At the beginner and intermediate levels, the Hip Toss is almost always forced without a set up. This puts you at a serious disadvantage for being countered as you are giving your back to your opponent while exposing your legs. Many grapplers have their own variation of the Hip Toss, so there is plenty of room for specialization with the hip toss after you nail down the basic technical principles.
The other arm typically has wrist control but bicep or inside control works too. You’ll get more leverage with the inside control since you’re grabbing closer to their center of gravity, but experienced judokas don’t seem to have any trouble initiating their throws with wrist control.
How to Set up the Hip Toss
The main principle behind the set up is that the opponent’s hips are back while the opponent is leaning forwards. This allows you to plant your hips underneath your opponent. Then, you can pull them into the hip toss while pulling them up and over your body onto the mat.
Most people use an underhook to do the hip toss, but it’s possible to perform a hip toss with an overhook too. If you want to be sneaky, you can shoot for a head inside single, recover your shot to an underhook, then perform the hip toss.
Hip Toss Execution
To hit the hip toss, start with planting the feet just slightly in front of the opponent’s hips. At first, the footwork takes some practice to get used to because you end up crossing your feet. Crossing your feet puts you out of position in wrestling so when you plant your feet in the correct position, you need to execute the throw right away.
Another subtle trick used by judokas is pulling the opponent up from the mat so that the opponent is light on their toes. This makes it much easier to execute the hip toss than if your opponent’s feet are still heavily planted on the ground.
Finally, use your hips as a fulcrum. It should feel as if your opponent is falling up and over you.
Finishing Hip Toss
Once your opponent lands on the mat, trap the near arm to keep your opponent pinned. If the opponent rolls through, keep your hips low to the mat so you don’t get rolled through. This keeps you in control of your opponent.
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For more variations of this move, judo tends to be a better resource than wrestling as instructional videos tend to go in more depth with judo. In most cases, you can apply the same concepts to no gi grappling by simply substituting the lapel grip with an underhook or overhook. Other variations that are similar to the hip toss are Uchi Mata and harai goshi. Wrestling’s headlock also uses the same execution but it’s easier to make the throw slip. In most cases for these variations, the set up and mechanics are generally the same but with minor tweaks.
To learn more about Che and his writing on how to execute various takedowns, click here.