turn to face each other. After a momentary pause, both walk at about a 30 degree angle toward the judges and meet at the forward edge of center mat.
 
     
 

Set 3 - Ashi Waza (Leg Techniques)

 
  7. Okuri Ashi Harai - Sliding Foot Sweep  
     
  Uke reaches up to grasp Tori’s gi in a standard right side grip and Tori takes the initiative upon grabbing and moves sideways away from the judges with Uke.  Tori takes three steps with each slide step become more vigorous and faster paced as well. On the third step, Tori sweeps both of Uke’s feet with Okuri Ashi Harai. Uke needs to make sure not to sweep himself and force Tori to make contact. Uke’s only responsibility is to bring both feet together at the angles directly under the hips. This allows Tori to torque Uke’s body with the arms and sweep both feet away for the throw.

Uke stands and both take a standard left side grip before beginning their slide steps toward the judges. This will mirror the right side technique previously completed. Once the throw has been completed, Tori pauses for just a moment and then releases Uke and walks to a position about 5-6 feet to the left of the center of the mat and waits for Uke.
 
     
  8. Okuri Ashi Harai - Propping Lift Pull Foot  
     
  Tori and Uke stand about 18 inches apart at about 5-6 feet to the left of the center of the mat. Both take a small step forward with the right foot and both take a standard right side grip. Uke pushes on Tori conscience of the previous hand and hip techniques he had received. As Tori retreats two steps with the left foot, he switches and on the third step, retreats with the right foot leaving the left foot trailing behind. Tori pulls strongly with the left hand and catches Uke stepping forward on his right foot with his trailing left foot. Tori places the bottom of his left foot just above the instep of Uke’s right leg and executes a right side Sasae Tsurikomi Ashi.
 
After a short pause, Tori moves to the corresponding right side position to wait for Uke. Once Uke arrives, both step forward with their left foot and take the left standard grip and begin the left side of the technique. Upon completion of Tori’s throw using Sasae Tsurikomi Ashi of Uke, Tori moves to a position about a foot to the right of the center of the mat and waits for Uke.
 
     
  9. Uchi Mata - Inner Thigh  
     
  Tori and Uke take a small step forward with the right foot and take a standard right side grip. Uke begins to push Tori with the left hand instead of both hands in an attempt to avoid being thrown in the same manner as befor. Tori takes the initiative and steps clock-wise around toward the left front pulling Uke with his right hand. This adds to Uke’s left-hand push and both make half a turn around the center of the mat.

Being wise to Tori’s actions, Uke pushes less strongly and Tori and Uke only make about a ¼ to 3/8 turn. On the third step, Tori pulls Uke around another ¼ turn but leaves the right leg in place causing Uke to step over and around with his left leg. Before Uke’s left leg makes contact with the mat, Tori raises his right leg and executes a right side Uchi Mata so that Uke falls at center mat.

Uke rises after a momentary pause and Tori moves to his position about 1 foot to the left of the center of the mat. At this point, both Tori and Uke execute the steps so that a left side Uchi Mata is executed with Uke landing at the middle of the mat.

Uke and Tori return to their original starting positions from the beginning of the kata and take about 3-5 seconds to fix their gis. Turning to face each other at the same time, Tori moves towards Uke and covers about ¾ of the distance between them. Uke takes a couple of small steps and arrives in front of Tori about the same time the Tori arrives.
 
     
 

Set 4 - Ma Sutemi Waza (Straight Sacrifice Techniques)

 
  10. Tomoe Nage - Circle Throw  
     
  With Tori and Uke standing about 18 inches apart, both take a small step forward with the right foot and take a standard right side grip. Uke takes the initiative and forces Tori backward. After being forced back 1 step, Tori sets his feet and moves Uke back 3 steps. On the third step, Uke sets his feet and pushes back. At this moment, Tori changes to a double lapel grip by releasing his left hand from Uke’s sleeve and grabs Uke’s lapel. Tori lowers himself while using his hands to raise and off-balance Uke.
 
Tori falls to his back while raising his right foot and placing it on Uke’s abdomen at the belt. Uke takes a step forward with his left foot and is thrown with Tomoe Nage. Tori DOES NOT move his planted left foot on the mat but raises his hips from the mat. The right foot remains in the air.
 
Uke completes a shoulder roll out of the throw and stands without taking any additional steps. After a pause, Tori moves to the corresponding starting point on the opposite side of the mat and Uke approaches. Uke then begins the series of pushes and Tori pushes back. When Tori initiates the throw this time, Tori places the left foot in Uke’s abdomen at the belt and Uke executes a shoulder roll ending in a standing position.
 
     
  11. Ura Nage - Rear Throw  
     
  Tori should now be standing about 3 feet (1 meter) to the left of the center of the mat with Uke about 5-6 feet (1.5-2 meters) from Tori. Uke steps in to strike Tori in the head with another blow. As Uke swings down at Tori’s head, Tori steps past Uke with his left foot and places it past Uke’s feet and his right foot is placed in front of and between Uke’s feet. Tori lowers himself so that the strike completely misses his head and shoulders. Tori wraps his left arm around Uke’s back at the belt and places his open right hand at the belt (lower abdomen) of Uke.
 
As Uke swings down forcefully, Tori pops up and arches his back and drives Uke’s torso, hips and legs over his shoulder. The momentum of Uke’s arm along with proper timing of the throw should make this a technique in which Uke virtually throws himself. If the timing is off, Tori’s job of lifting and throwing Uke with this technique is much more difficult.
 
Tori should land with only his feet and shoulders touching the mat. The feet should not move once the throw is made and the hips should be in the air.
 
After a pause, Uke and Tori should rise with Tori reaching the corresponding position on the right side of the mat, opposite his starting position on the left side, and Uke will approach with the overhead strike from the left hand. Tori now steps with his right foot to Uke’s side and place his left foot in front of Uke’s feet. Tori’s right hand is behind Uke while his left palm is placed open against Uke’s lower abdomen for the throw.
 
Once the throw is complete, Tori should rise and move to a position about 4-5 feet (1.5 meters) to the left of the center of the mat with Uke about 18 inches in front of Tori.
 
     
  12. Sumi Gaeshi - Corner Reversal  
     
  Once Tori and Uke are in front of each other, each take a small step forward with the right foot and step into a defensive posture. The right hand is placed open under the left armpit so that it cups the shoulder blade while the left arm is placed over the top of your partners right arm and your left hand is placed against the triceps just above the elbow. Both stand in Migi Jigotai at this point.
 
Tori pulls Uke with the right hand so that Tori is retreating with the right foot as Uke steps forward with the left. On the second step, Uke attempts to regain balance by standing taller but Tori, remaining low retreats with the left foot but bringing it closer to the right foot for just a moment and places it on the mat just to the inside of Uke’s right foot.  Tori sits close to the planted left foot and throws Uke by placing the right instep behind Uke’s left thigh and throwing with Sumi Gaeshi.
 
Uke should execute a shoulder roll over Tori’s hand and finish in Shinzen Hontai. Tori then rises and takes a corresponding position to the left of center mat and waits for Uke. Uke and Tori engage in the opposite manner as before so that on the third step, Tori throws Uke with Sumi Gaeshi by placing the left instep against the back of Uke’s right thigh.   Uke completes a shoulder roll over Tori’s head and finishes in Shizen Hontai.

Tori and Uke take 3-5 seconds at their original starting positions to adjust their gis and they turn at the same time to face each other again begin the 5th and final set.
 
     
 

Set 5 - Yoko Sutemi Waza (Side Sacrifice Techniques)

 
  13. Yoko Gake - Side Hook  
     
  Tori approaches Uke so that they are in a position about 4-5 feet (1.5 meters) to the left of center mat. Both take a short step forward with the right foot and take a right standard grip. As soon as the grip is secured, Uke pushes Tori.

Tori retreats with his left foot and using his left hand to push Uke’s right elbow in towards Uke’s belt knot. Tori uses his right hand to push Uke’s lapel toward the left. On the second step Tori drives Uke’s elbow further toward the right while pushing the lapel further to the left.

By the end of the third step, Uke’s elbow should be at Uke’s center line and Uke’s lapel should be directly above. Tori’s hands should be lined up with the right hand directly above the left. Uke should be on his right toes with the left foot floating just above the mat and directly behind the right foot. The ankles should be crossed.

With a quick snap, Tori's feet should sweep through both of Uke’s feet while also falling with Uke to the mat. Tori should land in a left side fall while holding only Uke’s sleeve while Uke lands flat on his back with the feet raised so that only his back touches the mat on landing.

After pausing, both rise and move to a position on the right side about 4-5 feet (1.5 meters) from center. Uke and Tori then make the opposite movements with Tori retreating with the right foot and Uke moving forward with the left. Tori sweeps with the right with Tori landing in a right side fall and Uke landing flat on his back with his feet in the air.

Tori and Uke rise take up a position about 4-5 feet apart from each other with Tori about 1-2 feet to the left of center mat.
 
     
  14. Yoko Guruma - Side Wheel  
     
  Uke steps forward with the left foot while raising the right hand over head. Uke then steps with the right foot and swings a blow down on top of Tori’s head.
 
Tori steps in to throw Uke with Ura Nage by stepping in with the left foot going past Uke’s feet and Tori’s right foot placed between and in front of Uke’s feet. Uke completes the strike and feeling the technique Ura Nage about to be applied again, Uke drives the right hand down so as to press down on Tori and prevent Tori from lifting Uke. Uke also bends forward in an attempt to avoid the throw.
 
Tori, feeling the change in Uke’s position makes some changes as well. First, Tori grabs Uke’s belt at the rear with his left hand. With the right foot, Tori steps deep between Uke’s feet and sits immediately in front of Uke’s right foot.
 
Tori finishes the technique by rolling to his back and lifting his hips from the mat so that only the feet and shoulders are touching the mat. Tori throws Uke over his left shoulder and does not change the placement of his feet or shoulders until Uke completes a shoulder roll and returns to a standing position.
 
Tori then rises and takes up a position about 1-2 feet (.5 meters) to the right of center mat. Uke takes up a corresponding position about 4-5 feet from Tori. Uke then attacks Tori with the left hand and Tori and Uke take the opposite and corresponding actions so that Tori throws Uke with a left side Yoko Guruma. Tori remains on the mat with only his feet and shoulders touching as before and Uke completes the shoulder roll and finishes in a standing position.
 
Tori and Uke then move to a position about 18 inches apart and about 4-5 feet left of the center of the mat.
 
     
  15. Uki Waza - Floating Technique  
     
  Both take a large step forward with the right foot and take a migi jigotai stance. Each place the right hand under the left armpit of their partner and the left arm goes over your partner’s outstretched right arm and is placed, palm open, cupping the lower triceps.
 
Tori pulls Uke forward with the right hand and takes a step back with the right foot. Uke, sensing the pull, attempts to avoid being pulled off-balance and raises up. Tori raises himself up a little and then stretches out the left leg so that it is placed along the front of Uke’s feet preventing Uke from stepping forward.
 
Tori sits and throws Uke directly to Uke’s front and over Tori’s outstretched left leg. Tori should be bridged up on his left shoulder and Uke should take a full rolling fall to a 45 degree angle compared to Tori. Uke completes the roll and finishes in a standing position.
 
Tori rises and moves to a corresponding position compared to that of the beginning of this technique which is now on the right side of center mat. Uke and Tori then make the necessary adjustments and perform the described movements above on the opposite side.
 
Once the throw is complete, Tori and Uke return to their original starting position and adjust their uniforms. At this point, the closing movements are executed just as the opening movements were, just in reverse order.
 
     
 

Closing Movements

 
     
  The closing movements are performed in the opposite order as the opening movements with Uke and Tori bowing to each other in Zarei and then performing Ritsu Rei to the judges and then also at the edge of the mat. When walking backwards from each bow, step first with the right foot. Uke and Tori need to perform their bows at the same time and take their steps at the same time.