ArtOfGrappling comes from a nation where Hockey is not just a sport, it’s a religion. It’s hard to compare it to anything else I’ve seen. Maybe it’s like what sumo is to the Japanese, or likely more accurate, what baseball is to Americans.
90% of Canadians learn to skate as they learn to walk and you will rarely meet kids who are in grade-school who cannot.
For the uninitiated, hockey is a game where you score points by flicking a rubber disk, past a goaltender into a net. This counts as 1 point/goal. The team with more goals at the end of the game wins.
There is a curious thing about hockey that you don’t see in other organized “ball and stick” sports: fighting. Games will regularly break into all out brawls.
Now according to the “Authority on Hockey”, Don Cherry, “fighting is an essential part of hockey”.
I don’t understand why, or How Fighting is an Essential Part of Hockey, but this is something I hear regularly from people who actually follow professional hockey. From an outsider, it doesn’t seem to help score goals. Goals are how you win the game. I mean, you don’t see MMA fighters suddenly break out sticks, balls and nets and spontaneously have a ball and stick game in the middle of their fight do you??
But, what the fuck do I know, I’m a lowly grappler that likes to see judo throws everywhere, and I say:
If fighting is an essential part of hockey, why don’t these guys train judo?
Look at those baggy jersey’s just begging to be tugged and chucked onto the ice! Imagine how much momentum you could generate spinning your skates on the ice for a throw!
I mean, check this out:
In the GIF above, you see Drew Miller grabbing head and right shoulder control of Tyler Johnson.
He rotates in a counterclockwise direction with his right skate stopping right in front of Johnson’s right skate. As Miller turns he starts snaps his upper body downwards toward the ice and the momentum brings Millers back smack into the mat. IPPON!!
The throw is known as tai o toshi (and was executed beautifully).
Here is an example of Tai O Toshi in an elite level judo competition by Antoine Valois Fortier (Olympic Judo Bronze Medalist for Canada). Can you see how similar this is to Miller’s near perfect technique?